TOURNAMENT HEADLINES:

Schock and Awe

Mitch Schock Wins Mixed Pot-Limit Championship

Schock Becomes First WSOP Champion in History from North Dakota

Poker Pro Rakes-In $310,225 in Prize Money

Rodney Brown Finishes as Runner Up

Full House at the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Continues Running Ahead of Last Year

38 Gold Bracelets Won – 20 More Still to Go

OVERVIEW

If Mitch Schock didn’t exist in real life, he'd have to be created by a fiction writer.

The man with the perfect name for a dynamic new poker champion just won the most recent World Series of Poker tournament, held at the Rio in Las Vegas.  Schock electrified the record tournament field of 606 entries and created a buzz by winning his first WSOP gold bracelet.  He also collected the handsome sum of $310,225 in prize money.

Schock awed the competition.  He outlasted everyone in a three-day poker test that was just as much a battle of physical and mental endurance as poker skill.  His final heads-up match took three hours, ending in a triumphant victory against runner up Rodney Brown.  Schock finally ended the duel with a sledgehammer on what turned out to be the final hand of the tournament, winning on the Pot-Limit Omaha round with double-suited aces, which flopped the nuts.

Schock is a 40-year-old professional poker player from Bismarck, ND.  He has been playing professionally since the mid-1990s.  Schock is also a single father to three children.  Perhaps his biggest source of pride from this victory is being able to lay claim to being the first WSOP winner in history from the state of North Dakota.

Meanwhile, Rodney Brown, from Brea, CA had to settle for second place.  He is a 37-year-old professional poker player.  Brown once worked as an insurance company executive.  But he found he could make more money and manage his time better by playing poker in and around the local Los Angeles poker scene.  To Brown's credit, he was but one card away from victory at one point, but missed and ultimately had to settle for a nice paycheck and some fond memories.

Schock's victory came in the $2,500 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha Mixed Championship, which was classified as Event #39 at the 2011 World Series of Poker.  He collected $310,225 in prize money for his victory, which comes out to over six-figures per day.  

Rami Boukai, who won this same event two years ago, made it to the final table again.  He finished in ninth place.  Other former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament included -- Joe Hachem (12th), Scott Clements (14th), David Williams (24th), Tom “Hot Pants” Schneider (26th) and Humberto Brenes (39th).

With this cash, Humberto Brenes is now alone in fourth place in the all-time WSOP cashes list.

For a comprehensive recap of Event #39, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.

EVENT #39 CHAMPION – MITCH SCHOCK

The 2011 World Series of Poker $2,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha champion is Mitch Schock, from Bismarck, ND.

Schock was born in Billings, MT.

Schock is a 40-year-old professional poker player.  He began playing poker full time in 1996.

Schock is a single father of three children.  His children are ages 9 up to 15.

Prior to playing poker professionally, Schock held a number of different jobs, primarily in the construction business.

Schock has been very active organizing poker games and activities, particularly in North Dakota.  He has helped to create various poker charity tournaments that were successful.  He often emcees the events and says they are designed to be fun and raise money for good causes.

Schock also invested in a bar poker league as well as the heads-up poker machines, which are still found in various places around the country.

Schock estimates that he has read more than 100 poker books.

This marks the sixth consecutive year Schock has attended the WSOP.

For his victory, Schock collected $310,225 for first place. 

According to official records, Schock now has 1 win, 5 final table appearances, and 20 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.

Schock currently has $903,699 in career WSOP winnings.

Schock is to be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he has been a full-time player for about 15 years.

Schock now has five cashes at the 2011 WSOP, which includes three final table appearances.  He is now within the top five of the WSOP “Player of the Year” standings.

Schock is the first resident of North Dakota ever to win a WSOP gold bracelet.

WINNER INTERVIEW

On how it feels to finally win a WSOP gold bracelet:

“This is great.  There are probably like 500 people following me online back in North Dakota.  I know a lot of different people in poker from many of the things I do.  And so, I think I am the first player from North Dakota to win.  There was a kid who is very good who came in second a few years ago, but I think I am the first.  So, I am going to go back home with the gold bracelet and everyone is going to be patting me on the back -- and buy me free drinks.”

On his self-evaluation as a poker player:

“I may not look the part.  But I think I am a step ahead of where they think I am at – if you know what I mean.”

On what he did differently this year versus year’s past in preparation for the WSOP:

“I actually got burned out earlier this year.  So, I took a few months off.  I took a step back and then came back into it.  I came to the World Series of Poker feeling confident that I was going to play as well as I have ever played before.”

On what this victory means for his family:

“This money will come in pretty handy.  I am a simple man.  I have a simple house.  The kids and I get by like anyone else, and this is sure going to help out.”

On his calm and carefree disposition at the poker table:

I enjoy life.  I like to have a lot of fun at the poker table.”

THE FINAL TABLE

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

The final table contained one former gold bracelet winner – Rami Boukai, from San Diego, CA.  Boukai won this same event two years ago.  He finished in ninth place.

