ALIVE ON DAY 5: 574 PLAYERS STILL HAVE A SHOT AT 2010 WSOP MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP

JULY 14, 2010 - 10:32:04 AM PST   |   Nolan Dalla

ALIVE ON DAY 5: 574 PLAYERS STILL HAVE A SHOT AT 2010 WSOP MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP
Official Report
 
Event #57
 
Day 4
 
No-Limit Hold’em World Championship
 
Buy-In:  $10,000
 
Number of Entries:  7,319
 
Number of Players Starting Day Three:  1,204
 
Total Players Remaining:  574
 
Total Net Prize Pool:  $68,798,600
 
Number of Places Paid:  747
 
First Place Prize:  $8,944,138
 
July 5th to November 9th, 2010

DAY'S HEADLINES

Day Four Complete
 
We’re In the Money!  All Remaining Players Guaranteed a Payout
 
2010 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship Continues

Tony Dunst is the Chip Leader at End of Day Four

Poker Great Johnny Chan Still on Leaderboard

Dan Harrington, Robert Varkonyi, Frank Kassela Hit the Rail

The Cashing Mizrachis:  A WSOP First – All Four Brothers Cash in Main Event

1,204 Players Begin Day Three – Only 574 Survive

Tuesday’s Survivors Return on Wednesday, July 14th for Day Five

Out of 7,319 Total Starters – 574 Dreams Remain Alive (About 8 Percent)

Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, and United States Represented in Top Twenty

Note:  For the tournament portal page for this event, including the day’s chip counts, click HERE.

DAILY DIARY
 
The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event continued on Tuesday with the play and conclusion of Day Four.  This session included the second full day of combined flights of players who survived past the initial rounds of competition.

This also marked the first day that all surviving players were brought together inside the same room at the Rio.  Tournament play has been split between the Amazon Room and the much larger Pavilion Room for all of the previous eight days.  By the end of the second hour of Day Four, all surviving players were inside the Amazon room for the first time.  

Day Three began with 1,204 players.  After four levels of play lasting eight hours, only 574 players survived.  The surviving players will return Wednesday for Day Five.

This day included one of the most exciting times of any Main Event.  The day was most notable for crossing the threshold at which participants played into the money.  The day is also referred to as “Bubble Day.”  This is because several players just miss out on the guaranteed payout.  The player who finishes one spot out of the money is referred to as the “bubble finisher.”  This is generally regarded as the most disappointing fate a tournament player can encounter, since he/she spent the most amount of time at the table, yet received no cash prize.

The money was reached at about 10 pm, which brought cheers from more than 1,500 players and fans packed in and around the tournament area.  After eight previous days and more than 30 hours of tournament play, all the surviving players were at that instant guaranteed at least $19,263 in prize money.

The unfortunate “bubble” finisher was Tim McDonald, from Lexington, KY.  This means he officially finished in 748th place, once spot away from the edge of the prize pool.  One spot higher would have guaranteed a payout, plus bragging rights for making the money at the WSOP.

The end of Day Four chip leader is Tony Dunst, from Las Vegas, NV.  Also of note were the fine performances of Duy Le, from San Francisco, CA who is currently in second place.  Rounding out the top five are Garrett Adelstein (Tucson, AZ), Matt Affleck (Mill Creek, WA), and Phil Galfond (North Patomac, MD).

Johnny Chan also remains very much in contention.  The 1987/1988 world champion and ten-time gold bracelet winner is currently ranked 13th in chips.  Chan had the chip lead for about a 30-minute stretch during Day Three.  That was the first time in 22 years that Chan had the chip lead at any point during the Main Event.

Scotty Nguyen was among those who made the biggest move of the day.  The 1998 world champion came into Day Four ranked in the bottom quarter of the field, but is now in 93rd place, which represents the top 20 percent of remaining players.

Among those who did not fare as well on Day Four were former world champions Robert Varkonyi and Dan Harrington.  Both players busted out short of the prize money.  Other notables who missed the cut included WSOP Player of the Year leader Frank Kassela, although he did cash in 674th place.

The Main Event continues through July 17th when the final table players will ultimately be determined, otherwise known as the “November Nine.”  

