WSOP 2008 Event #14, $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud, Final Results and Report

WSOP 2008 Event #14, $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud, Final Results and Report

Number of Entries: 158
Total Net Prize Pool: $ 1,485,200
June 7-9, 2008

Final Results

1 Eric Brooks $415,856 Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania
2 Fu Wong $259,910 Chandler Arizona
3 Alexander Kostritsyn $163,372 Moscow Russia
4 Minh Ly $118,816 Las Vegas Nevada
5 Erik Seidel $92,825 Las Vegas Nevada
6 Jim Paluszek $74,260 Bensalem Pennsylvania
7 David Oppenheim $59,408 Las Vegas Nevada
8 Vassilios Lazarou $48,269 Las Vegas Nevada
9 Phil Ivey $37,130 Las Vegas Nevada
10 Thomas Weideman $37,130 Fair Oaks California
11 Daniel Negreanu $33,417 Las Vegas Nevada
12 Jacobo Fernandez $33,417 Hollywood Florida
13 Alexander Kravchenko $29,704 Moscow Russia
14 Robert Mizrachi $29,704 Las Vegas Nevada
15 David Levi $25,991 Las Vegas Nevada
16 Michael Fiorito $25,991 Henderson Nevada


Tournament Notes

The $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud World Championship No-Limit Hold’em Shootout attracted a stellar field of 158 players. The total prize pool amounted to $1,485,200. Only the top 16 places were paid.

In general, Seven-Card Stud has been an “East Coast” game for more than fifty years. While draw poker, lowball, and flop games such as Hold’em and Omaha have all enjoyed popularity in other regions of the United States, the most popular poker game spread in casinos in the Northeast from the early 1990s until quite recently was Seven-Card Stud. In fact, Atlantic City and Foxwoods (Connecticut) – the two epicenters of the Eastern poker boom about 15 years ago – offered more Seven-Card Stud action and higher-limit games than anywhere else in the world. Ten years ago, about 80 percent of the poker games offered in New Jersey and Connecticut were Seven-Card Stud tables. Now, Hold’em is more popular.

Artie Cobb holds a WSOP record which may never be broken. Cobb holds four WSOP gold bracelets – all in the game of Seven-Card Stud. He earned his victories between 1983 and 1998. Cobb still plays at the WSOP. But he did not enter this event.

Last year’s champion was Benjamin Lin (Note: He actually won the $5,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud event. However, the buy-in was increased to $10,000 this year for the event). Lin did not enter this tournament.

All 55 WSOP tournaments on the 2008 schedule are categorized as “gold bracelet” events. However, this is also known as a “world championship” event. This means the winner of this event is the Seven-Card Stud world champion. Beginning this year, all $10,000+ buy-in tournaments are designated as official world championships. This means a total of ten WSOP tournaments are world championships. This includes eight gold bracelet tournaments with $10,000 buy-ins, the $50,000 buy-in HORSE event, and the Main Event.

This tournament was played over three consecutive days and nights. Day One lasted about 12 hours. Day Two last about 12 hours. Day Three lasted about five hours. The total duration was about 24 hours (deducting breaks).

Day Two of this event attracted perhaps the largest gallery of the year at this year’s WSOP. Several notable poker superstars including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, and others guaranteed that viewing space would be tight. Poker fans lined the rails and stayed positioned about the dwindling tables until 3 am, when the final eight players had finally been determined.

There was considerable interest in this tournament from many players in the tournament room. Phil Ivey had reportedly wagered millions of dollars on himself that he will win a WSOP gold bracelet this year. Many top pros bet against Ivey, not doubting his talent necessarily as much as differing with Ivey as to his real chances of victory (Note: Ivey is said to have settled on a 1:1.8 payout in his favor). Ivey had a big stack when play went to two tables. But he busted out in ninth place, and many poker players breathed a sigh of relief.

Another note on the Phil Ivey wager: Seven-Card Stud is perhaps Ivey’s best poker game and with the smaller field, his detractors were most fearful he would win this event (or the Deuce-to-Seven tournament).

This was the most top-heavy payout list of the year, thus far. Of the 16 players who cashed in this tournament, seven have won WSOP gold bracelets.

In what must be considered a monumental upset, the winner of this event was Eric Brooks, from Bryn Mawr, PA. This was not only Brooks’ first time ever to cash at the WSOP, it was also his first cash in a major poker tournament (anywhere).

Brooks is a 48-year-old business owner. He is married and has two children.

Brooks collected $415,856 for first place. He also earned his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Incredibly, Brooks announced that he will donate the entire cash prize to a non-profit charity called the Decision Education Foundation. He make the following remarks in a post-tournament interview:

No, (I did not expect to win). I guess all of us went home last night and thought about winning. We are all certainly hoping to win. But realistically, these are all really good players. You have to get lucky three days in the row, for sure, to win.

(The Decision Education Foundation) is an organization that I really believe in. I’m on the board and I joined a few years ago. Essentially what we do is we take the science of decision making, which is something that’s university level, college course work, and (teach the basic principles to grades) K-12 around the country. Our mission is to make everybody aware that this fantastic curriculum is available and really what I call the forgotten subject of decision making. It’s something that gets introduced in a formal matter to the classroom. We had a lot of success with it so far, and being able to add another $400,000 (my winnings) to it and what their doing in going to be pretty big.

It’s the process of making a decision and then the application of how you use the decision making skill....our goal is to help (young people) and possibly their parents as well understand the process of what the right answers are. We don’t tell you what you should do, we help you make the structure and work through a rational process and discover for yourself what the right answer is.

I feel good about what happened today.

I’m done. I’m leaving (Las Vegas) tomorrow and heading to Oregon for my father’s 85th birthday.

The second-place finisher was Fu Wong, a.k.a. “The Grasshopper.” The poker pro originally from China who now lives in Chandler, AZ collected $259,910.

High-stakes cash game player Minh Ly finished fourth. Ly has yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet despite having ten career cashes.

Erik Seidel won his eighth gold bracelet last year. His bid for number nine fell short as Seidel was never able to accumulate chips late in the tournament. He ended up fifth, which marked his 52nd career WSOP cash. This also marks Seidel’s eighth consecutive year to cash multiple times at the WSOP in a single year.

Greek-born two-time gold bracelet winner Vasili Lazarou finished eighth.

Some other former WSOP winners who cashed in this tournament included Phil Ivey (9th), Daniel Negreanu (10th), Alexander Kravchenko (13th), and Robert Mizrachi (14th).

Through 14 events, the “Professionals versus Amateurs” scoreboard reads – Pros (10) and Amateurs (4).