the WSOP Corral
Wins Limit Hold’em Shootout
Pro Rakes-In $167,060 in Pot
Bracelet Champ Eugene Katchalov Takes Fourth
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance Shows No Signs of Slowing
No Female Winner
Reaches 200-Event Mark – Three Years and Counting
Bracelets Won – 17 More Still to Go
World Series of Poker there comes a point in time when the heart of a very long
and enigmatic tunnel is reached.
To the rear
is a faint flicker of light way off in the distance -- an entry point when the
long journey initially began. Straight ahead on an unwavering rail of
destiny is a glittering magnet of temptation, beckoning the engines of time to
At the 2011 WSOP, that moment in
time was reached on a Sunday afternoon at the Rio in Las Vegas. To the
rear was the conclusion of some 40 gold bracelet events, many record-breaking,
as well as riveting. Straight ahead on the grand horizon of every poker
player’s train of big dreams is the beaming luminosity of the WSOP Main Event
It’s coming. It’s getting
closer. Now, it’s just 10 days away.
Tick tock. Tick
tock. Tick tock.
For the 46,547 poker players who
have already trekked to Las Vegas from more than 100 different nations (through
Event 41) – and who are on pace to make this year the largest, grandest, most
spectacular WSOP in its 42-year-history -- the time clock on winning a WSOP
gold bracelet is fast expiring.
Justin Pechie doesn’t have to
worry any longer about the pressures of winning. He just won the $1,500
buy-in Limit Hold’em Shootout championship and, with it, his first WSOP
title. This was the 41st gold bracelet tournament (of 58) on this year’s
Pechie overcame a strong field
of 538 limit players en route to a payout worth $167,060. He was also
presented with the ultimate achievement in the game – the WSOP gold bracelet.
Pechie is a 26-year-old
professional poker player from Putnam, CT. He has been an online player
for about six years, and has been quite successful up until the events of what
is now called “Black Friday.” Now faced with the prospect of losing his
income and livelihood, Pechie is seriously considering a relocation to
Canada. However, before doing so he decided to make one major trip to Las
Vegas for this year’s WSOP. That turned out to be a good thing.
He’s now considerably richer and joins the most elite club of poker champions.
This was the third and final
shootout tournament at the 2011 WSOP. A shootout tournament means players
advance based on winning a series of table matches. The shootout format
is single elimination. The number of matches depends on the number of
tournament entries. In this event, the winner was required to win three
consecutive table matches.
did exactly that. As one might say -- his train finally came in.
For a comprehensive recap of Event
#41, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #41 CHAMPION – JUSTIN PECHIE
World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em Shootout champion is Justin
Pechie, from Putnam, CT.
Pechie is a
26-year-old professional poker player.
born in Putnam, CT.
college; however, he admits he was not a good student. He was interested in going into broadcasting
and perhaps pursuing a career in sports talk radio. He chose not to pursue those ambitions once
he discovered the ability to make money playing poker.
as a deli slicer in a supermarket before playing poker full time.
been quite successful playing poker – both live and online. He has major tournament wins at Foxwoods in
first year or two of playing full time, Pechie started out playing $4-8 Limit
Hold’em at Foxwoods. He gradually moved
up to $20-40 Limit Hold’em.
Pechie’s third time to make it to a WSOP final table. He took a third-place finish in the $2,500
buy-in NLHE event, in 2006 – which was the first year he attended the
WSOP. The following year, he finished
fourth in the $2,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em championship.
victory, Pechie collected $167,060 for first place.
official records, Pechie now has 1 win, 3 final table appearances and 14
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
Pechie currently has
$530,894 in career WSOP winnings.
winning this event, Pechie entered eight events at the 2011 WSOP. This was his second cash in 2011.
Pechie 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.
On how the events of Black Friday were
connected to his decision to play at this year’s WSOP:
“I almost did
not come this year. I was going to set
up some online stuff (in Canada) so I could continue to play there. So, I was not intending to come out this
year. But I went ahead and decided to
come out here for a month.”
On what made the difference in his
victory playing shootouts:
“I spent a
lot of time the last few months playing in six-max games….I think that helped
me a lot.”
difficulty of winning a shootout-style tournament versus a regular event with
“I think it’s easier. Shootouts are
my favorite kind of tournament because there is more short-handed play
throughout the tournament. That gives an
edge to people who play short-handed. In
a regular tournament, it’s always a full ring game until you make it to the
final table. The Shootout format gives
people who play short-handed well an edge.”
On being very low on chips when play was three-handed and then coming back
“I am kind of young. But I have been
playing a long time. I have enough
experience to know you don’t give up.
I’m never going to give up, because I am here to win.”
On what it means to win a WSOP gold
“It means a
lot. But I must be honest that the money
means more, because of the ‘Black Friday’ thing. So, I have a bigger cushion to fall back on,
with the uncertainty of online poker.
But the gold bracelet does mean a lot to me.”
On what he plans next:
“I am going
to play the same number of events (I planned).
