The winner of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event was David Stucke, from Henderson, NV. He is a 33-year-old university professor. He is married to wife Cheri, who cheered him on to victory throughout the tournament and at the final table.
Dr. Stucke is a professor of physics. He graduated from Carnegie-MellonUniversity, and received advanced degrees from IowaState and PennState.
Stucke has been playing poker seriously for about three years. However, he has never cashed in a major event previously. First place prize money for this tournament totaled $603,069. He also collected the coveted gold and diamond bracelet designed by luxury Swiss watchmaker Corum.
Early on at the final table, Stucke’s most critical hand took place when he moved all-in holding pocket threes. He was called by the chip leader holding two overcards (K-Q). Stucke won the “race,” which means he was essentially in a coin flip situation for his tournament life. The difference in prize money between elimination on that hand versus his actual payout was half-a-million dollars. So, pocket threes will most certainly go down as Stucke’s favorite hand and greatest poker memory.
Thai Ton was the 8th-place finisher. He collected $47,400. Remarkably, this was only the second live tournament Ton has ever played.
Sabyl Cohen was the 11th-place finisher in this tournament. She was the highest female finisher in last year’s world championship main event, finishing 56th in a record-field of 8,773.
Dr. Bruce Van Horn, from Ada, OK finished 35th. He is best-remembered for his second-place showing in the 1996 main event, losing to Huck Seed in the heads-up finale.
David Williams -- gold bracelet winner last year and runner-up to Greg Raymer in the 2004 championship event – finished 50th.
Wendeen Eolis, from New York City cashed out in 176th place. Eolis became the first woman ever to cash in the WSOP main event, in 1986. She also became the first woman ever to cash in the main event two times, with her second cash in 1993.
A few years ago, a 1,000-player field was big news. No more. Since the start of 2006 WSOP $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em events have attracted 2,998, 2,803, 2,776, and 2,126 players respectively. This event had 2,628 entries.
This was the sixth tournament of this year’s World Series carried “live” at the official website, www.worldseriesofpoker.com. Final table players were sequestered during play. Commentary was provided by Scott Lauer. Color was provided by note poker theorist and full-time player Barry Tanenbaum.