Mows Down Six-Handed Field
Pro Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet
Champion Collects $213,431
Third British WSOP Winner this Year
Finishes as Runner Up – Second Female in 2011 to Finish Second
A Full House
at the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Remains Ahead of Last Year
18 Gold Bracelets
Won – 40 More Still Up For Grabs
nights ago, Darren Woods was inconspicuously watching the final table of the
$3,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #14). His friend, Canadian
poker pro Tyler Bonkowski, sat among the final nine. Bonkowski ended up
winning the tournament and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
As photographers snapped
pictures and media swarmed around the new poker champion, Woods sat quietly off
to the side, absorbing the moment and taking everything in.
As it turned out, Bonkowski’s
early victory was merely a dress rehearsal for what was to come later.
Woods pretty much saw how things were done. So, the following day he
returned to the Rio Las Vegas, posted the $2,500 buy-in, blitzed through a 354-player
field, and captured his very first WSOP victory.
On Monday night, just as Woods
was rising from the final table he had conquered, he nodded to the very same
members of the press and staff he had seen a few days earlier. Only this
time, Woods wasn’t window dressing in a background shot. He was cast in
the feature role.
Woods won the $2,500 buy-in
Six-Handed Limit Hold’em Championship. He collected $213,431 in prize
money. Woods was also presented with the WSOP gold bracelet, the ultimate
symbol of achievement in poker.
With his victory, Woods became
the third British player to win a gold bracelet at this year’s WSOP.
Following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Jake Cody (Event #2) and Matt
Perrins (Event #9), Woods became yet another brick in the wall that has become
a fortress of talent from Great Britain. With this year’s WSOP barely two
weeks done, England is back on pace to outdo its performance last year, when
there were five British gold bracelet champions.
The latest winner, Woods, is a
26-year-old poker pro from Grimsby, UK. He previously worked as an
accountant. Woods started playing online poker about five years ago and
gradually discovered he was making more money playing what was a hobby than his
real occupation. This was the third year Woods has attended the
WSOP. Up to this point, he had four career cashes, all of which took
place last year. Woods also cashed in the 2010 Main Event Championship
table enjoyed some added drama, fueled by the appearance of Kim Nguyen, who was
hoping to become the first female poker player to win an open event in three
years. Nguyen had the best chance of any female so far this year.
Although Maria Ho finished second two weeks ago, Nguyen was in a much better
position based on her various chip counts to break the invisible gender barrier
that has been cast over WSOP final results since 2008. But Woods, who
later revealed he's a heads-up specialist when playing online, proved too
As Woods was
posing for photos, answering questions from the media and basking in the
aftermath of his triumph, many fellow bystanders remained. One must
seriously wonder: Who among them shall look upon Woods’ victory on this night
as a dress rehearsal and become the next champion?
Is there such
a thing as déjà vu?
To view the complete details of Event
#19, please click here.
EVENT #19 CHAMPION
– DARREN WOODS
World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em Champion is Darren
Woods, from Grimsby, UK.
Woods is a
26-year-old professional poker player.
born in his hometown of Grimsby.
graduated from college, where he studied mathematics. He worked as an accountant for two years.
playing poker online recreationally.
Then, he started winning. After a
time, Woods realized he was making more money while playing poker and decided
it was costing him money to go to work each day. So, Woods left his job and started playing
This was the
third consecutive year Woods has attended the WSOP in Las Vegas. He did not cash during his first year. Then, he cashed four times in 2010. This victory marked his first cash in 2011.
Prior to the
start of this tournament, Woods had played in six tournaments and failed to
cash in any of them.
victory in this tournament, Woods collected $213,431 for first place.
official records, Woods now has 1 win, 1 final table appearances, and 5
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
has $321,458 in career WSOP winnings.
in the 2010 WSOP Main Event Championship, where he finished in 556th
close friends with Tyler Bonkowski, who won his first gold bracelet three days
earlier. Following the tournament,
Bonkowski jokingly boasted that he had not only won his gold bracelet first,
but his amount of prize money was $7,000 higher. Woods quipped that he would reach the second
gold bracelet victory before Bonkowski.
Woods is to
be regarded as a professional poker player, since he has been playing full-time
for the past four years.