THE PLAYERS

Former world champions who participated on Day Four included:
 
1987/1988:  Johnny Chan
1995:  Dan Harrington
1998:  Scotty Nguyen
2002:  Robert Varkonyi

Dan Harrington was eliminated during the middle of the day.  He missed the money by about 100 places, ending up in approximately 850th place.  Harrington plays few tournaments other than the WSOP Main Event.  In his career dating back 25 years, he has 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th place finishes in the world championship.  He has two other Main Event cashes, as well.  

Robert Varkonyi busted out about three hours into play.  He won the 2002 championship.  He also cashed in the 2007 Main Event (177th place).

The aptly-named “Orient Express” continues to roll along.  Back-to-back 1987 and 1988 world champion Johnny Chan remained in the top 30 most of the day and finished play in 13th place.

Notable non-pros who played on Day Three included:

Hank Azaria (actor/producer)
Bruce Buffer (announcer)

Hank Azaria, known for his colorful and quirky character voices on “The Simpsons,” in addition to notable acting roles in several television shows and movies, made it to the middle of Day Four, but was eliminated.  Azaria was the last-surviving celebrity in this year’s Main Event, aside from announcer Bruce Buffer.

Poker Hall of Fame members who played on Day 4 included:

Dewey Tomko
Johnny Chan

2008 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Dewey Tomko was eliminated early on Day Four.  He arrived as one of the shortest stacks and could not double up and move on.  The Florida semi-pro, who has won three WSOP gold bracelets, finished as the Main Event runner up on two occasions – in 1982 and 2001.
 
The only former WSOP Europe Main Event champion who entered Day Four was two-time gold bracelet winner Barry Shulman, from Las Vegas, NV.  The owner of Card Player media started out in the top 25 percent of the field.  But Shulman ran card dead for two hours and busted out short of the money, with about 1,100 players remaining.  There will be no Shulmans in the money this year.  Barry’s son Jeff Shulman made it to the final table last year, finishing fifth.  His wife Allyn Jaffrey-Shulman played in the Main Event, but was eliminated much earlier.

The ESPN Main Stage hosts the feature table.  The star of Day Four was Johnny Chan.  Later, Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi – who is enjoying his best WSOP ever – enjoyed the spotlight at the final table.  

Only two former champs remain alive.  Current Status of Former WSOP Main Event Champions:

1975/1976:  Doyle Brunson – Eliminated Day 2-B
1978:  Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin – Eliminated Day 2-A  
1983:  Tom McEvoy – Eliminated Day 2-A
1986:  Berry Johnston – Eliminated Day 2-A
1987/1988:  Johnny Chan – STILL ALIVE (ranks 13th of 574 players)
1989:  Phil Hellmuth – Eliminated Day 1-C
1993:  Jim Bechtel – Eliminated Day 3
1995:  Dan Harrington – Eliminated Day 4
1996:  Huck Seed – Eliminated Day 1-C
1998:  Scotty Nguyen – STILL ALIVE (ranks 93rd of 574 players)
2000:  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – Eliminated Day 2-B
2001:  Carlos Mortensen – Eliminated Day 2-A
2002:  Robert Varkonyi – Eliminated Day 4
2003:  Chris Moneymaker – Eliminated Day 3
2004:  Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – Eliminated Day 1-A
2005:  Joe Hachem – Eliminated Day 1-D
2006:  Jamie Gold – Eliminated Day 1-B
2007:  Jerry Yang – Eliminated Day 1-C   
2009:  Joe Cada – Eliminated Day 3

Current Status of Last Year’s November Nine:

Joe Cada – Eliminated Day 3
Darvin Moon – Eliminated Day 2-B
Antoine Saout – Eliminated Day 2-B
Eric Buchman – STILL ALIVE (ranks 349th of 574 players)
Jeff Shulman – Eliminated Day 2-B
Steven Begleiter – Eliminated on Day 1-C
Phil Ivey – Eliminated Day 2-B
Kevin Schaffel – Eliminated Day 1-B
James Akenhead – Eliminated Day 2-A

Only one of last year’s November Nine remains alive in the Main Event.  Eric Buchman is the only 2009 finalist still playing in the Main Event.  All other former finalists have been eliminated.
 
