WSOP 2008 Event #29, $3,000 No Limit Hold'em, Final Results and Report

WSOP 2008 Event #29, $3,000 No Limit Hold'em, Final Results and Report

Number of Entries: 716
Total Net Prize Pool: $ 1,976,160
June 15-17, 2008

The Winner

John Phan
John Phan

Final Results

1 John Phan $434,789 Stockton California
2 Johnny Neckar $277,452 Madison Wisconsin
3 Matt Vengrin $167,973 Red Hook New York
4 Alex Bolotin $137,343 Brooklyn New York
5 David Singer $112,641 Las Vegas Nevada
6 Stewart Newman $88,927 Coral Gables Florida
7 Thuyen Doan $69,165 Williamsburg Virginia
8 George Dunst $54,344 Melbourne Australia
9 Sebastian Segovia $39,523 Guatemala City Guatemala
10 Aleksander Zaslavsly $24,702 Fitchburg Wisconsin
11 Linda Lee $24,702 Las Vegas Nevada
12 Lee Childs $24,702 Alexandria Virginia
13 Matthew Stout $19,761 Galloway New Jersey
14 Dustin Pattinson $19,761 Edinburg Texas
15 Vincent Peraino $19,761 Sterling Heights Michigan
16 Don Mullis $14,821 St. Pete Beach Florida
17 Ryan Young $14,821 Torrance California
18 Richard Tatalovich $14,821 Scottsdale Arizona
19 Dale Pinchot $11,264 Yardley Pennsylvania
20 Carter King $11,264 Columbia South Carolina
21 Jon Traver $11,264 Irving Texas
22 Douglas Miranda $11,264 Henderson Nevada
23 Daniel Obrien $11,264 Las Vegas Nevada
24 Hjalti Jacobsen $11,264 Torshavn Faroe Islands Denmark
25 Leo Wolpert $11,264 Fairfax Virginia
26 Mclean Karr $11,264 Troy Michigan
27 Alex Melnikow $11,264 Las Vegas Nevada
28 Norman Gautron $9,287 Winnipeg Quebec, Canada
29 Christopher Glover $9,287 La Porte Texas
30 Kyu Cho $9,287 Allen Texas
31 Rem Remington $9,287 Jacksonville Florida
32 Steven Vanzadelhoff $9,287 Geldermalsen Holland
33 James Fricke $9,287 Mahomet Illinois
34 Leonid Yanovski $9,287 Haifa Israel
35 Abdol Vahedi $9,287 Encino California
36 Betty Carey $9,287 Juneau Alaska
37 Byron Kaverman $7,311 Ft. Jennings Ohio
38 Erik Jansson $7,311 Taby Sweden
39 Kathy Liebert $7,311 Las Vegas Nevada
40 Thijs Wessels $7,311 Eindhoven Holland
41 Thomas Alcorn $7,311 Sunrise Florida
42 Markus Gonsalves $7,311 San Diego California
43 Nathan Hoines $7,311 Great Falls Montana
44 Derrick Plyler $7,311 Union Hall Virginia
45 John Anhalt $7,311 Huntington Beach California
46 Eric Lynch $6,718 Olathe Kansas
47 Marty Wong $6,718 Napa California
48 Julius Colman $6,718 Melbourne Australia
49 Jim Sachinidis $6,718 Victoria Australia
50 Barny Boatman $6,718 Hendon England
51 Nachman Berlin $6,718 Brooklyn New York
52 Beth Shak $6,718 Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania
53 Maxwell Greenwood $6,718 Toronto Ontario, Canada
54 Pier Scatola $6,718 Vinci Firenze Italy
55 Kristy Gazes $6,126 Van Nuys California
56 Oktay Altinbas $6,126 Dania Florida
57 Stuart Patterson $6,126 Boca Raton Florida
58 Mark Muchnik $6,126 Henderson Nevada
59 Rob Sterken $6,126 Veghel Holland
60 Stephen O'Dwyer $6,126  
61 Jason Somerville $6,126 Stony Brook New York
62 Nicolas Levi $6,126 London England
63 Douglas Mackinnon $6,126 Clarence New York
64 Francis Mahiout $5,533 Paris France
65 Todd Sisley $5,533 Toronto Ontario, Canada
66 Hans Winzeler $5,533 Miami Florida
67 Stephen Delvin $5,533 Omagh Co. Tyrone Ireland
68 Joseph Grech $5,533 Wapping England
69 Justin Newton $5,533 Tucson Arizona
70 Daniel Shak $5,533 Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania
71 Jeffrey King $5,533 Colchester Connecticut
72 Alan Myerson $5,533 Sherman Oaks California


Tournament Notes

The $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted a highly-competitive field of 716 entries, creating a prize pool totaling $1,976,160. The top 72 finishers collected prize money.

