Dutch Boyd Wins Second WSOP Gold Bracelet

“Bad Boy” Boyd Collects $234,065 in Prize Money

Confident Poker Pro Claims Yet Another Six-Handed Victory

Brian Meinders Makes Six-Handed Finale Second Consecutive Year
For the official tournament portal page for this event, including official results, click HERE.


Russ “Dutch” Boyd was the winner of the $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em tournament at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  It marked his second career gold bracelet victory.  Boyd, a conflict-ridden poker pro originally from Columbia, MO, who now lives in Las Vegas, pocketed the top cash prize amounting to $234,065.

This was Boyd’s second WSOP triumph playing in a Six-Handed WSOP event.  His initial victory took place back in 2006, when he won the most-watched Six-Handed match in poker history.  He won his victory in the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em tournament, also held at the Rio.  The finale was broadcast on ESPN that year.  Boyd defeated then-reigning WSOP Main Event champion Joe Hachem in a thrilling heads-up finale.

Boyd has been around the poker scene for eight years.  He initially made a name for himself at the WSOP when he ran deep in the 2003 Main Event, won by Chris Moneymaker.  Boyd finished 12th that year.  With his stunning comeback victory in this tournament, Boyd now has more than $1.2 million in career WSOP winnings.  For his career, he’s finished 1st twice, 2nd once, 3rd once, 4th once, and 5th once.  Boyd now has 18 in-the-money finishes.

The second-place finisher was Brian Meinders, from Jackson, NJ.  The East Coast poker pro took command of the final table late and had Boyd on the ropes at one point, holding what seemed to be an insurmountable 4-to-1 chip lead.  But Boyd fought back with the tenacity and overconfidence that makes him one of poker’s most watchable personalities, and won one of the most satisfying victories of his near decade-long poker career.

This year’s Six-Handed Limit Hold’em competition, the first of its kind to be held at the WSOP, drew 384 players.  The top 36 finishers collected prize money.  Two other former WSOP gold bracelet finishers cashed in this event, including Alexander Borteh (15th), and Rafe Furst (16th).


The $2,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em champion (Event #23) is Russ “Dutch” Boyd, who has called Columbia, MO his home during most of his poker career.  He now lives in Las Vegas.

Boyd is 29-years-old.

Boyd was born in Warrensburg, MO.  

Boyd was a prodigal talent.  He graduated from high school four years early and earned a college degree from the University of Missouri by the time he was 18.

Boyd was heavily influenced by the 1998 movie “Rounders,” starring Matt Damon.  He saw himself in the character of a young law school student with conflicting emotions and interests.  Like Damon’s character in the movie, Boyd decided to pursue a career as a professional poker player.

Boyd moved to Culver City, CA, where he found several like-minded friends.  He formed a poker group called “The Crew,” which was a brazen, brass-balled cluster of wunderkinds who made poker their single focus.  A few members of “The Crew” (which no longer exists) went on to win WSOP gold bracelets, including Scott Fischman and Brett “Gank” Jungblut.  

This was Boyd’s second WSOP gold bracelet victory.  Boyd’s first victory took place in the Short-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, held in 2006.  Note:  A narrative of that memorable victory can be read at the end of this report.

Boyd won first-place prize money totaling $234,065 for this latest victory.

According to official records, Dutch Boyd now has two wins, six final table appearances, and 18 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $1,225,624.

In his WSOP career, he’s finished 1st twice, 2nd once, 3rd once, 4th once, and 5th once.

Boyd says he has read just about every poker book published.  He cited Gus Hansen’s “Every Hand Revealed” as one of the books that helped him the most.

Boyd has an iPhone application he uses where he writes down tells about players he observes.

Boyd cited Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps (swimming) as an inspiration.  He stated that Phelps prepared himself to win mentally and physically.  Boyd stated that he tries to emulate the regiment of athletes, such as Phelps.  “He out-trains everybody,” Boyd explained.  “And that’s what it takes to win.”


