WSOP 2008 Event #38, $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em, Final Results and Report

WSOP 2008 Event #38, $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em, Final Results and Report

Number of Entries: 605
Number of Re-Buys: NA
Total Net Prize Pool: $ 1,101,100
June 20-22, 2008

Final Results

1 Davidi Kitai $244,583 Brussels Belgium
2 Chris Bell $155,805 Raleigh North Carolina
3 Keith Greer $94,694 Fort Worth Texas
4 Jan Von Halle $77,077 Hamburg Germany
5 Lee Watkinson $63,313 Longbranch Washington
6 Robert Cheung $50,100 Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
7 Ayaz Mahmood $39,089 Houston Texas
8 Ben Roberts $30,830 London England
9 Michele Greco $22,572 London England
10 Benjamin Zamani $14,314 Boca Raton Florida
11 Michael Binger $14,314 Las Vegas Nevada
12 Charles Lehr $14,314 Bossier City Louisiana
13 Jeffrey Sluzinski $11,561 Westland Michigan
14 Amato Galasso $11,561 Ridgewood New Jersey
15 Christopher Dombrowski $11,561 Dade City Florida
16 Neil Channing $8,808 Maida Vale England
17 Davood Mehrmand $8,808 Frankfurt Germany
18 Eugene Todd $8,808 Brooklyn New York
19 Daniel Quinn $6,606 Toronto Ontario, Canada
20 Robert Perry $6,606 Highland Beach Florida
21 Alan Adler $6,606 Bakersfield California
22 Phillip Lowery $6,606 Atlanta Georgia
23 David Brooker $6,606 Stuart Florida
24 Jonathan Tamayo $6,606 Humble Texas
25 Blake Stepp $6,606 Spokane Washington
26 Noam Freedman $6,606 Cambridge Massachusetts
27 Brett Wiesner $6,606 Las Vegas Nevada
28 Gavin Polone $5,505 Beverly Hills California
29 Shaun Linefsky $5,505 Arlington Virginia
30 Trevor Lawson $5,505 Cueshire Australia
31 Paul Foltyn $5,505 Doncaster England
32 Shawn Van Asdale $5,505 Reno Nevada
33 Shane Schleger $5,505 Santa Monica California
34 Clonie Gowen $5,505 Murphy Texas
35 David Chicotsky $5,505 Fort Worth Texas
36 Marco Traniello $5,505 Las Vegas Nevada
37 Derek Dempsey $4,404 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
38 Thomas Fuller $4,404 Boulder Colorado
39 George Shahrezay $4,404 Paramount California
40 Anthony George $4,404 Las Vegas Nevada
41 Matthew Hilger $4,404 Suwanee Georgia
42 Eric Lupovich $4,404 Mont-Royal Quebec, Canada
43 Sunny Chattha $4,404 Lee England
44 Dale Pinchot $4,404 Yardley Pennsylvania
45 Thomas Sanduski $4,404 Las Vegas Nevada
46 Larry Wright $4,074 McQueeny Texas
47 James Gorham Jr. $4,074 Pasadena California
48 Cristian Dragomir $4,074 Bucharest Romania
49 Olivia Boeree $4,074  
50 Kyle Wilson $4,074  
51 Christopher Howard $4,074 Hampshire England
52 David Machowsky $4,074  
53 Jeffrey Langdon $4,074 Santa Fe New Mexico
54 Veronica Castellana $4,074 Tampa Florida
55 Rado Boltryk $3,743 Glenview Illinois
56 Roy Winston $3,743  
57 Vanessa Rousso $3,743  
58 Andre Johnstone $3,743 Cape Town South Africa
59 Josef Bachar $3,743 Rmat Gan Israel
60 Andrew Rosskamm $3,743 Gates Mills Ohio
61 Paul Quade $3,743  
62 Michael Cordell $3,743 Little Rock Arkansas
63 Clifford Spiro $3,743 Naperville Illinois

Tournament Notes

The $2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em championship (Event #38) attracted 605 entries, creating a prize pool totaling $1,101,100. The top 63 finishers collected prize money.

Attendance at this year’s event increased slightly over 2007. Last year, there were 599 entries for this same event.

Pot-Limit Hold’em was not introduced as part of the WSOP schedule until 1992. Past winners of WSOP gold bracelets in Pot-Limit Hold’em include – John Bonetti, T.J. Cloutier, Jay Heimowitz, Phil Hellmuth, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, Steve Zolotow, Mickey Appleman, and Johnny Chan.

Oddly enough, no player has ever won two gold bracelets in Pot-Limit Hold’em. It is one of the few games in WSOP history with no multiple winners.

This is the third of three Pot-Limit Hold’em events on the 2008 WSOP schedule. Previous winners Nenad Medic (Event #1) and David Singer (Event #3) both entered this event, but did not cash.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days. The final table was played on the ESPN main stage. This was the only final table scheduled on this day.

Last year’s champion Greg Hopkins did not enter this tournament. This brings the current streak to 38 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.

The 2008 $2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em champion is Davidi Kitai. He is a 28-year-old economic analyst from Brussels, Belgium. Kitai was born in Antwerp, Belgium.

