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World Series Of Poker
 World Championship Report
Apr 21st - May 18th, 2001

Jesse May reports - World Series Reports
14th -18th May - $10,000 Championship Holdem (No limit) - 613 (512) players (+20%), another record! Prizepool $6,130,000 (+20%). 1st prize $1,500,000 (0%). Just twelve players short of pushing the first prize to $2,000,000. Second prize will be the fourth biggest poker prize in history. Sixty-nine tables started the event.   Days : One : Two : Three : Four : Final Day

Day One
Early exits include Britain's best hope Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot, reigning world champion Chris Ferguson, the world's top tournament performer T.J. Cloutier, PokerMillion winner John Duthie, and 1999 champion Noel Furlong. On Cloutier's table there were at least four great players, himself, 1998 champion Scotty Nguyen, top Brit Surindar Sunar and former woman's champion Annie Duke. T.J got over excited about a pair of kings and went all in on a Q-high flop. Diego Cordovez called with A-A and took him out. A little earlier he had taken Duke out with the same hand, making that four times in a short period that he had pocket Aces.

Other players to go out where; Nani Dollison, this years double Bracelet winner and back to back woman's champion; Ram Vaswani, London's and England's only tournament winner at this years World Series.
GGG's bet on Noel Furlong bit the dust but we have Sexton still running.
383 players left after Day One. There is a re-draw for seats tomorrow when the picture will start to clear. With so many top runners out it looks like a relative unknown will pick the crown this year.

Chip leader going into Day Two is Canadian Ron Miller with $79,000, the man who took out our horse Noel Furlong. Other notables; Phan with $56,650; Allen Cunningham, recent 7-stud winner with $50,000, Britain's Jac Arama with $40k and John Kabbaj with $27k and Barney Boatman with $23k and Ian Dobson with $20k; Hellmuth with $27k; Padraig Parkinson with $24k, Scotty Nguyen and Eric Seidel $15k, Russ Hamilton $14k, Surinder Sunar $12k and our own Jesse May with $11k. Chan struggles with $6k.
GGG's runner Mike Sexton is still in with $13k. Average stack size is $20k.

Day Two at the World Championship of Poker

The second day at the Championship event saw the field narrow down to 141 players. There are just two woman left in the field, Cathy Liebert short stacked and Phyliss Meyers on around $11k. A dozen or so Europeans survive but their chances of a Matloubi(1990)/Furlong(1999) success are looking poor.

Chip leader with and average chip count of $43,475 is Sammy Farha Aziz on $156,200. Young high stakes player John Hennigan has $124,800. Phil Hellmuth was under pressure most of the day but bounced back with a class display to make Day Three with $59,300 in chips (32nd spot).

Top European (Israeli actually, but hey aren't they in the Eurovision song contest?) is Teddy Tuile of Tel Aviv with $126k. He's famous for coming second in the PokerMillion in the Isle of Man. Top Brit is Mike Magee who recently came second to Zolotow in the $3,000 Pot Limit Holdem event here. He's in top gear right now and has $57,500 (34th).

Notable Europeans : Chris Bjorin $45,800 definitely in with a chance, Dave Colclough $38,400, Barney Boatman $28,500, Padraig Parkinson $31,300, John Walsh $21,100, Surinder Sunar $22,300, Ash Pervaiz $9,700.

Notable Americans : Paul Phillips $67,300 (27th), Danny Negraneau $110k in sixth spot is best placed famous player, Mickey Appleman $23,500 and host of players in the mid-range bracket include Chip Winton $50,800, Allen Cunningham $54,200 (24 year old 7-stud winner), Kevin Song $47,100 (gets everywhere), Mike Sexton (GGG's horse) $37,000, Jay Heimowitz (seniors winner) $39,200, also Diego Cordovez $80k (took out T.J.).

Complete Day Two Player List

After Day Three there will be a Calcutta Auction, which means the remaining 45 players will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. Bids form a pool and the buyer of the winning player will recieve 40% of the pool. Second place owner 25% etc. Minimum bid is $500 and with poker players on tilt after a month of punishment this could really rocket. Minimum pool will be $75,000 but if the first few big names go for more than a few '000 then the pool will be heading to $200,000. Telephone bids accepted (not).

Day Three at the World Championship of Poker - Wednesday 16th May

Story of the day is the loss of Sammy Aziz (Farha) who came into today in 1st spot with $156k in chips, rose to over $320k and then disappeared! Great moves were made by Phil Hellmuth, 1989 Champion. At one stage on the first day he was down to $2000 and all-in for that. Danny Negreanu dropped earlier today to well below $100k but roared back in the final stages.1993 Champion Jim Bechtel is in with a serious chance having $223k. Poor Paul Phillips had the worst day with back-to-back turnover of his pocket Aces, once by Jacks and once by Nines, turning a $200k stack into zip.

Chris Bjorin, the over looked and under-rated quiet man of European poker flies the flag for a number of European hopes, Sweden, Britain and London. He has made big strides spending most of his time with a small stack.

