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WSOP Tournament of Champions

Day 1
Buy-in: $0, freeroll
Players: 27 by invitation only
Prize pool: $1,000,000

The WSOP Tournament of Champions will be an invitation only event, with each player starting with 30,000 in chips. They will play just for a short while each day for Days 2 thru 7. Day 8 which will be on July 4th, picks up the final table action until a champion is determined. It has been 3 years since the last one has been played, but it is back with 27 of the top names in the game taking seats at the tables. And 20 of them were chosen by you the public who voted on the WSOP website. The game will be good old fashioned No Limit Hold'Em. And more than likely this will be on ESPN. Details as to what happened on Day 1 can be read by scrolling this page.

Here are the names of the 27 players who were invited to this event:

Joe Hachem
Doyle Brunson
Howard Lederer
T.J. Cloutier
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
Scotty Nguyen
Annie Duke
Daniel Negreanu
Antonio Esfandiari
Huck Seed
Phil Ivey
Jennifer Harman
Joe Cada
Erik Seidel
Chris Ferguson
John Juanda
Johnny Chan
Andrew Barton
Mike Matusow
Allen Cunningham
Mike Sexton
Phil Hellmuth
Dan Harrington
Barry Greenstein
Barry Shulman
Sam Farha
Greg Raymer

Payouts for the final table
  1. $500,000
  2. $250,000
  3. $100,000
  4. $25,000
  5. $25,000
  6. $25,000
  7. $25,000
  8. $25,000
  9. $25,000
Phil Ivey Mike Sexton who originally started the this competition and won the last one held in 2006, started things off by telling the dealers to, "Shuffle Up and Deal!" Now out of all the players here, the only one not known is Andrew Barton who was fortunate enough to qualify on the online poker website for the World Series of Poker where Americans won't be able to play at for some time. About 30 minutes into play, John Juanda was the official first bust, courtesy of the set of Jacks made on the river by Jennifer Harman. This pushed Harman up to 67,000 chips. She lost a huge chunk of that to Johnny Chan when after a flop of 4 9 5 and a turn card of 10, Harman said she was all-in and was called by Chan with his last 24,000. Harman had pocket A's, but Chan had pocket 9's which made a set. Phil Hellmuth, who wouldn't show up on time for his own funeral, came 90 minutes into play with his normal, 'I'm the greatest Hold'Em player alive!' speal ever before he sat down. He did manage to survive the first round and see a seat on Day 2.

Greg Raymer was sent to the rail by Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow with two pair (A's and Q's) which overshadowed the pair of 4's belonging to Raymer. Barry Shulman was 10 minutes behind him as he and Allen Cunningham made a set of 3's but Cunningham had the better 9 kicker. Phil Ivey lost his chips when his all-in with pocket K's lost to the set of Q's made by Chris Ferguson when a third Queen came on the turn. Sam Farha also said good bye to the field, making it 5 gone on Day 1.

Top 9 remaining with chip counts
  1. Erik Seidel -- 72,075
  2. Johnny Chan -- 71,325
  3. Mike Matusow -- 70,575
  4. Barry Greenstein -- 56,775
  5. Joe Hachem -- 55,650
  6. Huck Seed -- 51,875
  7. Bertrand Grospellier -- 51,175
  8. Allen Cunningham -- 49,300
  9. Scotty Nguyen -- 48,900

Day 2

Today 5 more went to the sidelines beginning with Doyle Brunson who was out at lightning speed. On the first hand Doyle got his chips in and was called by Daniel Negreanu with Big Slick (As Ks) verses the Jd 10d that Doyle produced. But by the river, Negreanu made a runner-runner flush and that was it for the Godfather of poker. Then it was Joe Cada, 2009 Main Event Champion, who busted next. Cada moved in with pocket J's and Huck Seed called with pocket K's that held to the river. Mike Sexton had to accept a one way ticket to the sidelines after his A K was met by the pocket K's of Scotty Nguyen that also held to the end. Dan Harrington fell to the pocket A's of Negreanu finishing in 18th, leaving 17 players that will meet tomorrow.

