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Jason DeWitt Achieves Third, Second and First Place Finishes at WSOP Last Two Years

Jason DeWitt Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

26-Year-Old Poker Pro Collects $818,959 in Prize Money

$5,000 Buy-In No-Limit Hold’em Event Attracts Record Turnout with 792 Entries

Through First 17 Events, WSOP is up from last year in both Attendance and Prize Money

For the tournament portal page for this event, including the official results, click HERE.
 
OVERVIEW

Jason DeWitt was the winner of the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Event #17 at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  This marked his first career WSOP gold bracelet victory.

DeWitt is originally from Indiana.  He now lives in the Atlanta area.  He is a 26-year-old poker pro with seven WSOP in-the-money finishes on his blossoming resume, including at least one cash in each of the last five years at the WSOP.

Last year Dewitt took third place in a Pot-Limit Hold’em event.  A few days later, he took second place in a No-Limit tournament.  Determined to win this time, DeWitt did not disappoint.  He ended up winning his biggest victory ever.
 
DeWitt won a whopping $818,959 for first place.  The huge payout was fitting given the heavy odds stacked against DeWitt when play began three days earlier.  DeWitt conquered a massive field size of 792 very tough players en route to his biggest poker win ever.  Some observers thought this was the toughest final table of any tournament played so far at this year’s WSOP.

The runner up was Sam Trickett, from Great Britain.  Trickett barely missed becoming the third WSOP gold bracelet winner this year from the U.K.  Brits now have two wins, two seconds, and a third-place finish at this year’s Series.

This was the largest $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in WSOP history. Tournament attendance increased by 21 percent over last year.  In 2009, there were 655 entries.

The top 72 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Perry Friedman (10th), Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari (12th), Josh Arieh (26th), Ted Lawson (39th), Chau Giang (41st), Lisa Hamilton (46th), Phil Hellmuth (50th), Vitaly Lunkin (65th), and Annette Obrestad (72nd).

A few other notables:

With his 41st-place finish in this tournament, Chau Giang cashed for the second time this year and moved one spot ahead of John Juanda into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

With his 50th-place finish in this tournament, Phil Hellmuth cashed for the second time this year and remains in first place as the all-time WSOP cashes leader – with 77.  He is currently 10 cashes ahead of Men ‘the Master” Nguyen, who ranks second.

Annette Obrestad, who is the youngest WSOP gold bracelet winner in history, cashed for the first time on U.S. soil, finishing 72nd. Obrestad turned 21 (legal age to play) this year. Obrestad was one day shy of her 19th birthday when she won the inaugural championship at WSOP Europe in the Fall of 2007.

THE CHAMPION – Jason DeWitt

The $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em champion (Event #17) is Jason DeWitt, from Decatur, GA.

The 26-year-old owns a condominium, which he expects to pay off in full now that he has achieved a huge win.

DeWitt is originally from Indiana.  He now lives in the Atlanta area. 

DeWitt’s first tournament cash took place in 2006.  

During the last five years DeWitt has performed well at the WSOP in addition to the WSOP Circuits and the Heartland Poker Tour.

According to official records, Jason DeWitt now has one win, four final table appearances, and seven in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $1,324,995.

DeWitt revealed he has a creative way of dealing with the stress of tournament poker.  When he is involved in a big hand, he consciously thinks about the card that will help his opponent.  He tries to envision the (bad) card coming, so when those moments do occur, he is not emotionally affected by them.  “I would do that online,” DeWitt confided.  “When I was in a big pot, I would just think about what the other guy needs and if it comes, oh well.  I saw it coming.  No big deal.”  

WINNER QUOTES

On his expectations of winning when play resumed on Day Three and DeWitt had the chip lead:  “This really was what I envisioned.  When I came into the final table, I was fourth or fifth in chips.  I lost two flips, and then from that point forward I really played perfect.  Out of all the tournaments I’ve played, I thought I played this one perfect.”

On his confidence level at the final table:  “I feel like I didn’t make any mistakes at the final table.  There is not one move that I regret.  I was happy with every play I made.”

On the quality of players at this final table versus other experiences:  “I made it to two final tables last year.  And this one was tougher than those other two.”

