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WSOP 2009

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Event #10, $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha, Final Report and Results

Official Report
Event #10
$2,500 Mixed – Pot-Limit Hold’em / Pot-Limit Omaha
Buy-In: $2,500
Number of Entries: 453
Total Net Prize Pool: $1,041,900
Number of Places Paid: 453
First Place Prize: $244,862
June 3-5, 2009

The Winner

The 2009 World Series of Poker $2,500 Mixed – Pot-Limit Hold’em / Pot-Limit Omaha event champion is Rami Boukai, from San Diego, CA.

Boukai is a 26-year-old professional poker player.

Boukai was once a student at UC-San Diego.

Boukai was born in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. He is believed to be the only Saudi Arabian-born WSOP gold bracelet winner in history. Previous WSOP winners have come from the Middle East, including Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Israel.

It should be noted that although Boukai was born abroad, he came to the United States at the age of one. Boukai’s father was Lebanese. His mother is a native-born American. Boukai has never visited Saudi Arabia. His father worked there in the 1980s on construction projects.

Nevertheless, Boukai’s online poker player screen name is “Arabian Night.”

Boukai has played in three WSOP events so far this year, making the third time a charm (victory).

This marked Boukai’s seventh time to cash at the WSOP. His best previous finish was a 14th-place showing in 2007. This was his first final table appearance.

Boukai collected $244,862 for first place. He was also awarded his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Boukai’s combined career tournament winnings now total about $570,000.

The Players

The final table was comprised of no former WSOP gold bracelet winners. This was the fourth event of ten held this year which guaranteed a first-time winner.

This was one of the more cosmopolitan final tables played so far this year. The nine finalists represented five different nations, including:

England (3)
United States (3)

Consistent with the “cosmopolitan” theme, two of the Americans were born abroad – one in Romania and the other in Saudi Arabia.

The runner up was N. Shaun Bennani (sometimes listed as Najib Bennani). He is a 26-year-old former accountant-turned-poker pro.

The third-place finisher was Ben Grundy, from London, England.

The fourth-place finisher was Romanian-born Cornel Andrew Cimpan, who now lives in League City, TX.

The fifth-place finisher was Daniel Makowsky, from Zurich, Switzerland. He finished as the runner up in a WSOP event held last year.

The sixth-place finisher was Paul Parker, from London, England.

The seventh-place finisher was Pawel Andrzejwski, from Park Ridge, IL. This marked his fifth cash at the WSOP.

The eighth-place finisher was another Englishman, John Kabbaj, from London. He also finished as a runner up in a WSOP event, back in 2004. Kabbaj won the European No-Limit Hold’em Championship in 2006.

The ninth-place finisher was Sigi Stockinger, from Salzburg, Austria.

Former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event included – Jan Sorensen, David Sklansky (3 wins), Rob Hollink, Daniel Negreanu (4 wins), and Hoyt Corkins (2 wins).

The defending champion in this event was Max Pescatori, from Milan, Italy. He entered this tournament, but did not cash.

Odds and Ends

This is only the second time this event has been included on the WSOP schedule. While many “mixed game” tournaments have taken place in the 39-year history of the WSOP, these two games had not been combined together exclusively until 2008.
Pot-Limit poker is more popular in Europe than the United States and elsewhere. Many of the top players in England, Ireland, France, and elsewhere specialize in this form of poker. Not surprisingly, 6 of the 9 finalists were Europeans. In fact, 14 of the 45 players who cashed in this tournament were Europeans.
The tournament was played over three consecutive days. On Day Three, the final table action took place on the secondary stage, near the ESPN feature table area, which was simultaneously dealing out the conclusion of the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event.

The Event

The $2,500 Mixed – Pot-Limit Hold’em / Pot-Limit Omaha event attracted 453 entrants. This created a prize pool totaling $1,041,900. The top 45 finishers collected prize money.

Last year’s Mixed event, played in the identical schedule slot, attracted 457 players.

The final hand of the night came when Boukai had the best hand pre-flop, lost the lead on the flop, then improved on the turn and dragged the final pot of the tournament. Boukai had pocket nines. His tough adversary N. Shaun Bennani had Q-J. Bennani was in the lead when the flop came A-K-Q. But a nine on the turn gave Boukai a set of nines, which held up.

The tournament officially began on Tuesday, June 2nd, at 12:00 noon. The tournament officially ended on Friday, June 5th, at 2:02 am.

Final Results

  Name Prize City State/Country
1 Boukai, Rami $244,862 San Diego CA
2 Bennani, Najib $151,335 Ridgefield NJ
3 Grundy, Ben $99,574 London United Kingdom
4 Cimpan, Cornel $69,546 League City TX
5 Makowsky, Daniel $51,313 Zurich Switzerland
6 Parker, Paul $39,904 London United Kingdom
7 Andrzejwski, Pawel $32,653 Park Ridge IL
8 Kabbaj, John $28,006 London United Kingdom
9 Stockinger, Sigi $25,151 Linz Austria
10 Do, Gary $18,170 Denver CO
11 Khan, Hevad $18,170 Las Vegas NV
12 Collado, Jan $18,170 Oyten Germany
13 Makhija, Amit $13,534 Brookfield WI
14 Sunar, Surinder $13,534 Wolverhampton United Kingdom
15 Entin, Jonas $13,534 Granada Hills CA
16 Rosen, Jamie $10,293 Boca Raton FL
17 Chang, Chris $10,293 Kelowna BC, Canada
18 Cousineau, Anthony $10,293 Las Vegas NV
19 Boyce, George $7,918 Silver Spring MD
20 Devlin, Stephen $7,918 Omagh Co Ireland
21 Sklansky, David $7,918 Las Vegas NV
22 Corkins, Hoyt $7,918 Las Vegas NV
23 Velador, Jose $7,918 Lake Elsinore CA
24 Solomon, Jarred $7,918 Johannesburg South Africa
25 Abdallah, George $7,918 Houston TX
26 Tamayo, Jonathan $7,918 Humble TX
27 Littlefield, Jeff $7,918 Greenville TX
28 Filippi, Amnon $6,293 New York NY
29 Grospellier, Bertrand $6,293 Vandozurve France
30 Vega, Alfredo $6,293 Aachen Germany
31 Arfa, David $6,293 Elmwood Park IL
32 Hollink, Rob $6,293 Groningen The Netherlands
33 Verbakel, Bjorn $6,293 Beek en Donk The Netherlands
34 Pickering, Jaime $6,293 Queens Land Australia
35 Soulier, Fabrice $6,293 Barbentane NV
36 Bhasin, Rohit $6,293 Brisbane Australia
37 Boyd, Craig $5,074 Manchester MO
38 Ingles, Jared $5,074 Baton Rouge LA
39 Fisher, Paul $5,074 Chicago IL
40 Seth, Andy $5,074 Urbana IL
41 Sorensen, Jan $5,074 Odense Denmark
42 Williams, Jeff $5,074 Dunwoody GA
43 Negreanu, Daniel $5,074 Las Vegas NV
44 Lehmann, Markus $5,074 Mauren Liechtestein
45 Bauerlein, Eugene $5,074 St. Petersburg FL

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