Play It Again, Sam!

Sam Stein Wins Pot-Limit Omaha Championship

Stein Masters PLO at 2011 WSOP – 1st Place and 3rd Place Finishes in Two Events

23-Year-Old Poker Pro Collects First WSOP Gold Bracelet and $420,802 Top Prize

2011 WSOP Passes Halfway Point

Full House at the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Up 11 Percent Over Last Year

31 Gold Bracelets Won – 27 More Still to Go


If a young man named Sam Stein approaches you and offers up a “friendly” game of Pot-Limit Omaha, here’s some free advice.

Run the other way.


Stein may look like any other good-natured 23-year-old who enjoys fun times and good living.  But at the poker table, he’ll bleed dry your poker bankroll quicker than a mortician draining a corpse -- especially if the game is Pot-Limit Omaha, which is Stein’s specialty.

Fortunately, for all the vulnerable marks and unsuspecting players – the word is now finally getting out.  As the sun rose over the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on a wickedly warm Monday morning, Stein went into vampire mode.  He was finally exposed for the person he really is – a darn good poker player.

Stein beat out 684 competitors in Event #31 -- the $3,000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha tournament, to become the latest player cementing his place in WSOP history.

For his win, Stein was awarded $420,802 and poker’s ultimate token of achievement -- the World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

Amazingly, Stein finished third in this year’s $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha World Championship, which took place just two weeks earlier.  He earned $264,651 for his outstanding performance in that event.  Just past the halfway mark of this year’s WSOP, Stein has amassed nearly $700,000 in overall tournament winnings.  Not bad for two weeks of “work.”

Stein is a 23-year-old poker pro from Henderson, NV.  He has been playing poker for the past three years.  Aside from impressive accomplishments at this year’s WSOP, Stein has cashed in several other big tournaments.

Sorry, Sam.  The word is out.  Your stealthy charade of anonymity is up.

Good luck finding a Pot-Limit Game the rest of your life.

For a comprehensive recap of Event #31, please visit the tournament portal page HERE.


The 2011 World Series of Poker $3,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha champion is Sam Stein, from Henderson, NV.

Stein is 23-year-old professional poker player.

Stein was born in Hidden Hills, CA.

Stein’s first recorded live tournament cash took place in July 2009.  Since that time, he has won more than $2 million in live tournaments – not counting this victory.

Stein had four second-place finishes in major tournaments prior to this victory – most notably at last year’s Deep Stack Extravaganza, at the Venetian.  He also came in third in the $10,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship, at this year’s WSOP.

For his victory, Stein collected $420,802 for first place. 

According to official records, Stein now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances and 8 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.

Stein currently has $775,253 in career WSOP winnings.

Stein is to be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he has been playing full-time for about three years.


The official final table was comprised of the top nine finishers.

The final table contained only one former gold bracelet winner – Brock Parker.

Three nations were represented at the final table – Bulgaria (1 player), Great Britain (1 player) and the United States (7 players). 

The top two finishers reside in the Las Vegas area.

The runner up was Benjamin Lamb, from Las Vegas, NV.  He earned a nice consolation prize amounting to $259,918. 

The seventh-place finisher was two-time gold bracelet winner Brock Parker, from Silver Spring, MD.  He won back-to-back WSOP titles in 2009 in the same game, which was Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em.

This was an unusual final table for a Pot-Limit Omaha event.  Since the game is a favorite of many Europeans, one expected a more international field.

Final table play began at 9 pm on a Sunday evening.  Played concluded at 5 am, early on Monday morning. 

The final table was played on ESPN’s main stage.  The so-called secondary stage was used to host the Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship, which ran at the same time. 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.

Action was streamed live over  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 63 finishers collected prize money.

Among former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament -- aside from those who made the final table – were the following players:  Tex Barch (10), Jeffrey Lisandro (35), Joe Hachem (50) and Dan Heimiller (63).

“Top Cat” did it again.  Tony Cousineau (Daytona Beach, FL), a.k.a. “TC” cashed for the record-extending 48th time in his career.  Cousineau now has 48 in-the-money finishes, which is the most of any player who has not yet won a gold bracelet.     

2005 world poker champion Joe Hachem finished in 50th place.

