2006 World Series of Poker Events 26 to 30

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2006 World Series of Poker
Events 26 to 30

Event #26A July 17 -- Pot-Limit Omaha
Buyin: $1,500.00

Aggressive play and hot hands were the style of play for Day 1. 526 players sat down at the tables with the prize pool reaching $716,625. 54 players would walk away with money from this event. A number of players made early exits in the first 30 minutes such as Cyndy Violette, "Dutch" Boyd, Joe Hachem, Doug Lee and Scott Fischman. David Williams moved like a Porsche busting out David 'Devilfish' Ulliott and even cracking a player's paired A's with 4 of a kind at one point, until he hit a brick wall named George Abdallah. This resulted in Williams going out in 19th place. At day's end, there were 16 players left for the next round.

Donkey of the Day Award goes to the player on Day 1 who was giving Robert Williamson III pointers on how to win at Pot-Limit Omaha, not knowing Robert made the final table in this event in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

It took 1 hour and 45 min to reach the 9 for the final table on Day 2. As play continued, George Abdallah and the other players watched him on ESPN at the 2006 New Orleans Circuit Tournament final table as he played at this table. The intimidation factor must have worked as he increased his chip stack, eliminating Russ Salzer (9th) and Ray Lynn (5th) while doing so. This resulted in George having a heads up with Rafael Perry for the championship. The final hand went as follows. George raised $36,000 before the flop and Rafael calls. 10h 7s 3s comes on the flop and Rafael bets $60,000. George (Qh 10d 4c 3h) goes all in and Rafael (Kc Jh 10c 2h) calls. Turn is 9h and the river card is 8d which gave Rafael Perry the straight and the gold bracelet for the win.

  1. Rafael Perry -- $207,817
  2. George Abdallah -- $109,644
  3. Brian Kocur -- $57,330
  4. Zhang Luzhe -- $50,164
  5. Ray Lynn -- $42,998
  6. Spiro Mitrokostas -- $35,831
  7. Frank Henderson -- $28,665
  8. Jason Newburger -- $21,499
  9. Russ Salzer -- $14,333

Event 26B July 18 -- Pot Limit Omaha w/ Rebuys
Buyin: $1,500.00

NOTE: To remove any confusion, WSOP sent the following out on July 20: "Event #26 was split into two tournaments. Both are Pot-Limit Omaha events. 26-A is single-elimination. 26-B is with re-buys. Both are official WSOP gold bracelet events." So if you're wondering where this event came from, now you know.

158 players made 472 rebuys during this event. $908,100 was the prize pool and payouts went to the top 18. Eric Froelich who made WSOP history by becoming the youngest player to earn a bracelet last year was off and running, taking out John D'Agostino on one hand and another player with a hand of four Aces. Sherkhan Farnood hailing from Afghanistan also had a great day busting Andy Bloch, Rami Boukai and others in order to play in the next round. Tournament officials gave Thomas Wahlroos a 10 min break from action after he dropped the "f-bomb" during play. Scott Fischman went out in 19th, just missing the cut for Day 2.

The next day saw 18 survivors sit down at the tables around 4:10 p.m. in the quest for the gold WSOP bracelet. By 6:40 p.m. the top 10 for the final table was determined. Chau Giang shifted into muscle mode taking out Matt Overstreet (6th) and Richard "Knucklehead" Freire (7th) on top of raking in huge pots before going out in 3rd place. This left two talented players Eric Froehlich and Sherkhan Farnood at the table for the heads up. Eric earned his second WSOP bracelet by winning. Here is what happened. Farnood bet $36,000 preflop and Froehlich calls. Flop shows 10c 5h 7c. Farnood bets and gets a raise from Froehlich. Farnood (Kh Kd 6c 3h) decides to go all in and Froehlich (Qd 7d 7h 6s) called it. The final two cards are Jd Jh, giving Eric Froehlich a full house and the title of champion.

  1. Eric Froehlich -- $299,675
  2. Sherkhan Farnood -- $165,274
  3. Chau Giang -- $90,810
  4. Kevin O'Donnell -- $72,648
  5. Bruno Fitoussi -- $54,486
  6. Matthew Overstreet -- $45,405
  7. Richard Freire -- $36,324
  8. Rafi Amit -- $27,243
  9. Ayaz Mahmood -- $18,162
  10. Robert Wisiak -- $12,713

Event #27 -- No-Limit Hold'Em
Tuesday July 18 Buyin: $1,500.00

This event had a huge turnout with 2,126 players. There were so many entrants to where they were spilling out into the halls waiting to play. Cash payouts will go to the top 198. A prize pool of $2,901,990 will provide $655,141 for the champion whoever that may be. Day 1 saw the field whittled down to 121 as players like Josh Arieh, WPT champ Ron Rose, Jan Sorenson, Joe Sebok, 2006 Event #15 champion Mary Jones, 2004 Tournament of Champions winner Annie Duke, Mark Seif, 2005 Ladies No-Limit Hold'Em champ Jennifer Tilly and Phil Hellmuth Jr. were all part of the throngs of players sent to the rail.