On what it was like playing in a frenzied atmosphere with chanting and significant spectator involvement:  “When I am involved in the hand, I tune it out.  But I could hear the crowd going nuts.  It was amazing.  I just love it.”

On his resolve to come back and win this year, after coming so close last year with a third and second place finish:  “I thought out of the three final tables, I played my best at this one.  I won this one, so it’s nice the poker gods rewarded me.”

On what’s next for Jason Dewitt:  “I will go for two now.  The next one will be on Saturday ($1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).”

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table consisted of no former WSOP gold bracelet winners, which guaranteed a first-time champion.

Only two nations were represented at the final table – Great Britain and the United States.

The final table began nine-handed.

The ages of players at the final table ranged from 23 to 58.

The runner up was Sam Trickett, from Nottingham, Great Britain.  He is a former professional soccer (football) player in England who suffered an injury that ended his athletic career.  He turned to poker and has been playing professionally since then.  Trickett now has four WSOP cashes.  He collected a consolation prize amounting to $505,725 – which now gives him $767,138 in WSOP career earnings.

The third-place finisher was Jeff Williams, from Athens, GA.  He is a 23-year-old poker pro.  His online player name is “YellowSub86.”  Williams has seven WSOP cashes in just three years, and incredibly has amassed nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings.  His best showing was a second-place finish in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em with Re-buys event.  Third place in this tournament paid $328,762.

The fourth-place finisher was Peter Gilmore, from Kingston, NH.  He cashed for the first time at the WSOP in this event, which paid $241,472.

The fifth-place finisher was Amit Makhija, from Brookfield, WI.  This was his seventh time in the money at the WSOP.  His best showing was another fifth-place finish back in 2008 in the Pot-Limit Hold’em championship, which paid nearly $200,000.  This time, Makhiji had to settle for a mere $179,866.  Makhija has several other cashes at various tournaments around the country and online.

The sixth-place finisher was David “the Raptor” Benefield, from Ft. Worth, TX.  He played poker seriously for about five years, but decided to return to school to study philosophy and classical literature.  He currently attends college.  This was his sixth WSOP cash and was his best finish yet – worth $135,718.

The seventh-place finisher was James Carroll, from Garland, TX.  This was his first time to cash at the WSOP.  Seventh place paid $103,594.

The eighth-place finisher was Paul Foltyn, from Doncaster, England.  He is a 25-year-old poker pro.  Foltyn made it to a final table his first year at the WSOP, back in 2006.  This time, he collected $79,957 for eighth place in what was his sixth time to cash.

The ninth-place finisher was longtime tournament pro Manny Minaya, from Tampa, FL.  He has more than $1 million in overall career tournament winnings.  He has 14 WSOP cashes and four final table appearances.  Minaya added another $62,350 to his poker bankroll for finishing ninth.

The final table was played on the so-called ESPN secondary-stage, which is adjacent to the set used for most televised WSOP events.  The secondary stage area is a more intimate setting which allows spectators a closer view of the table and players.

Seating was packed to capacity.  There were several hundred viewers most of the night.  The late-night atmosphere was dominated by another rowdy group of British players, who ringed the final table cheering on their fellow countryman, Sam Trickett.  Following a raucous night the last time a British player won, the crowd was much more subdued at this finale.  The British group, numbering between 15-20 players, frequently hummed and whistled the memorable battle march from “The Great Escape.”  At one point, English spectators grew tired of drinking draft beer and ordered six bottles of Cristal champagne.  Six bottles of bubbly packed on ice were wheeled into the crowd.  The bar tab was $4,600.

The final table officially began at 5:45 pm and ended at 4:45 am.  The final table clocked in at 11 hours.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS

The top 72 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Perry Friedman (10th), Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari (12th), Josh Arieh (26th), Ted Lawson (39th), Chau Giang (41st), Lisa Hamilton (46th), Phil Hellmuth (50th), Vitaly Lunkin (65th), and Annette Obrestad (72nd).

With his 41st-place finish in this tournament, Chau Giang cashed for the second time this year and moved one spot ahead of John Juanda into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time WSOP cashes list.

With his 50th-place finish in this tournament, Phil Hellmuth cashed for the second time this year and remains in first place as the all-time WSOP cashes leader – with 77.  He is currently 10 cashes ahead of Men ‘the Master” Nguyen, who ranks second.