Current Status of former WSOP “Players of the Year”:

Daniel Negreanu – Eliminated Day 3
Allen Cunningham – CASHED – 581st PLACE
Jeff Madsen – Eliminated Day 1-C
Tom Schneider – Eliminated Day 2-B
Erick Lindgren – Eliminated Day 1-B
Jeffrey Lisandro – Eliminated Day 1-D

Allen Cunningham nursed a short stack much of the day on the fourth session.  But Cunningham was a master of survival and managed to crawl into the money, ending up as the 581st-place finisher.  

Current Status of Non-Poker Celebrities:

Ray Romano – Eliminated Day 1-A
Rene Angelil – Eliminated Day 3
Orel Hershiser – Eliminated Day 2-B
Shanna Moakler – Eliminated Day 1-C  
J-Kwon, a.k.a. Jay Kwon – Eliminated Day 1-C
Scott Ian – Eliminated Day 1-C
Anthony Rapp – Eliminated Day 1-C
Shane Warne – Eliminated Day 2-A
Emmitt Smith – Eliminated Day 1-D
Jason Alexander – Eliminated Day 2-B
Bruce Buffer – STILL ALIVE (ranked 180th of 574 players)
Gabe Kaplan – Eliminated Day 3
Sara Underwood – Eliminated Day 2-A
Shannon Elizabeth – Eliminated Day 2-B
Sully Erna – Eliminated Day 3
Hank Azaria – Eliminated Day 4

Historical Footnote:  The highest Main Event finish (and cash) by a part-time poker playing celebrity was accomplished by actor and comedian Gabe Kaplan, who finished 13th in the 1991 championship.  Kaplan has played in many Main Events since 1978.  The highest Main Event finish by an amateur poker player and celebrity was actor Telly Savalas (best known as “Kojak”), who finished 21st in the 1992 championship.

2010 GOLD BRACELET WINNERS (STATUS)

There were 56 WSOP gold bracelet winners this year, coming into the Main Event.  Here are the players who were still alive at the start of Day Four and their current status:

Michael Mizrachi -- STILL ALIVE, average chips
Gavin Smith -- Eliminated -- 730th place
Carter Phillips -- STILL ALIVE, above average chips
Tomer Berda -- STILL ALIVE, among chip leaders
Matt Keikoan -- STILL ALIVE, average chips
Praz Bansi -- STILL ALIVE, among chip leaders
Frank Kassela -- Eliminated -- 674th place
Simon Watt -- STILL ALIVE, among chip leaders
Jason DeWitt -- STILL ALIVE, below average chips
Eric Buchman – STILL ALIVE, average chips

WE’RE IN THE MONEY!

Reaching the money is one of the most exciting moments of the tournament.  This year, 747 players were guaranteed a payout, while those who did not make the cut were forced to return home with lasting memories and wounded dreams -- but no cash.

In order to avoid intentional slow-playing and general chaos, the tournament is played one hand at a time when the cashing point approaches.  When play reached five spots from the money, play went hand-for-hand.  One hand was dealt at a time to all tables.  Players busted out slowly until 747 players were verified as remaining in the tournament.

The hand-for-hand lasted six hands, which went about 40 minutes.  This was considerably less than the 2009 hand-for-hand sequence, which lasted 14 hands and dragged out nearly two hours.

The unfortunate “bubble” finisher was Tim McDonald, from Lexington, KY.  This means he officially finished in 748th place, precisely once spot away from the prize money.  Finishing just one spot higher would have guaranteed a $19,263 payout, plus bragging rights for making the money at the WSOP.  However, McDonald was awarded an entry into the 2011 Main Event, courtesy of Harrah’s and the WSOP.  McDonald officially becomes the first entrant into next year’s world championship.  An interview with McDonald can be viewed below.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TIM McDONALD (BUBBLE FINISHER)

Tim McDonald is a 50-year-old professional fisherman from Lexington, KY.  He has been competing on the FLW American Fishing Series Tour the last several years and has cashed many times in what is a highly-competitive sport.  In fact, the biggest fishing tournaments now award prize money which rival the payouts of some major poker events.  McDonald has several cashes in fishing competitions which have paid in the $20,000 range.  McDonald has also done well at the poker table.  He plays recreationally and has competed in three events this year, cashing in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em event.  He earned $6,071 for 125th place.  McDonald came out of the WSOP ahead financially, since he cashed in one event and also has a guaranteed entry into the 2011 Main Event championship.  He was gracious in defeat, despite the obvious disappointment of finishing one spot out of the money.

