Mows Down Brutally-Tough Finale Table Lineup
Bankrupts Benyamine, Forrest, Racener and Hellmuth, in Succession
Wins Eight-or-Better World Championship
Time This Year – Hellmuth Denied 12th WSOP Gold Bracelet, but takes
over POY lead
Collects First WSOP Gold Bracelet and $442,183 Top Prize
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Up 11 Percent Over Last Year
Bracelets Won – 25 More Still to Go
months, and years from now when reflecting back upon what happened at the 2011
World Series of Poker, the outcome of Event #33 will probably be remembered
just as much for those who did not win, as the champion who achieved
Consider the formidable lineup
of stellar superstar poker talent which finished -- second, third, fourth and
Second Place – 11-time gold bracelet winner and
1989 world champion, Phil Hellmuth, Jr
Third Place – Last year’s WSOP Main Event
Championship runner up, John Racener
Fourth Place – Five-time gold bracelet winner and
Seven-Card Stud specialist, Ted Forrest
Fifth Place – Former gold bracelet winner and
high-stakes cash game pro, David Benyamine
So, who was the dragon slayer
who brandished a dagger and slashed the proverbial necks of poker’s royalty?
The new champion’s name is Eric
Rodawig is a name not known to
many poker players, or fans of the game. Yet, his name should be
recognized, and after tonight -- will most certainly gain the attention of
anyone who plays or follows Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split.
Rodawig is a pro/instructor at
the poker training website Cardrunners. However, until this victory in
the most recent World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas, Rodawig’s
credentials had pretty much been purely academic. Now, with his first
gold bracelet victory achieved, he can rightfully declare himself as the 2011
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split World Champion.
Rodawig is a 26-year-old
banker. He is originally from South Dakota. Rodawig graduated from
Georgetown University. He now lives with his wife in the Northern
Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC.
This marked Rodawig’s third time
to cash in the WSOP, and second in-the-money finish so far this year. He
collected $442,183 for first place. Rodawig also received the most
coveted prize in the game, the WSOP gold bracelet.
To gain some perspective on
Rodawig’s gold bracelet victory, consider the emotional devastation felt by
virtually everyone around him who played deep in this tournament. No
adversary felt more envious of Rodawig than the iconic player who finished
second – Phil Hellmuth. Barely a week after his less-than-satisfying
runner up finish to John Juanda in the Deuce-to-Seven Lowball championship,
Hellmuth had a shot to redeem himself and win what would have been an
unprecedented, record-smashing 12th career gold bracelet victory.
Instead, Hellmuth was a WSOP
bridesmaid yet again, forced to witness the excruciating victory celebration of
someone else from the cold, dark, lonely place that exists only within the
perspectives of true poker champions for which there is no substitute for
victory. With two second-place finishes at roughly the midway point of
the series, Hellmuth’s only consolation in finishing second was the top spot in
the current WSOP “Player of the Year” standings.
The third-place finisher too,
endured his own private sense of bitter disappointment. Few poker players
have won more money than John Racener within the past nine months. But
until Racener achieves what has become an elusive moniker of “WSOP gold
bracelet winner,” he remains grouped amidst the millions of wannabe's – although
clearly in great position both in terms of talent and finance to eventually
achieve his prize.
It’s hard to figure out how Ted
Forrest was feeling after falling a few spots short of victory, in fourth
place. The calm, coy, poker-faced legend is widely-regarded as one of the
best Stud players ever to play the game. But his wait too, shall
continue. It’s been seven years since Forrest achieved a victory at the
WSOP. Now, his wait will last a little while longer.
Then, there’s David Benyamine,
who won his first and only gold bracelet three years ago. He’s become
something of an icon within the poker world, due largely to his regular
appearances on several late night poker shows. He’s also known to be one
of the planet’s best cash-game specialists. But Benyamine too has his
pride and wants to win. The bottom line is -- he didn’t. That
hurts. Hence, Benyamine joined the procession in the pain parade, along
with Hellmuth, Racener and Forrest.
All this leaves is Eric Rodawig
all alone with the ultimate bragging rights for a poker player. He not
only won his first WSOP gold bracelet, he did so in the most impression possible
fashion. He beat poker’s very best and can now credibly say he belongs as
a rightful member of the club.
Rodawig was the best of the best.
For a comprehensive recap of Event #33,
please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #33 CHAMPION – ERIC RODAWIG
World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split world
champion is Eric Rodawig, from Arlington, VA.
Rodawig is a
banker. He works in corporate finance.
originally from South Dakota.
Rodawig is a
graduate of Georgetown University, in Washington, DC.
Rodawig is a
pro/instructor at the popular poker teaching website Cardrunners. He specializes in Seven-Card Stud High-Low
Split teaching and discussion.
cheered on to victory by his wife and several friends who watched the final
victory, Rodawig collected $442,183 for first place.
official records, Rodawig now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances and 3
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP. He
previously finished fifth in the $1,500 buy-in Razz event, in 2009.
has $485,424 in career WSOP winnings.
Rodawig is to
be classified as a semi-professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats),
since he is working to supplement his income as a player and poker instructor,
yet maintains his full-time job.
