Wins Ten-Game Mix Championship
Tournament Debuts at 2011 WSOP – Called Ultimate Test of All-Around Skill
Lee Collects First
WSOP Gold Bracelet and $254,955 Prize
Reaches Halfway Point
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Still Up Double Digits Over Last Year
Bracelets Won – 29 More Still to Go
hushed debate has persisted for quite some time as to whether the person coroneted
as the official “World Poker Champion” should be decided upon based solely on
one’s mastery of a single game.
After all, poker is a potpourri
of many different card games. Texas Hold’em may very well be the
“Cadillac of poker games.” But the fact is -- many Mercedes, Jaguars and
Lexus cars idle in our poker parking lot, as well. Poker even has a few
Edsels and AMC Pacers.
So many different poker variants
are played now in virtually all regions of the world that it’s next to
impossible to keep track of all the quirks and peculiarities of every
game. Standard rules, such as a flush beats a straight, no longer
necessarily apply. Now, there are games where the worst hand wins.
Other games aim to create a hodgepodge of low cards of mixed suits. It’s
become tougher to figure out than the tax code.
It’s hardly a surprise then,
that the World Series of Poker would do its best to reflect changes and
encourage greater diversity. Accordingly, for the first time in history,
a WSOP tournament featured ten different poker games in what was the
first event of its kind ever offered.
formats have proven to be popular when they've been offered. H.O.R.S.E.
was the first multi-game ever spread at the WSOP, which is a five-game
mix. There have also been H.O.S.E. and S.H.O.E. events in the past.
This year, a
new gold bracelet event debuted which includes ten different poker games.
Predictably, the event is called the “10-Game Mix.” The following games
are played in rotation:
2. Pot-Limit Omaha
3. Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw
4. Limit Hold'em
5. Omaha High-Low Split
7. Seven-Card Stud
8. Seven-Card Stud High-Low
10. No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven
The first-ever winner of the $2,500
buy-in Six-Handed 10-Game Mix is Chris Lee. He earned $254,955 in prize
money. Lee was also presented with his first WSOP gold bracelet, which is
the game’s ultimate achievement. Incredibly, this was the first time Lee
has ever cashed in any WSOP tournament. Lee overcame a
larger-than-expected field size for a first-time tournament.
attracted 431 entries. The respectable turnout is a strong indication of
the growing demand for Mixed Games and for more major tournaments, other than
Hold’em. No doubt, Hold’em will remain
king of the poker universe for a long time. The WSOP Main Event
Championship is in no danger of becoming a Badugi competition.
Nevertheless, at least for a time, the new champion can credibly boast that he’s
the best all-around poker player in the world, at least until next year when
this event shall inevitably return. For a comprehensive recap of Event
#29, please visit WSOP.com HERE.
EVENT #29 CHAMPION – CHRIS LEE
World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed 10-Game Mix champion is Chris
Lee, from Clarksville, MD
Lee is a
24-year-old poker pro.
Lee was born
in Hamburg, Germany. His father was a
businessman and the family lived in Germany.
Lee moved to the United States when he was 11-years-old.
Lee is a recent
graduate of Duke University. He studied
philosophy and sociology.
Lee is the
second straight Duke graduate to win a WSOP gold bracelet. The previous event was won by Duke alum, Andy
Lee has no
previous live major tournament cashes.
primarily an online poker player. He
specializes in Sit n’ Go’s and particularly Heads-Up Sit n’ Go’s. He has played for stages as high as $5,000
attended the WSOP each of the last three years.
His results up to his point had been underwhelming. In the previous 10 tournaments Lee entered
this year, he has failed to cash each time.
This was the
11th WSOP tournament Lee played this year.
Lee is the
seventh player at this year’s WSOP whose victory represented the first time to
victory, Lee collected $254,955 for first place.
official records, Lee now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance, and 1 in-the-money
finish at the WSOP.
has $254,955 in career WSOP winnings.
Lee is to be
classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he
has been playing full-time in recent years.
WINNER QUOTES (Note:
The winner was interviewed at tableside moments after the victory)
Please talk about your first gold bracelet and what it means to you.