Top 9 with Chip Counts

  1. Mike Matusow -- 85,500
  2. Huck Seed -- 73,000
  3. Johnny Chan -- 68,600
  4. Scotty Nguyen -- 64,700
  5. Joe Hachem -- 64,300
  6. Erik Seidel -- 58,900
  7. Allen Cunningham -- 58,900
  8. Phil Hellmuth -- 44,100
  9. Annie Duke -- 42,600

Day 3

The whistle blew at 11:00 AM to start the last day of the event. We believe this event was initially spread out over a 8 day period because the players were coming here between the other events to play. This would just give them only so much time per day. But for reasons unknown, it will only last for 3 days. Anyway, back to the action. It took 1 hour for the first departure to be made and it was Allen Cunningham who went out in a sad fashion. In a hand verses Johnny Chan, Cunningham had pocket 10's against the pocket K's of Chan. The table had a K 9 10 2 laid out before the dealer put down the final card which was a King, giving Chan quad Kings and the thumbs down for Cunningham. A few minutes later found Mike Matusow making his way to the exit after losing his stack to the set of Kings made by Daniel Negreanu. Chris Ferguson also felt the pain of defeat when his all-in move with pocket 8's was immediately called by T.J. Cloutier holding pocket 10's that held to the river. Antonio Esfandiari who praised God when he doubled up, will have to learn to thank Him for the good and the bad. His move with paired Queens were met by the set of 10's held by Johnny Chan, sending Esfandiari to the rail.

Others bumped to the wayside were Scotty Nguyen, Bertrand Grospellier and Phil Hellmuth. This left the field with just 10 that will take seats at the final table. These 10 are:
  1. Daniel Negreanu - 175,000
  2. Johnny Chan - 152,900
  3. Joe Hachem - 136,000
  4. Huck Seed - 100,300
  5. T.J. Cloutier - 54,300
  6. Jennifer Harman - 53,400
  7. Barry Greenstein - 51,500
  8. Erik Seidel - 35,600
  9. Howard Lederer - 31,000
  10. Annie Duke - 17,900
The bubble boy on the last day is Erik Seidel in 10th. We don't know the details of what happened but his seat is empty. In 9th place was T.J. Cloutier. And 8th place belonged to Annie Duke, after her all-in with A Q was shutdown by the paired Jacks of Barry Greenstein. Barry also busted Jennifer Harman in 7th with pocket K's that stayed dominate to the end. Top player Daniel Negreanu ended a valient run and left in 6th place when his move with pocket A's was met by the set of 5's held by Joe Hachem. The fun ends for a dinner break with the remaining 5 returning to level 15 play with blinds at $3,000/$6,000 and ante of $500.

Upon returning, Howard Lederer decided not to remain quiet and picked up the 'Hammer of Thor' and went after chips. Being the short stack after dinner, he quickly busted Barry Greenstein in 5th place with two pair (A's and 10's) and Joe Hachem in 4th with another two pair (8's and J's). Lederer was up to 460,000 after his raid. Then he set his sights on Johnny Chan, who he vanquished with a pair of Jacks, leaving Chan in 3rd place.

It is now 2:00 AM the next day, and for the first 15 minutes it was mostly back and forth between Huck Seed and Howard Lederer. But then a major hand took place which placed the pocket 10's of Lederer into the trash after Seed made a straight on the river which put him in the driver's seat with 550,000 chips. Lederer now has 260,000 in front of him. On the final hand, Lederer moved in with 138,000 chips holding Q 8 of clubs and Seed called with A 2 of spades. As the railbirds got on their feet to watch, the last card put down by the dealer was an Ace, pairing what Seed had making him the winner of this prestegious event.

Final Table Results
  1. Huck Seed -- $500,000
  2. Howard Lederer -- $250,000
  3. Johnny Chan -- $100,000
  4. Joe Hachem -- $25,000
  5. Barry Greenstein -- $25,000
  6. Daniel Negreanu -- $25,000
  7. Jennifer Harman -- $25,000
  8. Annie Duke -- $25,000
  9. T.J. Cloutier -- $25,000