All-Time Great, Six-Bracelet Winner Adds to his $7 million in Cash-Outs

2006-2007 World Series of Poker Circuit - Caesars Indiana - April 6, 2007

Event #10: Championship Event Final No-Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $5,000 + $150
Number of Entries: 154
Total Prize Money: $736,900

Final Results

1st Place:  Men Nguyen Bell Gardens, CA $238,756
2nd Place:  Young Phan Irvine, CA $125,273
3rd Place:  Bryan Sapp Louisville, KY $73,690
4th Place:  Tim McCarthy Munster, IN $58,952
5th Place:  Dennis Anness Indianapolis, IN $44,214
6th Place:  Steve Boyle Broken Bow, OK $36,845
7th Place:  George Lusby Georgetown, KY $29,476
8th Place:  Dean Schultz Akron, OH $22,107
9th Place:  Scott Fischman Las Vegas, NV $14,738
10th Place:  Stacy Kopacz Hopkinsville, KY $11,790
11th Place:  Shawn Quillin Charlotte, NC $11,790
12th Place:  John Hayes St. Paul, MN $11,790
13th Place:  Derek Demolet Columbus, OH $10,317
14th Place:  Armando Pagliari Milton, Ontario $10,317
15th Place:  Joel Casper Chicago, IL $10,317
16th Place:  Adam Friedman Gahanna, GA $8,843
17th Place:  Barry Greenstein Rancho Palos Verdes $8,843
18th Place:  Troy Allen Sutton Union City, GA $8,843

Down 2-1, Men 'The Master' Storms to Win in $5,000 Circuit Championship

Faced with a 2-1 chip disadvantage when he got heads-up, the irrepressible Men "The Master" Nguyen went on a rampage. In just a few hands he had run over fellow Vietnamese expatriate Young Phan to capture the championship event of the WSOP Circuit tour at Caesars Indiana, $5,000 no-limit hold'em.

Along with the championship gold and diamond trophy ring and a buy-in to this year's $10,000 main event at the WSOP, the victory was worth an official $238,756. However, Phan went home with the most money. Three-handed, a deal had been made locking up $182,000 for Phan, $125,000 for Nguyen and $113,000 for Bryan Sapp, with another $10,000 for the winner and $7,719 for second, with Sapp assured (for tax reasons) that he would sign for third whatever his finish.

The key hand for Nguyen came in the final match-up when he had 4-3 to Phan's pocket jacks. Nguyen proceeded to make a full house, reversing the chip count and taking a 2-1 lead himself.

Ever the showman, Nguyen kept the gallery entertained with his antics. His catch phrase whenever he went in was "All you can eat, baby." Then, when a waitress brought him his standard Corona beer, he changed it to "All you can drink."

Nguyen, who now lives in Bell Gardens, California, arrived in this country as a boat person fleeing communist Vietnam. Scrolling through a list of his tournament accomplishments is truly dizzying. He has six WSOP bracelets in five different events, and more than 80 tournament wins overall. He was named Player of the Year by Card Player four times and has around $7 million in winnings overall.

The final day started with Phan holding a big lead of 502,000 of the 1,540,000 chips in play. Action got going with blinds of 1,500-3,000 and 500 antes, 7:33 left on the clock.

Final Day Seats and Chip Counts

SEAT 1:  Dean Schultz Akron, OH 25,000
SEAT 2:  Men Nguyen Bell Gardens, CA 43,500
SEAT 3:  Young Phan Irvine, CA 502,000
SEAT 4:  Dennis Anness Indianapolis, IN 385,000
SEAT 5:  Scott Fischman Las Vegas, NV 207,000
SEAT 6:  Steve Boyle Broken Arrow, OK 93,500
SEAT 7:  Tim McCarthy Munster, IN 178,500
SEAT 8:  George Lusby Georgetown, KY 40,500
SEAT 9:  Bryan Sapp Louisville, KY 71,000

It didn't take long to see two monster hands build a monster pot. On the second hand, Phan had J-10 and Scott Fischman, Kd-10d. The flop came Qd-Jd-Jh to give Phan trips, and Fischman a draw to an open-end straight flush.. Fischman bet 12,000, Phan raised to 46,000, Fischman popped it for another 76,000, and Phan put him in for the rest of his 200,000. Fischman missed his big draw, went out in second place, and Phan now had more than 700,000 chips in his arsenal.