It means a lot. I’ve been mostly an online player and I’ve
had a decent amount of success on the Internet, but I’ve been playing live
tournaments on and off the last three years and I’ve never really had any
success. It’s actually a huge talking
point for my friends. They always give
me (deleted) because I was always busting out early and I was really starting
to doubt myself. Was I really a good
live player? But this summer I came out
here planning to play a lot of events and really started off slow. This is my 11th event. This is my first cash. And I’m actually not a mixed game player at
all. I usually play just No-Limit
Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. So a lot of
these games are new to me, so I didn’t go in with high expectations, but I ran
really good all four days and I learned that in limit tournaments you have to
get really lucky because the blinds get really big. I thought I played really good and I’m really,
really excited. It feels like I have a
big monkey off my back. And I’m the
first one out of our group of friends to win a bracelet so I guess I have some
bragging rights for that. It’s cool,
-- Talk about playing Badugi.
I have zero experience playing
-- You never even played it online?
I have played it twice at the Commerce
(casino) in my life. I did one time
online for low limits. It was funny
because I made it clear at the final table that Badugi was the one game I have
no idea how to play. You guys can go
steal my blinds all day and that’s pretty much what happened. And, Shaun Deeb who was on my left was like a
Badugi master and he was raising every hand and I was sitting there like, “Alright,
you take my blinds every time.” But
actually, I made a big play in Badugi when I got heads-up, a bluff that worked,
so that was a big part of me winning heads-up, I think.
Talk a little bit about the final table.
Who was the toughest player?
I’d have to say Shaun was the
toughest, Shaun Deeb. I thought Travis
played really well, too. John D’Agostino
is a great player too. We’ve played
online before. He was really short-stacked
so he didn’t have a lot going on. But
really everyone was tough. The thing
with 10-Game is that everyone has different strength points. So when it comes to certain games, some are
going to be better than others. And it’s
just a cool setting for everyone to show off their skills in the different
games and in their weaker games they play tight, and not winning as many
pots. It’s cool because it gives
everyone an even playing field.
What do you think about the hard stop?
When you are the chip leader, some want to keep playing. Do you feel it stopped momentum?
I mean, we were so tired at the end of
last night, we were basically all delusional.
I would have preferred to just have kept playing because you get to a
point where you are just in the zone and you just want it over with. But I think it was good because I hadn’t been
sleeping well for the past few days and I got a good night sleep last night and
came in fresh. I was ready to play. I was really excited to play. And I knew it wouldn’t last that long, so I
just got myself mentally prepared. I
think I was coming in with a good mindset today.
How did you get started in poker?
Starting all those years ago and transitioning to now and winning the
10-Game Mix, which some say is the truest test in poker. What was that process and how’d you get
started in the game?
I started out playing when I was in
high school, just with friends. And it’s
funny. I was always the worst player in
all our home games. I’d work a part-time
job and end up losing most my money to my friends. And I finally started getting good when I put
some money online and really started reading the strategy forums, reading
books, just really spending a lot of time playing. Online you see so many hands and so it
probably took me six months to a year until things started clicking and I
started realizing, ‘Hey, this is fun and I can make good money doing this.’ So from that point on, I put in a lot of
consistent hours and I think over the years, you just accumulate all the experience. I could have never won this tournament a
couple years ago because the longer you play, and the more different games you
learn, you start to realize they all feel alike, there are a lot of
similarities in all the different games.
So I think at some point you, as a poker player, things click and you
take your game to the next level.
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top six finishers.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners – which was the fifth occasion
this year that the finale guaranteed a first-time champion.
nation was represented at the final table – the United States with all six
runner up was Brian Haveson, from Garnet Valley, PA. He is a graduate of Purdue University and now
serves as the CEO of international health company conglomerate,
Nutrisystem. Poker wise, Haveson has now
cashed 12 times at the WSOP, including an in-the-money finish in the 2002 Main
Event Championship. For his second place
finish, Haveson collected a consolation prize amounting to $157,491.
third-place finisher was Travis Pearson, from Las Vegas, NV. This marked his seventh time to cash at the
WSOP and was his third top-10 finish this year.
fourth-place finisher was Shaun Deeb, from Troy, NY. He is a highly-successful poker pro now with
16 WSOP cashes. This was his fifth time
to cash in 2011, which ties his for the most in-the-money finishes, presently.
fifth-place finisher was Kendall Fukumoto, from Honolulu, HI. This was his first time to cash at the WSOP
in five years.
sixth-place finisher was John D’Agostino, from Egg Harbor Township, NJ. He has been playing tournament poker for
nearly a decade and has many previous cashes.
This was his third in-the-money finish at the 2011 WSOP.
play began at 2 a.m. on an early Sunday morning. Played concluded for two hours before play
was suspended for the night at 4 a.m.
The final three players returned for an unscheduled fourth day, which
began at 4 pm on Sunday. The final table
ended at 5:30 pm.
table was played on ESPN’s main stage. 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
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 42
finishers collected prize money.