I am different from a lot of people who are backed and can play whatever
they want. They can play all the $10,000
buy-in events. I have learned that those big buy-in events are really, really
tough and so I don’t bother with them much.
I stay focused on the softer tournaments.”
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top 10 finishers. The shootout format is different from other
finales, which are usually nine-handed or less.
table contained only one former gold bracelet winner – Eugene Katchalov.
were represented at the final table – France (1 player) and the United States
The runner up
was Dale Eberle, from Tega Kay, SC. He
is a 58-year-old retired firefighter.
Had Eberle won this tournament, he would have been the oldest winner in
2011. Instead, he settled for a nice
consolation prize amounting to $103,454.
third-place finisher was Mathieu Jacqmin, from France. He came close to becoming the fourth gold
bracelet champion from France at this year’s WSOP. Jacqmin had the chip lead when play was at
three-handed. But he went cold late and
ended up in third place.
fourth-place finisher was gold bracelet winner Eugene Katchalov, from New York
City, by way of his native country – the Ukraine. He hoped to become the first player this year
to win two WSOP titles, following an earlier win in the $1,500 buy-in
Seven-Card Stud event. Katchalov came
very close to achieving victory, but went card dead late in the tournament. Nevertheless, with four cashes in 2011 he is
among the players now in the chase for WSOP “Player of the Year.”
fifth-place finisher was Jordan Rich, from Portland, OR. This marked his third time to make it to a
WSOP final table. He’s also cashed twice
in the Main Event Championship. Rich is
a graduate of the University of Oregon.
sixth-place finisher was Stephen Bass, from Half Moon Bay, CA. He is a former college tennis player who
graduated from the University of Notre Dame.
This is the first year Bass attended the WSOP and also marked his first
time to cash.
seventh-place finisher was Adam Tyburski, from Bellevue, WA. He cashed in this same event last year. Tyburski is a graduate of the University of
eighth-place finisher was Dom Denotaristefani, from Mendham, NJ. This was his second final table appearance
this year (5th place in $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em World
ninth-place finisher was Chris Kwon, from Palisades Park, NJ. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.
tenth-place finisher was Ari (Alan) Engel, from Las Vegas, NV. He has previously won two WSOP Circuit gold
play began Sunday at 3 p.m. Played concluded
about 8 hours and 40 minutes later (playing time wise) that night at 11:40 p.m.
table play began, all players started with an equal number of chips. Such is the format of Shootout tournaments.
table was played on ESPN’s so-called secondary stage. The main stage was used for the heads-up
finale of the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, which was played 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.
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 60
finishers collected prize money.
champion was Brendan Taylor. He did not
cash this year.
Among the former
gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament were the following: Brock Parker (15th), Todd Witteles
(34th), Hoyt Corkins (53rd) and Ivo Donev (55th).
Hal Lubarsky (North
Las Vegas, NV) made it to the semi-final round and cashed. He is a remarkable inspiration to many people
in and out of the game. Lubarsky is
blind. He uses an assistant to read his
cards, which are seen and then whispered into his ear. Lubarsky then makes all decisions. He was one of the major stars of the 2007
WSOP Main Event, when he cashed in 197th place.
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. Phil Hellmuth has a slight lead currently.
ODDS AND ENDS
attracted 538 entries. Participation
declined slightly from last year, as the same event attracted 548 entries. As for the 2011 WSOP – overall Limit Hold’em tournament
numbers remain flat. Seven-Card Stud
tournament numbers have actually declined.
All other forms of poker are up, with some variants up significantly.
age of players was slightly higher for this tournament, than average. The average age of entrants was 37.2
years. The average age of players that
cashed was 35.9 years. The average age
of player who made it to the final table was 31.4 years. The winner was age 26. This is consistent with an overall trend at
the 2011 WSOP which shows younger players outperforming older players.
number of females entering this tournament was 25. That figure represents 4.6 percent of the
This is the 933rd
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 p.m. 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.
Pechie’s gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Monday, June 27th. The national anthem of the USA will be played
in honor of his victory.
TOURNAMENT PLAY: WHAT’S A SHOOTOUT?
tournament means players advance based on winning a series of table
matches. The shootout format is single
elimination. The number of matches
depends on the number of tournament entries.
In this event, the winner was required to win three consecutive table matches.
Each match is
played like a single-table satellite, with only one winner advancing from each
tournament was played over three consecutive days/nights.
Day One began
with 538 players. There were 60 matches
resumed with 60 players. There were 10
matches played with 6 players starting at each table. At the end of Day Two, 10 players (all the
winners) advanced to Day Three, which was the final table.
resumed with 10 players, which was the official final table.
officially began on Friday, June 24th at noon. The tournament officially ended on Sunday
night, June 26th at 11:40 p.m.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #41 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 46,547 combined total entries. $83,068,010 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 tournament, 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:
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,
Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie
Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis
(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 37 out of 41 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 8 of the 41 winners (19
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 this year, no
player has yet won two gold bracelets.
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 200 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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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 6,332 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
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) –
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 (82)
and final table appearances (42).