From “November Nine” to the “June One”

Eric Buchman Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

After Finishing Fourth in 2009 Main Event, Buchman Scores Limit Hold’em Victory

Last Year’s November Nine Finalist Conquers Big Limit Hold’em Field

Limit Hold’em Gold Bracelet Champ Matt Matros Makes Final Table Again

Through First 18 Events, WSOP Attendance Up Over Last Year
 
For the tournament portal page for this event, including official results, click HERE.

OVERVIEW

Eric Buchman was the winner of the $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  It marked his first gold bracelet victory following 13 previous WSOP cashes and three final table appearances dating back to 2006.  Buchman is perhaps best known for finishing fourth in last year’s WSOP Main Event championship.  His “November Nine” feat netted a cool $2.5 million and immortality as a permanent fixture on ESPN’s televised reel of poker broadcasts.
 
Buchman is 30-years-old.  He lives in Hewlett, NY.  He started out playing poker in underground games as a teenager and has been working as a successful poker pro for several years.

The Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 476 entries, which was a slight increase in attendance over last year.  The top 45 finishers collected prize money.

The runner up was Brent Courson, from Grand Rapids, MI.  Several former WSOP gold bracelet finishers cashed in this event, most notably Matt Matros -- who won his first gold bracelet just four days ago in the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em competition (Event #12).  Matros made a serious run in this event, as well.  He finished ninth.

Another notable name who finished high was Jeff Shulman.  He is the President of Card Player magazine.  Like Buchman, Shulman final tabled the WSOP Main Event last year, finishing fifth.

THE CHAMPION – ERIC BUCHMAN

The $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em champion (Event #18) is Eric Buchman from Hewlett, NY.

Buchman is 30-years-old.

Buchman started playing poker seriously as a teenager.  He played in underground poker games for several years before turning pro.  That eventually led to playing in cash games and at major tournaments.

Buchman’s home casino is the Borgata, in Atlantic City, NJ.

Buchman has displayed a vast array of tournament poker skills, cashing in several different WSOP events -- including Limit Hold’em, No-Limit Hold’em, Six-Handed Hold’em, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split, Omaha High-Low Split, and a Limit Hold’em Shootout.

Buchman won $203,607 for first place.

According to official records, Buchman now has one win, four final table appearances, and 13 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $3,063,862.

WINNER QUOTES

On what winning his first WSOP gold bracelet means:  “I feel great right now.  This is total satisfaction.  This is really special because I finally won one of these bracelets.  I really accomplished something.  I came really close in 2006, when I came in second in a No-Limit tournament.  At the time, I did not realize how important it is.  But now that I am a little older, it’s very important.”  

On the mixed blessing of making the WSOP Main Event final table last year, but not winning:  “I was disappointed about not winning.  It took me a few weeks to get over it.  You never really get over it, but after a few weeks, I was okay with everything.  I made a lot of money and had a great experience.  So, it was bittersweet.”

On the atmosphere of this final table versus the 2009 Main Event November Nine experience:  “Of course, this was not as exciting as that.  But this was more satisfying, because I won.”

On the satisfaction of finally winning at the WSOP:  “I really, really wanted to win this.  You don’t get many chances.  You don’t get deep in these events very often.  So, I wanted to make the most of it.”

On watching the televised replay of last year’s Main Event:  “It brings back memories.  You see yourself win a big hand, and it’s great.  You see yourself lose a big hand, and it’s sad.  I can’t really watch too much of it, because it kind of makes me upset, to be honest.  I’ve seen it already.  I wish I did better.  That’s really an event you don’t get too many chances to win.”

On the differences between Limit Hold’em and No-Limit Hold’em:  “Limit poker is a lot different because you can play a lot more hands.  In Limit Hold’em King-Queen is a pretty good hand.  In No-Limit Hold’em, King-Queen is not such a great hand at all.  I spent a lot of time playing Limit Hold’em.  I’m very comfortable with the game.  I really like it because you play No-Limit so much it becomes like work.  You do not get to play very many Limit tournaments.  The WSOP is the only place where they really have big Limit tournaments.”  

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table consisted of only one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – Matt Matros.  Once he went out in ninth place, a first-time champion was guaranteed.

Two different nations were represented at the final table -- Italy and the United States.

The final table began nine-handed.

Final table participants ranged in age from 25 to 40.

The runner up was Brent Courson, from Grand Rapids, MI.  He is a 28-year-old general manager and part-time poker player.  Amazingly, this was Courson’s first time to cash in a major tournament of any kind.  He made the most of this opportunity, finishing second, which paid $125,737.

The third-place finisher was Steven Hustoft, from Lacey, WA.  He is a former WSOP Circuit gold ring winner (Harrah’s New Orleans).  Hustoft formerly served in the military and is retired.  He enjoyed his biggest tournament cash ever, worth $90,928.

