Will Haydon Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

23-Year-Old Poker Pro Collects $630,031 in Prize Money

Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Competition Attracts 1,245 Entrants

Attendance at 2010 WSOP Up 15 Percent Over Last Year
 
For the official tournament portal pages for this event, including official results, click HERE.

OVERVIEW

Will Haydon was the winner of the $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  This marked Haydon’s first career WSOP gold bracelet victory.  He is a 23-year-old professional poker player from San Francisco, CA.  This victory paid a whopping $630,031, which was his biggest poker payday ever.

The runner up was Jeffrey Papola, from Tuckerton, NJ.  He earned a nice consolation prize amounting to $391,068.

Eddy Scharf, the retired Lufthansa Airlines pilot and two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, was the fourth-place finisher.

The top 126 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – Steve Billirakis, Matthew Graham, David Kitai, Daniel Negreanu, Eddy Scharf, and Jerry Yang.  

It should also be noted that this year marked Jerry Yang’s first time to cash at the WSOP since his thrilling 2007 Main Event victory.  He has now finished in-the-money three times at this year’s WSOP.

THE CHAMPION – WILL HAYDON

The $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em champion (Event #26) is Will Haydon from San Francisco, CA.

Haydon is 23-years-old.

Haydon was born in Palo Alto, CA.

Haydon graduated from Palo Alto High School.  He was offered a full college scholarship playing golf.  Haydon attended UC-Davis for a year, but dropped out of school to play poker.

Haydon has several big wins and high-finishes in online poker tournaments.  He once won an online poker tournament that paid $500,000.  He won another major online tournament that paid $160,000.

Haydon cashed in this event for a whopping $630,031, his biggest win ever.

According to official records, Haydon now has one win, one final table appearance, and one in-the-money finish at the WSOP.   His career WSOP earnings now total $630,031.

WINNER QUOTES

On what winning his first WSOP gold bracelet means:  “This is pretty much the Holy Grail.  If it was between this versus winning a million dollars but no bracelet -- I would rather have this.”

On how his experience as a serious golfer helped him in poker:  “I would say the biggest thing in golf for me is the mental game.  It carried over pretty naturally to poker – especially in terms of discipline and patience.  You have to pick out situations and know what to do in those situations.”

On his plans   “I like to play high-stakes cash games, so the money is always good for that.”

On coming into the final table as the shortest stack of the final six players:  “My game plan was really just to try and find a good spot to double up.  So, it’s just something I’ve done a thousand times.  It’s just finding that spot where you think you can do it.”

On what he advises for young people who are considering dropping out of school to play poker:  “The advice I would give is to yes, follow your dreams.  But you need a certain amount of results.  And in poker, that’s money.  You need it consistently.  I mean, if you can put X number up on the board, and you have good money management and all these skills that are not common with a lot of players and gamblers, then you do have a chance.  But would I advise someone to do it?  Generally, no.”

THE FINAL TABLE

The final table consisted of just one former WSOP gold bracelet winner – Eddy Scharf, from Cologne, Germany.  Scharf is a two-time champion.  His last win took place in 2003.

Three different nations were represented at the final table: Germany, South Africa, and the United States.  This was the first final table this year that included a citizen of South Africa.

The final table began six-handed.

Final table participants ranged in age from 23 to 56.

The runner up was Jeffrey Papola, from New York, NY.  He is a law student and poker pro.  Papola has cashed three straight years at the WSOP.  He earned a very respectable consolation prize totaling $391,031.

The third-place finisher was Joe Baldwin, from University Place, WA.  He is a business owner who was making his fifth WSOP career cash.  Third place paid $248,265.

The fourth-place finisher was former Lufthansa Airlines pilot Eddy Scharf.  He won WSOP gold bracelets in 2001 (Limit Omaha High-Low Split) and 2003 (Limit Omaha High-Low Split).  This marked Scharf’s fifth WSOP final table appearance and was his best showing since a fifth-place showing in 2004.  Scharf collected a cool $163,649.

The fifth-place finisher was Jarred Solomon, from Johannesburg, South Africa.  He previously won an event at the 2008 Aussie Millions.  Solomon noted that he is an avid soccer fan, but chose to miss his host nation’s World Cup spectacle in order to come and play at this year’s WSOP.  The devotion to poker paid off nicely, to the tune of $110,903.  

