WSOP 2008 Event #34, $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha with Re-Buys, Final Results and Reports
Number of Entries: 320
The $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys championship attracted 320 entries. A huge number of Re-Buys (1,350) swelled the prize pool to $2,407,125. The top 36 finishers (final four tables) collected prize money.
This event showed one of the largest prize pool increases of the year, over the same event played in 2007. Last year, 298 players made 880 Re-Buys, creating a prize pool totaling $1,684,305. In 2008, entries were up 7 percent. Re-Buys were up a whopping 53 percent. And, the total prize pool increased by 43 percent. So much for the concerns that the ‘soft economy” would affect turnout at the World Series of Poker.
Pot-Limit Omaha first debuted on the WSOP schedule back in 1984, when two events were introduced.
The tournament was played over three consecutive days. The final table was played on the ESPN main stage. Coverage was provided by Bluff Media on ESPN360. The secondary final table featured the conclusion of the $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud championship (Event #34), which took place at the same time.
Last year’s champion Alan Smurfit, from Ireland, played in this event. But he did not cash. This brings the current streak to 34 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.
Four different nations were represented by players at this final table, including Australia, Germany, Italy, and the United States.
The 2008 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys champion is Layne Flack, from Las Vegas, NV. This was Flack’s sixth career WSOP gold bracelet victory.
Flack collected $577,725 for first place, which was his largest poker payday ever. With six gold bracelets, he is now tied with Jay Heimowitz, Men “the Master” Nguyen, and T.J. Cloutier for seventh on the all-time WSOP wins list. All six wins have come within an 11-year span. Flack’s lifetime earnings at the WSOP total $2,268,357.
It has been five long years since Flack’s last WSOP victory. During his personal and professional abyss, Flack admits to going through many troubles. He now says those troubles are behind him and he has focused on his craft as a poker player.
Flack credits his “life coach” for helping him to recover from his personal problems. His life coach is none other than Ed Walters, who was allegedly the inspiration for the fictional “Fast Eddie” Felson, Paul Newman’s legendary character in two classic gambling movies, “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money.”
Flack’s first (and only) job was once working as a poker dealer at small card clubs in Montana. Many who knew Flack back then say he was one of the best dealers ever seen in the region.
Through the years, Flack’s poker nicknames have changed. He has been known as “Heart Attack” Flack for his aggressive playing style. He was also known once as “Back-to-Back” Flack, a label which lost its luster since Flack never actually won back to back events at the WSOP.
Flack’s final table record is phenomenal. He has appeared at 12 WSOP final tables during his career, and won half of them (6 wins).
After his victory, Flack conveyed that he had given away his other five WSOP gold bracelets as gifts, mostly to family members. One was stolen, he says.
Flack dismissed inevitable comparisons of his life to the late Stu Ungar’s. “I never met Stu Ungar,” Flack said. “I don’t think I really was in his league either (in terms of) his personal demons or his talent.”
Flack invested $33,000 in this tournament, including 21 re-buys. “When we made the money, everybody was cheering,” Flack stated. “Everybody was a winner but me. I still had to get to at least 12th place just to get my money back.”
“It’s not like I outplayed everybody,” Flack admitted after his victory. “I mean, I did catch some cards.”
The second-place finisher was Daniel Makowsky, a German-born poker player now living in Switzerland.
The final table lasted about seven hours. The heads-up match lasted only a few hands.
Jacobo Fernandez is having quite an impressive World Series. He took third place in this event and now has second, third, and fourth place showings in five combined cashes so far.
Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Dario Alioto finished in fourth place. Last September, Alioto made poker history by becoming the first player ever to win a WSOP title in an event played outside the United States. In 2007, Harrahs Entertainment launched the first “World Series of Poker – Europe” tournament series which scheduled three gold bracelet events which were played in London, England. The first tournament, the Pot-Limit Omaha championship, was won by Alioto. Note: The second year of WSOP-Europe will take place in London from September 19th through October 1st (2008).
Five-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Ted Forrest finished in fifth place. This was Forrest’s second final table appearance at this year’s World Series. He finished second in the Omaha High-Low Split event.
Jerrod Ankenman took 17th place in this tournament, just days after finishing as the runner up in the Limit Hold’em World Championship (Event #30). Ankenman is the co-author of “The Mathematics of Poker” with two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Bill Chen.
Eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Erik Seidel finished 21st. This marked his 50th career WSOP in-the-money finish, which ranks seventh on the all-time list.
Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia has cashed yet again. With his 30th-place showing in this tournament he is now the only player who has cashed seven times – just one off the all-time record mark. Evdakov is 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.
The current Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” standings shows a dead heat between two top pros -- Erick Lindgren and Barry Greenstein. However, Jacobo Fernandez is expected to move into the lead after his finish in this event. For a complete list of points leaders, see: http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com/players/2008.asp?sort=poypts
Through Event #34, only one player has made three final table appearances – Jacobo Fernandez. Sixteen players have made two WSOP final table appearances. This list includes – Chris Bjorin, Andy Bloch, David Benyamine, Alex Bolotin, Scott Clements, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, Fu Wong, Erick Lindgren, Minh Ly, Daniel Negreanu, David Singer, J.C. Tran, Theo Tran, and Tim West.
Through the conclusion of Event #34 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:
The Event #34 winner Layne Flack is to be classified as a professional, since he has been playing for a living for many years. Accordingly, through the conclusion of Event #34, the “Pro-Am” gold bracelet scoreboard reads:
Frank Vizzo was the chip leader at the End of Day One for this event. Vizzo was also the chip leader at the start of the final table. He busted out in disappointing fashion, taking ninth place. Hence, through Event #34, the End of Day One chip leaders have gone on to cash 78 percent of the time -- 25 of 32 occasions (the chip leader was not applicable on two events). Nine of these same 32 chip leaders (28 percent) made it to the final table. Only one chip leader went on to win the event (3 percent). That lone wire-to-wire winner was Vanessa Selbst in Event #19.
Through Event #34, thirteen of 32 chip leaders at the start of the final table (40 percent) went on to win the event. Nineteen of 32 chip leaders (59 percent) went on to finish in the top three spots. Two events did not have a chip leader (Heads-Up and Shootout tournaments).
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