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WSOP 2009

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Event #36, $2,000 No Limit Hold'em, Final Results

Official Report
Event #36
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $2,000
Number of Entries: 1,695
Total Net Prize Pool: $3,084,900
Number of Places Paid: 171
First Place Prize: $586,212
June 18-20, 2009

Event Headlines

  1. Jordan Smith Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet
  2. After Just One Female Final Table Player in First 35 Events (Annie Duke), Two Female Players Make the Finals of Event 36
  3. Final Table Includes Chess Grandmaster and former European Champion Almira Skripchenko – Who Finishes Seventh

The Winner

The 2009 World Series of Poker $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em champion is Jordan Smith, from College Station, TX.

Smith is a 27-year-old professional poker player.

Smith admits that his decision to play poker for a living caused some hardship, enduring virtually unavoidable financial pitfalls. Smith stated that each time he encountered difficulties, various backers (including his parents) were willing to help him out in times of need.

Smith was highly complimentary of his mother and father, who he noted “are the best parents in the world.” Smith stated that his parents have helped him at various times when he was down and have generally been very supportive of their son and his career as a poker player.

When age 21, Smith dropped out of junior college to play poker for a living. He has been playing since then full time. He mostly plays online.

Prior to his victory, Smith’s highest WSOP finish was 10th-place in 2007.

Smith collected $586,212 for first place. He was also awarded his first WSOP gold bracelet.

According to the official records, Jason now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance, and 13 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP. He has $693,824 in career WSOP winnings.

Winner Quotes (Jordan Smith)

On what it means to win a WSOP gold bracelet: “It’s the World Series of Poker….I play for living and I play for money. But so far as prestigious things go, winning the gold bracelet is the only goal to have.”

On his goals coming into this year’s WSOP: “I wanted to win a gold bracelet and make a million dollar score. So, I’m past half of that now.”

On whether or not the victory will change the direction of his poker career: “Maybe. But I’m still the same person.”

On his relationship with his parents and their reaction to his decision to play poker professionally: “They wanted me to stay in school. But after I had some success, they said – ‘if poker makes you happy, do it.”

On the ups and downs of playing poker for a living” “I’ve had some ups and downs. They (my parents) have really helped me when I was struggling. They helped me with moral support and financial support.”

On the timing of his victory: “This definitely came at the right time. I usually get blessed when I need it the most. I guess I am very fortunate.”

On his plans to come to the WSOP: “I was not sure if I was going to come. I was pretty much broke. It’s been a rough year or so. I was looking for backers and people turned me down. Now, I guess they are not too happy about that.”

On his views about poker in his home state of Texas: “I think poker definitely needs to be legalized and regulated. Legalize it. Tax it. Regulate it. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to tell me what to do or how to spend my money – even though they sure want a cut of this (taxes) whenever I win it.”

The Final Table

The final table contained no former WSOP gold bracelet winners. This was the 12th of 36 finales held this year with no former winners -- which guaranteed a first-time champion.

The final table included nine players from five different nations – including Canada (2), England (2), France (1), Sweden (1), and the United States (3).

This was the first final table at this year’s WSOP with more than one female player. Laurence Grondin finished third and Almira Skripchenko finished seventh.

The runner up was Ken Lennaard, from Stockholm, Sweden. He is a wine merchant. In what was his ninth time to cash at the WSOP and best finish ever, Lennaard picked up $360,439 for second place.

The third-place finisher was Laurence Grondin, from Montreal, QB (Canada). She became the highest female finisher so far at this year’s WSOP. Grondin was convinced to play in this event at the last minute by some friends. That turned out to be a terrific investment as third place paid $237,537

The fourth-place finisher was Joe Morneau, from Candia, NH. This was his first time to cash at the WSOP.

The fifth-place finisher was Anthony Roux, from London, England. This was his fourth time to cash at the WSOP.

The sixth-place finisher was Patrick Atchison, from Fort Worth, TX. He has cashed in various WSOP Circuit events, in addition to the WSOP in Las Vegas.