Kitai works for a banking institution in Belgium and deals with macroeconomic investment issues.

Kitai becomes the first WSOP gold bracelet ever from the nation of Belgium.

Belgium becomes the ninth nation to produce a gold bracelet winner at this year’s WSOP. This list now includes Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, and the United States.

Kitai was cheered on by his father, who sat in the audience. He also had about a dozen or so fans and fellow poker players from the Benalux region in his cheering section.

Kitai won $244,583 for first place. This was also his first WSOP gold bracelet victory.

The second-place finisher was tournament circuit regular, Chris Bell, from Raleigh, NC.

The heads-up match between Kitai and Bell was the longest to date at this year’s WSOP. It clocked in at nearly five hours and went 186 hands. By contrast, the first seven players were knocked out in a relatively quick 3.5 hour span and included only 101 hands.

Chris Bell dominated much of the final table play. He knocked out five of the first seven players.

The Kitai-Bell duel included ten chip-lead changes.

Kitai was second in chips after Day One of play.

The final table included players from five different countries. Nations represented included Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, and the United States.

The third-place finisher was Keith E. Greer, Jr. – from Ft. Worth, TX. He staged quite a huge comeback in this tournament. On the fourth hand of play, after starting out with 4,000 in chips, Greer lost an all-in hand just three minutes after the tournament began. He was left with just 225 in chips and was prepared to make an early exit. Amazingly, Greer not only recovered and regained chips, he made it all the way to the final table. His faith and persistence in the event paid off to the tune of $94,694 in prize money.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Lee Watkinson finished in fifth place. This was is his fourth time to cash at the 2008 World Series. Watkinson also made it all the way to the Main Event final table last year, finishing eighth.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Robert Cheung finished sixth.

Pakistani-born poker pro Ayaz Mahmood cashed for the 16th time in his career at the WSOP, by taking seventh-place in this event.

High-stakes cash game player Ben Roberts, from London, England finished in eighth place. Roberts finished sixth in the 1998 WSOP Main Event.

English actor Michael Greco finished ninth. Greco was a regular cast member on a popular British soap opera called “East Enders” which ran from 1998 through 2002.

Michael Binger took 11th place. Binger now has 11 cashes since the start of the 2007 WSOP.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Ted Lawson (30th)

Through Event #38, only two players have made three final table appearances – Jacobo Fernandez and David Benyamine. Sixteen players have made two WSOP final table appearances. This list includes – Chris Bjorin, Andy Bloch, Alex Bolotin, Scott Clements, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Fu Wong, Greg Jamison, Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, Minh Ly, Daniel Negreanu, David Singer, J.C. Tran, Theo Tran, and Tim West.

Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia is the only player at this year’s WSOP who has cashed seven times – just one off the all-time record mark. Evdakov is positioned to break the record set for “Most WSOP Cashes in a Single Year,” shared by five players -- Michael Binger (2007), Chad Brown (2007), Phil Hellmuth (2006), Richard Tatalovich (2006), and Humberto Brenes (2006), with eight.

Winner Davidi Kitai is officially listed as being from Brussels, Belgium. Through the conclusion of Event #38 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:
10 – Nevada
6 – California
4 – New York
2 – Canada
2 – Germany
2 – Italy
2 – Missouri
1 – Belgium
1 – Denmark
1 – France
1 – Holland
1 – Maryland
1 – Michigan
1 – Pennsylvania
1 – Russia
1 – South Carolina
1 – Wisconsin

The Event #38 winner Davidi Kitai is to be classified as an amateur, since he plays poker part-time and has a full-time occupation. Accordingly, the “Pro-Am” gold bracelet scoreboard currently reads:
Professionals – 30 wins
Amateurs -- 6 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins

Michael Binger was the chip leader at the End of Day One for this event. He cashed. Hence, through Event #38, the End of Day One chip leaders have gone on to cash 75 percent of the time -- 27 of 36 occasions (the chip leader was not applicable on two events). Ten of these same 36 chip leaders (28 percent) made it to the final table. Only one chip leader went on to win the event. That lone wire-to-wire winner was Vanessa Selbst in Event #19.

Jan Von Halle was the chip leader at the start of this final table. He ended up as the fourth-place finisher. Through Event #38, sixteen of 36 chip leaders at the start of the final table (44 percent) went on to win the event. Twenty-two of 36 chip leaders (61 percent) went on to finish in the top three spots. Two events did not have a chip leader (Heads-Up and Shootout tournaments).

It should be noted that the Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” rankings will now include points accrued from the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship.

The Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” standings currently shows Jacobo Fernandez as the current leader, with David Benyamine close behind. Here are the top five ranked players: 1. Jacobo Fernandez – 222 points 2. David Benyamine – 220 points t-3. Barry Greenstein – 185 points t-3. Erick Lindgren – 185 points 5. Daniel Negreanu – 170 points For a complete “Player of the Year” points list, see:

David Benyamine is now the leader on the 2008 prize money list, having won the most money at the WSOP, to date. His accrued winnings total $941,651.