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

The runner up was Rodney Brown.  He is a poker pro from Brea, CA.  Prior to playing full-time, Brown worked in the insurance industry.  He is primarily a cash-game specialist.

The third-place finisher was Jan Collado, from Oyten, Germany.  He is a 23-year-old student.

The fourth-place finisher was Carter Gill, from Madras, OR.  He claims to be a 24-year-old hand model.

The fifth-place finisher was Tyler Patterson, from Everett, WA.  He is a 28-year-old self-described professional gambler.  Patterson cashed for the third time at this year’s WSOP, which was his 10th in-the-money finish at the WSOP.

The sixth-place finisher was James Vanneman, from Boston, MA.  He is a 24-year-old poker pro and a graduate of Emory University.

The seventh-place finisher was David Lestock, from Bradenton, FL.  He is a 27-year-old semi-pro poker player and a graduate of the University of Florida.

The eighth-place finisher was Jonas Mackoff, from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  He is a 24-year-old poker pro who now has four top-25 finishes as the WSOP.

The ninth-place finisher was Rami Boukai, from San Diego, CA.  His Pot-Limit record at the WSOP is quite impressive, with 1st, 6th, 9th, 14th, 17th, 18th and 36th place finishes in such events since 2006. 

Final table play began at 8 pm Friday.  Play concluded about 7.5 hours later (playing time wise) at 3:30 am Saturday.

When final table play began, Tyler Patterson enjoyed a chip lead of more than 2-to-1 over his closest threat.  Seven of the players were out-chipped by 3-to-1 or more (including Schock, the eventual winner). 

The final 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 July.

Action was 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 63 finishers collected prize money.

The defending champion was Jose-Luis Velador, from Corona, CA.  He did not cash.

Among the former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament – aside from the players who made it to the final table – were the following:  Joe Hachem (12th), Scott Clements (14th), David Williams (24th), Tom “Hot Pants” Schneider (26th) and Humberto Brenes (39th).

2005 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe Hachem finished in 12th place.  This was his highest WSOP finish in five years.

Humberto Brenes, from Costa Rica, now has 62 career cashes at the WSOP.  This ranks fourth on the all-time list, one behind Chris “Jesus” Ferguson.

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 WSOP.com HERE.

ODDS AND ENDS

This tournament attracted 606 entries.  This was up significantly from last year, when 482 players entered.

This is the 931st 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.

Schock’s gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, June 26th.  The national anthem of the USA will be played in honor of his victory. 

MIXED POT-LIMIT EVENT HISTORY

This is only the fourth time this tournament has been included on the WSOP schedule.  While many mixed-game tournaments have taken place in the 42-year history of the WSOP, these two games were now combined together exclusively in 2008.

Pot-Limit poker is more popular in Europe than the United States and elsewhere.  Many top European players in specialize in this form of poker.

The rotation of games in this tournament lasts eight hands.  In other words – following eight dealt hands of Pot-Limit Hold'em, there are eight hands of Pot-Limit Omaha, and so forth.

The list of previous event champions includes:

2010 -- Jose-Luis Velador

2009 – Rami Boukai

2008 – Max Pescatori

This was the biggest leap in attendance of any year since the tournament debuted.  Attendance figures were as follows:

2011 – 606 entries

2010 – 482 entries

2009 – 453 entries

2008 – 457 entries

Accordingly, this was the largest Mixed Pot-Limit event in poker history.

TOURNAMENT PLAY

The tournament 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 606 entries and ended with 131 survivors. 

Day Two began with 131 players and ended with 22 survivors.

Day Three began with 22 players and played down to the winner.

The tournament officially began on Wednesday, June 22nd at 5 pm.  The tournament officially ended Saturday, June 25th at 3:30 am.

2011 WSOP STATISTICS (excludes Event #38 which is still active)

Through the conclusion of Event #39 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 49,877 combined total entries; $79,888,860 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 (25)

Canada (4)

Great Britain (3)

France (3)

Russia (2)

Ukraine (1)

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

United States (20)

Canada (4)

Great Britain (3)

France (3)

Ukraine (2)

Russia (2)

Israel (1)

Honduras (1)

Indonesia (1)

Germany (1)

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

California (5)

Nevada (3)

New York (3)

Texas (2)

Illinois (2)

Florida (2)

New Jersey (1)

Tennessee (1)

Connecticut (1)

Indiana (1)

Maryland (1)

Virginia (1)

Michigan (1)

North Dakota (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 (30):  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 Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris

Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier and Mitch Schock

Semi-Pros (4):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig

Amateurs (4):  Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell

Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of professionals winning than any year recorded, so far – with 34 out of 38 events being won by pros or semi-pros.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 8 of the 38 winners (21 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 198 consecutive events.  Aside from the annual Ladies Poker 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 finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).  Kim Nguyen 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 after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.

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 6,332 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

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)

Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19, 2011

Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event #39

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 (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 benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.

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