Tournament results are to be included in all official WSOP records.  Results are also to be included in the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race.

WSOP “Player of the Year” standings can be found at HERE. 


The tournament attracted 685 entries.  Attendance increased slightly above last year’s figure (569 players) even though the buy-in was increased by $500.  This was previously a $2,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha competition, which was upgraded to $3,000.

This is the 923rd 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 Championship.

The official 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.

Stein’s gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Tuesday, June 21st.  The national anthem of the USA will be played in honor of his victory.


Pot-Limit Omaha made is WSOP debut in 1984.  The first Pot-Limit Omaha gold bracelet winner was Dewey Tomko, who was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame -- Class of 2008.

Sparked by widespread popularity in Europe, Pot-Limit Omaha tournament attendance at the WSOP continues to grow. Since the WSOP has been played at the Rio, here are the attendance figures over the past six years for this event:

2005 – 540 players ($2,000 buy-in)

2006 -- 590 players ($2,000 buy-in)

2007 – 599 players ($2,000 buy-in)

2008 – 320 players ($2,500 buy-in)

2009 – 436 players ($2,500 buy-in)

2010 – 569 players ($2,500 buy-in)

2011 – 685 players ($3,000 buy-in)

Here are the Pot-Limit Omaha attendance figures for the $1,500 buy-in event, which shows even more of an upward trend:

2005 – 291 players

2006 -- 526 players

2007 – 578 players

2008 – 758 players

2009 – 809 players

2010 – 885 players

2011 – 1,071 players

This is the second of three Pot-Limit Omaha tournaments on this year’s WSOP schedule.


The tournament was played over four consecutive days/nights.

Day One began with 685 entries and ended with 138 survivors.

Day Two began with 138 players and ended with 25 survivors.

Day Three began with 25 players, which played down to the winner.

The tournament officially began on Friday, June 17th at 5 pm.  The tournament officially ended early Monday morning, June 20th, at 5 am.


Through the 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 cashes

California – 408 cashes

Florida – 178 cashes

Texas – 155 cashes

New York – 148 cashes

Through the conclusion of Event #29, players who have entered the most WSOP gold bracelet events are as follows:

Tom Dwan – 26

Shannon Shorr –22

Justin Smith – 22

Michael “Grinder” Mizrachi – 21

Sorel Mizzi – 20

Steven Kelly – 20

Jason Mercier – 20

Dan Heimiller – 20

Through the conclusion of Event #29, players who have cashed in the most WSOP gold bracelet events are as follows:

Kirill Rabtsov – 5 cashes

Shaun Deeb – 5 cashes

14 players tied with 4 cashes each

Through the conclusion of Event #29, female players who have cashed in the most WSOP gold bracelet events are as follows:

Melanie Weisner – 4 cashes

Jennifer Tilly – 2 cashes

Cyndy Violette – 2 cashes

Erica Schoenberg – 2 cashes

Joanne Monteavaro – 2 cashes

Svetlana Gromenkova – 2 cashes


Through the conclusion of Event #31, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 38,458 combined total entries.  $58,741,560 in prize money has been awarded to winners. 

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:

United States (21)

Great Britain (3)

Canada (3)

France (2)

Russia (1)

Ukraine (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (16)

Great Britain (3)

Canada (3)

France (2)

Ukraine (2)

Israel (1)

Russia (1)

Honduras (1)

Indonesia (1)

Germany (1)

Through the conclusion of this event, the home-states of (American) winners have been:

California (5)

Nevada (3)

New York (3)

Texas (2)

Illinois (2)

New Jersey (1)

Florida (1)

Tennessee (1)

Connecticut (1)

Indiana (1)

Maryland (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:

Professional Players (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, Sam Stein

Semi-Pros (3):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk

Amateurs (3):  Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess

Since 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 25 out of 31 events being won by pros.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 7 of the 31 winners (22 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, no player has yet won two gold bracelets (this year).

The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 191 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.

The highest 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).

The highest 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.

New tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3157 entries) – Event #18

Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3175 entries) – Event #20

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,350 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23

Largest Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) – Event #30

Largest single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

 New player records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

The 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).

Phil 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).

Note:  Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold bracelet event as they are completed.

Note:  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: