2006 World Series of Poker
Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas
Number of Entries: 1,100
Total Prize Money: $1,001,000
A Simple Plan
Praz Bansi wins his first WSOP Gold Bracelet
London Consultant makes good during the not so main event
Nestled in the backdrop of the camera crews and countless numbers of spectators, players vied for $230,000 and a coveted championship bracelet during event #40 of the World Series of Poker. The two-day event began with just over 1000 players and ended with only 40 after the first day.
While lacking the attention and prestige, the final table of the $1,000 no-limit Hold’em event displayed an array of competitors as focused as those participating in the $10,000 main event that encompassed it.
A couple of hands after the final table was established, N. Vijayan was the first to be eliminated. The sales manager from Kuala Lumpur hit the rails with $20,020 only minutes before the remaining players recessed for dinner.
Shortly after the players returned from break, Nick Memeti was the next to go. Memeti called Anh Lu’s pre-flop raise of 30k and saw a 7c 4c 3h hit the board. After the 2h and 10c showed on the turn and river Memeti raised while Lu re-raised all-in. Memeti called and showed pocket 3’s for the set. However, Lu’s turned over A-5 giving him the straight and Memeti an eighth place finish.
Mark Petrillo helped to further the adage about pocket jacks as his all-in against Fabrice Soulier’s pocket As,Ah sent him to the rail. Salt was added to Petrillo’s wound as Soulier flopped a set before a meaningless turn and river.
Next out was John Buttifant. The 22-year old college student moved all-in while Soulier called. Buttifant’s pocket 9’s could not hold up against the Frenchman’s A-6 as Ah showed on the flop. The Kh on the turn and the 5h river sealed Butifant’s fate at sixth place.
Earl Coggins was eliminated next after going all-in with 6-8 suited. Baktash Gulzarzada called with Ad-Jc and eliminated Coggins with the high-card ace.
Soulier saw a 4th place finish after being crippled in a previous hand. His all-in Qc-7c was called by Lu’s 9c-Kc. Although Soulier flopped a pair of queens, jubilation turned into defeat after Lu caught a river Ks.
In third place was Baktash Gulzarzada. The Afghani-born mortgage broker moved all in for 384k. Bansi called. His Ah-Ks dominated Praz’s As-8s while the board failed to improve either player’s hand.
Heads-up action pit Praz Bansi against Anh Lu who experienced one of the most amazing comebacks of this year’s WSOP. Earlier in the day, a bad beat left Lu with a pitiful 10k stack. Unwavering, he built his stack back up to a phenomenal 250k through a miracle three-way all-in, a couple of more all-ins and further aggressive pre-flop strategy.
“A miracle,” Lu answered through his interpreter and mentor, Men “The Master” Nguyen when asked how he was able to come back from such a low stack.
However, Bansi was the aggressor during heads-up action forcing his opponent to fold four times after reraising Lu pre-flop. Crippled, Lu could only go all-in with 8s-3s against Bansi’s ace-anything. An ace on the river gave Bansi the victory. “Amazing,” replied Bansi when asked how it felt to be a WSOP gold bracelet winner. “I started with 1500 chips, and just threw some up… I got moves,” Bansi said with a grin.
By Alan Fowler
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