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 $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em World Championship (Event #30). The finale took place at the secondary final table, as the main stage was reserved for the other event.

The winner was poker pro John Phan. He is 33-years-old and lives in Stockton, CA. Phan was born in Vietnam. He has been playing poker professionally for about 12 years.

Phan collected $434,789 for first place. He also earned his first WSOP gold bracelet. Prior to this victory, Phan had two runner-up finishes in WSOP events in 2006 and 2007. He also finished fourth in an event in 2005.

Phan’s heads-up match against Johnny Neckar clocked in at 6 hours and 13 minutes, which certainly ranks as one of the longer matches in WSOP history. However, this did not come close to threatening the all-time record set in 2006 between Chip Reese and Andy Bloch, which lasted over eight hours. The entire final table took slightly over ten hours to complete.

The Phan-Neckar back and forth heads-up match led to one of the most bizarre occurrences in WSOP history. Just when both players had been playing for six hours and that fact was announced to the crowd, both finalists decided to raise all-in blindly before the flop and let luck takes its course. Phan and Neckar did this for three straight hands. However, some sanity was restored and just as hundreds of screaming fans had ringed around the final table arena hollering out names and cards, both players resumed normal patterns of play – with the duel locked into a dead heat in chips. Half a dozen hands later, Phan finally won the tournament.

Afterward, Phan was almost dismissive of the significance of his victory. Although he had finally won a WSOP gold bracelet after coming close several times, he stated that he one and only goal in poker remains to win the WSOP Main Event. Oddly enough, while Phan was trying to explain himself, he had a bracelet affixed to his wrist from another poker tournament – which was awarded to him for winning a major tournament at the Jack Binion World Poker Open in 2007.

Phan later explained his odd decision to “gamble” for the gold bracelet (moving all-in dark on three hands) by saying, “What can I say? I love to gamble. To me, gambling is what it’s all about.”

A more serious side of Phan’s personality came out later when he revealed that he intends to donate some of his cash prize to charity, and specifically the hometown in Vietnam where he still has relatives.

The second-place finisher was 22-year-old Johnny Neckar, from Madison, WI. This was his second time to cash at the WSOP.

David Singer’s bid to win his second WSOP gold bracelet came up short. He took fifth place in this event. Singer won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em championship (Event #3).

Sebastian Segovia finished in ninth place. Segovia is from Guatemala. This marked the first time in WSOP history that a player from that Central American nation has made it to the final table.

Don “Final Table” Mullis took 16th place. Mullis enjoyed a stellar year in 2005, particularly on the WSOP Circuit where he made eight final table appearances within an eight-month span and won two gold rings – at the Tunica Grand and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Ryan Young finished in 17th place.

This tournament was historic in at least one special way. Betty Carey played in this tournament – and cashed. Carey is a near-legendary figure amongst many of the older poker rounders. She was once called “the best woman player in the world” by “Amarillo Slim” Preston. During poker’s earlier days, she was bankrolled by outlaw Jimmy Chagra and played amongst (and often beat) the best players in the world in high-limit cash games. Carey finished 36th in this event. Her last time to cash at the WSOP was way back in 1986. Therefore, her 22-year-span between WSOP cashes is believed to be an all-time record.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Kathy Liebert finished 39th. This marked her fifth cash at this year’s WSOP.

Beth Shak finished 52nd. Shak almost won this same event last year. She finished second to winner Shankar Pillai.

Beth Shak’s husband, Daniel Shak, is building quite a poker resume of his own. Shak was a co-winner of the 2007 “Ante-Up For Africa” tournament for charity and donated his entire $243,893 cash prize to the charity. Sometimes, good things happen to good people. Mr. Shak took 70th place in this tournament.

Since both Shaks cashed, this marked the first time that a husband and wife have cashed in the same tournament at this year’s World Series. In the past, this has been accomplished by the Sterns (Max and Maria) and the Thomas’ (Harry and Jerri).

The curse on defending champions continues. Last year’s winner, Shankar Pillai played in this event. But he did not cash. This brings the current streak to 29 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.

Through the conclusion of Event #29, the player with the highest percentage of cashes (minimum of six events played) is Kathy Liebert at 62.5 percent. Liebert has entered a total of eight events and cashed in five.

Through the conclusion of Event #29, only one player has cashed six times – Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia. He is best positioned 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 #29 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:

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

The Event #29 winner John Phan is to be classified as a professional. Accordingly, through the conclusion of Event #29 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the “Professionals versus Amateurs” gold bracelet scoreboard reads:

Professionals – 22 wins
Amateurs -- 4 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins