TOURNAMENT HEADLINES:

From 2010 November Niner to 2011 Gold Bracelet Champion

Matt Jarvis Wins Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship

Canadian Poker Pro Rakes In $808,538 in Prize Money

Oh Canada!  Five Gold Bracelets Now For the Great White North

Phil Hellmuth Cashes Again – 82 In-the Money Finishes for All-Time Lead (and Counting)

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

40 Gold Bracelets Won – 18 More Still to Go

OVERVIEW

How does anyone top making the WSOP November Nine?

That’s an easy answer for any serious poker player.  How about returning the following year to the World Series of Poker, and winning a gold bracelet.

Today, Matt Jarvis did exactly that.  Seven months after his uber-impressive eighth-place finish in the 2010 WSOP Main Event Championship, he returned to the arena of his former glory and heartache and ended up winning his first WSOP title.  Jarvis won the $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, held at the Rio in Las Vegas.  This was the 40th gold bracelet event (of 58) on this year’s schedule.

Jarvis overcame a brutally-tough field totaling 732 players.  More of a challenge perhaps than the sheer volume of runners, was the fact that this was as stacked a field as has ever been assembled for any live six-handed competition.  Indeed, the best online poker players in the world mingled amongst a few hundred world-class touring pros creating a gauntlet for any aspiring champion.  After three long days and nights, plus an unscheduled fourth-day afternoon, Jarvis alone proved up to the challenge.

Matt Jarvis is a 26-year-old poker pro from Vancouver, BC (Canada).  He won $1,045,743 by outlasting 7,311 players in last year’s championship.  Jarvis added a whopping $808,538 to his bankroll for this victory, which was one of the biggest cash prizes of the year so far at this year’s WSOP.  Jarvis now has more than $1.8 million in winnings over the past two years, which places him among the top ten performers in that category.

The runner up was Justin Filtz, from Stevens Point, WI.  He is a 24-year-old poker pro who was making his second top-three finish at the WSOP.  Filtz previously finished third in an event at the 2008 WSOP.  The final duel was a real test for both players.  The see-saw battle lasted four hours in real time.  Both players had chances to win.  But it was Jarvis who ultimately took advantage and won the final pot of the tournament.

Jarvis becomes the fifth Canadian poker champion so far at the 2011 WSOP.  In fact, the last four gold bracelet events have all been won by non-Americans.  Players from Russia, France, Ukraine and Canada have won the last four tournaments in succession.

Speaking of Canadian poker champions, last year’s Main Event winner didn’t fare too badly, either.  Jonathan Duhamel, the reigning world poker champion from Montreal, finished in 15th place.  Four-time gold bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu, originally from Toronto, also went deep, finishing in 20th place.

For a comprehensive recap of Event #40, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.

EVENT #40 CHAMPION – MATT JARVIS

The 2011 World Series of Poker $5,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em champion is Matt Jarvis, from Vancouver, BC (Canada).

Jarvis is a 26-year-old professional poker player.

Jarvis was born in Richmond, BC (Canada).

Jarvis is best known for making it to the final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event Championship, becoming what is known as one of the “November Nine.”  Jarvis ended up finishing in eighth place, earning $1,045,743 in prize money.

For this victory, Jarvis collected $808,538 for first place. 

According to official records, Jarvis now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances and 3 in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.

Jarvis currently has $1,858,566 in career WSOP winnings.

Prior to winning this event, Jarvis was zero for ten in cashes at the 2011 WSOP.

Jarvis had an incredible story prior to last year’s WSOP Main Event.  He was planning to come and play.  But a few months prior to the tournament, his father was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment.  Jarvis was prepared to skip playing at the WSOP.  But instead, his father talked him into coming to Las Vegas and encouraged him to go ahead and play.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Jarvis’ father remains in good health today.

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

WINNER INTERVIEW

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

“You dream of a moment like this from the first time you start playing poker.  To win and event like this with as tough a field as this was, is an amazing feeling.”

On making the November Nine and the eight months that have since passed:

“It’s been a really crazy year.  I did win two (live) tournaments.  I also won a major tournament online.  It’s been a really good year for me, so far.  I just hope it keeps going.”

On becoming the fifth Canadian champion so far at the 2011 WSOP:

“It’s unbelievable.  There are so many great players coming out of Canada, especially in Vancouver.  It’s amazing to be part of that group that is doing so well here this year.”

On his father’s encouragement and support, particularly in light of his illness:

He’s doing really well.  I actually just got off the phone with him a few minutes before we started back.  I heard from (someone else) that he had tears in his eyes.  He’s really good.  He’s doing much better now in his recovery.  I am really proud of him for the effort he’s put into everything.”

On Justin Filtz, his final opponent, who battled heads-up for more than four hours:

“Justin was really tough.  He put a lot of pressure on me….he played really great the whole time.”

