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WSOP 2009

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Event #7, $1,500 No Limit Hold'em, Final Report & Results

Official Report
Event #7
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $1,500
Number of Entries: 2,791
Total Net Prize Pool: $3,809,715
Number of Places Paid: 297
First Place Prize: $666,853
June 2-4, 2009

The Winner

The 2009 World Series of Poker $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event was Travis Johnson, from North Hills, CA.

Johnson is a 30-year-old underwriter who works for Bank of America.

Johnson was born in Nebraska, but grew up in Colorado. He attended and graduated from Cal-State Lutheran University. He has lived in California since 1999.

Johnson won his way into this tournament by playing in a single-table satellite. He turned a $340 investment into $666,853. That currently stands as the single biggest return on investment ratio at this year’s WSOP.

Johnson stated he is an amateur poker player. “I am not a professional,” he stated. “I play once or twice a week.”

Johnson was inspired to start playing poker when he saw it televised. One of the things that fueled his interest in the game was Chris Moneymaker’s historical victory in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, which was shown on ESPN. He admits to being part of the so-called “Moneymaker Effect.”

Johnson started out playing $2-4 limit, mostly at Hollywood Park Casino, in Inglewood, CA. He then gravitated to small blind No-Limit games.

Johnson took a week off of work to attend this year’s WSOP. He arrived in Las Vegas with a poker bankroll of about $3,500 in his pocket. Johnson played in two cash games his first two days and lost about $1,000. “I was so down,” Johnson recalled. “I decided, ‘forget this’ – I’m going to play in a satellite. I knew I could do it. Now, here I am, what 48 hours later? I am standing here with you guys being interviewed.”

“I can’t even comprehend what I am going to do,” Johnson stated in a post-tournament interview conducted at tableside. “I was happy to win $3,000 in a single-table satellite yesterday. I cashed. Three grand looked good. So, if that looked good, I can’t even fathom what this means….It’s just so over my head right now.

This was Johnson’s second time to play in a WSOP tournament. He first played two years ago in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event.

“It’s crazy. Poker has exploded to obscene levels,” Johnson said. “What does this room hold, two hundred tables? It’s insane!” Note: Actually, this year’s WSOP has about 300 tables.

Johnson insisted he is not superstitious. Yet he wore the same clothes over three consecutive days. He also says that he walked through the exact same door every single time he entered the tournament room. “I did that the first day and I did not think about it. But then I started to get chips and I said I did not want to change anything. Normally, I am not superstitious. But I said to myself, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Don’t do anything differently.”

Johnson added: “When it comes to poker, I believe if you treat the dealers and players respectfully, I think that pays dividends later. I do not view poker as a short-term thing. It is a long-term thing for me. I’m not going to quit because I just won all this money. I am going to continue because I enjoy the game. I enjoy the camaraderie and the competition….If you respect the game and the players, I think that will pay off over time.”

When asked about his future career plans, Johnson said: “I have a job. But now, that is tricky” he said jokingly. “Six-hundred grand sure is a lot of money….I do love my job so I am certainly going back to work in a few days.”

Johnson collected $666,853 for first place. He was also awarded his first WSOP gold bracelet. This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP event.

“The bottom line is – this is fun,” Johnson said. “The World Series of Poker is history-book stuff. I still can’t grasp it all.”

The Players

The final table was comprised of no former WSOP gold bracelet winners. Other than the Casino Employees tournament (Event 1), this was the first event held this year which guaranteed a first-time winner.

The runner up was Steve Karp, from North Miami Beach, FL. Karp is a poker pro.

Michael Ciotola, a restaurant owner from Dublin, OH finished in third place.

The fourth-place finisher was Mark Salinaro, from White Plains, NY. This was his first-ever WSOP event.

Fifth place went to Craig McConville, from Mendota, IL.

Sixth place went to Brian McInnis, from Houston, TX.

Seventh place went to Walter Wright, from Las Vegas, NV.