On what winning his second WSOP gold bracelet means:  “That first gold bracelet was really special.  This is very special, too.  But that first one was a dream come true.  But now I have a new dream – to win two bracelets in one year.”

On smiling at the table and looking confident at all times:  “I do not mean to come off in a cocky way.  I was confident coming in.  That’s why I was smiling….I read this quote a few weeks ago.  I don’t remember where it came from.  It was in a book I was reading.  It went, ‘I like a guy who smiles in a fight.’  I try to apply that to poker.”

On this final table versus other finales he has played at the WSOP:  “Going into today, I thought I had a really good shot.  When I think about the gold bracelets that I’ve missed, it was against some really tough hitters.  I took second to T.J. Cloutier in 2004.  That was my first final table.  Last year, I was at the final table with both Phil Ivey and Carlos Mortensen – which I consider to be the best players alive.  They play so far above the rim, it’s scary.  Bill Edler is another.  Scotty Nguyen.  Eli Elezra.  It seems like every single bracelet I’ve missed, there were some stacked tables.  But going into today, I really felt like there was not that type of threat.  Now, J.J. (Liu) was a hell of a player.  So was Sugar Bear (Al Barbieri).  And Brian (Meinders) played really well.”

On luck versus skill in poker tournaments:  “The luck factor in poker is overrated.  When I didn’t win those gold bracelets before, it wasn’t because I got unlucky.  It was because I got outplayed.  When I came into this tournament, I tried to imagine everything in a vacuum.  I tried to imagine whatever table I was at, and imagine the gold bracelet sitting on the table.  I tried to remind myself how important these are.  I waited a year, all year for this.    

On his approach to this year’s WSOP:  “I did two things different this year.  And it really paid off.  I went into this tournament with a healthy respect for everybody I was against at the table.  I feel like in the past, I resented them.  I try now to go in with a healthy respect, even liking them.  The other thing is to go in feeling like I am the luckiest player there.  I am the luckiest player alive.

On bad beats in poker and emotional stability:  “I get so tired of bad beats.  I don’t even tell them anymore.  You go outside, out in the hallway, and all these guys are just moping around.  They all have a cloud of doom around them.  They talk about how unlucky they are.  I’m like – ‘Dude, you aren’t unlucky.  You’re at the World Series of Poker!  That’s lucky.  You’re alive.  That’s lucky.  Some people in the world are struggling and dying and you are here.  You’re lucky.’  People who complain about their luck just don’t get it.”

More on confidence:  “I put 12 years into this game.  I’m supposed to win this bracelet.  I’m supposed to win this one today.  I devoted the better part of my life to this game, and I feel I deserve this bracelet.”

On maturing as a poker player:  “Four years ago, I thought I knew what this game was about.  But now, I see how much more there is.  It constantly amazes me how much more there is.  It’s so subtle.  I love this game.”

On what motivates him to play – money, fame, or self-satisfaction:  “It’s not about the money.  Despite what you see, there is really not that much money in professional poker.  It’s not about the fame.  It’s about competing with ourselves.  That I can compete at the highest level if I put my mind to it.  That’s what it’s about for me.”    


The final table consisted of just one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – Boyd.

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

The final table began six-handed.

Final table participants ranged in age from 23 to 55.

The runner up was Brian Meinders, from Jackson, NJ.  The East Coast poker pro took command of the final table late and had Boyd on the ropes at one point, holding what seemed to be an insurmountable 4-to-1 chip lead.  This was his second time to cash at the WSOP.  Second place paid a consolation prize mounting to $144,650.

The third-place finisher was Albert Minnullin, from Moscow, Russia.  This marked his second time to cash at the WSOP.  Third place paid $93,892.

The fourth-place finisher was Julian Parmann, from Las Vegas, NV.  He cashed in last year’s WSOP Main Event (412th).  This was his second time to cash at this year’s WSOP.  Fourth place paid $62,769.

