The conclusion of Event # 20 has also seen the end of what many consider to be the truest test of a poker champion - a high-stakes, multi-discipline, three-day poker tournament, contested by the cream of the profession. That said, there have also been protests that the buy-in makes this an elitist event with no smaller version being made available for the lesser moneyed players. That argument will doubtless rumble on.
HORSE is the mnemonic for five variations of poker;
1) H is for Hold’em - Limit Stakes Texas Hold’em;
2) O is for Omaha - Limit Stakes Omaha Eight or Better, or Hi/Lo
3) R is for Razz – A form of Seven Card Stud in which the lowest hand wins.
4) S is for Stud - Limit Stakes Seven Card Stud.
5) E is for Eight or Better – Limit Stakes Seven Card Stud Eight or Better, or Hi/Lo.
In its pure form, this was last played as a $2,000 buy-in at the 2004 WSOP. Normally, this is the game, with each of those disciplines played in rotation. However, knowing this would be a high profile event with large stakes, bigger prizes, and an enormous TV audience (many of whom treat “Poker” and “No Limit Texas Hold’em” as exchangeable terms), the organisers added a bright, bushy, familiar looking tail to this high stakes beast. The televised final table would be played exclusively down to the winner using tried and trusted No Limit Texas Hold’em. Should we rename it “Texas HORSE” or “HORSEN”?
OK, maybe not, but whatever the name, it took the starting 143 players (who contributed the $7,150,000 pool) a marathon two day session to get to the final nine. Day 2 itself finally ended at 6am on Day 3! Just time for a quick sleep before the final, the participants in which would be (in chip stack order):
Chip Reese (Nevada, USA)
Doyle Brunson (Nevada, USA)
Andy Bloch (Nevada, USA)
Phil Ivey (Nevada, USA)
Jim Bechtel (Arizona, USA)
David Singer (New York, USA)
Dewey Tomko (Florida, USA)
T J Cloutier (Texas, USA)
Patrik Antonius (Finland)
With every player putting up a “brick” of US bills worth $50,000, and not an internet qualifier in sight, the quality of the field and ultimately the final table was always going to be stellar; and so it proved.
The final played out with the quality poker you might expect and once again it lasted a long, long time. The final heads up session between Bloch and Reese went on for an incredible, record-breaking, seven hours! Eventually, with a little help from well-timed cards in the crucial pots, the winner emerged. The final outcome was as follows:
Event # 20: $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. (143 entrants)
1. Chip Reese (Nevada, USA) - Winner of Bracelet and $1,784,640.
2. Andy Bloch (Nevada, USA)- $1,029,600
3. Phil Ivey (Nevada, USA) - $617,760
4. Jim Bechtel
5. T J Cloutier
6. David Singer
7. Dewey Tomko
8. Doyle Brunson
9. Patrik Antonius
Other notables: Too many to mention!
UK/Ireland cashes: None (16 paying places only)
Congratulations to Chip Reese who picks up a third WSOP Bracelet, 28 years after winning his first. One in the eye for the new breed!
Our last round-up took in the WSOP events up to # 16, so to complete the process, here are the results of events # 17, 18, and 19:
Event # 17: $1,000 No Limit Texas Hold’em (2,891 entrants)
1. Jon Friedberg (Nevada, USA) - Winner of Bracelet and $526,185.
2. John Phan (California, USA) - $289,389
3. Michael Pomeroy (Michigan, USA) - $157,322
Other notables: Humberto Brenes 7th, Carlos Mortensen 10th.
UK/Ireland cashes: John Shipley 32nd ($7,892); Ross Boatman 180th ($2,368); Theo Osborne 184th ($2,368); Roy Vandersluis 193rd ($2,368).
Event # 18: $2,000 Pot Limit Texas Hold’em (590 entrants)
1. Eric Kesselman (New York, USA) - Winner of Bracelet and $311,403.
2. Hyun Kim (California, USA) - $164,291
3. Chris Viox (Illinois, USA) - $85,905
Other notables: Kirill Gerasimov 14th, Joe Hachem 15th.
UK/Ireland cashes: David Poole 21st ($5,369); David Brannan 33rd ($3,758); Padraig Parkinson 40th ($3,221); Keith “The Camel” Hawkins 45th ($3,221).
Event # 19: $1,000 Seniors – No Limit Limit Texas Hold’em (1,184 entrants)
1. Clare Miller (New Mexico, USA) - Winner of Bracelet and $247,814.
2. Mike Nargi (Arkansas, USA) - $129,293
3. Jake Wells (Texas, USA) - $74,882
UK/Ireland cashes: Eric Dalby 45th ($4,310); David Robinson 92nd ($1,616).
As usual, a big “hats off” to the Bracelet winners and all who cashed!
Ed note: You don’t have to be a superstar to win. Download Titan Poker for a $500 bonus and some of the best action around.