My Big Fat
Longest Name in Poker History Wins Gold Bracelet
Polychronopoulos Wins First Gold Bracelet at 2011 WSOP
Wins $1,500 Buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Title
New Champion Rakes-In
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance on a Record Pace
Bracelets Won – 10 More Events Still to Go
ATHANASIOS POLYCHRONOPOULOS owned a gold bracelet for every letter in his name,
he’d have more WSOP titles than Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Stu Ungar – combined.
He makes YEVGENIY TIMOSHENKO
look like AN TRAN.
If his name was up on the Wheel
of Fortune board, frustrated letter-queen Vanna White would end up in a
The player with the longest name
in the 42-year history of all World Series of Poker champions just won his
first gold bracelet-- delighting everyone with Greek lineage, and horrifying
all those who are phonetically challenged.
over 2,712 opposing players in the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event,
officially classified as Event #48 on the 58-event schedule. He won a
whopping $650,223 in prize money. He was also presented with the coveted
WSOP gold bracelet, representing the ultimate achievement in the game of poker.
The winner’s family is
originally from Greece. Duh. But Polychronopoulos is actually as
American as apple pie. He was born in -- and still resides in -- New York
State. The 27-year-old professional poker player has won more than $2
million in online poker tournaments. However, this is only the second
year he has attended the WSOP, which is a good thing since WSOP data entry
clerks get plenty of overtime whenever he enters an event.
Polychronopoulos four days to achieve his victory, about as long as it takes
him to write out a personal check. The top 270 finishers collected prize
money. Among those who cashed was the runner up, Simon Charette, from
Canada. Others in the money included Alex Bolotin, who won the 2009 “Ante
Up For Africa” charity event and donated half his winnings to the cause.
Two-time gold bracelet winner Howard “Tahoe” Andrew also cashed. He
currently holds the record for the most WSOP years played in a row, which is
now 38 straight years and counting.
Tahoe first started attending the WSOP all the gold bracelet winners were
pretty much cut from the same cloth -- with familiar names like Moss, Pearson,
Brunson, Roberts and Preston. Now, it's the
Eugene Katchalovs, Viacheslav Zhukovs, Bertrand Grospelliers, Mikhail Lakhitovs,
Oleksii Kovalchuks and Athanasios Polychronopoulos' who are winning the cash
A few words
of advice to 2011 WSOP executives: Hire
more data entry clerks! Quick!
For a comprehensive recap of Event
#48, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #48 CHAMPION – ATHANASIOS
World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em champion is Athanasios Polychronopoulos,
from Springs, NY which is located near the Hamptons on Long Island.
was born in Southampton, NY to Greek parents.
family owns a Greek restaurant.
is a 27-year-old professional poker player.
He began playing seriously in 2003.
played online poker primarily, up until the events of April 2011, called “Black
has won what estimates to be about $2 million playing online poker
the second year Polychronopoulos has attended the WSOP.
Prior to this
victory, Polychronopoulos’ WSOP winnings totaled $5,207.
victory, Polychronopoulos collected $650,223 for first place.
official records, Polychronopoulos now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance and
2 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
currently has $655,430 in career WSOP winnings.
is to be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats),
since he has been a full-time player for about six years.
You have one of the coolest names in
the history of poker:
learn it when you’re a child, you know it by heart. It’s easier once you say it, it’s easier to
pronounce than you think. It’s a very
long name. It’s a very common name, the
first name in Greece, it’s a very common name.
It’s a great name. I love my
name. I love my last name, and my first
What’s special about Greece in that it
produces a lot of famous gamblers? Does
your family include gamblers or poker players?
“There are a
few gamblers in the family, yeah. It’s
in the blood. It’s definitely in the
Tell us about your family and growing
“I was born
on Long Island (New York). My father and
mother came from Greece. Spent most of
their lives there and then had my sister and I on Long Island once they moved
out here. My father opened up a
restaurant. My mother and father raised
me in New York. I would always go back
to Greece to see my family and every time I would go back I would meet a new
cousin. ‘Oh, here’s your cousin, here’s
your third cousin.’ My family is huge. My mother’s family is enormous. My father’s family is enormous. I love them all so much.”
What are they going to say about this
know…. (He requests to take a break, as emotions overcome him).”
Talk a little about the final table.
all good players. A few German guys were
there, playing very solid. Every single
player played solid. I came in fourth in
chips. On the first hand, I tried to
pull a pretty big bluff, and it failed, because he had trips. Once that first bluff failed, and I got it
out of my system, it was easier for me.