The fifth-place finisher was Domenico De Notaristefani, an Italian-born American now living in Mendham, NJ.  This marked his second time to cash at the WSOP.  Fourth place paid $43,117

The sixth-place finisher was Al “Sugar Bear” Barbieri, originally from Philadelphia and now living in Los Angeles.  The bombastic Barbieri ran completely card dead late in the tournament and was the first player eliminated from the final table.  After dropping a few F-bombs, Barbieri went to the cashier and collected $30,399.

The final table officially began at 6:10 pm and ended at 1:15 am.  The final table clocked in at 7 hours, and 5 minutes.


The top 36 finishers collected prize money.  Aside from the final table, former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Alexander Borteh (15th), and Rafe Furst (16th).

J.J. Liu, from Las Vegas, NV, became the first female at this year’s WSOP with two top-10 finishes.  She took third place in the Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #9) and finished in seventh-place this time.

Ahn Le, from San Jose, CA, finished eighth in this event.  She was the runner up in the Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship twice – in 2005 and again in 2008.


This is the 851st 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).

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 ESPN Main Stage featured the finale of the Ladies No-Limit Hold’em championship, which was played simultaneous to this competition.

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.

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


This is the first time this tournament (Six-Handed Limit Hold’em) has been offered at the WSOP.  All previous Six-Handed events were No-Limit Hold’em.

Six-Handed games initially became popular at major online poker sites.  Rather than standard nine-handed games, many players prefer the short-handed format.  This tends to reward aggression over passivity.  Six-handed games generally involve more confrontation and often play faster.  Six-handed poker is usually an action game.

The previous Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em cousin to this game attracted a huge field of 1,663 players (Event #16).  That was the largest Six-Handed live tournament in poker history.  This tournament attracted a more modest field size, primarily because it employed the Limit format.


The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 11-13, 2010.

At one point when play was heads-up, eventual runner-up Brian Meinders held a 4-to-1 chip lead.  But Dutch Boyd fought back with the tenacity and overconfidence that makes him one of poker’s most watchable personalities, and won one of the most satisfying victories of his near decade-long poker career.

The final hand of the tournament came when Boyd was dealt    .  Meinders was dealt    .  The board ran out          , which gave Boyd a straight and the victory.


Only two players at this year’s WSOP currently have four cashes.  They are Ted Lawson and Chris Viox.  They are on pace to equal Russian Nikolay Evdakov’s all-time record for most cashes in a single year, at 10.  The record was set in 2008.

Through the conclusion of Event #23, the 2010 WSOP has attracted 22,041 total entries; $44,246,071 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through the conclusion of Event #23, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (15)
Great Britain (3)
Canada (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #23, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (11)
Great Britain (3)
Vietnam (2)
Canada (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #23, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (16):  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, David Baker, Richard Ashby, Dutch Boyd

Semi-Pros (2):  Frank Kassela, Tex Barch

Amateurs (5):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck
As a bonus, below is the official report written by Nolan Dalla for Boyd's first WSOP gold bracelet victory.

JULY 2, 2006

The Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

Russ 'Dutch' Boyd shatters WSOP champ Joe Hachem's bid for bracelet number two

Colorful and controversial poker pro wins stunning WSOP victory

Las Vegas, NV - Standing on the upper row of the aluminum rafters looking down upon the expansive poker combat zone that is the 2006 World Series of Poker is normally not a very good vantage point.  But at 7:38 pm on Sunday, July 2, 2006 -- it very well might have been the best seat in the house.

Russ 'Dutch' Boyd had just won $475,712 and his first WSOP gold bracelet in the Short-Handed No-Limit Hold'em World Championship.  Bent off to the side with his head bowed in bitter disappointment was the reigning world poker champion -- Joe Hachem.  It was a snapshot that said everything one needs to know about the inestimable difference between winning and losing.

