Wins Seniors World Championship
Seniors Event in History – 3,752 Entrants Shatters Previous Record Set in 2010
Manager Collects WSOP Gold Bracelet and Half-Million Dollar Prize
Passes Halfway Point
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Still Up Double Digits Over Last Year
Bracelets Won – 28 More Still to Go
Poker is a
natural pastime for all seniors. It may
very well be the only competitive game which allows persons 50, 60, 70, or even
80-years and older to compete on an equal playing field with opponents who are
in their 20s and 30s.
but a poker table could a 61-year-old grandmother become a “world champion,” as
happened a few years ago when Clare Miller won a WSOP gold bracelet?
but a poker table could a crusty 80-year-old Korean War vet outplay and outwit
more than a thousand other competitors, which occurred when Paul McKinney won
his gold bracelet?
but a poker table can seniors proudly use all the knowledge and experience life
has given them, and at the same time -- feel young again?
everyone in the universe who could make it to Las Vegas and post a $1,000
buy-in seems to agree.
Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship attracted the largest turnout in poker history
-- with a whopping 3,752 entries.
Incredibly, attendance was up nearly 20 percent over last year's
turnout, which was then an all-time record.
In fact, the capacity crowd represented the largest single-day start for
any live tournament in poker history.
That may take
a moment to sink in. So, let’s repeat
slowly: The Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship was the busiest day in live
champion is James Hess, from Encino, CA.
He earned $557,435 in prize money -- the biggest payout ever for what is
commonly known as the “Seniors World Poker Championship.” Hess was also presented with his first-ever
WSOP gold bracelet, the game's ultimate achievement. This marked Hess' third time to cash at the
the battle was not easy. What was
originally planned as a three-day competition extended into an early morning
fourth day, when the action concluded just shy of 4 am. Hess made trip sixes on the final hand of the
tournament, topping his final adversary, Richard Harwood -- who showed two
conclusion of Event #30, the 2011 WSOP has now crossed the midway point -- both
in terms of total days and number of events.
So far, several attendance and prize money records have been set at the
Rio in Las Vegas.
For a comprehensive recap of Event #30,
please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #30 CHAMPION – JAMES HESS
World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-Limit Hold’em champion is James
Hess, from Encino, CA.
Hess is a
50-year-old talent manager. He turned 50
in May, becoming the youngest Senior winner in history.
originally from Cambridge, MA.
Hess is a
graduate of the University of Southern California.
married and has two children.
recorded live tournament cash took place in 2010.
previous showing was a second-place finish in a tournament at the
Venetian. His best prior WSOP finish was
a 32nd-place finish.
Hess has been
coming to the WSOP for the past seven years.
victory, Hess collected $557,435 for first place.
official records, Hess now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance, and 3
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
has $575,073 in career WSOP winnings.
Hess is to be
classified as an amateur poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he plays
recreationally and has a full-time job.
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top nine finishers.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners – which is the sixth finale
this year which guaranteed a first-time winner.
nations were represented at the final table – Great Britain (1 player) and the
United States (8 players).
runner up was Richard Harwood, from Granada Hills, CA. He earned a very nice consolation prize
amounting to $342,407. Harwood is a television director. He has directed many notable shows, including
The Incredible Hulk, Sheriff Lobo, Harper Valley PTA, and several Bob Hope Show
specials. Harwood has also directed sports
programming, including the Olympic Games.
eighth-place finisher was Walter Browne, from Berkley, CA. During the 1960s and 1970s, he lived in New
York and was regarded by many authorities as the second-best chess player in
the United States, behind Bobby Fischer (at one time, a world champion
grandmaster). He is a six-time U.S.
national chess champion.
play began at 9:20 pm on a Sunday evening.
Played concluded early Monday morning at 3:45 am.
table was played on ESPN’s so-called secondary 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 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 396
finishers collected prize money.
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament -- aside from those who
made the final table – were the following players: Andre Boyer (42), Mike “Little Man” Sica
(88), Susie Isaacs (132), Rich Korbin (138), Mike Carson (139), Mike Carson
(139) and others.
the former world champion backgammon player who is now a tournament circuit
regular, finished in 50th place.
