Event #18: Seven-Card Stud High-Low (Eight or Better) Championship
Location: Rio, Las Vegas
Buy-in: $2,000
Number of Entries: 279
Total Prize Money: $513,360


A record 279 players saddled up to run in the second Seven-Card Stud High-Low (Eight-or-Better) championship at this year's World Series of Poker. For this event, the entry fee was $2,000. The total prize pool amounted to $513,360.

The final table included one former gold bracelet winner - Jennifer Harman, a two-time champion. Furthermore, Lance Edelman was making his second consecutive final table appearance in this event. But it was former Hollywood actor (and widely respected tournament semi-pro) Chad Brown who enjoyed the chip lead and seemed poised to win his first WSOP title.


Players were eliminated in the following order:

8th Place: Tom McCormick, $14,374
Tom McCormick has made 10 final table appearances and cashed 16 times. But for all of his experience in tournaments, he has yet to win a gold bracelet. McCormick will have to wait a while longer as he was the first player to be eliminated.
7th Place: Phil Penn, Sr., $20,021
Phil Penn, Sr. has placed high in a number of LA-area poker tournaments in the past. But this was his first time to cash at the WSOP. Penn was cut down to size with two devastating losses and went out a short time later. On his final hand, he started with a pair of aces but lost to Lance Edelman's full house.


6th Place: Bonnie Rossi, $25,155
This was the first final table this year with two female players (Bonnie Rossi and Jennifer Harman). Rossi was the first female to exit when her 6-high straight (normally a powerhouse hand in High-Low) lost to a higher hand and a better low. The final hand was brutal for Rossi, who is a real estate agent in southern California.
5th Place: Lance Edelman, $31,828
Lance Edelman is a former East Coast card shark specializing in the game of seven-card stud. He moved to Las Vegas a few years ago and now plays poker mostly online and bets on sports. Edelman had an uphill climb all night since he was low on chips. His short stack finally caught up with him in the end. Edelman made two pair on his final hand, which was crushed by a flush.


4th Place: Tim Fu, $38,502
Tim Fu had a wild ride in this race. He started off with plenty of chips, lost them, then came back and appeared to be the biggest threat to Chad Brown. But on his final hand, Fu started with a pair of kings, and failed to improve. Meanwhile, Brown hit a third seven to go with his two pair (Js and 7s) - good for a full house. Tim Fu, a software manager from China, has now finished in the money two times in stud high-low events.


3rd Place: Jennifer Harman, $53,903
The final trio was an interesting mix of talent - with Jennifer Harman, Chad Brown, and Denis Ethier playing for the gold bracelet. Many were anticipating Harman's sterling poker talent and depth of experience to come out in short-handed play. But she remained shortest on chips throughout. On her final hand, Harman missed a low draw and lost the high to a miserable pair of fours. This was Harman's 6th final table and 12th time to cash at the WSOP.


Runner up: Chad Brown, $89,838
It was hardly a photo finish. Denis Ethier led by several lengths as play crossed the 12-hour mark. Chad Brown was down by a 3-to-1 margin in chips most of the way, although he did rally a few times before Ethier finally pulled away. On the final hand of the tournament, Brown - down by about a 4-to-1 margin -- was dealt (A-2) 4-4-8-8 (J). That was good for two-pair for high, and no low. Ethier was dealt (A-2) 2-5-5-5 (10) -- which made a full house.

Chad Brown was gracious following the defeat. He was visibly disappointed but congratulated Ethier on a great victory. Brown is certainly one of the greatest in the game of poker and will be most deserving when he inevitably wins a gold bracelet.


1st Place: Denis Ethier, $160,682
The winner, Denis Ethier, is a 50-year-old professional poker player. He was born in Charlemagne, Quebec. He bought and raised racehorses for many years, mostly trotters who ran at most of the major harness tracks scattered along the East Coast. Many of his horses ran at The Meadows in Pennsylvania. He has since moved and settled down in Durham, North Carolina.


As he snapped on the gold and diamond bracelet presented to all WSOP winners, Ethier was visibly thrilled with his victory. When asked why he left horseracing in favor of poker, Ethier joked, "I got tired of losing."

"I had a lot of winners...but I had a lot of losers, too," he said. "I got tired of losing money every day, so I started to play poker instead."

When asked what he plans to do with his coveted gold bracelet, Ethier stated that he plans to give it to his son.

"He's my best buddy," Ethier said.

View final results.

Tournament reporting by Nolan Dalla / worldseriesofpoker.com