The fourth-place finisher was Flavio Ferrari, from Rome, Italy.  He cashed at the WSOP for the first time, which paid $66,446.

The fifth-place finisher was Hansu Chu, from McLean, VA.  This was his fifth time to cash at the WSOP, worth $49,068 in prize money.

The sixth-place finisher was William Jensen, from Silver Spring, MD.  He took second place in the $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em event at the 2007 WSOP.  His eighth WSOP cash was worth $36,619.

The seventh-place finisher was Matt Grapenthien, from Chicago, IL.  This was his sixth time to cash at the WSOP and was his highest finish yet, worth $27,609.

The eighth-place finisher was Gary Bogdanski, from Lyndhurst, NJ.  He made his seventh WSOP cash, which paid $21,028.

The ninth-place finisher was Matt Matros, from Brooklyn, NY.  He won his first gold bracelet just four days earlier, in the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em competition (Event #12).  Ninth place paid $16,174.

Matt Matros was the only player so far this year to make it to two Limit Hold’em final tables.  

The final table was played on the 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.

The final table officially began at 2:30 pm and ended at 9:15 pm.  The final table clocked in at 6 hours, 45 minutes.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS

The top 45 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Matt Matros (9th), Ivo Donev (26th), and Ralph Porter (40th).
 
The 13th-place finisher was Jeff Shulman, from Las Vegas, NV.  He is the President of Card Player magazine.  Shulman was one of the famed November Nine last year, finishing fifth-place in the Main Event.

The 14th-place finisher in this event is on the biggest freeroll in all of poker.  His name is Norm Lapin.  He is from Tarzana, CA.  Some time ago, Lapin was diagnosed with a terminal disease.  He was given just five months to live by doctors.  Incredibly, a cure for the disease was discovered in April, and Lapin is now in the midst of making a full recovery.  This marked his second time to cash at the WSOP.  But far more important than coming in 14th, was the fact Lapin is now back at the poker tables playing the game he loves.  The WSOP and every poker player applaud his recovery.

The defending champion was Marc Naalden, from Roosendaal, Netherlands.  He did not enter this year’s tournament.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the 847th 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).

This year’s tournament attracted 476 entries, as opposed to 446 last year.  This was the 11th of 18 now-completed tournaments that saw an increase in attendance over 2009.

This is the second Limit Hold’em tournament on the 2010 WSOP schedule.  The first tournament (Event #12) was won by Matt Matros, from Brooklyn, NY.

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.

Buchman requested that the national anthem of the United States be played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony.

EVENT HISTORY

During the 1990s, WSOP Limit Hold’em tournaments attracted the largest fields of any tournaments anywhere in the world.  During many years, Limit Hold’em events had twice number of entrants as the Main Event.

Limit Hold’em made its debut at the 1983 WSOP.  The first Limit Hold’em world champion was Tom McEvoy. He went on to win the Main Event that same year.

The start of Limit Hold’em’s popularity can be traced back to California’s legalization of flop games (including Texas Hold’em) in 1988. Prior to the late 1980s, Limit Hold’em was spread in only a few small Las Vegas casinos and underground games, located mostly in the American South.

Limit Hold’em was the king of all games during most of the 1990s, except in the northeastern United States, where Seven-Card Stud was the dominant form of poker.  In fact, finding a No-Limit Hold'em game was next to impossible anywhere – except at the most prestigious events such as the WSOP and the Hall of Fame (now defunct).  In 2003, things started to change. No-Limit Hold'em quickly became the most popular form of poker played -- not only in the United States but worldwide.  Today, Limit Hold'em tournaments are relatively uncommon except in the biggest poker markets.  

The list of former Limit Hold’em champions is quite an illustrious group.  It includes Tom McEvoy, Berry Johnston, Humberto Brenes, Johnny Chan, Mickey Appleman, David Chiu, Jay Heimowitz, and Farzad Bonyadi.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 10-12, 2010.

The final hand of the tournament came when Eric Buchman was dealt    .  Brent Courson was dealt    .  Courson was all-in after the turn.  The final board showed          , which gave Buchman two pair – twos and sevens.  That scooped the final pot of the night, giving Buchman a well-deserved victory.

2010 WSOP STATISTICS

Through the conclusion of Event #18, the 2010 WSOP has attracted 21,563 total entries.
 
$37,442,070 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through the conclusion of the first 18 events, WSOP tournament attendance has increased over last year.  There were 18,794 entries at this same point in 2009.

Through the conclusion of the first 18 events, WSOP tournament prize money figures have declined slightly over last year.  At this same point in 2009, the sum of total prize money won was $37,711,971.

Through the conclusion of Event #18, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (12)
Canada (2)
England (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #18, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (8)
Vietnam (2)
Canada (2)
England (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #18, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (13):  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; Eric Buchman

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.