Eighth place went to Jim McClain, from Riverside, CA.

Ninth-place went to Kam Weng Low. From Toronto, ON (Canada).

The defending champion in this event was Grant Hinkle, from Overland Park, KS. Last year, he won $831,462 in what was (until this year) the largest WSOP non-Main Event tournament in history. This year, Hinkle cashed again – taking 126th place.

Odds and Ends

It’s hard to comprehend that an event of this field size -- with 2,791 players – doesn’t make headlines nowadays. Ten years ago this week, The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas held a poker tournament (The Orleans Open) which drew slightly over 1,000 entries. At the time, the announcement made a splash in the poker press. Many poker players wondered how 1,000 or more entrants could all fit into one competition. Now, tournament fields double-sized, triple-sized, quadruple-sized, and even bigger are quite common at the WSOP.

The turnout for this tournament was right on par with what was expected. The six $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em events played last year attracted – 3928, 2,706, 2,304, 2,720, 2,717, and 2,693 – about in line with the number this year. Five more identical events are scheduled in 2009.

The final table was actually played in three different locations. Due to other tournaments going on, most notably Phil Ivey’s late sixth-gold bracelet win which took place on the ESPN Main Stage, the finalists were not transferred to the larger arena until play became six-handed. The larger stage and seating area was necessary as the finale attracted a large crowd.

This event was not televised. It was originally scheduled for online broadcast. But Bluff Media decided to stream Phil Ivey’s win in Event #8 instead. At least 23 more events are scheduled, which are split between ESPN 360 and Bluff Media. For a complete broadcast schedule of all events, go to:http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com/tourney/tourneydetails.asp?groupID=607

The Event

The $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event attracted 2,791 entrants. This created a prize pool totaling $$3,809,715. The top 297 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over a three-day period.

The final hand of the night came when a race took place between Travis Johnson and Steve Karp. Johnson had A-Q. Karp had 5-5. The flop favored Karp, but a queen on the turn gave Johnson a higher pair and left Karp drawing to just two outs. Karp missed, which game Johnson the victory.