The sixth-place finisher was Steve Crowley, from Midlothian, VA.  He is a former civil engineer-turned poker pro.  Crowley cashed for the 11th time, and now has more than $300,000 in career earnings after pocketing $77,228 for this fine performance.

The final table officially began at 7:00 pm and ended at 3:20 am.  The final table clocked in at 8 hours and 20 minutes.

OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS


The top 126 finishers collected prize money.  Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Steve Billirakis, Matthew Graham, David Kitai, Daniel Negreanu, Eddy Scharf, and Jerry Yang.  

This year marked Yang’s first time to cash at the WSOP since his 2007 Main Event victory.  He has now finished in-the-money three times at this year’s WSOP.

With his 16th-place finish in this tournament, Daniel Negreanu now has 46 career cashes, which moves him up into a 13th-place tie with Brent Carter and Thor Hansen on the all-time in-the-money rankings.

The defending champion was Brock Parker, from Silver Spring, MD.  He did not enter this year’s tournament.

ODDS AND ENDS

This is the 854th 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 Main Stage.

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.

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

EVENT HISTORY

Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em started out primarily as an online poker game.  Many poker sites now offer just as many Six-Handed games as full ring games.

Six-Handed cash games and tournaments are not commonly offered at most brick and mortar casinos.  The reason is obvious.  The games and tournaments require just as many tables, dealers, and resources as a standard nine-handed set-up.  But in Six-Handed play, the number of players (and takeout) is reduced by a third.  The WSOP believes the game merits gold bracelet status since it requires a different skill set from conventional games, and has proven to be very popular worldwide.

Six-Handed Hold'em emphasizes short-handed poker skills.  Rather than a full table of nine players, each table is played six-handed (or less, as players bust out).  This generally requires competitors to play cards out of the standard range of starting-hand requirements.  It also makes post-flop skill paramount to victory.  The game is included on the WSOP schedule in an effort to test as diverse a range of poker skills as possible.

Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em made its WSOP debut in 2005.  Three Six-Handed events were included on the 2006 schedule.  Last year, there was only one Six-Handed event. Former champions from these events include Isaac "The General" Galazan, Dutch Boyd, Bill Chen, Jeff Madsen, Jason Warner, Ralph E. Porter, Ken Aldridge, and Matt Hawrilenko.

The largest Six-Handed live tournament in poker history took place a few weeks ago at this year’s WSOP when 1,663 players entered the $1,500 buy-in competition.  

There were 1,068 players in this event last year.  This year’s attendance increased to 1,245 players.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament was played over three consecutive days, from June 14-16, 2010.

Haydon, the eventual winner, came into the final table (six-handed) with the shortest stack.

The final hand of the tournament came when Haydon’s     bested Jeff Papola’s    .  The board cards could not have come much better for Haydon as the five community cards showed          .  The river card gave Haydon a straight and his first WSOP victory.

2010 WSOP STATISTICS

Tournament attendance is up significantly from this same point last year.  Last year, through 27 events, there were 25,764 entries.  Through 27 events this year, total entries stand at 29,785, representing an increase of 15.6 percent. (Because Event #27 concluded on the same day as Event #26, this report includes totals through the 27 tournaments.)

Tournament prize money figures are up slightly from last year.  Last year, through 27 events, the sum of total prize money won was $50,339,856.  This year’s total prize money figure currently stands at $50,654,630 – which represents an increase of 0.6 percent (note the decimal).

Through the conclusion of Event #27, the nationalities of winners have been:

United States (19)
Great Britain (3)
Canada (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #27, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (14)
Great Britain (3)
Vietnam (2)
Canada (2)
China (2)
Hungary (1)
New Zealand (1)
France (1)
Lebanon (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #27, the ratio of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (19):  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, Sammy Farha, David Warga, Will Haydon

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

Amateurs (6):  Duc Pham, Aadam Daya, Pascal LeFrancois, Simon Watt, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Jeff Tebben

Through the conclusion of Event #27, here is the list of repeat WSOP gold bracelet winners at the 2010 WSOP:

Praz Bansi
Men “the Master” Nguyen
Russ “Dutch” Boyd
Sammy Farha
David Warga (* his first WSOP win was in a non-open event)