Fischman, 26, is one of the fastest-rising young stars of poker. At age 21 he got a job as a dealer, watched and learned, and a year later turned pro. In 2004, at age 23 he became the youngest player ever to win two bracelets in one year: $1,500 no-limit ($300,000) and $2,000 Horse ($100,200). He has written a poker book, has had his own poker room, a TV show, and is also writes for Card Player magazine. Ninth place paid $14,738.

Blinds now went to 2,000-4,000, playing 90-minute rounds. A second player went out immediately. Dean Schultz moved in for 23,000 with A-J, and was called by Phan and Dennis Anness. A flop of 7s-6s-6d gave Anness quads. Slow-playing, he checked the flop and turn, finally betting and getting another 25,000 out of Phan on the river as well as knocking out Schultz.

Schltz is 46 and lives in Akron, Ohio. A full-time player, he has 10 cashes in Circuit events here and at Harrah's Atlantic City. His biggest win was $302,475 for capturing a $2,500 no-limit event at the WPT/Borgata Poker Open. Schultz is single and also enjoys basketball. He got into today's main event via satellite. Fifth was worth $22,027.

About 40 minutes into the final table, another player dropped. George "Kamodragon" Lusby, a firefighter from Munster, Indiana, moved in for 23,500 with Ad-4d.. Nguyen called with K-J. The board came 8-7-7-K-3, and Nguyen's paired king left Lusby in seventh place, which paid $29,476.

Lusby, 40, is from Georgetown, Kentucky, and learned poker three years ago. Married with three children, he enjoys hunting and fishing. He won his seat in a mega-satellite, and his biggest prior payday was $17,787 for 47th in a WPT/Caribbean Poker Adventure event this year.

Nguyen, who had been one of the shorter stacks, now began his move up by doubling up aganst Anness. He had A-Q to Anness' K-K. When the board showed A-4-4-10, Nguyen moved in and for good measure hit a third ace on the river.

As the level ended, the counts were: Phan, 426,000; Anness, 350,000; Sapp, 243,000; Nguyen, 206,000; Steve Boyle, 173,000; and Tim McCarthy, 142,000.

Boyle was next to bust out. He was all in with pocket 9s. There were two diamonds on the flop and two more on the turn and river. One of Boyle's 9s was a diamond, but it was no match for McCarthy's Ad.

Boyle, 61, is from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and owns a computer software business. He is married with four children. He's been playing poker four years and has a win in the Cherokee Poker Classic and a fourth in the Oklahoma State Championship. Sixth place paid him $36,845.

Anness, who had lost to Nguyen with pocket kings, was getting gun shy about the hand when he held them against Phan. He called a 50,000 raise pre-flop, but when Phan bet 100,000 into a board of A-6-6, he gave him credit for an ace and folded. On a following hand, Nguyen made an ace-high flush on the turn, checked, and trapped Anness, who made a king-high flush on the river. Anness bet 20,000 and Nguyen got him for 30,000 more with a raise.

Anness bled off more chips when, holding K-J, he tried a 50,000 bluff bet into a board of 10-9-5-7-3, Phan, who knocked out two players with pocket deuces yesterday, made a good call with the same hand and picked him off.

The players now went on dinner break. Phan was in the lead with 664,000, followed by Nguyen, 349,000; Sapp, 286,000; Anness, 163,000; and McCarthy, 84,000.

