The Largest Live Poker Database

Players: 540,731

Events: 359,576

Results: 2,400,439

WSOP 2009

Subscribe to our RSS Feed to get the latest updated from the WSOP 2009

Event #31, $1,500 HORSE, Final Results

Official Report
Event #31
Buy-In: $1,500
Number of Entries: 770
Total Net Prize Pool: $1,051,050
Number of Places Paid: 72
First Place Prize: $247,033
June 14-16, 2009

Event Headlines

  1. Longtime Poker Veteran James Van Alstyne Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet
  2. 2009 WSOP Nears $60 Million Mark in Prize Money – as 20 of 31 Events So Far Exceed $1 Million in Prize Money

The Winner

The 2009 World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. champion is James Van Alstyne, from Las Vegas, NV.

Van Alstyne was born in Columbus, GA. He grew up in New Orleans, LA.

Van Alstyne is a 42-year-old poker pro. He has been playing seriously for about ten years.

Van Alstyne is a graduate of Stanford University. He earned his degree in electrical engineering.

Prior to playing poker professionally, Van Alstyne worked for Martin-Marietta, the aerospace company (now Lockheed-Martin).

Van Alstyne enjoys analyzing things and solving problems. He first became interested in blackjack and was a card-counter. He spent his first summer in Las Vegas playing nothing but blackjack. As blackjack games became increasingly tougher to beat, Van Alstyne gradually turned his attention to poker.

Van Alstyne became so convinced he could beat the game that he quit his job and moved to Las Vegas.

Van Alstyne’s first WSOP cash was in 1994.

Van Alstyne finished 16th in the 1999 WSOP Main Event.

Van Alstyne came close to winning a gold bracelet many times. But this was his first win. He finished in second place in the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event (#21) which concluded three days ago.

Van Alstyne can rightfully claim to be the top H.O.R.S.E. player of this year’s WSOP – with a first- and second-place showing in two events.

Van Alstyne collected $247,033 for first place. He was also awarded his first WSOP gold bracelet.

According to the official records, Van Alstyne now has 1 win, 6 final table appearances, and 13 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.

Van Alstyne currently has $726,075 in WSOP winnings.

This was Van Alstyne’s third final table appearance so far at this year’s WSOP.

Winner Quotes (James Van Alstyne)

On winning his first WSOP gold bracelet, after coming in second jus days earlier: “It feels really good to win. Last time, I was a little bit disappointed. Also, you do not want to have the chip lead when we get down to two players and then not win. With closing this out, I feel a sense of relief.”

On H.O.R.S.E. versus Hold’em and other games: “A lot of the other games are full of specialists, particularly Hold’em. But in H.O.R.S.E. you can see a lot of errors being made. I know I make my own errors, of course. But throughout the tournament, there are a lot of mistakes being made. But in No-Limit Hold’em, you see a lot of really good play.”

On playing blackjack versus poker: “Blackjack is tough. You get all kinds of scrutiny. I was also the type they look for – being sort of a young, geeky guy concentrating on the cards. Poker is so much easier than blackjack.”

The Final Table

The final table contained only one former WSOP gold bracelet winner -- Farzad Rouhani (9th).

The final table included an older mix of players than has normally been seen at most WSOP events played so far this year. About half of all final table player to this point have been aged in their 20s. But at this finale, only one player was in his 20s.

The runner up was Tad Jurgens, from Phoenix, AZ. This was his 12th time to cash and highest finish WSOP ever.

The third-place finisher was Mitch Schock, from Bismarck, ND. He has now cashed nine times at the WSOP – including two Main Events in 2005 and 2006. Schock collected $329,865 for his 29th-place finish in 2006, in what was the largest live poker tournament in history.

The fourth-place finisher was Bryan “the Icon” Micon, from Las Vegas, NV. Micon is one of poker’s true anarchists, hosting his own poker site (, which is an in-your-face exchange of candid opinion and commentary. This marked Micon’s highest WSOP finish to date. He finished 63rd in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.

The fifth-place finisher was Shannon Shorr, from Tuscaloosa, AL. This was his 12th time to cash at the WSOP and was his highest finish, to date.

