Event #55
World Poker Championship
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,358
Total Prize Money: $59,784,954
Date of Tournament: June 6-17, 2007

Players Remaining: 36

End Day Five – Tournament Notes:

Day Five began with 112 players. Thirteen hours later, only 36 remained.

The current chip leader is David Tran. He is the only player with over 10 million in chips.

Six-former WSOP gold bracelet winners have survived. They include – Scotty Nguyen (4 wins), Bob Slezak (1 win), Daniel Alaei (1 win), Lee Watkinson (1 win), Alex Kravchenko (1 win), and Bill Edler ( 1 win).

The only former world champion still alive in the tournament is Scotty Nguyen, who won the WSOP in 1998.

Of the remaining 36 players, eight different nations are represented including – Canada, Denmark, England, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. One-third of the remaining players (12 of 36) are non-US residents.

California has the most remaining players, with seven.

The last remaining woman in the tournament was eliminated late on Day Five. Maria Ho from Arcadia, CA finished in 38th place and collected $237,865 in prize money.

On Day Six, play will continue until nine players remain. The final table will be played on July 17th starting at 12 noon.

End Day Four – Previous Notes:

Friday the 13th (Day Four) began with 337 players and played down to the final 99. Play lasted approximately 12 hours, as play adjourned at midnight.

Several players jockeyed for the chip lead on Day Four. Among them were Hevad Khan, Adam White, Josh Evans, and Dario Minieri. However, the latest chip leader is Dag Martin Mikkelsen, from Stavanger, Norway. He has 3.7 million in chips at the start of Day Five. Charis Anastasiou ranks second with 2.7 million.

There are two former world champions remaining in the field – Huck Seed (1996) and Scotty Nguyen (1998).

There are ten former WSOP gold bracelet winners remaining in the field including – John Spadavecchia, Allan King, Lee Watkinson, Humberto Brenes, Diego Cordovez, Alex Kravchenko, Huck Seed, Kirk Morrison, Bill Edler, and Scotty Nguyen.

Two survivors won their gold bracelets this year – Bill Edler (in Short-Handed No-Limit Hold’em) and Alex Kravchenko (in Omaha High-Low Split).

Two former world champions went bust on Day Four. Robert Varkonyi (2002) was the first casualty – finishing 177th On the final hand of the night, Berry Johnston (1986) busted out – which meant a 113th place finish.

Poker is certainly a game for everyone. Hal Lubarsky, from Las Vegas, NV proves it. The legally blind man from Las Vegas, NV entered the WSOP for the first time and ended up going out in 197th place. He collected $51,398 in prize money.

Three celebrities began play on Day Four. All three were eliminated, but did finish in-the-money:

  • Tobey Maguire (actor – Spiderman, Seabiscuit) – 292nd
  • Sully Erna (songwriter and singer from Godsmack) – 237th
  • Sam Simon (television producer – Taxi, Cheers, The Simpsons) – 329th
  • There are two women remaining in the field:

  • Kelly Jo McGlothlin (Palmdale, CA)
  • Maria Ho (Arcadia, CA)
  • There are 17 different nations represented among the final 112 players in the main event. Hence, about 27 percent of the field (at the start of Day Five) are international players. Countries represented include:

  • United States
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Holland
  • Norway
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • Monaco
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Wales
  • Germany
  • France
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • There are eight Texans in the remaining field of 112 – the most of any state.

    End Day Three – Previous Notes:

    The 806 players who started Day Three played down to the final 337 over the course of about 12 hours. On Day Three, play ended at 12:30 am. Day Four will play 4.5 levels and will end at approximately midnight.

    The current chip leader is Dario Minieri, from Rome Italy. He enjoyed an amazing day – rocketing up from 343,700 in chips from the start of play to 2,398,000.

    The first player to cross the one-million chip threshold was Kenny Tran, from Arcadia, CA. He is currently ranked seventh in chips. Chip leader Minieri exceeded the two-million mark at about 11:30 pm near the end of the day.

    Another former world champion hit the rail. Ex-champ Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2000) was eliminated during the first hour of play during Day Three.

    There are five former world champions still alive in the main event. They include:

  • Huck Seed (544,000)
  • Robert Varkonyi (424,000)
  • Scotty Nguyen (321,000)
  • Carlos Mortensen (284,000)
  • Berry Johnston (203,000)
  • Players entered the money spots about half an hour into the second round of Day Three. The unfortunate nine “bubble” players (those nine spots who were eliminated just outside the money) will compete in a special “Bubble Event” sponsored by Milwaukee’s Best Light beer. The winner of the nine-player event will officially be qualified as “Entrant Number 1” into the 2008 WSOP main event – with the entry fee posted by Milwaukee’s Best Light. The winner will also receive a year’s supply of beer.

