WSOP 2008 Event #23, $2,000 No Limit Hold'em, Final Results and Report
Buy-In: $ 2,000
Through the conclusion of Event #23 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:
8 - Nevada
Through the conclusion of Event #23 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the Professionals versus Amateurs gold bracelet scoreboard reads:
Professionals - 17 wins
The $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship attracted 1,344 entries. The total prize pool amounted to $2,446,080. The top 99 finishers collected prize money.
This is the second of three $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournaments on this year’s schedule. Each of the last two years has included three NLHE event with this same buy-in.
The tournament was played over three consecutive days. On Day Three, the final table action took place on the ESPN main stage. The final table was covered by Bluff Media for live broadcast at the ESPN360 website.
The winner was Blair Hinkle, from Kansas City, MO. Hinkle is a 22-year-old poker pro, who has also attended college.
Blair Hinkle is the brother of Grant Hinkle, who won Event #2 at this year’s WSOP. The Hinkle Brothers became only the second tandem of brothers to win gold bracelets. The other is the Pearson Brothers – consisting of Puggy Pearson (three wins in 1973) and J.C. Pearson (one win in 1994).
The Hinkle Brothers became the first siblings in history to win WSOP gold bracelets within a single year.
“There is no rivalry between us,” Hinkle said. “I was ecstatic when he won his bracelet and I know he’s the same way. It’s just amazing that we could both win in the same year.”
Twelve days earlier, Hinkle’s mother sat in the audience and watched her son Grant win his first WSOP victory. She returned to the main stage again and watched her other son, Blair earn his victory. Hinkle’s mother joked afterward that she is looking forward to getting her own bracelet. While she has no aspirations of entering a WSOP tournament, Hinkle’s mother did suggest that she was a sort of good luck charm for the family.
Blair Hinkle collected $507,613 for first place. This was his first WSOP gold bracelet. This marked his second time to cash. Hinkle finished in 520nd place in the 2007 WSOP Main Event (6,358 entrants). He also finished 6th at the recent Caesars Las Vegas WSOP Circuit event, a few months ago.
“The player I was worried about the most was Dustin Dirksen (who finished fifth),” Hinkle said afterward. “I made a huge jump after he busted out and I was able to really pick up my game after that.”
Hinkle also wanted to point out that his grandmother taught him how to play poker (along with his brother Grant). He said hello to his grandmother in a post-tournament interview carried live on ESPN360.
The second-place finisher was Mark Brockington, from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). Amazingly, Brockington started with $100 in his poker bankroll and has never been in the red since then. Brockington, who earned a PhD, has his work cited by Chris “Jesus” Ferguson in his own PhD thesis.
Dustin Dirksen is a law school graduate who also runs three small businesses. He also plays poker full time. Dirksen was the runner-up in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event last year. He took fifth place this time.
Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Chris Bjorin, from London, England was the sixth-place finisher. This marked the 41st career WSOP cash for Bjorin, placing him 13th on the all-time list. Thor Hansen, who is ranked right behind Bjorin for career in-the-money finishes commented that Bjorin is truly one of the best poker players in the world. He went on to state the Bjorin would have many more cashes if he played in more events.
The final table included players from Canada, France, England, Holland, Australia, and the United States.
Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Barry Greenstein cashed, finishing in 46th place.
Players from 12 different nations finished in the money. Countries represented included – Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, the Faroe Islands, Holland, Italy, Japan, Norway, and the United States.
Hjalti Jacobson became the first player in history from the Faroe Islands to cash at the WSOP. The Faroe Islands are located in the Norwegian Sea and are an autonomous province of Denmark.
Through the conclusion of Event #23, only one player has cashed five times to date – Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia. Evdakov is in serious contention to challenge the record set for “Most WSOP Cashes in a Single Year,” shared by four players -- Michael Binger (2007), Chad Brown (2007), Phil Hellmuth, Jr. (2006), and Humberto Brenes (2006), with eight in-the-money strikes.
The current Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” standings shows Erick Lindgren on top of the points list with one gold bracelet win and three cashes.
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