The seventh-place finisher was Almira Skripchenko, from Paris, France. Skripchenko is a professional chess player. She is originally from Moldova and started competing in international chess matches as a teenager. Skripchenko has won several major chess titles, most notably the individual ladies European Championship in 2001. She was decorated with the “National Order of Merit” by her native country of Moldova for her accomplishments and continues to represent herself and her nation in international competition. This marked her first time to cash at the WSOP.

The eighth-place finisher was Andrew Seden, from London, England. This was his second cash within a week’s time, as he took 18th’s place in the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event.

The ninth-place finisher was Jonathan Plens, from Toronto, ON (Canada). He finished 42nd in last year’s WSOP Main Event.

In-the-Money Finishers

Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Robert Cheung, Dick Carson, Hieu (Tony) Ma, and Rob Hollink.

David “Chino” Rheem, who finished seventh in the 2008 WSOP Main Event cashed for the first time at this year’s WSOP – finishing in 80th place.

The defending champion from 2009 was Alexandre Gomes, from Curitiba, Brazil. He entered this event but did not cash.

Odds and Ends

Turnout for this year’s $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship was about as expected – with 1,695 players. By comparison, all of the $1,500 buy-in events this year have drawn in excess of 2,000 players. However, the higher buy-in for this event trims the field size down slightly.

This is the 25th of 36 tournaments completed thus far at this year’s WSOP, with more than a $1 million prize pool.

Seven more events are scheduled for live coverage of the final table, which are split between ESPN 360 and Bluff Media. For a complete broadcast schedule of events, go to:

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 $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship attracted 1,695 entries. The total prize pool amounted to $3,084,900. The top 171 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days.

The chip leader coming into the final table was Pat Atchison. He ended up finishing sixth.

Winner Jordan Smith came into the final table ranked seventh out of nine players.

Play at the final table lasted about nine hours.

The final hand came when Jordan Smith flopped a diamond flush against Ken Lennaard, who flopped a higher-flush draw with top pair. Smith had 9-7 of diamonds. Lennaard had J-8 (jack of diamonds). The final board showed 8-4-3-3-6, with three diamonds. That meant Smith’s flush held up. He won the tournament.

The tournament officially began on Friday, June 19th, at 12 noon. The tournament officially ended on Sunday, June 21st, at 12:45 am.