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 Johnson, Travis $666,853 North Hills CA
2 Karp, Steve $414,116 North Miami Beach Fl
3 Ciotola, Michael $273,385 Dublin OH
4 Salinaro, Mark $193,343 White Plains NY
5 McConville, Craig $145,721 Mendota IL
6 McInnis, Brian $116,234 Houston TX
7 Wright, Walter $97,985 Las Vegas NV
8 McClain, James $87,013 Riverside CA
9 Low, Kam $81,185 Toronto ON, Canada
10 Kalb, Jacob $56,955 Philadelphia PA
11 Tang, Gary $56,955 Ithaca NY
12 Pesek, Michael $56,955 Carol Stream IL
13 Souza, Phillip $39,963 Fredericton NB, Canada
14 Fett, Robert $39,963 Berkley CA
15 Martin, Michael $39,963 New York NY
16 Bott, James $28,039 Lakewood CO
17 Riesenberg, Jason $28,039 Halbur IA
18 Fowler, Jerry $28,039 San Angelo TX
19 Miller, Clinton $19,658 Mokane MO
20 Longwith, Max $19,658 Marietta GA
21 Kuzmicki, Justin $19,658 Montreal QC, Canada
22 Joseph, Jeremy $19,658 Las Vegas NV
23 Vandervort, Bruce $19,658 El Paso TX
24 Smith, George $19,658 Cave Creek AZ
25 Krouner, Kenneth $19,658 Roswell GA
26 Dominski, Paul $19,658 Minnetonka MN
27 Safieddine, Francois $19,658 Denver CO
28 Fulmer, Jesse $15,429 Belle Center OH
29 Koral, Tom $15,429 Skokie IL
30 Passavant, James $15,429 West Orange NJ
31 Ahuja, Sarang $15,429 Hallandale Beach FL
32 Remmert, Travis $15,429 Iowa City IA
33 Heger, William $15,429 Union City NJ
34 Newburger, Jason $15,429 Vernon Hills IL
35 Choi, Cristian $15,429 Los Angeles CA
36 Gugger, Gregory $15,429 Chicago IL
37 Glasser, Michael $11,505 Boca Raton FL
38 Gibralter, Jeffrey $11,505 Rockwall TX
39 Larsen, Edward $11,505 Louisville KY
40 Smith, Joshua $11,505 Greensboro NC
41 Bac, Dao $11,505 San Diego CA
42 Pechie, Justin $11,505 Thompson CT
43 Granlund, Peter $11,505 Uppsala Sweden
44 Uzan, Philippe $11,505 Saint Mande France
45 Michaels, Steven $11,505 Everett WA
46 Stoffel, Chad $9,029 Denver CO
47 Melgarejo, Jaime $9,029 Houston TX
48 Ellis, Michael $9,029 Culford Gardens London
49 Hagan, Sean $9,029 Erieville NY
50 Drill, Nathan $9,029 North Mankato MN
51 Dolan, Charles $9,029 Fountainvalley CA
52 Bartlema, Wolbert $9,029 Nieuw Beerta The Netherlands
53 Greeley, Victor $9,029 Kitchener ON, Canada
54 Nguyen, Qui $9,029 Las Vegas NV
55 Wajcman, Brent $7,390 Dollard-Des-Ormeaux QB, Canada
56 Selldorff, Frank $7,390 Boston MA
57 Volpe, Paul $7,390 Turnersville NJ
58 Hinnegan, Brady $7,390 Toronto ON, Canadad
59 Shioji, Ron $7,390 Pearl City HI
60 Smith, Patrick $7,390 Montgomery AL
61 Naujoks, Sandra $7,390 Berlin Germany
62 Permejo, John $7,390 Diamond Bar CA
63 Torres, Gabriel $7,390 Valinda CA
64 Flores, Dion $6,209 Lansing MI
65 Langmann, Florian $6,209 Oiogg Germany
66 Allis, Michael $6,209 Post Falls ID
67 Haakenson, Erik $6,209 San Francisco CA
68 Campbell, Paul $6,209 Tyrone CO
69 Hamade, Tyler $6,209 Abbotsford BC, Canada
70 Degeorge, Joseph $6,209 W Henrietta NY
71 Grant, Darren $6,209 Toronto ON, Canada
72 Hamadani, Kia $6,209 W Los Angeles CA
73 Pollowitz, Michael $5,333 Shoreline WA