Question:  Tell us what happened on your final hand.
McDonald:  I was two spots away from the button.  There had not been any raises yet, so I raised when it came to me.  The gentleman I was up against was an excellent player.  He had been playing any aces he was dealt.  He got a suited ace-deuce and didn’t lay it down.  I had pocket queens.  The flop came A-A-2, and then I caught a queen on the river.  But it would have taken a queen-queen to save me.  

Question:  Was it hard to move all-in under the circumstances, when you know you could have waited and probably made it into the money?
McDonald:  It was.  I was tempted (to fold).  When I looked down, I knew the situation.  I started to push (my chips) in and said, ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.  Let’s play ‘em.’  I figured (if I won the hand), I could take that and run it up into a bigger stack.  

Question:  When you busted out, you took a moment and then made a phone call.  Who did you call and what was said?
McDonald:  I actually called my sweetie back in Kentucky.  I called to tell her I had gotten beat.  Then, I called my brother who is an excellent card player….and wanted to let him know I had gone as far as I was going.

Question:  Was the $10,000 buy-in into next year’s Main Event a bit of a consolation for busting out just one spot short of the money?
McDonald:  Yes, it is.  I felt like I could sit there and grind out a (cash).  But I was trying to play good poker.  I would have been short-stacked otherwise.  I felt like I made the right play at the right time.  

Question:  Is there anything positive you can take away from this experience?
McDonald:  Anytime you can go this deep in the tournament with this caliber of players, (I can take something out of this).  If you are knowledgeable and pay attention, you can learn a lot.  You can learn from your mistakes and go forward and play better poker.  I made four or five bad plays where I could have picked up some more chips and I would not have ended up in the bubble position.  Maybe next time, I won’t make those same plays.

Question:  What do you have planned for the rest of today and tomorrow?
McDonald:  My sons are here with me and we will probably go out to dinner tonight, and then we will start making our flight arrangements to go back to Kentucky.

Question:  Compare playing in poker tournaments with competing in fishing tournaments.
McDonald:  The (biggest fishing tournament) awards $1 million for first place.  I have some $20,000 cashes.  It’s just as competitive as poker.  You can be out there and be off by a few ounces and not get a payday.  But I don’t think I’ve ever finished just one spot out of the money (in fishing).

Question:  Which do you prefer, fishing or poker?
McDonald:  I probably prefer fishing more, because it’s out in the outdoors.  But in poker, you get to meet so many different people.  And that’s what’s enjoyable to me.

Question:  Any advice for those still playing in the WSOP?
McDonald:  Play ‘em close to the vest and be careful with those pocket queens.

AN INTERVIEW WITH BERNARD LEE (ALIVE ENTERING DAY FIVE)

Bernard Lee finished 13th in the 2005 WSOP Main Event.  Aside from major wins and numerous tournament cashes, Lee is just as widely known for being a leading poker media personality -- as a poker show host, newspaper columnist, internet and radio host, television/internet commentator, and published author.  He has been a weekly columnist for the Boston Herald for five years and is also the co-host of ESPN.com’s weekly poker show called, “Inside Deal.”  He serves as a spokesperson for the Foxwoods Casino and Resort, in Connecticut.  He also hosts “The Bernard Lee Poker Show.”  Through his play, his dedication, and his contacts -- Lee has become one of the world’s foremost authorities on poker.  He holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.  But his wife often jokes, “He really should have a PhD in poker.”  Lee was interviewed during one of the breaks on Day Four.

Question:  How are things going today?
Lee:  I really have a very tough table.  The chip leader is at my table, and probably four other pros, including (gold bracelet winner) Matt Matros – so it’s a tough table.  I am not one of the bigger stacks, so I have to get cards.  It’s hard to play and take chances because you could be crippled real fast.  I have to deal with that.  

Question:  Are you aware of how difficult it is to go this deep in the Main Event?  Many people take it for granted they will cash or make the top 100.  But the fact is, it’s an incredible feat.  Agree?
Lee:   Yes.  In 2005, I did it.  I went really deep and finished 13th.  I pretty much made it to Day Two every year since, but have not made it through Day Three since then.  So, it shows you how hard it is.  I feel really blessed to be in the position again.