Final Results

  Name Prize City State/Country
1 Smith, Jordan $586,212 College Station TX
2 Lennaard, Ken $360,439 Stockholm Sweden
3 Grondin, Laurence $237,537 Montreal QC, Canada
4 Morneau, Joe $166,584 Candia NH
5 Roux, Anthony $120,311 London United Kingdom
6 Atchison, Patrick $95,631 Fort Worth TX
7 Skripchenko, Almira $78,664 Paris France
8 Seden, Andrew $67,867 London United Kingdom
9 Plens, Jonathan $61,081 Toronto ON, Canada
10 Woodall, Warren $42,880 Los Angeles CA
11 Powell Jack $42,880 London United Kingdom
12 Tabb, Steven $42,880 Newton MA
13 Chen, Tommy $30,016 San Fransico CA
14 Neckar, Jonathan $30,016 Blue River WI
15 White Adam $30,016 Tempe AZ
16 Cole, Corwin $21,008 Covina CA
17 White Andrew $21,008 Galashiels  
18 Yates, Kenneth $21,008 Friendswood TX
19 Cutler, Joseph $15,270 Bay Shore NY
20 Mazzie, Robert $15,270 Pittsburgh PA
21 Brown, Kyle $15,270 Fort Lauderdale FL
22 Brown, Jamie $15,270 Birchington United Kingdom
23 Bevand, Manuel $15,270 Paris France
24 Baldwin, Joseph $15,270 University Place WA
25 Rich, Jordan $15,270 Portland OR
26 Harder, Christian $15,270 Annapolis MD
27 Tokarczyk, George $15,270 Burke SD
28 Wong, Marty $13,141 Napa CA
29 Heger, William $13,141 Union City NJ
30 Kovacs Andras $13,141 Budapest Hungary
31 Miner, William $13,141 Chicago IL
32 Meyers, Brandon $13,141 Robbinsdale MN
33 Mozingo, Christopher $13,141 Alexandria VA
34 McGowan, Joe $13,141 Las Vegas NV
35 Mrozek, Michael $13,141 Houston TX
36 Mcclain, James $13,141 Riverside CA
37 Ward, Denis $10,735 Thunder Bay ON, Canada
38 Kelly Kevin $10,735 Scottsdale AZ
39 Yaginuma, Jesse $10,735 Silver Spring MD
40 Mayer, Aaron $10,735 Los Angeles CA
41 Sparta, Phillip $10,735 Fairfax VA
42 Andrews Scott $10,735 Graham TX
43 Axman, Ingemar $10,735 Trogstad Norway
44 Ryan, Steve $10,735 Brooklyn NY
45 Levy, Elliot $10,735 Arlington Hts. IL
46 Bradpiece, Jerome $9,069 Harrow United Kingdom
47 Panone, Donovan $9,069 Marietta GA
48 Demaci, Christopher $9,069 Stanton CA
49 Woods, Darren $9,069 Cleethorees United Kingdom
50 Firestone, Robert $9,069 Santa Barbara CA
51 Myers, Gary $9,069 Crystal Lake IL
52 Vance, Matthew $9,069 Lowville NY
53 Chotikul, Jeffrey $9,069 Centreville VA
54 Brockington, Mark $9,069 Edmonton AB, Canada
55 Wheeler, Terry $7,866 Granite Bay CA
56 Gray Jason $7,866 Troutdale OR
57 Salas, Damian $7,866 Chascomus Argentina
58 Fennell, Jason $7,866 Santa Maria CA
59 Lippert, Adam $7,866 Brooklyn NY
60 Butzberger, Joseph $7,866 Dallas TX
61 Dirksen, Dustin $7,866 Las Vegas NV
62 Molinari, Matthew $7,866 New York NY
63 Wheeler, Jason $7,866 Chula Vista CA
64 King, Steven $6,971 Visalia CA
65 Cheung, Robert $6,971 Vancouver BC, Canada
66 Pahuja, Vineet $6,971 Hicksville NY
67 Brown, Robert $6,971 Roseville CA
68 Parizon, Michael $6,971 Canton MI
69 Mcnally, Steven $6,971 Henderson NV
70 Ma, Hieu $6,971 S El Monte CA
71 Koon, Jason $6,971 Las Vegas NV
72 White, John $6,971 Portland OR
73 LaGarde, Matthew $6,262 Salisbury MD
74 Goethals, Theo $6,262 Olds AB, Canada
75 Kishnev, Sergey $6,262 Moscow Russia
76 Dekorver, Pieter $6,262 Leeuwarden Netherlands
77 O 'Shaughessy, Ian $6,262 Trois-Rivieres QC, Canada
78 Krause, Andreas $6,262 Heilbronn Germany
79 Burbick, Corey $6,262 Davie FL
80 Rheem, David $6,262 Los Angeles CA
81 Sumi, William $6,262 San Jose CA
82 Horton, Brian $5,614 Richardson TX
83 Pechac, James $5,614 Phoenix AZ
84 Demes, Brandon $5,614 Tempe AZ
85 Shlez, Vadim $5,614 Brooklyn NY
86 Abboud, Tark $5,614 Valencia Spain
87 Zelinka, Robert $5,614 Delray Beach FL
88 Geoum, In Sun $5,614 New York NY