74 Haglund, Gary $5,333 Colorado Springs CO
75 Lin, David $5,333 Dunwoody GA
76 Murphy, Stephen $5,333 Kearny NJ
77 Tayar, Stephane $5,333 San Francisco CA
78 Jones, Wesley $5,333 Spring TX
79 Whitt, Leo $5,333 Louisville KY
80 Flowers, Robert $5,333 Macomb Township MI
81 Gershenfeld, Andrew $5,333 Yardley PA
82 Schomer, Benjamin $4,609 Clarkson MI
83 Fernandez, Jacobo $4,609 Hollywood FL
84 Rodriquez, Mario $4,609 Miami FL
85 Perera, Mario $4,609 Mission Hills St CA
86 Hall, John $4,609 Las Vegas NV
87 Casper, Joel $4,609 Chicago IL
88 Chan, Gary $4,609 Westminster CA
89 Smith, John $4,609 La Habra Hgts CA
90 Nassar, Mazen $4,609 Homer Glen IL
91 Bueti, Antonio $4,038 Mt. Kisco NY
92 Jung, Hyun $4,038 Los Angeles CA
93 Souza, Michael $4,038 San Diego CA
94 Gregg, Anthony $4,038 Columbia MD
95 Paasonen, Mika $4,038 Hameenlinna Finland
96 Yim, Chae $4,038 Kent WA
97 Eydelsteyn, Gustavo $4,038 Atherton CA
98 Cantu, Brandon $4,038 Las Vegas NV
99 Cross, Peter $4,038 Waterloo ON, Canada
100 Buechner, Andrew $3,581 Narberth PA
101 Gudinas, Deborah $3,581 Phoenix AZ
102 Hesse, Coby $3,581 Missouri City TX
103 Keikoan, Matthew $3,581 San Rafael CA
104 Levine, David $3,581 Belmont CA
105 Murdia, Kunal $3,581 Los Angeles CA
106 Fani, Ron $3,581 Los Angeles CA
107 Segall, Jesse $3,581 Las Vegas NV
108 Sidoryk, Joseph $3,581 Elmhurst IL
109 Cohen, Scott $3,581 Atlanta GA
110 Deeb, Shaun $3,581 Troy NY
111 Michael, John $3,581 Henderson NV
112 Macgregor, Bruce $3,581 Port Orange FL
113 Schneider, Michael $3,581 Covington GA
114 Bell, Christopher $3,581 Raleigh NC
115 Jackson, Richard $3,581 Key West FL
116 De Niro, Joe $3,581 Studio City CA
117 Shaw, William $3,581 Seattle WA
118 Woelfel, Wade $3,581 Mankato MN
119 Burmeister, Christopher $3,581 Eau Claire WI
120 Williams, Christine Kim $3,581 Las Vegas NV
121 Moorman, Daniel $3,581 Chicago IL
122 Todd Tyner, Nancy $3,581 Las Vegas NV
123 Brownscombe, Thomas $3,581 Lindsborg KS
124 Margolis, David $3,581 Louisville TN
125 Willis, Curtis $3,581 Heber City UT
126 Hinkle, Grant $3,581 Overland Park KS
127 Tunkel, Jeffrey $3,581 Naperville IL
128 Appel, Michael $3,581 Boston MA
129 Meehan, James $3,581 Burnsville MN
130 Fodera, Elliott $3,581 Orlando FL
131 Sanner, Jon $3,581 Las Vegas NV
132 Kwok, Matthew $3,581 Vancouver BC, Canada
133 Asensio, Marcelo $3,581 San Paulo Brazil
134 Keehn, Jeremy $3,581 San Francisco CA
135 Bieler, Allan $3,581 Plantation FL
136 Mizzi, Sorel $3,276 Toronto ON, Canada
137 Alcober, Benjamin $3,276 Chino Hills CA
138 Leonard, Mark $3,276 Dallas TX
139 Mu, Wei $3,276 Pearl City HI
140 Childs, William $3,276 Alexandria VA
141 Yarbrough, Donald $3,276 Laughlin NV
142 Brennan, Craig $3,276 San Clemente CA
143 Dichiara, Derrick $3,276 Oviedo FL
144 Anstine, Timothy $3,276 Oregon City OR
145 Alber, John $3,276 Whittier CA
146 Luong, Tuyen $3,276 Fountain Valley CA
147 Jones, Kyle $3,276 Old Town ME
148 Vance, Matthew $3,276 Lowville NY
