WSOP 2008 Event #28, $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em with Rebuys, Final Results and Report

WSOP 2008 Event #28, $5,000 Pot Limit Hold'em with Rebuys, Final Results and Report

Number of Entries: 152
Number of Re-Buys: 483
Total Net Prize Pool: $ 3,085,930
June 14-16, 2008

The Winner

Philip Galfond
Philip Galfond

Final Results

1 Philip Galfond $817,781 Madison Wisconsin
2 Adam Hourani $493,748 East Lansing Michigan
3 David Benyamine $316,307 Las Vegas Nevada
4 Johnny Chan $246,874 Las Vegas Nevada
5 Kirill Gerasimov $192,870 Moscow Russia
6 John Juanda $154,296 Las Vegas Nevada
7 Daniel Negreanu $123,437 Las Vegas Nevada
8 Phil Hellmuth $100,292 Palo Alto California
9 Brian Rast $84,863 Poway California
10 Chris Ferguson $69,433 Pacific Palisades California
11 Alexander Kostritsyn $69,433 Moscow Russia
12 Evan Sofer $69,433 Henderson Nevada
13 Jamison Pickering $61,718 Queensland Australia
14 Nikolay Evdakov $61,718 Moscow Russia
15 Emmanuel Sebag $61,718 London England
16 David Williams $54,003 Las Vegas Nevada
17 Ted Lawson $54,003 Plantation Florida
18 Eli Elezra $54,003 Henderson Nevada

Tournament Notes

The $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted a star-studded field of 152 entries. Another 483 re-buys increased the total prize pool to $3,085,930. The top 18 finishers (final two tables) collected prize money.

Last year, this same event attracted 145 entries. The increase in both participation and the number of re-buys made this year’s tournament the biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in poker history.

Pot-Limit Omaha made its WSOP debut in 1984. It has been played every year since then.

Only two players in WSOP history have won multiple Pot-Limit Omaha victories – “Amarillo Slim” Preston and Johnny Chan, with two wins each.

This tournament set a number of additional records for fans of poker trivia. On Day One, one of the tables (Orange 15) included the most accomplished lineup of tournament players in WSOP history. The table included eight former WSOP gold bracelet winners. In fact, the combined number of WSOP wins for all players at Orange 15 amounted to 32. Here was the lineup for murderer’s row:

The final table included four former WSOP gold bracelet winners, with a combined 28 victories between them. This eclipsed the previous all-time record set in the 2006 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship when there were a combined 27 victories between the nine finalists.

A potential dream heads-up matchup between the two all-time WSOP record gold bracelet winners -- Phil Hellmuth and Johnny Chan -- never materialized. Hellmuth ended up busting out in eighth place. Chen ended up fourth.

Hellmuth defeated Chan in the 1989 WSOP Main Event, winning his first world championship. Since then, Hellmuth and Chan have faced off only one time at a WSOP final table. That took place in a memorable 2002 match in the Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship when the two poker giants ended up as the two finalists. Chan defeated Hellmuth to win what at the time was his seventh gold bracelet.

Due to the star quality of the final day, this was the toughest seat in town for poker fans. By the 3 pm start, the ESPN main stage and Milwaukee’s Best Light skybox were filled to capacity. Furthermore, hundreds of poker aficionados gathered around television monitors to see history in the making. While the finale was indeed exciting, several of the poker superstars busted out early which altered the enthusiasm somewhat for the late night drama.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days. The final table was played on Day Three at the same time as the conclusion of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship (Event #27).

The winner was Phil Galfond, from Madison, WI. He is 23-years-old. He is a poker pro who concentrates mostly on cash games.

Galfond collected $817,781 for first place. He also earned his first WSOP gold bracelet. This was his fourth time to cash at the WSOP. This was the second-highest top prize ever paid to the winner of a Pot-Limit Omaha tournament.

Galfond’s poker nickname is “OMGClayAiken.”

Galfond was the chip leader during most of the final table.

“I had a big chip lead and I did not want to blow it,” Galfond said afterward. “So, the first thing I feel is relief that I did not blow the lead.”

Prior to taking a seat at the final table Galfond stated that winning a WSOP gold bracelet would mean a great deal to him. “It commands respect from your peers,” he said.