I just had to pick my spots after that.”
What was the significance of the “Down
Goes Frasier” shirt you wore at the final table?
Drew gave me this sweater a long time ago.
He actually didn’t give it to me, he let me borrow it and I forgot to
give it back. The first time I played at
the PCA a few years ago, I had a monster chip stack and I took a huge beat at
the end of Day Two, for what I believe might have been chip lead and I was
wearing this. And I remember at the hotel
he was like, ‘Don’t worry man, don’t worry.
You’re gonna’ win a gold bracelet.
You’re going to win a bracelet soon.’
So I said all right. I promised
him if I final table a World Series of Poker event, I’ll wear this
sweater. And I promised that if I final table
a World Series of Poker event I would wear this Greek soccer thing. The scarf belongs to my friend. He said I need to wear it at the final table. I said if I get there, I promise I’ll wear
it. I’m a man of my word.”
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top nine finishers.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners.
nations were represented at the final table – Canada (1 player), Germany (3
players), Greece (1 player) and the United States (4 players).
The runner up
was Simon Charette, from Pickering, Ontario (Canada). Second place paid $404,225.
play began Thursday at 8 p.m. Played
concluded approximately 8 hours later (playing time wise) the following day. Play was suspended when heads-up began due to
the hard-stop rule (no more than ten levels of play, daily).
table was played in two parts, first on ESPN’s secondary stage. The following day the finale continued on the
main stage at four handed. The new final
table set this year is getting raves in terms of design and appearance. No stage in the history of poker has ever
looked as spectacular. Viewers will be
able to see ESPN’s coverage again once the WSOP Main Event begins in July.
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 270
finishers collected prize money.
who won the 2009 “Ante Up For Africa” charity event and donated half his
winnings to the cause, finished in 42nd place.
bracelet winner Howard “Tahoe” Andrew cashed in 151st place. His first WSOP cash took place in 1976. He holds the record for the most WSOP years
played in a row, which is now 38 years, and counting.
are to be included in all official WSOP records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.
ODDS AND ENDS
attracted 2,713 entries.
age of entrants was 30.1 years.
There were 12
females who played in this tournament, representing 0.4 percent of the field.
This is the 941th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). 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. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is
played. The entire presentation is open
to the public and media. Video and
photography is permitted by both the public and members of the media.
gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Saturday, July 2nd The national anthem of the winner’s family,
Greece, will be played in honor of his victory.
This will be the first time in history Greece has appeared as the
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #48 (Event #49 included) the 2011 WSOP has attracted 56,964 combined
total entries. $103,590,060 in prize
money has been awarded to winners.
conclusion of this tournament, the total prize pool for all events just crossed
the $100 million mark.
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet
winners has been:
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (4)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt
Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler
Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason
Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier,
Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie,
Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios
Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis
Amateurs (6): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk
Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed
tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of
professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so
far – with 43 out of 49 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 9 of the 49 winners (18
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
Every WSOP held
over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far this year, no
player has yet won two gold bracelets.
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 206 consecutive
events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker
Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both
sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The
longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996,
when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players. Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in
No-Limit Hold’em). Kim Nguyen also
finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who
after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball
World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their
victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the
last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in
2001. Perhaps it’s due to the increasing
size of the fields. But there’s also
great pressure on the champions to do well.
What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold
bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:
players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November
Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years. Consider that last year, three former Main
Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch, and Scott
Montgomery. This year, Matt Jarvis won
his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.
tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) –
single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Largest consecutive-days starting field
sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke
Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)
Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history
(2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19,
Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) –
Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history
($3,393,400) – Event #42
records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most
recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP
history. He accomplished this in
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).
Hellmuth Jr. added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes
(83) and final table appearances (42).
“Tahoe” Andrew added to his record as the player with the longest consecutive
streak of WSOP appearances (entering at least one event), currently at 38 years
and counting (1974 to present).
RAISING AWARENESS: BAD BEAT ON CANCER AND THE WSOP
Bad Beat on
Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way
for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1
percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship,
contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize. By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and
joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits
when they win. As the official charity
of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are
donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.
A tax receipt is generated and sent to
their mailing address. Several high
profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their
winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka,
Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others. Since 2003, the initiative has raised over $3,500,000
for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs. Players can pick up a patch and join Team 1%
by stopping by the Bad Beat on Cancer booth, located at the 2011 WSOP opposite
the Amazon Room in the concourse. The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas
is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.
Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold
bracelet event as they are completed.