149 Hartwig, Christian $3,276 Greenwith Australia
150 Corr, Rodney $3,276 Granbury TX
151 Welch, Daniel $3,276 Tucson AZ
152 Sluzinski, Jeffrey $3,276 Las Vegas NV
153 Calonica, Colby $3,276 Los Altos CA
154 Jahke, Joshua $3,276 Los Angeles CA
155 Junstrom, Matthew $3,276 Toledo OH
156 Gonzales, Christopher $3,276 Fremont CA
157 Valencia, Joseph $3,276 Menifee CA
158 Slattery, Anthony $3,276 Camano Island WA
159 Mason, Robert $3,276 Oad View CA
160 Johnston, Robert $3,276 San Diego CA
161 Vrabel, Luke $3,276 West Hartford CT
162 Mahiout, Francis $3,276 Gentilly France
163 Genson, Eugene $3,276 Northridge CA
164 Treglio, Gerald $3,276 Las Vegas NV
165 Tyler, Wesley $3,276 Chicago IL
166 Restifo, Craig $3,276 Bronx NY
167 Zehm, Robert $3,276 Cypress TX
168 Messenger, Rebecca $3,276 Nashota WI
169 Bishop, Joseph $3,276 Cincinnatti OH
170 Lusk, Kevin $3,276 Reddle CA
171 Watts, Steven $3,276 London United Kingdom
172 Monroe, Richard $3,047 Sedalia CO
173 Hamagami, Clark $3,047 Vancouver BC, Canada
174 Hassan, Babajane $3,047 Hudson MA
175 Chattha, Charles $3,047 Leer Germany
176 Cohn, Paul $3,047 Bozeman MT
177 Transue, Linda $3,047 Tuscon AZ
178 Cohen, Randall $3,047 Naples FL
179 Winter, Mark $3,047 Carson City NV
180 Toth, Richard $3,047 Miskolc Hungary
181 Bozzano, Enio $3,047 Blumenau SC
182 Kenno, Martin $3,047 Maple ON, Canada
183 Becker, Mark $3,047 New York NY
184 Baker, Michael $3,047 Henderson NV
185 Halioua, Michel $3,047 Thornhill ON, Canada
186 Kim, Kevin $3,047 Los Angeles CA
187 Muchnik, Mark $3,047 Henderson NV
188 Miguel, Mario $3,047 Mexico City Mexico
189 Elizinga, Jason $3,047 Holland MI
190 Myerson, Alan $3,047 Sherman Oaks CA
191 Jacob, Alex $3,047 Tulsa OK
192 Brubaker, Brian $3,047 Centennial CO
193 Dickson, Samuel $3,047 Oxbow S K, Canada
194 Do, Quinn $3,047 El Monte CA
195 Habash, Gabi $3,047 Lexington KY
196 Nelson, Adcock $3,047 Virgina Beach VA
197 Nielson, Soren $3,047 Roslev Denmark
198 Ceci, Nicholas $3,047 Peachtree City GA
199 Price, Michael $3,047 Kansas City MO
200 Gera, Nikhil $3,047 Bronx NY
201 Lovett, Paul $3,047 Indianapolis IN
202 Wisniec, Laurent $3,047 Geneva, Switzerland
203 George, Scott $3,047 Moorpark CA
204 Horton, Kenneth $3,047 Suwanee GA
205 Purvis, Blakely $3,047 Montgomery AL
206 Boustani, Rocky $3,047 Dallas TX
207 Pilot, Shawn $3,047 North Hills CA
208 Hall, Galen $2,895 San Francisco CA
209 Barmaki, Ali $2,895 San Gabriel CA
210 Aronson, Uzi $2,895 Las Vegas NV
211 Phelps, Steven $2,895 Fruitport MI
212 Steed, Chance $2,895 College Station TX
213 Marks, Michael $2,895 Alpine CA
214 Rusnak, Francis $2,895 Chicago IL
215 Abbott, Michael $2,895 Los Angeles CA
216 Sinopoli, Frank $2,895 Hollywood FL
217 Buhion, Benjamin $2,895 Salinas CA
218 Greco, Jeffery $2,895 Austin TX
219 Cooper, Jerry $2,895 St George UT
220 Currier, Robert $2,895 Knoxville TN
221 Houghton, Laurence $2,895 London United Kingdom
222 Axtman, Bruce $2,895 Chicago IL
223 Ungrey, Steven $2,895 Rickford MI
224 Depa, Jonathan $2,895 Chicago IL
