Jim Willerson Wins $1,500 Buy-In Limit Hold’em (Event #53)

Las Vegas, NV (July 3, 2012) – Neil James "Jim" Willerson won the most recent championship-level event at the 2012 World Series of Poker.  The 36-year-old attorney from Dallas, