Event #7 Final Report

2006 World Series of Poker        
Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas
Official Results and Report
 
Event #7
Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $3,000
Number of Entries: 415
Total Prize Money: $1,145,400
Defending Champion (2005): Todd Witteles
 
Official Results:
 
1.
William Chen
Lafayette Hill, PA
$343,618
2.
Yueqi “Rich” Zhu
Rowland Heights, CA
$184,409
3.
Henry Nguyen
San Jose, CA
$91,632
4.
Karlo Lopez
San Juan, PR
$80,178
5.
Danny Ciasamella
Grays Landing, PA
$68,724
6.
Larry Thomas
Vacaville, CA
$57,270
7.
Allan Puzantyan
Montreal, Canada
$45,816
8.
Ernie Scherer III
Torrance, CA
$34,362
9.
Jeffrey Lisandro
Salerno, IT
$22,908
10.
Jason Mann
Hermitage, AR
$12,599
11.
Barry Shulman
Las Vegas, NV
$12,599
12.
Brooks Wiley
Oakland, CA
$12,599
13.
Phil Hellmuth
Palo Alto, CA
$10,309
14.
Greg DeBera
NA
$10,309
15.
Matthew Woodward
Waterboro, ME
$10,309
16.
Edler William
Las Vegas, NV
$8,018
17.
Timothy Drews
Indian Head Park, IL
$8,018
18.
Jeffrey Freedman
Simi Valley, CA
$8,018
19.
Shane Steffens
Norfolk, NE
$5,727
20.
Raymond Dehkharghani
Overland Park, KS
$5,727
21.
Darrel Dicken
Waterloo, IA
$5,727
22.
Kevin Steede
Plano, TX
$5,727
23.
John Phan
Long Beach, CA
$5,727
24.
Donald Todd
FL
$5,727
25.
Andrew Hallenbeck
Las Vegas, NV
$5,727
26.
Michael Wu Ma
Modesto, TX
$5,727
27.
Justin Tran
Sacramento, CA
$5,727
28.
Robert Tannidu
Denton, WA
$4,582
29.
Jason Heidema
Sunnyvale, CA
$4,582
30.
Russell Floyd
Dripping Springs, TX
$4,582
31.
Patrick Pezzin
Italy
$4,582
32.
Alex Jacob
Parkland, FL
$4,582
33.
Martin Feijo
NA
$4,582
34.
Jeffrey Norman
Encinias, CA
$4,582
35.
Jim Bechtel
Gilbert, AZ
$4,582
36.
Michael Bittan
Englewood, NJ
$4,582
37.
Thithi Tran
Torrance, CA
$3,436
38.
Jordan Rich
Portland, OR
$3,436
39.
Horwan Young
Ont, Canada
$3,436
40.
Andrew Kalsall
Lutz, FL
$3,436
41.
Mike Angel
Mesa, AZ
$3,436
42.
Kuei Chang
Las Vegas, NV
$3,436
43.
Bill Seber
Houston, TX
$3,436
44.
Pat White
W. Nyack, NY
$3,436
45.
Michele Lewis
Houston, TX
$1,718
46
Sarah Bilnex
Canberra, Australia
$1,718
 
 
 
 
Bill Chen + Limit Hold’em = Gold Bracelet
 
Mathematics whiz/game theorist barges to victory
 
Berkley PhD takes his first WSOP title and $343,618
 
 
Las Vegas, NV – “Mathematics” is properly defined as the study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. Since the game of poker is primarily a game of numbers, symbols, and measurements – it naturally follows that a poker player with a PhD in mathematics might enjoy a few competitive advantages. Fact is, William Chen is usually the most intelligent man inside any room he enters. Not that he would ever tell you so, nor he would exhibit any of the exterior qualities associated with true genius. That “stealth” character makes Bill Chen an even more dangerous player to play against at the poker table -- an opinion very likely now shared by the collective 414 opponents he vanquished in the $3,000 buy-in limit hold’em event at the 2006 World Series of Poker.
            This was the second limit hold’em event of this year’s World Series. No-limit might have eclipsed limit poker as “the game,” but both limit events played so far this year have exceeded last year’s record numbers in attendance. Bill Chen was one of 415 players who each paid $3,000 to enter the tournament. 
After two long days, the nine finalists were set for the final table. At the start, Karlo Lopez enjoyed an impressive chip lead. But, nine hours later, all of the chips belonged to Chen. Starting chip counts were as follows:  
           
