the Big Bucks
Wins First Gold Bracelet at 2011 WSOP
Ebanks Wins $10,000
Buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em World Championship
Millionaire – Champion Rakes-In $1,158,481 Pot
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance Shows No Signs of Slowing Down
Bracelets Won – A Dozen More Events Still to Go
another million dollar-plus prize awarded at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
Many poker fans may not remember
a time when the WSOP Main Event champion received a million dollars. That
was big news back then. Bundles of $100 bills used to be carried out in a
cardboard box and were unceremoniously dumped on the green felt of the
championship final table in front of a jaw-dropping gallery of gawkers.
Players and spectators were bug-eyed staring at – what at the time was the most
amount of cash most had ever seen.
Now, a million dollar top prize
-- $1,158,481 to be exact – seems like just another payday at the world’s
richest and most prestigious poker festival.
Joe Ebanks, a 26-year-old poker
pro from Stow, OH won the $10,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em
championship, held at the Rio in Las Vegas. In addition to the
million-dollar prize, Ebanks received his first WSOP gold bracelet, which
symbolizes the ultimate achievement in the game of poker.
“This is what it’s all about,”
Ebanks said afterward, nearly superfluous to the notion that he had just become
a millionaire. “When I first started playing poker seriously seven years
ago, my goal was to get to this stage, and now I’ve achieved it.”
Ebanks, a former college student
at Kent State University, defeated a stellar lineup which included several
notable names from the elite ranks of online and live poker. Chris
Moorman, a top online poker from England, finished as runner up. Bertrand
“ElkY” Grospellier, who won his first gold bracelet two weeks ago, finished in
third place. Indeed, from first place down to the the 48th-place
finisher, this was as stacked a deck of super-talented players as has been
assembled for any WSOP event in 2011.
was a great victory, satisfying on every conceivable front -- in terms of prize
money, prestige, and the self-satisfaction of overcoming the best players and
winning a world championship. Joe Ebanks now has 1,158,481 reasons to
For a comprehensive recap of Event
#46, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #46 CHAMPION – JOSEPH EBANKS
World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em champion is
Joseph Ebanks, from Stow, OH.
Ebanks is a
26-year-old professional poker player.
and is primarily an online poker player.
In response to the events of “Black Friday,” he is considering moving
outside the United States in order to continue playing online.
Kent State University, in Ohio. He
completed nearly three years of study, but did not graduate. His major was psychology.
attended the WSOP during each of the past four years.
victory, Ebanks collected $1,158,481 for first place, the second-largest
Six-Handed payout in poker history.
This was the
largest prize won by any champion so far at this year’s WSOP.
official records, Ebanks now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance and 6
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
Prior to this
victory, Ebanks highest WSOP finish had previously been a 22nd-place
finish in the $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event, held earlier at
this year’s series.
Ebanks currently has
$1,198,982 in career WSOP winnings.
Ebanks is to be
classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he
has been a full-time player for about six years.
On how it feels to win his first WSOP
“This is a
dream come true. It’s what I have been
working on ever since I came into poker, like seven years ago. I always wanted to win a World Series of
Poker bracelet. And, I also won it in
one of the best events to win it in, so it’s great.”
On winning more than a million
amazing. I was backed in the tournament,
so I don’t get all of it. But it’s still
more than anything I have ever won, so it’s amazing.”
On having the calmest rail of the
finalists, in contrast to a large crowd of English and French supporters rooting
for other players:
“It did not
bother me. It made me laugh a little
bit. The other players had much louder
cheering squads. But it did not bother
On the impact of Black Friday on his
livelihood as a professional (mostly online) poker player:
affected me. I lost a lot of my money
because of that. Thankfully, I won some
money here today. But I am going to have
to move if I want to continue playing. I am probably going to move after the
series is over.”
On how this affects his WSOP plans and
definitely given me more confidence.
Now, I want to come back and win more bracelets.”
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top six finishers.
table contained only one former gold bracelet winner – Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier.
nations were represented at the final table – France (1 player), Great Britain (1
player) and the United States (4 players).
The runner up
was Chris Moorman, from Benfleet, UK.
This was his fifth cash this year – which includes 2nd, 3rd,
11th, 18th and 66th place showings. Moorman has won more than $1 million at this
year’s series. Second place paid $716,282.
“ElkY” Grospellier was the third-place finisher. He won his first gold bracelet in the
Seven-Card Stud World Championship, which concluded two weeks earlier.
The top three
finishers in this tournament all have in excess of $800,000 in earnings this
year alone at the WSOP.
play began Wednesday evening at 10:30 pm.
Played concluded about 6 hours later (playing time wise) the following
afternoon. Play was suspended when
heads-up due to the hard-stop rule (no more than ten levels of play, daily).
table was played on ESPN’s main stage. The
new final table set this year is getting raves in terms of design and
appearance. No stage in the history of
poker has ever looked as spectacular. Viewers
will be able to see ESPN’s coverage again once the WSOP Main Event begins in
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 48
finishers collected prize money.
the final table players, former gold bracelet winners that cashed in this
tournament included – Ben Lamb (12th), Joe Cada (26th),
Phil Laak (28th), Daniel Alaei (43rd) and Davidi Katai
Ben Lamb, who
finished in 12th place, widened his lead as the current leader in
the 2011 “Player of the Year” race. He
now has a 1st, 2nd and 12th place finish – all
accomplished within the past two weeks.
Champion Joe Cada finished in 26th place. This marked his second time to cash this
are to be included in all official WSOP records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.
ODDS AND ENDS
attracted 474 entries.
age of entrants was 30.1 years.
There were 12
females who played in this tournament, representing 2.5 percent of the field.
This is the 938th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). 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. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is
played. The entire presentation is open
to the public and media. Video and
photography is permitted by both the public and members of the media.
Joe Ebanks gold
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Friday, July 1st. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #46 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 53,492 combined total entries. $98,200,785 in prize money has been awarded
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet
winners has been:
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (3)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins,
Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler
Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason
Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein,
Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock,
Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks
Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis
Amateurs (7): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk
Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, Ken Griffin
tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of
professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so
far – with 40 out of 47 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 9 of the 47 winners (19
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far this year, no
player has yet won two gold bracelets.
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 205 consecutive
events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker
Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both
sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The
longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996,
when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players. Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in
No-Limit Hold’em). Kim Nguyen also
finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who
after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball
World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their
victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the
last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in
2001. Perhaps it’s due to the increasing
size of the fields. But there’s also
great pressure on the champions to do well.
What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold
bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:
players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November
Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years. Consider that last year, three former Main
Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch, and Scott
Montgomery. This year, Matt Jarvis won
his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.
tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) –
single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Largest consecutive-days starting field
sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke
Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)
Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in
poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32,
34, June 16-19, 2011
Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event
Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history
($3,393,400) – Event #42
records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most
recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP
history. He accomplished this in
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).
Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (83)
and final table appearances (42).
RAISING AWARENESS: BAD BEAT ON CANCER AND THE WSOP
Bad Beat on
Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way
for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1
percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship,
contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize. By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and
joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits
when they win. As the official charity
of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are
donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.
A tax receipt is generated and sent to
their mailing address. Several high
profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their
winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka,
Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others. Since 2003, the initiative has raised over $3,500,000
for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs. Players can pick up a patch and join Team 1%
by stopping by the Bad Beat on Cancer booth, located at the 2011 WSOP opposite
the Amazon Room in the concourse. The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas
is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.