Question:  Every poker player dreams of winning the WSOP Main Event.  In the “Bernard Lee” version of the fantasy, what happens?
Lee:  For me, it’s hard to imagine the dream.  In 2005, I never even thought about it.  It never came to mind.  I was focused on getting to the final table, and then perhaps worrying about it.  I would say that if it was to happen this year I would really try to be the best poker ambassador ever.  I would try to follow in the footsteps of champions like Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and Joe Hachem.  And, I also think Joe Cada did a very good job, too.  I would try to represent our game as best as possible.  I think that is a responsibility that comes with being the world champion.

Question:  You are one of the few people in the game who understands poker from both a player’s perspective as well as a broader media perspective.  Tell us what winning the WSOP would mean to you.
Lee:  It would be something else.  It really would.  To be honest, I get choked up just thinking about it.  Tournament poker is so tough.  You go through so many ups and downs.  It’s something where you question what you are doing all the time and the decisions you make.  I worked so hard on my game over the past six months to get my head in gear – mindset wise and playing wise.  We’ll see what happens.  If I can go a little deeper, anything is possible.

Question:  What’s your strategy over the next day or so?
Lee:  My strategy will remain the same.  From 2005 all the way up to now, it has not changed.  You make it through the day.  It does not matter how you make it through the day, or what you have to do.  Some people make chip goals and say I want to be here or here.  I don’t even think about it.  In 2005, I was 40 percent of the average stack each day.  I was in the bottom half of the standings every day.  But I made it through the day.  I’ll tell you, you can make it into the money if you last past Day Three.  But I can’t make the money if I do not survive.  I really do not care about my chips.  Some of these Internet players look at their chips and if they see they are less than 30 times the big blind, they feel short stacked.  I made it through the day to get here, and now anything can happen from this point forward.  That’s my number one strategy.  It’s something I say over and over and over again, and it’s not just something I talk about.  I firmly believe it.  If you can make it through this day, there is another day waiting to be played.  You never know what might happen.

THE TOURNAMENT

All players began this tournament with 30,000 in chips.  The average stack size when play began was about 182,000.

Play was nine-handed.  This format is expected to remain in effect until play reaches the final ten players, which then combines temporarily to a ten-handed table.  After one player is eliminated, the “November Nine” will be set and the tournament will take a three-month hiatus.

Day Four played 4 levels.  Each level is two hours long.  Play began at noon and ended at 11:45 pm.  There were initially about three levels of play, followed by a 90-minute dinner break which came just before the money-position was reached.  After the break, hand-for-handed lasted about 45-minutes.  After players entered the money, the tournament continued for another one hour and 20 minutes and ended with an hour remaining in Level 17.

The average stack size is currently 382,526 in chips.

During the day, all 500-denomination chips were raced off.   This means the lowest-denomination chip at the start of Day Five will be 1,000.

When players return for Day Five, blinds will be 3,000-6,000 with a 1,000 ante.  There is 1 hour remaining in Level 17.

Day Four began with 1,204 players.  There were 574 survivors.  This means about 48 percent of Day Four starters survived round four.

With this day now complete, there are 574 total players still alive in the Main Event.  

Players who survived Day Four will return to continue their quest for the 2010 world poker championship on Wednesday, July 14th, at 12 noon.

Payouts increase at various intervals.  Every player still alive in the tournament is currently guaranteed at least $24,079 in prize money.

THE LEADERBOARD

This end of day chip leader is Tony Dunst, from Las Vegas, NV.  With this guaranteed payout, he now has 14 cashes at the WSOP in a journeyman career which dates back to 2006.  In fact, his first WSOP cash was in the 2006 Main Event.  Dunst has 1,546,000 in chips.

This chip leader from the previous day was James Carroll, from Henderson, NV.  He fell to 73rd place, still within the top 15 percent.

Ranking second in chips from this day is Duy Le, from San Francisco, CA.  
 
The first player to reach the million-chip mark was Duy Le – which took place on Day Four after about three hours of play.  No player has reached the 2 million chip mark at this point.

Only one of 574 players have in excess of 1,500,000 in chips.

Only three of 574 players have in excess of 1,400,000 in chips.

Only seven of 574 players have in excess of 1,300,000 in chips.

There are 48 players who have less than 100,000 in chips.