(Note: The winner was interviewed at
tableside moments after the victory)
On how he
felt just a few minutes after winning: “Exhausted.
I got absolutely no sleep last night.
Some crazy woman knocked on the door at eight in the morning. She knocked on the wrong door and woke me up
and I went to bed at four last night. I
really want to go out and party and celebrate, but I might just fall asleep
instead. It’s pretty amazing to win.”
On winning a
Limit Hold’em tournament, when British poker players are better known for their
No-Limit and Pot-Limit experience: “I didn’t
know it’s an American game, but to be honest, I feel like I have a bigger
chance in the Limit tournaments. I
played No-Limit a hell of a lot as well, but if you lose one coin flip in
No-Limit or just one bad beat or one bad call, that’s it -- you’re out. Where as in Limit poker there’s a lot more
play involved and you don’t have to be 100 percent accurate. If you get bad beat then there’s still more
hands as long as you play sensibly.
You’re never going to lose all your chips on one bad beat, should you
have a decent stack.”
On runner up
Kim Nguyen: “Yeah, she’s a great player. She’s very aggressive. She knows what she’s doing.”
On his friend
Tyler Bonkowski winning a gold bracelet just a few days earlier: “Pretty
crazy, my buddy Tyler was telling me some guy won a bracelet and like three
days after that, his buddy shipped it.
So they won it like back-to-back, essentially. It was kind of a semi-inspirational story and
made me say, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this as well.’ So, I entered the day with that
mentality. It’s really amazing. We haven’t made any final tables in our life,
I don’t think. Then, he makes one and
wins, and then I make one and I win.
final table was comprised of six players.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners.
were represented at the final table – including Finland (1 player), Great
Britain (1 player), Russia (2 players), and the United States (2 players).
runner up was Kim Nguyen, from San Diego, CA.
She barely missed becoming the first female to win a gold bracelet since
2008. Nguyen had an excellent chance to
become only the 13th woman in history to win an open event in its 42
year history. But she went card dead
when playing heads-up and lost the chip lead, ultimately taking the runner up
spot and $131,900.
Final table play
began at 6:30 pm on a Monday afternoon.
Play ended at 1:30 am on Tuesday morning. The finale went about 7 hours, which was a
bit longer than expected for a 6-handed final.
table was played on ESPN’s Main Stage. The
new final table set is getting raves in terms of design and appearance. No stage in the history of poker has ever
looked as spectacular.
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.
The top 36 finishers
collected prize money.
(New York, NY) is proving to be one of the best Limit Hold’em specialists in
poker. He won the $1,500 Limit Hold’em
event last year. He also cashed in the
same event, held earlier this year – taking 11th place. Matros’ strong showings continued as he took
12th place in this tournament.
results are to be included in the WSOP official 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.
At the time
of this report, the current leader in the WSOP “Player of the Year” standings
is Amir Lehavot. He holds a slight lead
over Viacheslav Zhukov, who is in second place.
ODDS AND ENDS
This is the 911th
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 pm.
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.
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Tuesday, June 14th. The national anthem of Great Britain will be
played in honor of his victory.
was played over three consecutive days.
officially began on Saturday, June 11th at noon. The tournament officially ended on Tuesday,
June 14th, at 1:30 am.
conclusion of Event #19 (not counting Event #18, which was still being played
at press time), the 2011 WSOP has attracted 16,049 entries; $30,484,441 in
prize money has been awarded to winners, to date.
conclusion of this tournament, the nationality of gold bracelet winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this event, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (1)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:
(15): Jake 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
(2): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot
(1): Geffrey Klein
Five of the
18 winners at this year’s WSOP also enjoyed their first-ever cash with their
over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (wins within the same year).
1999 was the last year the WSOP was comprised exclusively of
single-event winners. The record for
most multiple gold bracelet winners in a single year was in 2009, when five
players managed to win two or more titles.
So far, no player has yet won two gold bracelets (this year).
The streak of
male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 179 consecutive events. Aside from the annual Ladies 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.
finishes by a female player (open events) at this year’s WSOP were by Maria Ho,
who finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em), and
Kim Nguyen, who finished second in this event.
set at this year’s WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
$1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single starting day
(3,157 entries) – Event #18
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20