The sixth-place finisher was Brian Malcolm. From Redmond, WA. He is a software design engineer.

The seventh-place finisher was Fabrice Soulier, from Las Vegas, NV. Soulier is originally from France. Soulier has now cashed five times at this year’s WSOP – which places him into a three-way tie for most cashes (at the conclusion of this event). Soulier now has 13 in-the-money finishes, since 2004.

The eighth-place finisher was Ron “Schifty” Schiffman, from Cherry Hill, NJ. He is a well-known Atlantic City poker player.

The ninth-place finisher was former WSOP gold bracelet winner Farzad Rouhani (a.k.a. “Freddy”), from Germantown, MD. He won the Omaha High-Low Split / Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split championship last year.

In-the-Money Finishers

Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Farzad Rouhani, Chris Bjorin, Thor Hansen, Eddie Fishman, Paul Darden, David Singer, James Schaaf, and Doug Saab.

With this cash, Chris Bjorin now has 45 in-the-money finishes, which currently ranks him in a tie for 13th place on the all-time cashes list.

With this cash, Thor Hansen now has 44 in-the-money finishes, which currently ranks him in a tie for 15th place on the all-time cashes list.

The defending champion from 2009 was James Schaaf, from Torrance, CA. He cashed again this year, finishing in 65th place.

Odds and Ends

The $1,500 buy-in H.O.R.S.E event attracted 770 entries, close to last year’s turnout, which totaled 803 players.

This is the 20th of 31 tournaments completed thus far, with greater than a $1 million prize pool.

H.O.R.S.E. is an acronym for the five most popular poker games played inside American cardrooms today. H.O.R.S.E. tournaments include a rotation of the following games -- Hold'em, Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (also called Eight-or-Better). Many purists consider H.O.R.S.E. to be the ultimate test of poker skill, since it requires that players play all games well in order to win. This claim was perhaps best illustrated at the 2006 World Series of Poker, where H.O.R.S.E. returned to the tournament schedule after a long hiatus. For more than two decades, the late poker legend Chip Reese had been widely regarded as the best all-around player in the world. Appropriately, he won the inaugural tournament which cost $50,000 to enter and became the first H.O.R.S.E. world champion.

The rotation of games in this tournament lasts eight hands. In other words – following eight dealt hands of Hold'em, there are eight hands of Omaha High-Low followed by eight hands of Razz, and so forth.

This is the second of three H.O.R.S.E. tournaments on the 2009 WSOP schedule. The first was a $3,000 buy-in event won by Zac Fellows. There is the $50,000 buy-in world championship still to come.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory. The ceremony takes place on at center stage of the main tournament room and begins during the break of the noon tournament. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 pm. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played. The entire presentation is open to public and media. Video and photography is permitted by both media and the public.

The Event

The $1,500 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. event attracted 770 entries. The total prize pool amounted to $1,051,050. The top 72 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days.

The End of Day One chip leader was Sabic Sebastien, from Paris, France. He ended up finishing in 11th place.

Mitch Schock was the chip leader coming into the final table. He ended up finishing third.

James Van Alstyne came into the final table ranked eighth out of nine players. He seized the chip lead about mid-way through the six-hour finale.

Van Alstyne had a decisive advantage over Tad Jurgens when the final hand was dealt. The final hand of the tournament came in Seen-Card Stud when Van Alstyne’s pair of tens bested Jurgens’ pair of deuces.

The tournament officially began on Sunday, June 14th, at 5 pm. The tournament officially ended on Wednesday, June 17th, at 12:20 am.