Here is how the chip leaders from each day (of this year’s Main Event) have fared, thus far:

1-A:  Corwin Cole, from Las Vegas, NV – Did Not Cash
1-B:  James Danielson, from LaPlata, MD – Did Not Cash
1-C:  Mathieu Sauriol, from Laval, Quebec (Canada) – STILL ALIVE, in 493rd place
1-D:  Steve Billirakis, from Bourbonnais, IL – STILL ALIVE, in 226th place
2-A:  Boulos Estafanous, from Darien, IL – CASHED in 733rd place
2-B:  David Assouline from Hampstead, Quebec (Canada) – STILL ALIVE, in 145th place
3:  James Carroll, from Henderson, NV – STILL ALIVE, in 73rd place
4:  Tony Dunst, Las Vegas, NV -- STILL ALIVE, in 1st place

THE NATIONS

The following nations still have players alive in the Main Event:

Argentina
Austria
Australia
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
Switzerland
China
Columbia
Costa Rica
Germany
Denmark
Spain
Finland
France
Great Britain
Hungary
Israel
Ireland
Italy
Lithuania
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
New Zealand
Oman
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Sweden
Slovakia
Turks and Caicos
Turkey
Uruguay
United States

There are 92 nations and territories represented among all players who entered this year’s WSOP Main Event. (The entire 2010 WSOP attracted participants from 117 different locales).

This year’s Main Event is comprised of 67.9 percent Americans.  In other words, 32.1 percent of all participants are from other nations and territories.

The top-ten nations by participation in the Main Event are:

United States – 4,973 players
Canada – 482
Great Britain – 292
France – 176
Germany – 176
Australia – 110
Sweden – 99
Russia – 89
Italy – 81
Netherlands – 78

The remaining participant nations include:

Brazil -- 56
Ireland -- 55
Spain -- 53
Denmark -- 52
Canada    -- 42
Norway    -- 41
Finland    -- 39
Switzerland -- 37
Hungary -- 30
England -- 29
Argentina -- 27
Mexico -- 27
Portugal -- 26
Austria -- 25
Belgium -- 23
Israel -- 19
Japan -- 18
Romania -- 11
Poland -- 10
Venezuela -- 10
Lithuania -- 9
South Africa -- 9
Czech Republic -- 8
Lebanon -- 8
Guatemala -- 7
New Zealand -- 6
Slovakia -- 6
Ukraine    -- 6
Belarus    -- 5
China -- 5
Costa Rica -- 5
Cyprus -- 5
Greece    -- 5
Hong Kong -- 5
Kazakhstan -- 5
Latvia -- 5
Singapore -- 5
Slovenia -- 5
Chile -- 4
U.A.E. -- 3
Bolivia -- 3
Estonia    -- 3
Croatia    -- 3
Turkey -- 3
Uruguay -- 3
Bahrain    -- 2
Belize -- 2
Colombia -- 2
Gibraltar -- 2
Guadeloupe -- 2
Iceland    -- 2
South Korea -- 2
Peru -- 2
Philippines -- 2
Serbia -- 2
Angola -- 1
Azerbaijan -- 1
Bosnia -- 1
Benin -- 1
Bermuda -- 1
Bahamas -- 1
Botswana -- 1
Dominican Republic -- 1
Gabon -- 1
Guam -- 1
Honduras -- 1
Haiti -- 1
India -- 1
Cayman Islands -- 1
Liechtenstein -- 1
Monaco     -- 1
Macedonia -- 1
Mongolia -- 1
Northern Mariana Islands -- 1
Malta -- 1
Oman -- 1
Panama -- 1
French Polynesia -- 1
Paraguay -- 1
Qatar -- 1
Senegal -- 1
Turks and Caicos Islands -- 1
Taiwan -- 1

ODDS AND ENDS

Based on the birth dates of all 7,319 players, the average age of all participants in the Main Event is 37 years and 4 months.

The Mizrachi Brothers are becoming to poker what the Kennedy’s were once to politics, or the Mannings are to pro football.  Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi won his first gold bracelet early this year when he was victorious in the Poker Players Championship.  He joined his brother Robert Mizrachi as a gold bracelet holder.  Eric Mizrachi and Daniel Mizrachi joined Michael and Robert and made strides in the Main Event.  In fact, all four Mizrachi brothers cashed in this tournament – an astonishing feat that has never taken place at the WSOP before.  Eric Mizrachi was the first player to bust out, but did manage to cash in 718th place.  Michael, Robert, and Daniel remain very much alive in the championship.

