In a field full of the top professional players in the world it was an amateur who took home the bracelet and a charitable foundation that got the money. Eric Brooks, a 48-year-old who had never cashed in any poker tournament before, bested a final table that included Minh Ly, Erik Seidel, David Oppenheim and Alexander Kostritsyn, to win Event #14 ($10,000 Seven-card Stud World Championship).
Along with the bracelet, Brooks takes home $415,856, which he will donate to the Decision Education Foundation, a non-profit charity of which he is a board member.
“It’s an organization that I really believe in,” said Brooks after his win. “Essentially what we do is we take the science of decision making, which is something that's university level, college course work, and (teach the basic principles to grades) K-12 around the country.”
“We had a lot of success with it so far, and being able to add another $400,000 (my winnings) to it and what they’re doing in going to be pretty big.”
Having entered the final table sixth in chips, Brooks didn’t like his overall chances of becoming world champion.
“No, (I did not expect to win). I guess all of us went home last night and thought about winning,” said Brooks. “But realistically, these are all really good players. You have to get lucky three days in the row, for sure, to win.”
But one by one the bigger names were sent to the rail and in the end, Brooks had all the chips and the bracelet. Finishing second was Fu Wong, a professional living in Chandler, AZ. His payday was $259,910.
Brooks is the third player to win a World Championship at the 2008 World Series of Poker
. Nenad Medic
won the first event, taking down Event #1 ($10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em) and Anthony Rivera
won Event #8 ($10,000 Mixed Games).