Number of Entries: 2,038
Total Prize Money: $3,709,160
Date of Tournament: June 29 – July 1, 2007
Click here to view the official results.
The winner of the $2,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship was Blair Rodman, from Las Vegas, NV. Rodman, age 53, is a longtime professional gambler. This was his first victory at the World Series of Poker.
Rodman gambles professionally mostly on golf, sports, and poker. In fact, his first love is golf. He has been active on the local Las Vegas scene most of his adult life. He has been playing in the WSOP since 1982.
Rodman earned a B.S. degree in business. Aside from gambling, Rodman co-authored the popular book, “Kill Phil” which explains counterstrategies designed to beat the best poker players in the world.
Rodman is married. He is originally from Troy, NY.
The winner is also active on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, a televised “21” tournament.
In an odd twist of fate, Rodman almost missed this event. He was knocked out of the Omaha High-Low tournament held on the previous date and departed the Rio passed midnight. Rodman almost skipped the next days’event because he was exhausted. However, he joined with 2,038 entries who participated in this tournament. “I got eliminated on late on the second day in Omaha,” Rodman explained in a post-tournament interview. “I almost didn’t play (in this tournament). If I would not have been knocked out of that Omaha High-Low event, I would not have been here. So, I guess getting busted in that event was a good thing!”
Rodman arrived at the final table relatively low on chips. He was sixth out of the final nine players. However, Rodman managed to survive and eventually took a decisive chip lead at one point when play became two-handed. His opponent then regained the lead, and in a see-saw battle Rodman eventually won the last pot of the nigh. Heads-up play lasted for three hours.
The runner up was Amato Galasso from Ridgewood, NJ. Incredibly, this was Galasso’s first time to cash at a live tournament of any size. Galasso earned a whopping $448,808 in his first poker tournament payout.
21-year-old Anna Wroblewski finished in fourth place. She is the sixth woman to make a final table appearance in an open event at this year’s World Series. Katja Thater remains the only female to win a gold bracelet this year (open event).
Roland de Wolfe finished in sixth place. He won the “European Player of the Year” title in 2006.
The 9th-place finisher was Mark McKibben, from San Antonio, TX. This was McKibben’s first visit to Las Vegas. He decided to post the tournament’s $2,000 entry fee after collecting a jackpot on a slot machine. Las Vegas has been very good to McKibben this week as he collected $42,655 for his finish.
T.J. Cloutier finished in 17th place. This was his 54th lifetime WSOP cash. He currently ranks third on the all-time list (behind Men “the Master” Nguyen and Phil Hellmuth, Jr.).
Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Tilly finished in 30th place.
David Singer rebounded nicely in this event with a 44th- place finish. Singer entered this tournament the day after taking 6th-place in the H.O.R.S.E. championship. Singer is the only player to make it to both final tables of the tournament that had its inaugural last year.
1983 world poker champion Tom McEvoy finished in 93rd place.
Other former WSOP gold bracelet winner who finished in the money include – David Chiu (61), Rafe Furst (62), John Spadavecchia (107), Kirk Morrison (111), and James Mackey (138).
Kevin McBride cashed for the first time this year, with his 209th-place showing. McBride is best-known for his runner-up finish to Scotty Nguyen in the 1998 main event.
Rene Angelil, husband and manager of superstar entertainer Celine Dion, took 173rd place.
Through the conclusion of 47 events at this year’s World Series, ten players have been added to the official “WSOP Millionaires’ Club.” There are now 88 players who have each won in excess of $1M at the World Series (in lifetime earnings). The latest ten players to join this elite club includeBurt Boutin, Freddy Deeb, Bruno Fitoussi, Fred Goldberg, Thor Hansen, Jeffrey Lisandro, Hans “Tuna” Lund, Tony Ma, David Singer, and William Thorsen.