Robert Mizrachi stated at the end of the day:  "It's an amazing feeling.  We're having a fabulous day.  I hope we can all get above a million (in chips)....I was sad to see Eric (Mizrachi) go.  But I know he will be rooting for us.  He played his heart out."

Charles "Doc" Hanson cashed in 705th place.  He is from Sioux Falls, SD.  Hanson is affiliated with a charity called "Heaven Sent -- People Helping People."  He has pledged 50 percent of his winnings to the charity which, among other things, helps children born with disabilities.

During the phase when play was head-for-hand, Tournament Director Jack Effel gave a stern warning over the P.A. system that any players caught leaving their seats and walking around would be given a penalty.  Three-time gold bracelet winner Sammy Farha was seen standing up a few minutes later.  When warned he would be given a penalty, Farha who is known for his high-stakes gambling impulses snapped, "Please give me penalty!  That's the only way I have a chance to cash!"

The day began with an announcement that the WSOP Circuit will be much improved this season.  The national Circuit will include regional championships, a points system, television coverage, and other features.  Three-time gold ring winner Dwyte Pilgrim (Brooklyn, NY) was present to perform the daily "Shuffle Up and Deal" honors.  Pilgrim encouraged players to look at the Circuit schedule and all of the dozen stops on the schedule.  Pilgrim is still alive in the WSOP Main Event.

The WSOP attracts everyone, even our good friends from other poker tours.  This year, the Main Event attracted:  Steve Lipscomb (founder of the WPT), Matt Savage (WPT Tournament Director), Mike Sexton (WPT announcer), Vince Van Patton (WPT announcer), Sarne Lightman (President of LAPT), John Duthie (President of EPT), Todd Anderson (President of Heartland Poker Tour), and Thomas Kremser (EPT Tournament Director).

This is the 57th and final event on the 2010 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas.  Five more gold bracelet events will take place in London, England at the Empire Casino, to be held in September 14 through 28th as part of the Fourth Annual World Series of Poker Europe.    

This marks the sixth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.  Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.  As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more than three quarters of the $1.2 billion in prize money has been awarded to winners within the Rio – three times the amount awarded during the entire 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

This is the 885th gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history.  Note:  This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 11 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe.

In the 41-year history of the WSOP, the total combined amount of prize money that has been awarded amounts to $1,228,375,121.

The total number of entrants in the WSOP Main Event (all years combined) is 50,756.

The WSOP title sponsor the last two years has been Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.  As part of a fun promotion, Jack Links gives away large quantities of their product to Main Event players who make big hands.  This year’s key hand is four jacks.  52 players made the hand during the first eight sessions.

WOMEN IN THE MAIN EVENT

Special Note:  The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc. do not typically warrant special mention.  However, since many members of the media wish to know details about female participation and status, the staff is providing this information for media use.

There are estimated to be 10 females remaining in the Main Event.  Note:  This is an estimate based on a late day head count of those still remaining in the tournament, and may not be reliable.

The unofficial total number of females who participated in this year’s Main Event was 216.  There is no official record since entrants are not designated by their gender.  However, it has been customary to count every player at the start of Day One and take an unofficial head-count of female players.  This figure represents about 3 percent of the field.

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note:  Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):

No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.

1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)
1987 – None
1988 – None
1989 – None
1990 – None
1991 – None
1992 – None
1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)
1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)
1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)
1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)
1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)
1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)
1999 – None
2000 – Annie Duke (10th)
2001 – None
2002 – None
2003 – Annie Duke (47th)
2004 – Rose Richie (98th)
2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)
2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)
2007 – Maria Ho (38th)
2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)
2009 – Leo Margets, a.k.a. Leonor Margets (27th)  

WSOP MAIN EVENT ALL-TIME RECORDS

Most Main Event Wins (Career):

3 – Johnny Moss (*first win was by vote)
3 – Stu Ungar
2 – Doyle Brunson
2 – Johnny Chan

Most Main Event Cashes (Career):