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top eight finishers.
table contained three former gold bracelet winners – Phil Hellmuth, Jr., Ted
Forrest, and David Benyamine. The former
winners had a combined 17 titles between them.
were represented at the final table – Russia (1 player) and the United States
This was Ali
Eslami’s third final table appearance so far this year. He is the only player with three such
appearances. A few players have three
top-ten finishes, but the final table varies in number by game and Eslami is
the only player with a trifecta in that category.
runner up was Phil Hellmuth, Jr. He earned $273,233. This was Hellmuth’s second time to finish as
the runner up. He took second place to
John Juanda one week earlier. Hellmuth
is now chasing what is becoming an elusive 12th gold bracelet (the
most ever by any player). His last
victory took place in 2007.
added to his legacy as the all-time leader in two notable WSOP categories. He now has 81 WSOP cashes. He now has 42 final table appearances.
has now cashed at the WSOP during each of the last 16 years.
finisher John Racener has earned more prize money at the WSOP over the past
year than any of the other players at the final table. He was the runner up in last year’s WSOP Main
Event Championship. Since 2010, Racener
has collected nearly $6 million at the WSOP – but so far, no gold bracelet.
finisher Ted Forrest’s exploits as a high-stakes poker player are
legendary. The five-time gold bracelet
winner is widely-regarded as one of the world’s top Seven-Card Stud players. However, he has not won at the WSOP since
2004, when he won two titles.
marked the third final table appearance for Ali Eslami, from Los Angeles. He took 8th place after previously
finishing 6th and 7th.
play began at 6 pm on a Monday evening.
Play concluded nearly ten hours later at 3:45 am, early on Tuesday
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 16
finishers collected prize money.
champion was Frank Kassela, who won the first of his two gold bracelets last
year as the champion of this event.
Following his victory, Kassela went on to win WSOP “Player of the Year”
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament -- aside from the three
players who made the final table – were: Phil Laak (12), Erik Seidel (13), Bill Chen
(14) and Cyndy Violette (15).
Violette, the former Atlantic City Seven-Card Stud pro has now cashed four
times in 2011, the most by any female player.
With his cash
in this event, Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel now has 62 career cashes. This currently ranks fourth place on the
all-time list. Seidel is tied with Berry
Johnston at the moment. Both players are
just two cashes away from the player ranked third, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.
of all Seidel’s history of WSOP cashes, this marked the first time he has ever
cashed in a Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split event.
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.
second runner up finish, Phil Hellmuth currently leads the “Player of the Year”
ODDS AND ENDS
Stud High-Low Split is a game in which the highest and lowest hands split the
pot equally. However, the lowest hand
must first qualify to be eligible for half the pot. The qualifying low hand must be an
"eight-low" or better. For
this reason, the game is sometimes alternatively called Seven-Card Stud
tournament attracted 168 entries.
Attendance decreased by a fraction from last year’s attendance figure
tournament attracted an older-than-average poker player. Most Hold’em tournaments attract an average
age of about 34 years. This average age
of players in this tournament was 40.
Other than the Seniors Championship, the only older demographic was for
Seven-Card Stud. Yet again, the average
age of players who performed well was skewed towards younger players. Average age of those who cashed – 37
years. Average age of those who made the
final table – 35 years. Winner’s age –
females entered this tournament.
There were 15
different countries represented in the field.
This was the second
richest Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split prize pool in poker history – at
$1,579,200. It nearly topped last year’s
record number. This was only the fourth
million-dollar prize pool ever for any Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split
This is the 925th
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 Wednesday, June 22nd. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
Stud High-Low Split was the first "split" game ever to be played at
the WSOP, when it was first introduced 32 years ago. In 1976, Doc Green became the first
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split World Champion.
Interestingly, he won $12,750 for first place that year, which is less
than half what the bottom of the payout scale (16th place) earned in this
the list of event winners reads like a "Who's Who" of poker. Past winners include – Johnny Moss, Doyle
Brunson, Chip Reese, Mickey Appleman, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Max Stern, Men
"the Master" Nguyen, Mike Sexton, Artie Cobb, Vince Burgio, Cyndy
Violette, Rich Korbin, Eli Elezra and Jeffrey Lisandro.
In 1986, this
game was inexplicably omitted from the WSOP schedule. After some protest by Seven-Card Stud
High-Low Split enthusiasts, it was reinstituted and has been included on the
poker menu every year. Since 1995, every
WSOP has included at least two Eight-or-Better events. This year's WSOP
schedule includes two Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournaments – this $10,000
buy-in World Championship and a $1,500 buy-in event to be played June 14-16.
No player in
WSOP history has ever won more than one gold bracelet in this game.
was scheduled to be played over three consecutive days/nights – which ran into
a fourth day due to the late finish.
Day One began
with 168 entries and ended with 127 survivors.
Due to the nature of high-low split games, the first day usually ends
with a much higher percentage of survivors than Hold’em events.
Day Two began
with 127 players and ended with 18 survivors.
began with 18 players, which played down to the winner.
officially began on Saturday, June 18th at 5 pm. The tournament officially ended early Tuesday
morning, June 21st, at 3:45 am.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #33, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 41,454 combined total entries. $64,138,560 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:
(25): 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, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema,
Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein
Semi-Pros (4): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig
(4): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James
Hess, Kirk Caldwell
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 29 out of 33 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 8 of the 33 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 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 (81)
and final table appearances (42).
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 benefitting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.