Final Results

  Name Prize City State/Country
1 Van Alstyne, James $247,033 Las Vegas NV
2 Jurgens, Tad $152,654 Long Beach CA
3 Schock, Mitch $100,165 Bismarck ND
4 Micon, Bryan $69,505 Las Vegas NV
5 Shorr, Shannon $50,881 Tuscaloosa AL
6 Malcolm, Brian $39,183 Redmond WA
7 Soulier, Fabrice $31,657 Las Vegas NV
8 Schiffman, Ronald $26,780 Cherry Hill NJ
9 Rouhani, Farzad $19,265 Brigantine NJ
10 Maier, Lana $19,265 Bound Brook NJ
11 Sebastien, Sabic $13,831 Paris France
12 Marmorstein, Phillip $13,831 Gurnwald Germany
13 Gelencser, Peter $10,205 Budapest Hungary
14 Evans, Paul $10,205 Mount Shasta CA
15 Bryan, Dustin $7,903 Springfield OH
16 Bjorin, Chris $7,903 London United Kingdom
17 Serock, Joseph $5,906 San Franciso CA
18 Myerson, Alan $5,906 Sherman Oaks CA
19 Rousso, Vanessa $5,906 Hobe Sound FL
20 Raymond, Kathleen $5,906 Henderson NV
21 Iverson, Torstein $5,906 Oslo Norway
22 Darden, Paul $5,906 Las Vegas NV
23 Racener, John $5,906 Port Richey FL
24 Moore, Peter $5,906 Fernandina Beach FL
25 Lazarou, Vassilios $4,540 Las Vegas NV
26 Lewis, Robert $4,540 Leesburg VA
27 Devonshire, Bryan $4,540 Henderson NV
28 Black, Andrew $4,540 Dublin Ireland
29 Silveira, Leland $4,540 Santa Rosa CA
30 Grapenthien, Matthew $4,540 Chicago IL
31 Fuentes, Carlos $4,540 Pamplona Spain
32 Pardey, Rodney $4,540 Las Vegas NV
33 Hinton, Clyde $4,372 Odessa TX
34 Brodie Richard $4,372 Kirkland WA
35 Birk, Lawrence $4,372 Ann Arbor MI
36 Hofman, Ronnie $4,372 Dordrecht Netherlands
37 Krouner, Kenneth $4,372 Albany NY
38 Buckley, William $4,372 Phillipsburg NJ
39 Leinhos, Bonnie $4,372 Las Vegas NV
40 Acker, Timothy $4,372 Las Vegas NV
41 Singer David $4,330 Las Vegas NV
42 Sexton, Keith $4,330 Henderson NV
43 Fishman, Edward $4,330 Las Vegas NV
44 Schneyer, David $4,330 White Lake MI
45 Taylor David $4,330 Amelia OH
46 Plusch, Ryan $4,330 New York NY
47 Hansen, Thor $4,330 El Segundo CA
48 Wagner, Jeffrey $4,330 Los Angeles CA
49 Feldman, Peter $3,689 Harper Woods MI
50 Shrader, Damon $3,689 Portland OR
51 Odell, Frankie $3,689 Henderson NV
52 Kipnis, Adam $3,689 Northridge CA
53 Nematinia, Amir $3,689 Atlanta GA
54 Bluman, Ari $3,689 New York NY
55 Ezykowich, Keith $3,689 Gulfport MS
56 Traniello, Marco $3,689 Las Vegas NV
57 Simmons, Reginald $3,163 Tampa FL
58 Yano, Jason $3,163 San Franciso CA
59 Saab, Douglas $3,163 Trussville AL
60 Lozano, Rolando $3,163 Channelview TX
61 Eichel, William $3,163 Parker SD
62 Lonardo, Vincent $3,163 Davie FL
63 Dvorkis, Alan $3,163 Las Vegas NV
64 Golding, David $3,163 Loughton United Kingdom
65 Schaaf, James $2,848 Torrance CA
66 West, Thomas $2,848 Los Altos CA
67 Kurtzman, Eric $2,848 Las Vegas NV
68 Wheatley, James $2,848 Harrisonburg VA
69 Selberis, Frank $2,848 Las Vegas NV
70 Koubi, Faud $2,848 Van Nuys CA
71 Crawford, Quincy $2,848 Ellicott City MD
72 Comer John $2,848 Canton OH

Information Licensing Terms: All information contained on this site is proprietary and owned by The Hendon Mob. Please read our Terms of Use and the conditions that apply before using any of the information on an occasional basis. For regular use of any of the information, please contact us regarding our licensing terms.

GPI® is a registered trademark in the United States under Registration No.4635015.