Day 2 saw eliminations continue as David Sklansky was taken out by Hoyt Corkins who turned a 10 3 hand into a full house. Amazing. Hoyt's luck stayed with him long enough to go out in 30th position, earning $8,706 which covered this events expenses. John Phan was also busted. But instead of commenting or reflecting on what went wrong, he just hopped over the rail and ran over to the next tournament that was underway. This was a frequent picture as Event #28 and Event #29 were on their first day of action. The second round ended at 1:15 a.m. the next day with the 9 players for the final table established.

Action on Day 3 started at 2:00 p.m. and Billy Duarte Jr. (9th) who was on the short stack was the first to go. Ashwin Sarin (8th) left courtesy of Richard Toth around 4:40 p.m. The field was thinned out and ended up dominated by 2 players who had totally different styles. Richard Toth challenged all comers and took out those around him when the opportunity presented itself. The other player was Mats Rahmn who lied in wait, carefully picking and choosing his battles, never being very aggressive as he built up his chips. So it was no surprise when these two met for the heads up to decide who would be champion. On their last hand, Mats Rahmn is on the button and raises $100,000 of which Richard Toth calls. Flop shows Jh 10s 9c and Richard checks. Next move by Mats is a big bet of $150,000 of which Richard (Jh 8c) decides to go all in and is called by Mats (Kd Kh). The next 2 cards are 5s 10c. So Mats wins with two pair and happily collected his cash and his WSOP bracelet for becoming champion.

  1. Mats Rahmn -- $655,141
  2. Richard Toth -- $333,729
  3. Padraig Parkinson -- $203,139
  4. Chris Birchby -- $145,100
  5. James Sileo -- $116,080
  6. Michael Binger -- $101,570
  7. Jordan Morgan -- $87,060
  8. Ashwin Sarin -- $72,550
  9. Billy Duarte Jr. -- $58,040

Event #28 July 19 -- Seven Card Stud
Buyin: $5,000.00

This tournament was a lot smaller than average with just 183 entrants and a $855,400 prize pool. Money went to the top 16 players. But the quality of player was high as a good number of them were running back and forth from this event and Event #29. Those making exits on Day 1 include Annie Duke, David Williams, Chris Ferguson, David Levi, Doyle Brunson, Men "The Master" Nguyen, Jerry Buss, Joe Awada, Mel Judah, Event #20 runner up Andy Bloch and winner Chip Reese. Action continued until 3:30 a.m. the following day leaving only 15 to move on to the next round.

The winning streak continued for Cyndy Violette, Benjamin Lin and Mike Caro as they were part of the group making the final table. It was also interesting to see two women, (Cyndy Violette and Lupe Munquia), at another WSOP final table this year. Cyndy won a bracelet back in 2004 when she took the Seven Card Stud High-Low 8/OB event. And with other top notch players like Allen Kessler, John Cernuto and Russ Salzer, this would prove to be a tough table all the way around.

Benjamin Lin proved to be a dominate force at the table, picking up numerous pots with many uncontested taking out Mike Caro (8th) in the process. Lin also busted Patrick Bueno (6th) and John Cernuto (5th) in consecutive hands. Cyndy Violette fought hard taking out Allen Kessler (4th) before falling to Benjamin Lin, leaving in 3rd place. This left Lin with $700,000 in chips and Sean Sheikhan with $220,000 in chips to battle for the heads up. It took less than 15 min for Lin to relieve Sheikhan of all but $30,000 in chips. In their last hand, Lin brings it in with the 6h, Sheikhan completes to $8,000, Lin then raises to $16,000 putting Sheikhan all in and Sheikan called. The players received (9c 6c) Kd As Kh Jc (2d) for Sheikhan and (9s 9d) 6h 8c 10d 5h (7d) for Lin. This gives Benjamin Lin the straight and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

  1. Benjamin Lin -- $256,620
  2. Shahram "Sean" Sheikhan -- $171,080
  3. Cyndy Violette -- $102,648
  4. Allen Kessler -- $76,986
  5. John Cernuto -- $55,601
  6. Patrick Bueno -- $38,493
  7. Lupe Munquia -- $29,939
  8. Mike Caro -- $21,385
  9. Russ Salzer -- $12,831

