2008 Event 49 No-Limit Hold’em

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2008 WSOP Event 49 No-Limit Hold’em

Individual Event Reports

Event #49 -- No-Limit Hold’em Day 1

Statistics for event:

  • Number of Entries 2,718
  • Net Prize Pool $3,710,070
  • First Place Prize $631,170
  • Total Spots Paid Out 270
This was another big event at the WSOP. The goal was to at least reach the money on Day 1 for the over 2,700 players. Action began at 12 noon for the field. Seen in the field were J.C. Tran, Men "The Master" Nguyen, James Van Alstyne, Bill Chen, Allen Kessler, J.J. Liu, Andrew Black, Kristy Gazes and Jeff Madsen.

Within seconds of the start, players were having their pocket Kings and pocket Aces cracked by lesser hands and began walking to the sidelines. Mark Seif was eliminated when his pocket 10's met the pocket J's of another player. Other busts include Jennifer Tilly, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Gregorian, Kevin Saul, Anna Wroblewski, David Singer, Theo Tran, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Chris Ferguson, Shannon Shorr, Isabelle Mercier, Gavin Smith, Joe Awada and Jonathan Little. By 1:00 am the next day, there were 215 remaining that will move on to Day 2. Here are the top nine of Day 1 with chip counts:
  1. Micah Raskin 175,200
  2. Young Phan 140,000
  3. Greg Alexander 134,700
  4. Greg Mueller 131,700
  5. Manelic Minaya 127,300
  6. Matt Matros 113,600
  7. Rasmus Nielsen 110,600
  8. Gregg Merkow 109,900
  9. Alexander Case 97,300

Event #49 -- No-Limit Hold’em Day 2

Payouts for the final table players:

  1. $631,170
  2. $389,557
  3. $278,255
  4. $233,734
  5. $191,068
  6. $150,257
  7. $113,157
  8. $85,331
  9. $58,248
Well, when players make the money a big tendancy is to risk it all because if you lose you will still see something for your efforts. And in the first half hour of play, this was the reality. Over 65 players busted out in that time period, resulting from the all-in moves being declared almost every 10 to 20 seconds. (Hopefully, those who are entering the Main Event will get some much needed rest.)

Greg Muller ended up going to the rail after an all-in move with K 10 was called by another player with A K, which became two pair and enough to send Muller to the rail. Hevad Khan after having a good day at the tables, received a curse from Lady Luck to begin losing his chips and eventually busting out after meeting the 9 high straight of another player. Others who were eliminated were Matt Matros, David Tran, Young Phan, Men "The Master" Nguyen and Andy Black.

Action was ended at 4:30 am on June 30 as the final table players were determined. Play will continue at 2:00 pm on June 30 with blinds at 15/30,000 with a 4,000 ante.
  1. Rasmus Nielsen 2,998,000
  2. J.C. Tran 1,438,000
  3. Joe Pelton 1,093,000
  4. Peter Nguyen 870,000
  5. John Conroy 501,000
  6. Robert Kalb 456,000
  7. Jesper Hoog 320,000
  8. Christoph Kohnen 293,000
  9. Chad Siu 185,000

Event #49 -- No-Limit Hold’em Final Table

Notes on the event from the WSOP:

The $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em champion is the experienced poker tournament veteran J.C. Tran. He is a full-time professional poker player. Tran is part of a small group of professional players who came into this year's WSOP who had accomplished just about everything possible in poker except winning a gold bracelet. That short list included Erick Lindgren, David Singer, John Phan, and others (all of whom enjoyed breakthrough victories in 2008). Many would place J.C. Tran amongst that respected group, and his victory in this event is yet another validation that this is the year when so many deserving players have finally won poker's most coveted prize.

Last year's champion for the event on the corresponding date was Chandrasekhar Billavara, from San Francisco, CA. He entered this event but did not cash. So far, 48 of 49 defending champions at this year's WSOP have failed to cash in their respective events. Blair Rodman was the lone exception.

Tran won $631,170 for first place. This was his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was his 22nd time to cash at the WSOP – all since 2004. The Event #49 winner J.C. Tran is to be classified as a professional player. He has been playing full-time for several years and has cashed in many major tournaments. Accordingly, the "Pro-Am" gold bracelet scoreboard currently reads:

Professionals – 36 wins
Amateurs -- 11 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins


After the elimination of John Conroy by Rasmus Nielsen, Rasmus had 5,725,000 chips to go up against the experienced professional J.C. Tran who had 2,575,000 in front of him. The blinds were 30/60,000 with a 5,000 ante. Through a slow and steady process, J.C. wore down the stack of his opponent completely reversing the chip advantage to his favor. On the last hand, J.C. raised preflop and was called by Rasmus with both players seeing a flop of Q 8 2. After the turn card of 4 came up, Rasmus went all-in and was called by J.C. who threw down K Q suited to the Q J of Rasmus. When the river card of 2 came up, J.C. knew he had his first WSOP gold and diamond bracelet by a King kicker.

  1. J.C. Tran -- $631,170
  2. Rasmus Nielsen -- $389,557
  3. John Conroy -- $278,255
  4. Peter Nguyen -- $233,734
  5. Joe Pelton -- $191,068
  6. Chad Siu -- $150,257
  7. Jesper Hoog -- $113,157
  8. Robert Kalb -- $85,331
  9. Christoph Kohnen -- $58,248

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