On which is better, making the November Nine versus winning a gold bracelet the next year:

“It’s so tough to answer.  I think the November Nine put me on the map.  But this secures me as a player.  Especially in such a tough field, it shows I can do it again and that I’m a capable poker player.  I do not know if I can say one is better than the other.  I’m just really happy that one followed the other.”

THE FINAL TABLE

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

The final table contained no former gold bracelet winners.

Two nations were represented at the final table – Norway (1 player) and the United States (5 players). 

The heads-up match between Matt Jarvis and Justin Filtz was a marathon test of willpower and stamina.  The duel lasted more than four hours.  In fact, play was interrupted at the end of Day Three, requiring an extra day of action.  Both players had the chip lead at various times and had their respective opponents all in and drawing for help.  Filtz was ahead by 3 to 1 in chips at one point.  But he could not deliver the final blow to his opponent.  Jarvis had the chip lead a majority of the time, but it took all he had to ultimately defeat his final foe.

After play was suspended after the third day of play, the two heads-up finalists returned for an unscheduled day four.  The last day lasted only 6 minutes.  Jarvis had a 4 to 1 chip lead and won the last hand with ace-high (A-8 versus K-9 all in pre-flop).

The runner up was Justin Filtz, from Stevens Point, WI.  He cashed for the sixth time at the WSOP, coming close to winning this event, but instead missing out and ultimately finishing second.  Filtz collected $499,855.

The third-place finisher was Wesley Pantling, from Marina Del Rey, CA.

The fourth-place finisher was Anthony Merulla, from New York, NY. 

The fifth-place finisher was Matt Iles, from London, UK.

The sixth-place finisher was Matthew Vengrin, from Henderson, NV.

Final table play began at 9 pm on a Saturday night.  Played concluded about four hours later (playing time wise) at 3 am on Sunday morning.  They returned for play at 2:45 pm on Sunday and play ended a short time later.

When final table play began, Justin Filtz enjoyed the chip lead (and finished second).  There were essentially four big stacks and two small stacks.  Matt Jarvis began play with one of the larger stacks.  However, he was fourth in chips when cards went into the air.

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 78 finishers collected prize money.

The defending champion was Jeffrey Papola, from New York, NY.  He did not cash this year.

Among the former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament were the following:  Jonathan Duhamel (15th), Daniel Negreanu (20th), David Singer (29th), Phil Hellmuth (36th), Kevin Song (50th), Angel Guillen (54th), Daniel Alaei (58th), Lisa Hamilton (66th), Nenad Medic (72nd) and Jason DeWitt (78th).

Reigning champion Jonathan Duhamel’s 15th-place finish marks the second time he has cashed this year.  Duhamel finished 54th earlier in one of the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em events.

Phil Hellmuth’s 36th-place finish marks his 82nd time to cash at the WSOP.  He continues to separate himself from the pack and is now ten cashes ahead of second-ranked player Men “the Master” Nguyen.  He also took back the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

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 732 entries.  Participation was up significantly from last year, as the same event attracted 568 entries.  This represents a 29 percent increase over last year’s attendance.

Reigning world poker champion Jonathan Duhamel cashed in this tournament, finishing in 15th place.  His strong showing in this tournament breaks a pattern that has existed for a decade.  Most reigning poker champions have not performed well at the following WSOP.  In fact, since Chris “Jesus” Ferguson won the world championship in 2000, and then won another gold bracelet the following year, most have failed to cash in any events.  One notable exception was Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, who finished first in the 2004 Main Event, and then finished 25th the following year in the world championship. 

This is the 932nd 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.

Jarvis’ gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Monday, June 27th.  The national anthem of Canada will be played in honor of his victory. 

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 732 entries and ended with 172 survivors. 

Day Two began with 172 players and ended with 20 survivors.

Day Three began with 20 players and played down to heads-up.

Day Four began with 2 players and played down to the winner.

The tournament officially began on Thursday, June 23rd at noon.  The tournament officially ended early Sunday afternoon, June 25th at 3 pm.

2011 WSOP STATISTICS

Through the conclusion of Event #40 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 (24)

Canada (5)

Great Britain (3)

France (3)

Ukraine (3)

Russia (2)

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

United States (20)

Canada (5)

Great Britain (3)

France (3)

Ukraine (3)

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 (31):  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, Mitch Schock and Matt Jarvis

Semi-Pros (5):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis

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 over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so far – with 36 out of 40 events being won by pros or semi-pros.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 8 of the 40 winners (20 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 199 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.

Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in 2001.  Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields.  But there’s also great pressure on the champions to do well.  What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:

Johnny Moss (1975)

Doyle Brunson (1977)

Bobby Baldwin (1979)

Johnny Chan (1988)

Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)

By contrast, players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years.  Consider that last year, three former Main Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch and Scott Montgomery.  This year, Matt Jarvis won his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine.

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 (82) 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.