HUNGARY FOR VICTORY - KWAYSSER CLAIMS HUNGARY'S 2nd WSOP GOLD BRACELET IN EVENT 38

June 23, 2010 - 12:34:02 PM EST  | 

HUNGARY FOR VICTORY - KWAYSSER CLAIMS HUNGARY
Hungary for Victory

Valdemar “Luigi” Kwaysser Wins WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event 38

Kwaysser Collects $617,214 in Prize Money

Hungarian Wins Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship, Making Second Victory for Hungary this Year

Through 38 WSOP Events -- WSOP Attendance up 15 Percent over Last Year
 
For the tournament portal page for this event, including official results, click HERE.

OVERVIEW

Valdemar “Luigi” Kwaysser was the winner of the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  This marked his first career WSOP gold bracelet victory, after six previous cashes here in Las Vegas.

Kwaysser, who goes by “Luigi,” is from Budapest, Hungary.  He became the second Hungarian to win a gold bracelet this year, following Peter Gelencser’s victory in the $2,500 Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball event, which was played out during the first week of the series.  Kwaysser is now one of only three Hungarians ever to win WSOP titles.  The first to win was Peter Traply, who was victorious in the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Shootout held last year.
 
Kwaysser collected $617,214 for first place, which was his biggest poker payday ever.  He previously won major tournaments held in Costa Rica and Italy.  But this win eclipsed those previous victories, both in terms of prize money and prestige.
 
The runner up was Matt Marafioti, from Toronto, Ontario (Canada).  This was his third time to cash at the WSOP.  He finished in-the-money in last year's 40th Anniversary Special Championship.  Second place in this year’s event paid $381,507.

The third-place finisher was James Calderaro, from Venice, FL.  He is best known for finishing 13th in last year’s WSOP Main Event.  Calderaro, who narrowly missed being one of the 2009 November Nine, received a $284,845 consolation prize for his effort in this tournament.       
 
The top 27 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Blair Rodman (8th), Vitaly Lunkin (23rd) and Mike Matusow (26th).  There were nine different nations represented among the 27 players who cashed – Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

Through the 38 events played so far, tournament attendance is up significantly over the same period last year.  Through 38 events last year, there were 36,326 entries.  This year, there have been 42,070 total entries to date, an increase of 15.8 percent.

Tournament prize money figures are also up slightly from last year.  Last year, through 38 events, the sum of total prize money won was $72,935,941.  This year’s total prize money figure currently stands at $73,625,210, an increase of .9 percent (note the decimal).

THE CHAMPION – VALDEMAR “LUIGI” KWAYSSER

The $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em champion (Event #38) is Valdemar Kwaysser, from Budapest, Hungary.

Kwaysser goes by the nickname, “Luigi.”

Kwaysser is 26-years-old.

Kwaysser has seven brothers and sisters.

Kwaysser studied at the University of Budapest for three years, majoring in economics.  He did not graduate.  He says he may return to school later.

Kwaysser has been playing poker seriously since the age of 21.

Kwaysser is active in the Hungarian poker community.  He writes about and teaches poker to new players at an online coaching site.

Prior to this victory, Kwaysser previously won major tournaments held in Costa Rica and Italy.  But this win eclipsed those previous achievements, both in terms of prize money and prestige.

Kwaysser is engaged to be married.  His fiancée was with him when he won his first WSOP gold bracelet.

This marked the fourth year Kwaysser has attended the WSOP.

Kwaysser thus far has played in 11 events this year.

Kwaysser collected $617,214 for first place.

According to official records, Kwaysser now has one win, one final table appearance, and seven in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $663,634.

Following his victory, Kwaysser admitted he does not much play much Pot-Limit Hold’em.

Kwaysser became the second Hungarian to win a WSOP gold bracelet this year.  Peter Gelencser, also from Budapest, won the $2,500 Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball event.

Kwaysser became one of only three Hungarians ever to win a WSOP title.  The first winner was Peter Traply, who was victorious in the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Shootout held last year.

WINNER QUOTES

On having his fiancée with him at the WSOP:  “She gives me confidence and takes care of me.  This (win) is part hers, as well.”

On his experience as a Pot-Limit Hold’em player:  “Actually, I do not know that much about Pot-Limit Hold’em.  I have barely played it.  I know the structure and the lack of an ante makes it a much tighter game.  In the beginning of the tournament, I played very tight.  Then, later -- I started to play more hands.  People started respecting my raises, and that is how I won some pots.  In No-Limit Hold’em tournaments there are usually antes, so you cannot just wait for a hand because you will get blinded out.”       

On being somewhat unknown at the final table:  “I had some advantages.  They did not know me at all.”

On being the third Hungarian WSOP gold bracelet winner:  “We help each other a lot.  I truly believe that Hungary has done so well, considering the size of the country which is small, is because we all stick together, and we learn together, and discuss poker together.”

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table included only one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – Blair Rodman.  When he was eliminated in eighth place, a first-time champion was guaranteed.

The final table began nine-handed.

The final table included players from five different nations: Canada, Germany, Hungary, Russia, and he United States.

As the time passed and Kwaysser became the favorite to win, the Hungarian cheering section swelled to nearly two dozen spectators.  The Hungarians chanted and sang songs when Kwaysser won a big pot.

The runner up was Matt Marafioti, from Toronto, Ontario (Canada).  This was his third time to cash at the WSOP.  He finished in-the-money in last year's 40th Anniversary Special Championship.  Second place paid $381,507.

The third-place finisher was James Calderaro, from Venice, FL.  He is best known for finishing 13th in last year’s WSOP Main Event.  Calderaro, who narrowly missed being one of the 2009 November Nine, received a $284,845 consolation prize for his effort in this tournament.