Play resumed with 4,000-8,000 blinds, 1,000 antes. In early action, Nguyen made an incredible laydown. With a board of 7-3-2-3, he bet 20,000. Anness raised to 40,000, Nguyen made it 80,000, and Anness moved all in for an extra 31,000. With 169,000 in the pot, and getting better than 5-1/2-1 odds, Nguyen folded!

The round ended with five players still left. The counts were, Phan, 628,000; Nguyen, 406,000; McCarthy, 202,000; Sapp, 194,000; and Annes, 105,000.

With blinds now at 6,000-12,000 and 2,000 antes, Anness had to do something fast. He immediately moved all in twice in succession. The second time he was called by Sapp. It was the classic match-up: A-K for Anness, Q-Q for Sapp. The board came A-Q-9-10, leaving Anness dead to a jack. A river ace filled Sapp, and four were left.

Dennis "Big D" Anness, 49, is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is married with three children. His major prior cash-in was $14,840 for third at the main event of the St. Maarten Spring Poker Showdown. Today he collected $44,214 for fifth.

A couple of hands later, on a flop of Qs-Js-7s, Phan bet and McCarthy moved in for 163,000 more. Phan finally called, saying, "I need a spade," as he turned over 5s-5h. "Did I read that one right!" he exclaimed as McCarthy turned over an As-6c. No spade came, Phan's 5s held up and he pulled in another 200,000 chips as McCarthy, finishing fourth, settled for $58,952.

McCarthy, 44, is an airline pilot from Munster, Indiana. He's played poker for 34 years, and his biggest paydays were in second-chance events here where he finished ninth once, and chopped first the next day. McCarthy has a bachelor's degree in aviation and has been playing poker for 34 years. His hobbies are fishing and coaching his two boys, age 10 and 12, in sports. He won his seat in this main event via satellite.

Phan now held 810,000 chips, while Nguyen had 398,000 and Sapp, 338,000. Deal talk, heated at times, went on for 30 minutes before it was made.

After building up his chips, Sapp had about 250,000 of them drained off by Nguyen when, holding K-Q, he hit a queen on the turn to outrun Sapp's A-8 and run his count to about 550,000.

Sapp went out in third place when he moved in with J-5 on a board of A-J-A-K-K, only to see Phan turn over K-8 for a full house. Third place was worth an official $73,690.

Sapp, 25, whose nickname is "Squirrely," is a self-taught poker pro/student from Louisville. He's been playing three years, two as a pro, and got in with a satellite win. This is his third Circuit try. Earlier this year he finished 14th in the $2,500 main event of the Midwest Regional Poker Championship. A college senior, Sapp is single and enjoys golf, fishing and hunting.

Heads-up, Phan had a bit over one million to just over 500,000 for Nguyen. But it was all Nguyen after that. He quickly took the lead when he started with a problematical 4-3 to Phan's pocket jacks, flopped two pair and filled on the turn. Phan bet 200,000, Nguyen moved in, and the ballgame had changed completely.

Nguyen won again when he had 10-8 and made trip 10s on the turn. With Phan now under 300,000, Nguyen finished him off. Phan was all in pre-flop with A-10 against Nguyen's pocket 6s. The board came J-J-3-2-4, and Nguyen was the new Caesars Indiana Circuit champion.

Phan, 47, whose official payment for second was $125,273, began playing 21 years ago. "When Johnny Chan won back-to-back WSOP championships, that's when I said I am in," he said. Phan has dozens of cash-ins at major tournaments and three WSOP final tables. His biggest prize: $370,4765 for winning the L.A. Poker Classic. Phan, nicknamed "Papa," is from Irvine, California, married with two children. His other hobby is baseball.

--Max Shapiro

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Max Shapiro -- WSOP Media Director at (323) 356-3303
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World Series of Poker Commissioner - Jeffrey Pollack
Director of Poker Operations for Harrah's Entertainment - Jack Effel
Caesars Indiana Poker Room Manager - Jimmie Allen
Caesars Indiana Assistant General Manager - Neil Walkoff
Tournament Directors - Jimmie Allen, Chris Reason, Andy Cunningham