Dr. Bruce Van
Horn (Ada, OK) finished in 56th place. He is best known as runner up in the 1996
Main Event Championship, won by Huck Seed.
(Henderson, NV) enjoyed a min-cash in this tournament. He is the husband-manager of international
superstar Celine Dion, and an avid poker player.
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 was the
largest seniors-related poker tournament in history. Attendance shattered the previous record, set
at last year’s WSOP. The total number of
entries at 3,752 surpassed the 201 figure by 610 players (3,142). This represents a 19 percent increase in
attendance, an almost unconscionable turnout given that last year’s attendance
was the largest in history by a 16% margin from the previous year.
this was the largest single-day start of any live poker tournament in
history. Even the previous record
setting WSOP Main Event Championships of recent years had four Day Ones,
meaning the 3,752 players who began the start of this event constituted the
largest live field in one place at any one time in poker history.
officials called Friday, June 17th the busiest day in poker
history. Nearly 6,000 players were
processed through the Rio in various WSOP-sanctioned tournaments which began on
that day. This is a 24-hour record for
senior “Senior” in the field was 87-year-old Tony Grand Cantalup (yes, that’s
his name). When he was introduced to the
huge crowd Grand Cantalup grabbed the microphone and stated, “I’m not sure
which is going to last longer in this tournament, me or my chips!”
in the field were 87-years-old. There
were four 86-year-olds who played.
This is the 922nd
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 took place on Monday, June 20th. The national anthem of the USA was played in
honor of his victory.
Poker Championship has been successful due in part to the efforts of “Oklahoma”
Johnny Hale, who is known as the “Elder Statesman of Poker.” Hale has organized many senior’s poker events
over the years. Prior to the start of
this year’s Seniors Championship, Hale addressed the large crowd. He conducted the annual “Roll Call,” which
provides for a moment of silence and reflection on behalf of many deceased
poker greats, such as Benny Binion, Johnny Moss, and others. Hale is also the caretaker of the Seniors
Poker Hall of Fame. During a break on
the first day of play, all living members of the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame
were photographed as a group on the main stage inside the Pavilion.
tournament awarded the famous “Golden Eagle” trophy, which is engraved with the
winner’s name(s). The trophy is a
keepsake that is passed forward from champion to champion, similar to the
tradition of the Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League.
eligible for entry into the Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship, the entrant
must be age 50 or older -- which means the player had to have been born prior
to June 17, 1961.
similar to the Seniors World Poker Championship was first played in 1993. It was spread at various locations in
California and Nevada during the first eight years of its existence. Then, in 2001 an exclusive event for seniors
was added to the WSOP schedule. Jay
Heimowitz won the first official WSOP Seniors championship gold bracelet.
A woman has
won the Seniors Championship just once.
That took place in 2006 when Clare Miller was the winner.
winner was Paul McKinney, who was 80-years-old when he won the Seniors
Championship in 2005. McKinney, from
West Virginia made a famous quip following his victory. He shared his secret for success by saying,
"I like moonshine whisky, big cigars and young women."
event is a No-Limit Hold’em tournament.
This has been the game since inception at the WSOP in 2001. The buy-in has always been $1,000.
was played over four days. It was
originally scheduled to last three days.
But the record field side made that impossible.
Day One began
with 3,752 entries and ended with 529 survivors.
Day Two began
with 529 players and ended with 36 survivors.
began with 36 players, which played down to the winner.
officially began on Friday, June 17th at noon. The tournament officially ended early Monday
morning, June 20th, at 3:45 am.
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 #30, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 37,773 combined total entries. $56,871,510 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, John Monnette, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy
Frankenberger, Chris Lee
Semi-Pros (3): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Amateurs (3): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess
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 30 events being won by pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 7 of the 30 winners (23
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 192 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.
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 6,350 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
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
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.
All results are now official and may be reprinted by media. If you are posting these results on a
website, we would appreciate providing a link back to: WSOP.com