    The ensure that all players had a shot at prize money, play went hand-for-hand for nearly two full hours. It took 16 hands to eliminate 12 players to finally get into the money.

    The official 622nd place finisher (one spot out of the prize money) was John Sigan, from Strongsville, OH.

    The most extraordinary feat of the tournament thus far has been the incredible success of Hal Lubarsky, from Las Vegas, NV. Lubarsky is legally blind. He has a degenerative eye disease causing him to lose most of his eyesight, except for blurred colors. At the poker table Lubarsky uses a “reader” – which means a person sits behind him at tableside and whispers the hole cards into Lubarsky’s ear. From that point forward, all table decisions are dictated by Lubarsky, so as not to violate the “one player to a hand” rule. His reader is named Jason, who works at a local bar frequented by Lubarsky. In what is his first-ever WSOP event, Lebarski has now been guaranteed prize money. Currently, he has 409,000 in chips. Poker has given me back my life,” Lebarski told an ESPN interviewer.

    One celebrity was eliminated on Day Three:

  • Todd Phillips (film director) – finished in 380th place
  • The celebrities are still playing at the start of Day Four:

  • Tobey Maguire (actor) – 131,900 in chips
  • Sully Erna (songwriter and singer from Godsmack) – 135,000 in chips
  • Sam Simon (television producer) – 172,000
  • There are six women still playing in the main event.

    The World Series of Poker has become a truly international spectacle. There are 27 different nations represented among the final 337 players in the main event. About 20 percent of the field 74 players of the remaining 337 (at the start of Day Four) are international players.

    End Day Two -- Previous Notes

    The $10,000 buy-in championship event attracted 6,358 players. This qualifies as the second-largest live poker tournament in history. Only the 2006 main event attracted more entries (8,773).

    Former World Series of Poker Champions who played in the main event included:

  • T.A. “Amarillo Slim” Preston, 1972 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Doyle Brunson, 1976, 1977 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin, 1978 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Tom McEvoy, 1983 (eliminated on Day Two)
  • Berry Johnston, 1986 (217,900 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Johnny Chan, 1987, 1988 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Phil Hellmuth, Jr., 1989 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Brad Daugherty, 1991 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Jim Bechtel, 1993 (eliminated on Day Two)
  • Dan Harrington, 1995 (eliminated on Day Two)
  • Huck Seed, 1996 (280,500 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Scotty “the Prince” Nguyen, 1998 (107,800 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (160,900 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Carlos Mortensen, 2001 (254,700 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Robert Varkonyi, 2002 (182,700 in chips starting Day Three)
  • Chris Moneymaker, 2003 (eliminated on Day Two)
  • Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, 2004 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Joe Hachem, 2005 (eliminated on Day Two)
  • Jamie Gold, 2006 (eliminated on Day One)
  • Defending world champion Jamie Gold, of Malibu, CA was eliminated on Day 1-D. He sat at the ESPN feature table and played about four levels (two-thirds of the day) before busting out.

    This year’s main event attracted several celebrities. The following notables were eliminated on Day One:

  • Antonio Tarver (World Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion)
  • Nelly (singer and four-time Grammy Award winner)
  • Shannon Elizabeth (actress)
  • Jose Canseco (former Major League Baseball star)
  • Jennifer Tilly (actress)
  • Norm McDonald (actor and comedian)
  • Ray Romano (actor and comedian)
  • Tommy Vu (real estate tycoon and infomercial guru)
  • These celebrities were eliminated on Day Two:

  • Montel Williams (talk show host)
  • Brad Garrett (actor and comedian)
  • Jason Alexander (actor and comedian)
  • Rick Tocchet (former NHL star)
  • Hank Azaria (comedian/voice of “The Simpsons”)
  • This year, two players -- Barbara Enright and Phil Hellmuth, Jr. -- were inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Both were eliminated on Day 1-D.

    The second annual $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship was included on this year’s schedule. Both winners from the previous two years busted out on Day One. Chip Reese and Freddy Deeb were eliminated from the main event.

    The oldest player ever to enter the WSOP in its 38-year history participated in this year’s tournament as 94-year-old Jack Url, from Terre Haute, IN survived the first day, but was eliminated on Day Two.

    Michael Binger came very close to setting a new WSOP record for the “Most Cashes in a Single Year.” He had eight in-the-money finishes this year. However, he busted out on Day Two of the main event, about 300 spots short of the money. He is tied for the record with Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2003), Humberto Brenes (2006), and Phil Hellmuth (2006) – all with eight cashes in a single year.

    On Day 1-A, the first elimination of the 2007 WSOP took place when a player was dealt A-A and lost to another player with the A-K of clubs. Three clubs flopped making a flush, which meant the first casualty of the World Series went out just moments after the start of the tournament.

    A total of 621 places will receive prize money. Payouts start at $20,320. The top prize is $8,250,000.