2006 World Series of Poker
Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas
Official Results and Report
Number of Entries: 701
Total Prize Money: $956,865
Defending Champion (2005): Reza Payvar
“Big Red” Takes the Big Money
Bob Chalmers, a.k.a. “Big Red,” Wins First-Ever WSOP Gold Bracelet
Canadian businessman takes top prize in Limit Hold’em championship, earns $258,344
Las Vegas, NV – Those who have never played poker for big money often fail to appreciate the physical and emotional sacrifice that it takes to win. Winning poker is work, not play. Unfortunately, television frequently portrays poker as an effortless game. There are no clocks which display the drawn-out passage of time. Hundreds of arduous hands are edited out. The players’ mental and physical dexterity is impossible to calculate.
Bob Chalmers embodies the type of player who approaches poker as a test of both will and patience. The 56-year-old business consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia vanquished 700 challengers in the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em world championship. Chalmers, nicknamed “Big Red” for his distinctive auburn-tinged crest, won his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. Chalmers’ extensive business background served him well at this final table.
“What I realized from playing at this final table is that it takes a lot of work to win,” Chalmers said in a post-tournament interview. “Sure, some luck helps. But, it’s really hard work. There was not a time when I was not thinking of my stay at the final table as like working. It seemed like a long time. The easy thing for me was to understand that (winning) wasn’t going to happen in just a hand or two, but it rather would be a process that took time -- so I looked at it that way.”
Indeed, Chalmers was “all business” on this night. His $1,500 investment paid of handsomely, to the tune of $258,344 as the top cash prize.
Several new faces made it to the final table for the first time. The only former WSOP gold bracelet winner present was Doug Saab, who arrived second in the chip count. Fittingly, the early chip leader was Chalmers, who enjoyed the chip advantage during much of the nine-hour final table.
David Calla certainly wasn’t intimidated by the pressure of playing at his first-ever WSOP final table. After all, Calla is a New York City police detective, accustomed to some unusual demands. Calla went card-dead from the start. His initial 148,000 stack was blinded down, and at betting limits of 6,000-12,000, Calla moved his remaining chips into the pot holding king-queen suited. Graham Duke called and showed jack-ten suited. A ten flopped and Calla was discharged as the ninth place finisher. He received $16,137.
Bob Bartman was also making his first final table appearance. The Oklahoman went out when he was forced to play a weak hand from the small blind and was beaten by Jan Sjavik’s pair of eights. Bartman collected $28,706.
Just two hands later, Graham Duke was eliminated. Duke went out with queen-seven, good for top pair after the flop came 7-3-2. Doug Saab faded the all-in bet holding an overpair (pocket tens). Duke failed to improve which locked the software developer into seventh place. He earned $38,275.
A top European player, Jan Sjavik holds a poker record which is unlikely ever to be matched. Back in 2002, Sjavik won ten super-satellite entries into the main event of the WSOP. No player on record has ever won more. Sjavik has also won No-Limit championships in London, and elsewhere. However, he could finish no higher than sixth place in this event. Sjavik went out on a draw (holding possibilities to both a straight and a flush), missing everything. His opponent had pocket kings, which held up. The Norwegian collected $47,843.
Doug Saab suffered a brutal final half-hour. His chip stack evaporated until the point came where Saab had to take some risks. He tripled up from a low stack before finally going bust with pocket threes versus Thanh Nguyen’s pocket kings. Threes versus kings produced the expected result and Saab drove off in fifth place. For former gold bracelet winner from Alabama earned $57, 412.
Thanh Nguyen went out in fourth place on a hand where his cards were not revealed. Two players split up Nguyen’s chips holding pairs of aces. Nguyen, the Vietnamese-born engineer and consultant from Washington State, picked up $66,981 in prize money.
The next decisive hand took place when Bob Chalmers scooped a monster-size pot. On a final board showing A-A-4-4-A, Chalmers raised Warren Woolridge on the final round, got called, and flipped over an ace – good for quad aces. Prior to that hand, Woolridge held a brief chip lead. That hand would prove to be the homestretch for Chalmers. He then set his sights on the finish line and outpaced his last two rivals over the next 45 minutes with aggressive play and keenly accurate decisions.
Warren Woolridge broke down in the final stages of the tournament, unable to recover from a series of tough spots and second-best hands. Woolridge was eliminated holding a less-than-satisfactory “ace-high,” which was steamrolled by Chalmers’ full-house. This was Woolridge’s third time to cash at the WSOP. He enjoyed his best finish yet in this tournament, third place – good for $76,549.
With slightly more than 1,000,000 in play and betting limits of 15,000-30,000 Bob Chalmers and Tam Ho started off heads-up play about even. From the onset, Chalmers seized control of the table. It took him only 28 minutes to commandeer every single chip off of Tam Ho’s stack. The final hand of the night came when Ho was all-in with ace-three (good for top pair) versus Chalmers’ queen-three (which made two pair). The final board showed K-Q-4-A-3 sealing Ho’s fate as the runner up and giving the proud Canadian his first WSOP victory. Ho collected $135,396 for second place.
As the new poker champion Chalmers sat down and did an interview carried live on Bluff Radio over the Sirius Satellite Radio Network, it became immediately obvious that winning would not change the man.
“I tell you, the money is fantastic,” Chalmers said. “I have a couple of friends that supported me (to play in this tournament). I will certainly share some of this with them….The gold bracelet is going to mean a lot to me in other areas – I mean nobody can put a bracelet on a WSOP bracelet. But – we do play poker for money.”
Spoken like a true businessman.
by Nolan Dalla
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