Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys
Number of Entries: 293
Total Prize Money: $1,684,305
Date of Tournament: June 20-22, 2007
Click here to view the official results.
The winner of the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em (with re-buys) championship was Alan Smurfit, a 64-year-old retiree from Miami, FL. Smurfit was born in Ireland. This is his second year to compete at the World Series of Poker. It is his first time ever to cash at the WSOP after a dozen cashes at tournaments elsewhere.
Smurfit’s victory was not only the most hard-fought battle at this year’s World Series, to date. It was certainly the year’s greatest comeback. Smurfit began the final table dead last in chips. He started with 95,000 in his stack to his eight opponents, each who had upwards of ten times that amount. Smurfit’s victory was a staggeringly impressive accomplishment, not only of perseverance, but of physical and mental endurance.
The final table clocked in at just over nine hours. However, heads-up play lasted a mind-boggling 167 hands, spread over six hours. It was one of the longest Pot-Limit Omaha heads-up matches in WSOP history. First place paid $464,867.
Smurfit is the owner of the “K-Club,” one of the most famous luxury resorts and golf courses in Ireland. It is the equivalent of Augusta National. The official website of his resort is: http://www.kclub.com/
Afghanistan might seem an odd home for a poker champion. But Qushqar Morad is from Afghanistan. He won a WSOP gold bracelet (Seven-Card Stud in 2002). He was the runner up in this event.
Two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Chris Bjorin, who was born in Sweden but now lives in the UK, finished in fourth place.
Three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Chau Giang took fifth.
Brandon Adams, a doctoral student at Harvard made the final table at the 2005 Tournament of Champions. He finished sixth in this event.
A name from the past found a home at this final table. Unfortunately, he did not stay for very long. Three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Hilbert Shirey took ninth place. Shirey won his first WSOP title twenty years ago.
Reflecting the international appeal of Pot-Limit Omaha, six of the final nine players were born outside the United States. Countries represented included Afghanistan, Australia, England, Ireland, Sweden, Vietnam, and the U.S. One finalist currently lives in Panama.
Four of the final nine players were former WSOP gold bracelet winners, with a combined nine wins between them.
The tournament was originally scheduled as a two-day event. But for the third time in four such events, long play on Day Two mandated adding a Day Three. The final table was played on the ESPN stage inside the poker arena, although television cameras were dark during an off day.
The list of in-the-money finishers included perhaps the most star-studded compilation of well-known players yet at this year’s World Series. Erick Lindgren finished 10th. Last year’s gold bracelet winner Ralph Perry took 12th. Michael Binger, who was third in the championship event last year, finished 15th. Six-time winner Allen Cunningham was 18th. David “DevilFish” Ulliot finished 22nd. Last year’s gold bracelet winner David Williams took 24th.
Michael Binger now has six cashes at this year’s WSOP – more than any other player. The record number of cashes in a single year is eight, shared by Phil Hellmuth and Humberto Brenes.
Bradley Berman finished 16th. This marked his best showing ever at the WSOP, to date. Berman, the son of casino mogul Lyle Berman, famously knocked Doyle Brunson out of the 2004 WSOP championship event.