“It was such a tough final table lineup,” Galfond stated when asked about playing amongst so many big poker names. “That’s what makes winning this so much better.”

The second-place finisher was Adam Hourani, from East Lansing, MI.

Ten-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Johnny Chan finished fourth. This was his 40th career cash, which ranks 16th on the all-time list.

Kirill Gerasimov took fifth place. Gerasimov nearly pulled off a parlay for Russia as fellow countryman Vitaly Lunkin (from Moscow) won Event #27, which concluded about half an hour earlier. This has been a breakthrough year for Russian poker players, as many have enjoyed success at this year’s WSOP. Note: A Russian player also leads the “most cashes” category at this year’s WSOP, to date – see below.

Three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Juanda was eliminated in sixth place. Juanda currently has more WSOP in-the-money finishes than any other player since 2000 -- with 41. This was also his 43rd career cash, which ties him for tenth-place on the all-time list, along with Brent Carter.

Four-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu finished in seventh place. Negreanu won the $2,000 Limit Hold’em event last week, and achieved his fourth cash and second final table at this year’s World Series. Negreanu now has 30 career cashes, which ties him for 37th place on the all-time list with poker legend Doyle Brunson.

Eleven-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth finished in eighth place. He is the all-time WSOP leader in number of cashes – currently with 64. While Hellmuth was being interviewed by the Bluff Media crew for the live ESPN260 Internet broadcast, Negreanu busted out of the tournament moments later. As the normally long-winded Hellmuth was pontificating on what went wrong and was making predictions of his future victories, Negreanu (standing off-camera) shouted, “Hey Phil, this is not a one-hour expose!” Unfazed by the distraction, Hellmuth rambled on until the camera was finally cut off.

Daniel Negreanu made the most re-buys in this event, with 16. He invested $85,000 in entry fees in this tournament and collected $123,437 in prize money.

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson finished in 10th place, just missing make it to the final table. This marked Ferguson’s 54th career WSOP cash, which ranks fourth all-time – just one behind T.J. Cloutier.

The curse on defending champions continues. Last year’s winner, Burt Boutin played in this event. But he did not cash. This brings the current streak to 28 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.

Other former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event included David Williams (16th), Ted Lawson (17th), and Eli Elezra (18th).

Robert Williamson III has dominated Pot-Limit Omaha events at the WSOP for the past decade. His Pot-Limit Omaha resume includes a 3rd in 1999, 1st in 2002, 3rd in 2003, 7th again in 2003, 2nd in 2004, 14th again in 2004, 2nd in 2005, and 10th in 2007. That’s eight cashes in ten years, with six final tables. However, Williamson did not cash in this event this year.

Jamie Pickering, from Australia, who was the runner-up to Vanessa Selbst in the Pot-Limit Omaha championship (Event #19) a few days ago, finished in 13th place.

Through the conclusion of Event #28, the player with the highest percentage of cashes (minimum of five events played) is Kathy Liebert at 57 percent. Liebert has entered a total of seven events and cashed in four.

Through the conclusion of Event #28, the player who has entered more tournaments than any other player is Sirous Jamshidi – with 20 entries. He has cashed twice.

Through the conclusion of Event #28, only one player has cashed six times to date – Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia. Five-time in-the-money finishers include Tom Schneider (Scottsdale, AZ), Roland Isra (New York, NY), and Alex Jacob (Las Vegas, NV). All are in 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 four cashes. However, Daniel Negreanu is now close in points, along with Vanessa Selbst and Jacobo Fernandez.

Through the conclusion of Event #28 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:

8 – Nevada
4 – New York
4 – California
2 – Canada
2 – Missouri
1 – Germany
1 – Italy
1 – Maryland
1 – Michigan
1 – Pennsylvania
1 – Russia
1 – South Carolina
1 – Wisconsin

Phil Galfond is to be classified as a professional. Accordingly, through the conclusion of Event #28 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the “Professionals versus Amateurs” gold bracelet scoreboard reads:

Professionals – 21 wins
Amateurs -- 4 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins

On this day, pro golfer and recreational poker player Rocco Mediate lost to Tiger Woods by one stroke in a sudden-death playoff at the U.S. Open. Mediate played in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.