Event #29 July 19 -- Pot Limit Hold'Em
Buyin: $2,500.00

If you like musical chairs, then you would have been highly entertained as a good number of the 562 entrants ran back and forth between this event and Event #28 that both ran at the same time. With the larger prize pool of $1,292,600 prize pool, one would think most of the time would be spent at this event. But not so as it's all about the bracelet and players are doing whatever it takes to get one...legally. Action was fast with lots of clashes between top players like Daniel Negreanu and Hasan Habib which resulted in Habib leaving, John Juanda who was eliminated by Young Phan, along with more than one match between Lee Watkinson and Daniel Negreanu. When the day ended at 3:00 a.m. there were 40 players left to continue on to Day 2.

A lot of players did well on this round. Theo Tran ended up with so many chips that they fell over and tournament officials told him he could no longer stack them higher than 30! Highly determined 2005 Main Event champion Joseph Hachem had a smiling face but showed little mercy, making the final table in a quest for the next bracelet. WPT PokerStars.com Caribbean Adventure Champ John Gale took out a number of people like Alex Brenes, Gregg Turk and Theo Tran to make the final table. After 8 1/2 hours of play, the 9 remaining competitors stopped to rest for the last day of play.

Kevin Ho got things started early by busting out Greg Alston (9th), Lee Markholt (8th) and Jeffrey Roberson (7th). Joe Hachem sent Lee Grove home in 6th and Alex Jacob in 5th. A river card A saved John Gale and eliminated Joe Hachem (4th) from contention. Hachem led with a pair of kings and would have won that decisive hand until the Ace came up. And after Gale sends Kevin Ho to the rail (3rd), it is time for the heads up to decide who will be champion. John Gale limped into the pot and Maros Lechman raised to $60,000 without looking at his cards of which Gale called. Flop showed 10c 7c 9d. Gale (Kc 9s) goes all in with his chips and is called by Lechman (As 6s). The last two cards are 5s 2c and with one pair John Gale picks up his first WSOP tournament win and the gold bracelet!

  1. John Gale -- $374,849
  2. Maros Lechman -- $197,768
  3. Kevin Ho -- $103,408
  4. Joseph Hachem -- $90,482
  5. Alex Jacob -- $77,556
  6. Lee Grove -- $64,630
  7. Jeffrey Roberson -- $51,704
  8. Lee Markholt -- $38,778
  9. Gregory Alston -- $25,852

Event #30 July 20 -- No-Limit Hold'Em Short handed (6/table)
Buyin: $5,000.00

Ladies and gentlemen, today we will begin by discussing two things that one should not do at the World Series of Poker:

  1. Dropping the F-Bomb - Will get you a 10 min penalty every time like Mike Matusow did when he dropped it on Day 1 of this tournament.
  2. Excessive Drinking - This can cause you to be removed from the tournament like one player did who believed inebriation was a poker skill.
Keep these things in mind and don't make it tougher than it already is in a WSOP tournament. Now for the report, (clearing throat). This tournament had 507 entries a $2,382,900 prize pool with payouts going down to 54th position. With money like this, players played their hearts out, but only 40 survived this first round. Vanessa Rousso was hot today picking up pots and eliminating others like a hot knife slicing though butter.

Action continued on Day 2 and so did the eliminations. Dustin Woolf, Michael Woo, Robert Williamson III and Kenna James were among those sent home after being busted out of this tournament. John Juanda also had to go after his pocket K's were cracked by another player who drew a straight flush. Gregg Merkow followed Juanda when his pocket J's were overcome by another player's pocket A's. Vanessa Rousso who played beautifully ended up going out in 8th position, just shy of the final table.

The tone of this final table was solid aggressive play mixed with big raises. In the first 10 hands, players were betting from 10 to 50% of their stack. But with Eric Lindgren at the table there was little chance at the table style changing. Jeff Madsen was on the short stack, so he did not mind going all in at a whim. We hope it is shown on ESPN. Players 3 thru 6 did not go out easy, but it did come down to Eric Lindgren and Jeff Madsen who did a marvelous job of using the all in to build his chip stack. Eric raised preflop and is called by Jeff. Flop shows Ks Qc 2d. Jeff (Qh 9d) then goes all in and Eric (ad Jd) calls. Turn card is a 5d and the river card is a 3h and Jeff Madsen earns his first gold WSOP bracelet for the pair of Queens.
  1. Jeff Madsen -- $643,381
  2. Erick Lindgren -- $357,435
  3. Tom Franklin -- $214,461
  4. Tony Woods -- $150,123
  5. Jonathan Gaskell -- $119,145
  6. Paul Foltyon -- $83,402

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