Teddy Tuile, 2nd coming into today and 2nd in the PokerMillion, has gone. Remaining Brits are Mike Magee with $55k in 38th spot and Barney Boatman, who cashed before only last year in this event, has $40k in 43rd spot.

Mike Sexton was one of GGG's two bets (100-1) and he is making very solid progress with $122k in 24th spot. We chose him over Chris Bjorin so we were always going to be in there. Play starts at noon Thursday (Vegas time) and the antes will be $1,000, the blinds $2,000-4,000.

End of Play Complete Day Three Player List - Table Breakdown - Radio times

Scheduled for 11:00 on Thursday (Vegas time) is the Calcutta Auction as explained above. Players will sell for amounts relative to their percieved strength and the weakness of the table they have been designated. Minimum bid of $500 should make it worth watching.

Day Four at the World Championship of Poker - Thursday 17th May

The fourth day begun early, too early for most, especially after last night's grinding finish. The auction scheduled for 11a.m. was not a roaring success, maybe the 10% vigourish wasn't helping the tired players. When we used to have Calcuttas at the World Backgammon Championships over in Monte Carlo it was always at a dinner for 800 people, so they were half drunk at the time.

Anyway they collected the mediocre amount of $24,300 (-10%) and they sold everyone in units of $100, not $500 as intended. Check the Day Three Players List for what they went for. No surprise to see Hellmuth top the list. Some of the lower players were sold in groups. Buyer of the winning player gets 60% of the pool, 2nd 30% and 3rd 10%.

Play started at 12 noon with fast and furious action. See Results to see who is out. David Pham surprise out from 20th place to a 44th finish and Gene Malatesta out 40th from 12th, Gustano Echeverr 34th from 14th. Barney Boatman managed over 3 hours with his short stack and was the last British survivor going out 33rd for $30,000. Hellmuth and Negreanu are chip leaders with ~$400k at 15:30 VT (Vegas Time).

Not much into the fourth hour and we lost two of GGG's favourites, Chris Bjorin the last Londoner and vaguely British player and then Mike Sexton, GGGs real horse who looked good value at 100-1. Several other top players have gone, ex-champ Bechtel, Kevin Song and recent series winner Allen Cunningham. Two tables left at 18:00 VT and Hellmuth, the 1989 champion, is leader with >$600k.

Aggressive play. Just before 18:00 VT Larry Wood left the table with A-K finding A-A. Then a monster hand between Phil Hellmuth, Matasow and Phil Gordon. Matasow made it $20k, Gordon raised only to see Phil move all in for more than $400k (he had just burnt $100k trying to bluff Matasow and they thought he might be chasing). Matasow threw Queens and after a long while Gordon passed Kings. Hellmuth turned over Aces. (amazing pass from Gordon)
Later Negreanu, who had been challenging for chip leader for some time, got Nowakowski all in for half a million dollars holding 6-6 when he had A-K. He didn't improve and the "Nugget" doubled through.
In closing minutes before Arturi Diaz was knocked out, Hellmuth the chip leader tried a complete pre-flop bluff with 4-7 spades, only to catch Nowakowski with Queens. It switched their chip positions but no real damage.

See what happened to the last 45. If Phil Hellmuth finishes in 5th spot or better he will become the all time top money winner at the World Series Of Poker.

Day Five the last day of the World Championship of Poker - Friday 18th May

Final Table Started:
Henry Nowakowski $1,076,000,
Carlos Mortensen $873,000,
Phil Hellmuth $859,000,
Mike Matusow $767,000,
Phil Gordon $681,000,
Stan Schrier $672,000,
Dewey Tomko $467,000,
Steve Reihle $407,000,
John Inashima $328,000.
Picture of the Winner and $1½million  Full result The task for Hellmuth was 5th or better to be all-time money leader at the WSOP. The best story of the champioship was Steve Reihle who paid $200 to enter a super-satelite and would walk with at least $91,000. This was the first Series event he ever played.