225 Paxton, Doug $2,895 Weatherford OK
226 Palmer, Gavin $2,895 Las Vegas NV
227 White, Daniel $2,895 Mount Dora FL
228 Garcia, Andres $2,895 Salinas CA
229 Ettelman, Craig $2,895 Pinecrest FL
230 Graziano, Vincent $2,895 New Port Richey FL
231 Bruan, Kristin $2,895 New York NY
232 Klein, Loren $2,895 West Branch MI
233 Schmidt, Ryan $2,895 Anchorage AK
234 Nicholas, Grippo $2,895 Arlington Heights IL
235 Wong, Angus $2,895 Ottawa ON, Canada
236 Eidsvig, Trond $2,895 Alesund Norway
237 Furey, Michele $2,895 San Francisco CA
238 Julius, Ryan $2,895 Naperville IL
239 Robinson, Charles $2,895 Raleigh St NC
240 Kwaysser, Valdemar $2,895 Budapest Hungary
241 Markham, Jonathan $2,895 Elkhorn, WI
242 Lee, Anthony $2,895 Honolulu HI
243 Cornell, Christopher $2,895 Clarksville TN
244 Anirudh, Seth $2,895 Las Vegas NV
245 Chan, Alexandre $2,895 San Jose CA
246 Nguyen, Phi $2,895 Santa Ana CA
247 Asch, Bryan $2,895 Poway CA
248 Vipusithimakool, Tony $2,895 San Francisco CA
249 Ladouceur, Marc $2,895 Greensboro NC
250 Hicks, Kenneth $2,895 Huntiington WV
251 Barkan, Robert $2,895 Key West FL
252 George, Gil $2,895 Desoto TX
253 Pardo, Robert $2,742 White Plains NY
254 Silvanovich, Mark $2,742 North Vancouver BC, Canada
255 Russell, Colin $2,742 Philadelphia PA
256 Brady, Michael $2,742 Tuscon AZ
257 Carli, Douglas $2,742 Alliance OH
258 Kocian, Roman $2,742 Blacklick OH
259 Subilia, Samuel $2,742 Wells ME
260 Molloy, Denise $2,742 LA JOLLA CA
261 Griffeth, Roongsak $2,742 Columbus GA
262 Wheldon, Graham $2,742 St Neots Cambs UK
263 Guerena, William $2,742 Canyon Cntry CA
264 Getzwiller, Sean $2,742 Tucson AZ
265 Fiel, Marc $2,742 Long Beach CA
266 Delvin, Stephen $2,742 Omagh Co. Tyrone UK
267 Cruz, Sandra $2,742 White Plains NY
268 Turmezey, Peter $2,742 Budapest Hungary
269 Greene, John $2,742 Orlando, FL FL
270 Snow, Alan $2,742 Lynnwood WA
271 Thornbury, Casey $2,742 Riverside CA
272 Quast, Robert $2,742 Carver MN
273 Izes, Jeffrey $2,742 Washington Xng PA
274 Amburgey, Jacob $2,742 Marina CA
275 Brenn, Todd $2,742 Tallmadge OH
276 Quilloy, Marlon $2,742 San Antonio TX
277 Berda, Tomer $2,742 Menlo Park CA
278 Vohra, Rajesh $2,742 Lake Work FL
279 Pozefsky, Harry $2,742 Glovesrville NY
280 Feindt, Christopher $2,742 New Smyrna Beach FL
281 Pinkow, Brian $2,742 Syosset NY
282 Myiow, Stanley $2,742 Kahnawake QC, Canada
283 Look, Harold $2,742 Valley Springs CA
284 Cablay, Teddy $2,742 Honolulu HI
285 Muntifering, Timothy $2,742 Oroville CA
286 Mabuchi, Motoyuki $2,742 Las Vegas NV
287 Fitzpatrick, Jeremiah $2,742 Charlotte NC
288 Hockensmith, Michael $2,742 Knoxville TN
289 Dennis, Harold $2,742 Nicholasville KY
290 Taylor, Brian $2,742 Macon GA
291 Fink, Laura $2,742 New York NV
292 Tehan, Joe $2,742 Las Vegas NV
293 Bradley, Brian $2,742 Las Vegas NV
294 Mann, Jordan $2,742 Las Vegas NV
295 Taxarchis, Steven $2,742 Santa Rosa CA
296 Burger, Roger $2,742 Lake Havasu City AZ

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