Name
Chip Count
Seat #
Allan Puzantyan
$144,000
1
Danny Ciasamella
$46,000
2
Jeffrey Lisandro
$153,000
3
Karlo Lopez
$227,000
4
Yueqi (Rich) Zhu
$221,000
5
Larry Thomas
$59,000
6
Ernie Scherer
$118,000
7
Bill Chen
$122,000
8
Henry Nguyen
$189,000
9
 
Jeffrey Lisandro was certainly one of the early favorites to prevail. After all, he won the 2005 WSOP Circuit championship event at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe and arrived as the player most accustomed to playing poker for high-stakes. But Lisandro took a tough beat when his set of threes was busted by his opponent’s A-K suited, which completed a flush. This was the third consecutive final table with an Australian finalist present. Joe Hachem (from Melbourne) finished second two days ago, and Mark Vos (from Brisbane) won the previous event. Perth-born Lisnadro could do no better than ninth and collected $22,908.
Southern California poker pro Ernie Scherer busted out next. Yesterday was Scherer’s 28th-birthday and he must have used up all his wishes. In the end, Scherer – the BYU graduate turned pro poker player -- ran out of good cards and chips and collected $34,362 for eighth place. 
Allan Puzantyan took seventh place after his two-pair lost to a straight. The Canadian jeweler missed adding one very valuable gold bracelet to his collection, and instead had to settle for a $45,816 prize.
Larry Thomas was the next player to make an unwanted exit. One his final hand of the night, Thomas was dealt two big cards and tried to catch a pair, but was essentially drawing dead when his opponent made a full-house. Thomas, a casino manager at The Oaks Card Club in northern California, was dealt $57,270 for sixth place.
Danny Ciasamella arrived with the lowest stack, but somehow did manage to leap four spots up the money ladder. On his fateful final hand, Ciasamella did not show his cards after Bill Chen revealed two pair. The grocery store owner from Pennsylvania checked out with $68,724.
   The four remaining players were very close to even in chips. About an hour later, the early chip leader Karlo Lopez went bankrupt. He encountered a series of horrible cards during his last 40-minutes at the table. Desperately short-stacked, Lopez finally went out when giant-killer Bill Chen flopped two pair. Lopez, appropriately nicknamed “the Wizard” for his background as a magician, finished 33rd in the main event at the 2005 WSOP. He took fourth place this time, good for $80,178.   
Vietnamese-born Henry Nguyen was eliminated next when Bill Chen completed a straight. Nguyen played well enough for third place, but never seemed to be in a position to challenge either of his opponents for the chip lead. Nguyen’s prize amounted to $91,632.
The two finalists battled back and forth for three hours during heads-up play.  Rich Zhu had the chip lead about midway through play, but failed to maintain the advantage. Repeatedly, Chen was the more aggressive player. He either won the majority of his pots because he sensed that Zhu was sometimes timid – or perhaps it was just that Chen was dealt stronger cards. Whatever the reason and whether it was pure math or not, as tough an obstacle as Zhu proved to be, Chen seemed to make the most of every situation by calling, raising, or folding – and being right most of the time. 
The final hand of the tournament provided some excitement as Zhu was dealt 10-5 versus Chen’s A-4. The flop came 7-4-3 giving Chen middle pair and Zhu an inside straight draw. Zhu’s final bet went into the pot on a semi-bluff, but he failed to connect with either a pair or the straight draw.
            As the runner up, Yueqi “Rich” Zhu collected $184,409. Bill Chen’s percentage of the pool amounted to $343,618.
Fittingly, Chen is releasing a new poker book this fall, to be titled The Mathematics of Poker. With his co-author Jerrod Ankerman, the two writers are expected to examine brand new territory and divulge playing strategies based on the laws of probability as they apply to poker. Based on his performance on this night, odds are that the World Series of Poker has not seen the last of Bill Chen.
 
 
by Nolan Dalla