2008 Event 29 No-Limit Hold’em

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2008 WSOP Event 29 No-Limit Hold’em

Individual Event Reports

Event 29 No-Limit Hold’em Day 1

Actually by WSOP standards, this was a small gathering for No Limit Hold'Em. There were only 716 players at the table who paid $3,000 each for the right. This built a cash pool of $1,976,160 to be split between the top 72 finishers in the event. First place will pay a nice $434,789 to the new champion.

Of course you know many top names were in the field, but in poker tournaments the name of the game is to survive. Some of the 81 names that will be in the Day 2 field include Kathy Liebert with 94,000 chips, Lee Childs 93,300, David Singer 84,500, Dale Pinchot 70,400, Alex Bolotin 40,500, Kristy Gazes 37,500, Beth Shak 33,900, James Fricke 15,000 and Noah Schwartz 12,500. The field will begin where it left off with blinds at 600/1200 with a 100 ante at 2:00 pm. Here are the top 9 with chip counts:

  1. Alex Zaslavsly 187,100
  2. Ryan Young 148,500
  3. Matt Vengrin 147,000
  4. Hjalti Jacobsen 132,800
  5. Alex Melnikow 130,100
  6. John Phan 127,400
  7. Earl Plyler 118,100
  8. Douglas Miranda 111,100
  9. Roberto Romanello 107,600

Event 29 No-Limit Hold’em Day 2

Payout schedule for the final table:

  1. $434,789
  2. $277,452
  3. $167,973
  4. $137,343
  5. $112,641
  6. $88,927
  7. $69,165
  8. $54,344
  9. $39,523
Getting down the the final nine had a number of disappointments for many, like a hand between two players where one had pocket 10's, the other pocket J's. By the river two more 10 cards came out and one had quads, the other around 100,000 in chips. A few hands later, the player who was crippled got his chips back with interest when his set of A's crushed the other players pocket Q's. Tournament player Stuart Patterson was busted after his all-in with pocket J's was met by Carter King's pocket K's. Following Stuart were Kathy Liebert, Alex Melnikow, Dale Pinchot and Lee Childs.

The final table will get underway at 2:00 pm with blinds continuing at 8000/16000 and a 2000 ante.
  1. Matt Vengrin 1,007,500
  2. Johnny Neckar 796,000
  3. David Singer 534,000
  4. Stewart Newman 398,000
  5. John Phan 396,500
  6. Thuy Doan 369,500
  7. David Singer 334,000
  8. Tony Dunst 333,000
  9. Sebastian Segovia 128,500

Event 29 No-Limit Hold’em Final Table

Here are excerpts from the event report from the WSOP:

The winner was poker pro John Phan. Phan was born in Vietnam. He has been playing poker professionally for about 12 years. Phan collected $434,789 for first place. He also earned his first WSOP gold bracelet. Prior to this victory, Phan had two runner-up finishes in WSOP events in 2006 and 2007. He also finished fourth in an event in 2005.

Phan's heads-up match against Johnny Neckar clocked in at 6 hours and 13 minutes, which certainly ranks as one of the longer matches in WSOP history. However, this did not come close to threatening the all-time record set in 2006 between Chip Reese and Andy Bloch, which lasted over eight hours. The entire final table took slightly over ten hours to complete.

The Phan-Neckar back and forth heads-up match led to one of the most bizarre occurrences in WSOP history. Just when both players had been playing for six hours and that fact was announced to the crowd, both finalists decided to raise all-in blindly before the flop and let luck takes its course. Phan and Neckar did this for three straight hands. However, some sanity was restored and just as hundreds of screaming fans had ringed around the final table arena hollering out names and cards, both players resumed normal patterns of play – with the duel locked into a dead heat in chips. Half a dozen hands later, Phan finally won the tournament.

The Event #29 winner John Phan is to be classified as a professional. Accordingly, through the conclusion of Event #29 at this year's World Series of Poker, the "Professionals versus Amateurs" gold bracelet scoreboard reads:

Professionals –- 22 wins
Amateurs -- 4 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins


After a marathon of hands, the final hand took place with both players, (who had to be very tired), moving all-in preflop. Neckar had Qd Jd and Phan showed Ah 9s. As the cards were dealt, the lucky Ace fell to the felt and sealed the deal for John Phan and his first WSOP bracelet.

  1. John Phan $434,789
  2. Johnny Neckar $277,452
  3. Matt Vengrin $167,973
  4. Alex Bolotin $137,343
  5. David Singer $112,641
  6. Stewart Newman $88,927
  7. Thuyen Doan $69,165
  8. George Dunst $54,344
  9. Sebastian Segovia $39,523

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