EVENT #52: $1,500 buy-in Dealers Choice
PRIZE POOL: $481,950
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $127,735
PLACES PAID: 36
DATES: June 25-27, 2015
Reserve One WSOP Gold Bracelet for Carol Fuchs
Hollywood Screenwriter of 2007 Hit Movie “No Reservations” Wins an Impressive Victory
Fuchs Becomes the First Female Winner at 2015 WSOP
Defending Champion Robert Mizrachi Finishes Third
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Carol Fuchs
Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA (USA)
Marital Status: Married
Profession: Screenwriter/Film Producer
Number of WSOP Cashes: 2
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 27th (2014)
Total WSOP Earnings: $131,689
Personal Facts: Fuchs was the screenwriter on the 2007 hit Hollywood movie, “No Reservations.”
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Reserve one gold bracelet for Carol Fuchs.
The successful Hollywood screenwriter and film producer won one of the toughest events on the entire 2015 World Series of Poker schedule, earning her first major poker victory and bragging rights for outlasting the rest of the field in one of the series’ most demanding tournaments. Fuchs, who describes herself as an amateur part-time poker player, is best known as the credited co-screenwriter on the 2007 film, “No Reservations,” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Fuchs topped 357 players, plus a brutally tough final table lineup that included several top players vying for a WSOP gold bracelet victory. However, in the end it was Fuchs who ended up with the most prized piece of jewelry in poker.
The $481,950 prize pool was divided into 36 shares, with Fuchs taking the largest portion. Her cut of the pot amounted to a $127,735 first place prize.
Fuchs, who started out as a serious gin player, has been playing poker tournaments for more than a decade. She plays regularly at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, preferring Pot-Limit Omaha cash games. She previously posted some deep runs and a few wins, but nothing on the scale of a WSOP victory.
This marked Fuchs’ second time to cash at the WSOP. Her other in-the-money showing was a min-cash last year. She’s played in four events this year so far. However, Fuchs has also amassed an impressive record in tournaments for an amateur, mostly in the Southern California-area card clubs. Fuchs previously won titles at the L.A. Poker Open in 2005 and 2011.
“It’s encouraging when someone like me who is an amateur, and a woman, and – let’s just say someone ‘older than 30’ – wins something big like this,” Fuchs said. “I respect what the pros do, but for a non-pro to come out here and win, is encouraging for all players and especially for amateurs and women.”
When it comes to mastering all the major poker games, no competition is as diverse or as prestigious as the $1,500 buy-in Dealers Choice event. This year marked the second consecutive time the Dealers Choice (Six-Handed) event was included on the schedule. After last year’s success and favorable feedback, many players apparently like testing themselves and each other in a manner which is unequalled by any other major poker tournament of this kind.
Dealers Choice (Six-Handed) requires that players have some knowledge and ability in 18 different games, including some forms of poker that aren’t played much anymore, at least in public cardrooms (Five-Card Draw and Omaha High, for instance). Players declare their game preference in rotation, which means virtually all games are played at some point.
Last year’s champion was a testament to the overriding skill factor as Robert Mizrachi won his (then) second gold bracelet victory (he’s since won one more). In the 46-year-history of the WSOP, no event has included a wider variance of different forms of poker, and it’s expected this will be an annual tradition carrying added prestige given the required mastery of so many different games.
Fuchs was surprised that she adjusted so easily to the changing conditions, even to games that she didn’t know very well. For instance, Fuchs admitted she had never played the game “Big-O” before, but ended up liking it. Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw was another game where Fuchs seemed to excel, often distancing herself from more experienced opponents.
Fuchs shocked the poker world with this victory, not because she’s the first female to win an open event since Vanessa Selbst’s victory last year early at the series, but more precisely because this tends to be an event which favors players with lots of experience playing in mixed games, and even some forms of poker that are quite rare.
“When I was playing at the final table, I really felt comfortable. I didn’t really feel much pressure,” Fuchs said. “It’s fun for me. It’s not a payday. They had more pressure, I think. For me, this is a bonus.”
Fuchs still lives in Los Angeles, but travels to Las Vegas frequently. Prior to writing and producing films, she worked for seven years as an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood. Fuchs has future plans to work in movies and is currently working on a suspense-thriller that she hopes will get greenlighted and start shooting.
“Winning a gold bracelet or getting a movie made – I’m not sure which is tougher,” Fuchs joked afterward. “I think they’re both pretty challenging.”
Ilya Krupin, from Moscow, Russia finished as the runner up. He appeared to be in good position to win what would have been his first gold bracelet about midway through the final table, which was played out on the third and final day of the 3-day tourney. However, Krupin seemed helpless towards the end of the tournament when playing heads up and simply couldn’t overcome his chip disadvantage. He collected $78,933 as a consolation prize.
With this victory, Fuchs becomes the 21st female to win a gold bracelet in an open event in the 46-year history of the annual poker competition.
Following Fuchs’ finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Ilya Krupin, from Moscow, Russia finished 2nd. He received $78,933. This marked Krupin’s fourth time to cash at the series – all of which have taken place this year. Krupin now has three top-15 finishes in 2015.
Third Place: Robert Mizrachi came remarkably close to defending his title, but finished in 3rd place instead. Mizrachi was on pace to accomplish something that’s only been done twice in the last five years. However, late in the tourney, the Miami-born and Las Vegas-based poker pro ran cold and was denied his fourth career gold bracelet victory. Mizrachi did managed to collect $51,236. This marked his fifth time to cash at the 2015 series, with 4 of those finishes being in the top 12.
Fourth Place: Chris Klodnicki finished in 4th place. The Philadelphia-based poker pro collected $34,252.
Fifth Place: Yuval Bronshtein, the Tel Aviv born poker pro now residing in Las Vegas, finished in 5th place, which paid $23,428.
Sixth Place: Viktor Celikovsky, from Prague, Czech Republic cashed for the first time at the WSOP with this 6th-place finish. Celikovsky collected $16,588.
Seventh Place: Matt Szymaszek, Charlestown, MA, rounded out the official final table, taking $12,000 for the effort.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – Scott Clements (8th), Konstantin Maslak (9th), Randy Ohel (13th), Viascheslav Zhukov (14th), Tom Schneider (21st), Jeremy Ausmus (26th), Mike Leah (27th), Jeffrey Lisandro (29th), Todd Brunson (32nd), Steven Loube (33rd), and Michael Chow (34th).
Participation this year saw a slight decline from 419 entries (in 2014) to 357 (this year).
(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)