12:45 (Vegas) At the start its $2000 antes and $5k and $10k blinds.
13:05 Little action, no player making a move. Antes $3000, $5 & $15k blinds. Hellmuth unusually quiet, he tries a bet of $30k in the dark before the flop came over after a $40k open. Gorden puts it down on A-J-T flop. Gorden is betting every hand.
13:20 Hellmuth up to $1000k, Gordon aggressive to $900k. Nowakowski same as start, everyone else down. 500 spectators and camera crew.
13:35 (Vegas time, 21:35 London) Hellmuth calls Tomko's all in bet of $300k with A-Q diamonds. Tomko had A-K and that stood up, doubles thru to $600+. Hellmuth looking weak. No one out.
13:50 Hellmuth looking weak. No one out.
14:05 15 minute break.
14:35 No one out, slow play.
14:50 Arguments over slow play.
15:05 John Inashima out bluffing with T-5clubs, called by Carlos Mortensen with A-9spades. John caught a five on the flop, a nine hit the river. Next hand Mike Matusow bets 35k, raised by Nowakowski 100k, all-in for 400k more, called. Mike had K-K, Henry J-J, flop 4-6-6-4-2, Mike doubles thru to 1000k.
15:20 Steve Reihle gets all in with J-J against Phil Gordon's A-K. Small cards all the way but 3rd spade on 4th street and another on The River, the A-K flushed and Steve is 8th.
15:35 4k antes, 10-20k blinds, 54k per round.
15:50 Carlos bets 80k, Mike raises 300k, Henry all in for 600k, Mike calls, Carlos folds. Mike has 7-2 offsuit! Henry A-Q. Henry doubles thru back to million+. Mike then gets all in for 300k with A-T and against a raiser having A-7suited from Gordon. Mike doubles back up.
16:05 Henry plays an odd hand. Gordon bets 70k, Henry raises 70k with A-K, Gordon flat calls with 9-7. Flop is 9-7-5 and Henry bets out of turn, Gordon sets him in, call. Henry loses a big chunk. Two hands later Henry bets with 7-7, Phil Hellmuth raises him all-in with J-J which holds up. Henry Nowakowski is 7th.
16:20 Phil Gordon loses a big pot to Matusow who makes three Kings on the flop and checks. Gordon bets 200k, Mike raises 200k and gets called. 15 minute break
16:50 Phil Gordon gets all-in with 6-6 and finds Phil Hellmuth with the two black nines that he won his world title with. Gordon spikes a 6 on the flop and takes a chunk from Hellmuth.
17:10 (Vegas time) Hellmuth raises 8 pots in 10 minutes, loses one but picks up.
17:25 Mike bets 60k, Carlos raises 150k, Mike raises 350k, Carlos raises all-in. Mike throws A-J and Carlos shows Q-8 offsuit for a complete bluff. Then Carlos with A-T clubs takes Hellmuth with A-K all-in, the flop K-x-x but two clubs. Hellmuth's hand stands up.
17:40 Dewey Tomko gets all-in with K-K and Mike Matusow calls with T-T. The Kings hold up. Then Mike picks up 8-8 in the small blind only to find Hellmuth with K-K in the big blind. The Kings stand again and Mike Matusow is 6th.
17:55 Blinds to 15-30k, antes 6k.
18:15 Four peope limp into a pot. Flop is Q-9-4 and two spades. Hellmuth bets 60k Carlos raises 250k and Phil Hellmuth raises all-in. Carlos calls and Phil turns over Q-T but Carlos has Q-J and Phil doesn't inprove 4th and 5th street. Phil Hellmuth is 5th and the new all-time money winner at the WSOP.
19:30 chips
PG 4th
HN 7th
JI 9th
CM 4000
SS 3rd
MM 6th
PH 5th
DT 2100
SR 8th
18:30 Dewey all-in heads up with A-T against Carlos with K-Q and doubles thru.
18:45 Phil Gordon gets all-in with A-6 against Carlos with Q-Q. Flop T-4-5, turn 7 to get a draw but K on the end takes Gordon our. Carlos has busted everyone so far.
18:50 Stan Schrier tries it on when Dewey bets 150k but has K-K. Flop A-J-9 gives Stan an open ended draw but nothing comes. Stan finishes 3rd.
18:55 Cardboard box delivers $1.5 million onto the table. Break.
19:50 Carlos and Dewey swap hands, picking off the blinds. After many hands they get to see a flop after Dewey limps in, Carlos raises 100k, Dewey raises 300k and gets called. Flop comes J-T-3 with two clubs, Carlos bets 100k, Dewey raises 400k and Dewey got raised all in. Call by Dewey. Carlos has K-Q clubs, the best draw possible and Dewey has Ace-Ace. The turn is nothing, making Carlos a 3-1 dog but for the second year running, a 9 hits the river and 29 year old Carlos Mortenson from Madrid, Spain is the new World Champion. Dewey Tomko, 54, comes second for the second time. The other was 1982 behind Jack Strauss where again he lost on the last card (although he would have won here if his Aces had stood, but he would have been good favourite).

How the Final Finished
1 Carlos Mortenson $1,500,000
2 Dewey Tomko $1,098,925
3 Stan Schrier $699,315
4 Phil Gordon $399,610
5 Phil Hellmuth $303,705
6 Mike Matusow $239,765
7 Henry Nowakowski $179,825
8 Steve Reihle $119,885
9 John Inashima $91,910
   The last nine players started at 12:45 Vegas time, 20:45 London time. Hellmuth started clear favourite. Nowakowski had won big European tournaments and Matusow is a previous Bracelet winner. Mortensen had picked titles elsewhere from Vegas and of course Dewey Tomko had seen everything before, being fourth in the number of all time cashes in the WSOP and second here in 1982 behind Jack Strauss. It all finished at ten minutes before eight o'clock when the dealer turned a nine to make Mortenson's straight to take a $4 million pot.

Final Results/Prizes page is here

Series Prize fund total $17,720,482 (+16%). Final player total 5738 (+16%).
Jesse May reports - World Series Reports
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