The fourth-place finisher was Konstantine Bucherl, from Regensburg, Germany.  Germany has come close to winning a gold bracelet, but again fell short (fellow countryman Ernst Schmejkal finished second in the Heads-Up Championship).  Bucherl has several online cashes and five in-the-money finishes in WSOP events.  He cashed in the 2009 WSOP Europe Main Event.  Fourth place in this tournament paid $214,106.

The fifth-place finisher was Dani Stern, from New York, NY.  He took fourth place in last year’s 40th Anniversary Special, which paid a whopping $540,000.  Fifth place in this event paid another nice score amounting to $161,934.

The sixth-place finisher was Thomas Marchese, from Parsippany, NJ.  He won the NAPT championship held at the Venetian in Las Vegas earlier this year.  This was his best WSOP finish to date, which paid $123,264.

The seventh-place finisher was Peter Jetten, from Toronto, Ontario (Canada).  He has more than $1.5 million in overall tournament earnings.  His best showing at the WSOP was second place in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship two years ago.  Jetten put on another fine performance in this tournament and collected $94,394.

The eighth-place finisher was former WSOP gold bracelet winner Blair Rodman, from Las Vegas, NV.  He won a No-Limit Hold’em event in 2007.  This was Rodman’s 37th career cash, which puts him close to the Top 25 all-time.  He also has more than $1.5 million in WSOP earnings after pocketing $72,754 in this tournament.

The ninth-place finisher was Alexander Kuzmin, from Moscow, Russia.  This was his first time to cash at the WSOP.  Ninth place paid $56,404.

The final table began at 10:00 pm and ended at 4:00 am, lasting about six hours.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS

The top 27 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Vitaly Lunkin (23rd) and Mike Matusow (26th).

Illustrating the popularity of Pot-Limit games played in around the globe, there were nine different nations represented among the 27 players who cashed – Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

The defending champion was John Kabbaj, from London, England.  He entered this year’s tournament but did not cash.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the 866th 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 at WSOP Europe (to date).

Some poker purists consider Pot-Limit to be a greater test of skill than No-Limit.  This is due to Pot-Limit’s emphasis on post-flop play.  Since pots gradually escalate in size in Pot-Limit, the magnitude of every decision is amplified as the hand progresses.  Contrast this with No-Limit, in which players can push “all in” at any time, which tends to create more races and reduces the element of skill.

“Pot-Limit” means a player can wager only up to the exact amount of what is contained in the pot at any time.  Contrast this with “No-Limit,” which means a player can wager any or all of his/her chips at any time.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament runs past midnight).  The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion, which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this year.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament, usually 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 are permitted by both public and members of the media.

Kwaysser requested that the national anthem of Hungary be played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony.

EVENT HISTORY

Pot-Limit poker made its debut at the WSOP in 1984, when two Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments were offered.  There were no Pot-Limit tournaments of any kind played at the WSOP from 1970 through 1983.

The only Pot-Limit that was played at the WSOP between 1984 and 1991 was Pot-Limit Omaha.  Pot-Limit Hold’em action was restricted to cash games.

The first Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament at the WSOP took place in 1992. The game has been a fixture on the WSOP schedule ever since. During most years, it was one of the first tournaments on the schedule.

POT-LIMIT HOLD’EM LEADERS

The player with the most WSOP gold bracelets (wins) in Hold’em events (all variations) is Phil Hellmuth, currently with 11.

The player with the most lifetime WSOP cashes in Hold’em events (all variations) is Phil Hellmuth, currently with 48.

No player has ever won more than one WSOP gold bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold’em.  There are 47 players with one gold bracelet each in this form of poker.

The player with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Hold’em events at the WSOP is Jason Lester, with 9.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, T.J. Cloutier, and Ken Flaton each have 8.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 19-21, 2010.

The $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em championship attracted 268 entries.  The total prize pool amounted to $2,519,200.  The top 27 finishers collected prize money.  Numbers declined slightly from last year attendance figure, which attracted 275 players.

Kwaysser held the chip lead during most of the final table.  His chip stack grew with each passing hour.  When heads-up play began, Kwaysser was ahead by about a 5 to 1 margin.

The final hand of the tournament came when Luigi Kwaysser was dealt     against Matt Marafioti’s    .  The board came           – giving Kwaysser a pair of jacks and his first WSOP victory.

2010 WSOP STATISTICS

Tournament attendance is up significantly from this same point last year.  Last year, through 38 events, there were 36,326 entries.  Thus far this year, there have been 42,070 total entries, an increase of 15.8 percent.

Tournament prize money figures are up slightly from last year.  Last year, through 38 events, the sum of total prize money won was $72,935,941.  This year’s total prize money figure through 38 events stands at $73,625,210, an increase of .9 percent (note the decimal).

Through the conclusion of Event #38 (sans 36, which is not yet completed), the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (25)
Great Britain (4)
Canada (3)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Russia (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #38 (sans 36), the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (18)
Great Britain (4)
Canada (3)
Vietnam (2)
China (2)
Hungary (2)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Lebanon (1)
Russia (1)
Mexico (1)
Bangladesh (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #38 (sans 36), the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (25):  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 DeWit, 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

Semi-Pros (4):  Frank Kassela, Tex Barch, Miguel Proulx, Jeffrey Papola

Amateurs (8):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Jeff Tebben, Konstantin Puchkov, Harold Angle

Through the conclusion of Event #38 (sans 36), here is the list of repeat WSOP gold bracelet winners at the 2010 WSOP:

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

 
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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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