89 Sackler, Jason $5,614 Orlando FL
90 James, Kenna $5,614 Las Vegas NV
91 Romanello, Roberto $5,090 Gorseinon United Kingdom
92 Roberts, Jaime $5,090 London United Kingdom
93 Mihaly, Gregory $5,090 Seabrook TX
94 Todd Eugene $5,090 Brooklyn NY
95 Vullion, Pascal $5,090 St Laurent des-Vignes France
96 Downend, James $5,090 Media PA
97 Anton, Daniel $5,090 Chula Vista CA
98 Binger, Michael $5,090 Las Vegas NV
99 Wilcox, David $5,090 Olathe KS
100 Thacker, Kyle $4,658 Naples FL
101 Brendo, Oddvar $4,658 Stavanger Norway
102 O'Brien, Daniel $4,658 Las Vegas, NV NV
103 DePalma, Wayne $4,658 Lakewood CO
104 Fyshe, Adam $4,658 Ottawa ON, Canada
105 Martin Michael $4,658 Washington Crossing PA
106 De La Gorge, Guillaume $4,658 London United Kingdom
107 Hollink, Rob $4,658 Groningen Netherlands
108 Campbell, Rhynie $4,658 Las Vegas NV
109 Becker, Jeff $4,658 Las Vegas NV
110 Arvanitis, Christos $4,658 Saint-Laurent QC, Canada
111 Myung, John $4,658 Vienna VA
112 Gerasimova, Liya $4,658 Moscow Russia
113 Gabriel, Thomas $4,658 Lake Mary FL
114 Sileo, James $4,658 Burbank CA
115 Forde, Stephen $4,658 Cork Australia
116 Tighe, David $4,658 Birmimgham United Kingdom
117 Fox, David $4,658 Coram NY
118 Childs William $4,318 Southern Pines NC
119 Sacrispeyre, Patrick $4,318 Paris France
120 Dominski, Paul $4,318 Minnetonka MN
121 Bramlett, Bradley $4,318 The Colony TX
122 Semisoshenko, Maxim $4,318 St. Peterburg Russia
123 Wong, Brandon $4,318 Clovis CA
124 Tsinis, Arkadiy $4,318 Las Vegas NV
125 Rebecca, Thomas $4,318 Wheaton IL
126 Bohm, Thomas $4,318 Kronshagen Germany
127 Vitagliano, Umberto $4,318 Rome Italy
128 Kam, Leo $4,318 Ottawa ON, Canada
129 Yanovski, Leonid $4,318 Haifa Israel
130 Bain, Gary $4,318 Vancouver BC, Canada
131 Vazquez, Francisco $4,318 Dallas TX
132 Deeb, Shaun $4,318 Troy NY
133 Haglund, Gary $4,318 Colorado Springs CO
134 Mirzikinian, Warwick $4,318 Sydney Australia
135 Bibi, Steven $4,318 Plymouth MI
136 Dolan, Charles $4,318 Fountainvalley CA
137 Xu, Dong $4,318 Rosemead CA
138 Suharto, Darus $4,318 Toronto ON, Canada
139 Hamby, Jared $4,318 Henderson NV
140 Berube, Antoine $4,318 Quebec City QC, Canada
141 Wagner, Gunter $4,318 Muelheim Germany
142 Hoefs, Steven $4,318 Avalon CA
143 Connaly, Charles $4,318 Pasadena TX
144 Switzer, Brett $4,318 Athens GA
145 Heinrichs, Benjamin $4,010 Chico CA
146 Bergstrom, Lars $4,010 Sundbyberg Sweden
147 Tuttle, A Jeremy $4,010 Lehi UT
148 Coetzer, Conrad $4,010 Johannesburg South Africa
149 Marcucci, Gianluca $4,010 Claviere Italy
150 Terrell, Karec $4,010 Brownstown IN
151 Hobson, Gregory $4,010 Portland OR
152 Wan Jeffrey $4,010 Staten Island NY
153 Cappello, Joseph $4,010 New Rochelle NY
154 Butler, Ashley $4,010 Tampa FL
155 Huang, Yue $4,010 San Francisco CA
156 Fukui, Ibuki $4,010 Avon CO
157 Reeder, Brent $4,010 Santee CA
158 Conaway, John $4,010 Williamsville NY
159 Blackwell, Trevor $4,010 Honolulu HI
160 Rustemoglu, Agop $4,010 Ft Lauderdale FL
161 Fenlon, Jarrett $4,010 Richmond CA
162 Tovish, Nina $4,010 Wasington DC
163 Bivins, David $4,010 Browns Mills NJ
164 Whitley, David $4,010 Homestead FL
165 Druif, Pieter $4,010 Oostwoud Netherlands
166 Carson, Dick $4,010 Mansfield MA
167 Paris, Bryan $4,010 Dana Pointe CA
168 Santiago, Alex $4,010 West Hartford CT
169 Rinaldi, Riccardo $4,010 Lucca Italy
170 Rightmire, Robin $4,010 Glenwood Springs CO
171 Botond, Balazs * $2,005 Budapest Hungary
171 Kornuth, Chance * $2,005 Denver CO

* both received $2005 for equal 171st

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