The winner was Gary Styczynski from Pearl River, New York. He is 42-years-old and is a part-time consultant and poker player. He is married and has two children.
Styczynski arrived at the final table with the dominant stack. He had nearly half of the total chips in play when eight-handed play began. It took him about four hours to win this final battle and take home his first WSOP gold bracelet.
The new poker champ has never cashed previously at the WSOP. However, he did cash three times at a recent poker tournament held at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
Event #6 marked the debut of the nearly-live simulcast on the official WSOP website – www.worldseriesofpoker.com. For the first time in history, the entire final table was broadcast with hole cards seen by the home audience. Expert commentary was provided by poker pro Brian Wilson (who won a WSOP gold bracelet in 2005) and ESPN’s Howard David (who is normally the radio voice of Monday Night Football).
The WSOP has certainly entered the high-tech age. For the first time ever, all of the final table competitors were sequestered behind a large tent. There was no live audience – again another WSOP first. All spectators were in cyberspace watching over the Internet. Given the wide reach of the Internet and popularity of the official WSOP website, this final table is – at least for the moment – the most widely watched “live” poker tournament ever.
Some things cannot be made up. The seventh-place finisher was a man who won $14 million in the Canadian Lottery. His name is Michael Banks.
Noted poker author and theorist David Sklansky finished 13th in this event. Sklansky, the author of numerous books and generally regarded as the supreme poker and gaming intellect in the business, owns three WSOP gold bracelets (technically, he owns two WSOP gold watches, which was the top prize at the 1982 WSOP instead of bracelets). This event was his best WSOP finish in six years (he finished fifth in an event back in 2001).
James Graham finished in fifth-place. He won a WSOP gold bracelet last year.
The eighth-place finisher was Pete O’Donnell. He quit his job to play poker for a living and moved to Las Vegas just two weeks ago. His new career is off to a good tart, to the tune of $22,359 in prize money.