10 – Berry Johnston
8 – Humberto Brenes -- CASHED THIS YEAR (Now 8)
7 – Bobby Baldwin
7 – Doyle Brunson
7 – Jay Heimowitz
7 – Phil Hellmuth
7 – Mike Sexton
6 – John Bonetti
6 – Johnny Moss
6 – Jason Lester
6 – Steve Lott
5 – 14 players tied with 5 cashes each

Most Main Event Final Tables (Career):

5 – Doyle Brunson
5 – Jesse Alto
4 – Johnny Chan
4 – T.J. Cloutier
4 – Dan Harrington
4 – Berry Johnston
4 – Johnny Moss
4 – Stu Ungar
3 – 6 players tied with 3 final tables each

Youngest Winner

Joe Cada (2009) -- 21 years, 11 months, 22 days

Oldest Winner

Johnny Moss (1974) – 66 years, 11 months, 24 days
Oldest Participant

97 years -- Jack Ury (2010)

Most Consecutive Years Played

37 – Howard “Tahoe” Andrew (1974 to present)

Most Main Events Played (Career)

38 – Doyle Brunson (did not play 1999 through 2001)

Most Consecutive Years to Cash (Main Event)

4 – Theodore Park (2005 – 2008)
4 – Bo Sehlstedt (2004 – 2007)
4 – Robert Turner (1991 – 1994)

2010 WSOP STATISTICS (INCLUDING MAIN EVENT)

Tournament attendance is up significantly from last year when there were 60,875 entries (then, a record).  This year, there were 72,966 total entries -- an increase of 20 percent.  Hence, this is the biggest WSOP of all time, measured by total participation.  

Prize money increased from 2008, when the total money awarded was a record $180,774,427.  This year, the total amount of prize money awarded was $187,109,850 – an increase of 3.5 percent.

This year, there were 57 gold bracelet events – which is the same number as last year.

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the nationalities of gold bracelet winners have been:

United States (38)
Great Britain (5)
Canada (5)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Russia (1)
Norway (1)
Holland (1)
Israel (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (31)
Great Britain (5)
Canada (5)
Vietnam (2)
China (2)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Lebanon (1)
Russia (1)
Mexico (1)
Bangladesh (1)
Norway (1)
Holland (1)
Israel (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #56, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (39): Michael Chow, Michael Mizrachi, Praz Bansi, Josh Tieman, Peter Gelencser, James Dempsey, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Matt Matros, Yan R. Chen, Steve Gee, Carter Phillips, Jason DeWitt; Eric Buchman, David Baker, Richard Ashby, Dutch Boyd, Sammy Farha, David Warga, Will Haydon, Matt Keikoan, Mike Ellis, Luis Velador, Ayaz Mahmood, Phil Ivey, Luigi Kwaysser, Scott Montgomery, Steven Kelly, Steve Jelinek, Dean Hamrick, Ian Gordon, Gavin Smith, Jesse Rockowitz, Chris Bell, Shawn Busse, Sigurd Eskeland, Chance Kornuth, Ryan Welch, Brendan Taylor, Daniel Alaei

Semi-Pros (8): Frank Kassela, Tex Barch, Miguel Proulx, Jeffrey Papola, Frank Kassela, Mike Linn, Dan Kelly, Tomer Berda

Amateurs (9): Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Jeff Tebben, Konstantin Puchkov, Harold Angle, Marcel Vonk

Through the conclusion of Event #56, here is the list of repeat WSOP gold bracelet winners:

Praz Bansi
Men “the Master” Nguyen
Russ “Dutch” Boyd
Sammy Farha
David Warga (* his first WSOP win was in a non-open event)
Matt Keikoan
Luis Velador
Phil Ivey
Frank Kassela (two wins this year)
Daniel Alaei

Through the conclusion of 2010 World Series of Poker -- Event #56:

Youngest Winner – Steven Kelly (21), Dan Kelly (21)
Oldest Winner – Harold Angle (78)
Female Winners (open events) – None
Multiple-Event Winners (this year) – Frank Kassela

 
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Nolan Dalla – WSOP.com Senior Writer


About the author: Nolan Dalla's work is found all over WSOP.com, as he is the Senior Writer for poker's longest-running poker series and has contributed to the site since 2005.

He is also the longtime Media Director of the World Series of Poker. He's become the lone link from poker's modern age back to the old days when the WSOP was played at Binion's Horseshoe – where Dalla served as the casino's Director of Public Relations.
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