Boyd's “crew” screaming in ear-piercing joy, jumping wildly up and down, and finally lifting the 25-year-old wunderkind up in the air as though he had just hit the game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth.  In the meantime, emotionally-wrecked Hachem was curled over in stoned silence with eyes shut, his wife Jeanie's arm wrapped around her champion.  Greg Raymer, the 2004 WSOP champion and Hachem's pal, was there for comfort and support.

The final hand was as amazing as it was shocking.  After fighting off 1,066 challengers over three long days and nights, the heads-up duel between Boyd and Hachem lasted for two full hours.  Just when it looked like Hachem might seize the chip lead, Boyd would suppress his rival's challenge, each time leading more and more credence to the notion that -- love him or hate him -- Dutch Boyd is a very, very talented poker player.

Hachem pumped his fist in the air when he first saw the hole cards on what would turn out to be the final hand of the largest short-handed poker tournament in history.  The trap he had set for hours hoping to entrap Boyd snapped shut, and Boyd was the wounded animal.  Replicating the valor and persistence that rocketed Hachem to the forefront of the poker universe nearly a year ago to the day when he won the 2005 World Series of Poker, Hachem showed ace-queen to Boyd's ace-five. Hachem's hand was a huge favorite.

If the ace-queen held up and won, Hachem would suddenly enjoy his largest chip lead of the tournament.  If he lost, it would all be over.  So far, if Hachem was writing a script to win a poker tournament, this is the one he would write.  There has probably never been a larger gallery watching the final moments of a live poker tournament than this one.

Packed 10 deep around the stands already filled to capacity, everyone was standing -- all eyes in the Rio's 209-table poker room fixed on ESPN's giant television monitors.  They all gazed upward as the flop came A-K-9 of mixed suits.  Hachem's grin turned into a smile.  Boyd's anxiety turned into distress.  A jack on the turn did not help either player, and it all came down to a single card.  One card was the difference between a quarter-million in extra prize money, and (certainly more meaningful to these two players) a gold bracelet.

Boyd desperately needed a five.  When the overhead lights glared off the white face of what would be an earth-shattering 3 by 5 inch two-seat voucher of ecstasy and agony, Hachem knew immediately that he was in trouble.  It was a low card, but not too low.  It was a middle card with an undetermined number of pixels.  Then, as the card was tabled, everything suddenly came into focus.  It was - depending on who you were cheering for, a fabulous, agonizing, beautiful, ugly, breathtaking, painful -- five.

Indeed, poker tournaments can be exhilarating and excruciating things.

It was poker’s closest thing to a blood-match.  In so many ways, this was a complete contrast of style and character.  Dutch Boyd -- brazen, bold, and some would say 'brilliant.'  Joe Hachem -- gracious, gallant, and good-natured.

“You walk into this room, you look around, and everybody is so good,” Dutch Boyd said in a post-tournament interview with ESPN's Norman Chad.  “I have been coming here for four years, and three years I have played in it. This room is so full of great players that I really never knew if I would be able to get one of these (gold bracelets).  It's not like they give these away.  I look at the names of players who have won a gold bracelet, players like Doyle (Brunson), T.J. (Cloutier), and Joe (Hachem)….and it's just amazing to be sitting here.  It's an incredible feeling.”

Back atop the rafters taking it in and watching it all end -- the picture was perfectly clear. Boyd continued his interview perched in front of bundles of tightly bound hundred-dollar bills, his right tattooed wrist glimmering in wrapped gold from the battle fought and won.  There were photographs taken.  There were more interviews.  Then, there was loud celebration.

On the horizon, just over the massive crowd swarming around the latest WSOP winner, the reigning world poker champion from Australia shuffled away slowly in dead silence, consoled in solitude by his wife -- most certainly the only person on earth who could share and empathize with the pain of the moment.  Hachem tottered away like a defeated prizefighter passing amidst the scattered tables, through the players of an ongoing tournament over in the next section.  Hachem was looking for an exit.  Slowly, they began to stand.  All of them.  They began to clap.  They began to cheer.  They knew a champion when they saw one.