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament -- aside from those who
made the final table – were the following players: Daniel Alaei (23), Freddy Deeb (27), Lyle
Berman (28), Steve Sung (32), Cyndy Violette (38), “Miami” John Cernuto (40)
and Mike Wattel (41).
This was the
fourth cash this year for Roland “Speedy” Israelashvili (New York, NY), who is
emerging as one of poker’s most consistent tournament performers. Israelashvili has cashed 17 times on the WSOP
Circuit and now has 17 WSOP cashes, all since 2005.
“Cashing Machine” Traniello (Las Vegas, NV) continues to rack up in-the-money
finishes at an unprecedented rate. He
cashed for the fourth time at this year’s WSOP.
Traniello now has 32 WSOP cashes since 2005, which is more than any
player within that time frame.
Violette (Las Vegas,NV) is one of only 12 women to win an open event at the
WSOP. She cashed in 38th
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
This is the 921st
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
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, June 20th. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
tournament ended on the Father’s Day holiday.
This was the
first year any 10-Game Mix tournament has been played at the WSOP.
tournament and format was introduced due to considerable player interest and
demand for increased numbers of Mixed-Game events on the WSOP schedule.
the first time in history Badugi (also spelled Badougi) has been played as part
of any WSOP gold bracelet event. Like
many card games, its origins are not exactly clear. The game is believed to have originated in
South Korea. Speculation as to when the
game first appeared in the United States is that a few American military
personnel stationed in South Korea during the 1960s and 1970s learned how to
play and brought the game back home, after their service. Badugi was initially played in private games,
mostly in the South. When poker rooms
began opening across the country within the past ten years. Badugi began
appearing in various casinos. Badugi is
now a favorite game for many high-stakes poker players. There are also different forms of Badugi now
was the first multiple game tournament offered at the WSOP, which includes five
games. A Mixed Game event was introduced
at the 2008 WSOP, which included eight games.
The 10-Game format includes the most variants ever offered for any
tournament. The 10-Game Mix includes the
Deuce-to-Seven Triple-Draw Lowball
Stud High-Low Split
Tournament Director Jack Effel stated:
“We really wanted to have Badugi on this year’s schedule. But we were not quite sure what the reaction
would be to the game, since it is new to many people. Based on the huge turnout, I can now say we
expect this will become yet another WSOP tradition which should remain on
future schedules, as long as players support the game.”
was played over four consecutive days.
of games was determined by a random draw at the beginning of each day. Games switch every six hands. This means the entire rotation of games is
complete after 60 hands.
Day One began
with 431 entries and ended with 162 survivors.
Day Two began
with 162 players and ended with 19 survivors.
began with 19 players, which played down to the winner.
officially began on Thursday, June 16th at 5 pm. The tournament officially ended early Sunday
afternoon, June 19th, at 5:30 pm.
NEW STATISTICS (2011 WSOP – HALFWAY
conclusion of Event #29, players from the follow states have combined for the
following number of in-the-money finishes.
The current state leaderboard reads as follows:
Nevada – 424
Florida – 178
Texas – 155
New York –
conclusion of Event #29, players who have entered the most WSOP gold bracelet
events are as follows:
Tom Dwan – 26
“Grinder” Mizrachi – 21
Sorel Mizzi –
conclusion of Event #29, players who have cashed in the most WSOP gold bracelet
events are as follows:
Rabtsov – 5 cashes
Shaun Deeb –
tied with 4 cashes each
conclusion of Event #29, female players who have cashed in the most WSOP gold
bracelet events are as follows:
Weisner – 4 cashes
Tilly – 2 cashes
Violette – 2 cashes
Schoenberg – 2 cashes
Monteavaro – 2 cashes
Gromenkova – 2 cashes
MORE 2011 WSOP STATISTICS
conclusion of Event #29, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 34,021 combined total entries. $53,494,710 in prize money has been awarded
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 event, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (3)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
(24): 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, Jason Somerville, Bertrand
Grospellier, Elie Payan, John Monnette, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema,
Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee
Semi-Pros (3): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
(2): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays
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 24 out of 29 events being won by pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 7 of the 29 winners (24
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the 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, no player has
yet won two gold bracelets (this year).
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 190 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.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players -- Maria
Ho, who finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) and Kim Nguyen, who
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
finished in sixth place after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit
Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship.
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
(3,157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3,175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,350 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
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 added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (80)
and final table appearances (41), with his second-place finish in the
Deuce-to-Seven Lowball Championship (Event #16).
Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold
bracelet event as they are completed.