The 46th-place finisher was Lisa Hamilton.  She is the reigning Ladies No-Limit Hold’em event champion.

Annette Obrestad, who is the youngest WSOP gold bracelet winner in history, cashed for the first time on U.S. soil.  Obrestad turned 21 (legal age to play) this year. 

The defending champion was Brian Lemke, from Norristown, PA.  He entered this year’s tournament, but did not cash.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the 846th gold bracelet event in World Series of Poker history.  Note:  This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 11 gold bracelets awarded at WSOP Europe (to date).

Tournament attendance increased by 21 percent over last year.  In 2009, there were 655 entries.  This same event attracted 792 players, making it the biggest $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in WSOP history.

The official WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s victory (or some hours later when the tournament runs past midnight).  The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion, which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this year.  The ceremony begins at the conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament, usually around 2:20 pm.  The national anthem of the winner’s nation is played.  The entire presentation is open to public and media.  Video and photography are permitted by both public and members of the media.

DeWitt requested that the national anthem of the United States be played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony.  However, due to the late finish, the bracelet ceremony has been pushed back to Saturday.

EVENT HISTORY

No-Limit Hold’em has been the staple game at the WSOP since its inception in 1970.  There have been more No-Limit Hold’em tournaments played than any other form of poker – by far.  The WSOP began offering multiple No-Limit Hold’em tournaments in 1973.  

The first $5,000 buy-in level No-Limit Hold’em tournament was offered at the 2003 WSOP.  Tournament organizers did not schedule an event at this level prior to that time because there was fear that a big buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament added to the schedule would decrease participation in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship.

The first $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em gold bracelet event winner was Johnny Chan.

The list of former winners of the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship reads as follows:

Brian Lemke (2009)
Scott Seiver (2008)
James Mackey (2007)
Jeff Cabanillas (2006)
T.J. Cloutier (2005)
Thomas “Thunder” Keller (2004)
Johnny Chan (2003)

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 9-11, 2010.  Play actually extended into a fourth day, as the tournament ended well past midnight.

Steven Goosen (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) was the end of Day One chip leader.  He ended up finishing in 32nd place.

Jason DeWitt was the end of Day Two chip leader.  He arrived at the final table ranked fifth in chips.  But he ended up winning the tournament.  

The third day was particularly long.  Players returned from Day Two at 2:30 pm with 18 players.  The final table was reached about three hours later.  Then, the final table took more than 10 hours to complete.

The final hand of the tournament came when Jason DeWitt was ahead by about a 2-to-1 margin.  DeWitt had     versus Sam Trickett’s    .  The flop brought top pair to DeWitt and an outside straight draw with an overcard for Trickett.  The flop came      .  The turn was the  .  The river was the  .  Trickett missed his draw, and DeWitt won the last pot of the tournament with two pair – 8s and 6s.

Sam Trickett’s runner-up finish now gives British players two wins, two seconds, and a third-place finish so far at this year’s WSOP.  That’s the best non-American performance of any country, to date.

2010 WSOP STATISTICS

Through the conclusion of Event #17, the 2010 WSOP has attracted 20,987 total entries.
 
$36,575,750 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through the conclusion of 17 events, attendance and prize money are both up.  Last year’s figures were 18,514 entries and $36,029,371 at this same point on the schedule.

Through the conclusion of Event #17, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (11)
Canada (2)
England (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #17, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (7)
Vietnam (2)
Canada (2)
England (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #17, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (12):  Michael Chow, Michael Mizrachi, Praz Bansi, Josh Tieman, Peter Gelencser, James Dempsey, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Matt Matros, Yan R. Chen, Steve Gee, Carter Phillips, Jason DeWitt

Semi-Pros (1):  Frank Kassela

Amateurs (4):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt

Note:  A “pro” is defined as a player who makes the majority of his/her income from playing poker.  However, there is some debate as to whether players who have lucrative industry deals and backing should really be termed as professionals.  A “semi-pro” is defined as a player who derives some measure of income from playing poker over a reasonable period of time.  However, many semi-pros have non-poker related business interests which provide a majority of earnings.  “Amateurs” are players who have other means of support and do not play poker for income -- either part-time or full-time.  Each winner is judged on a by case basis.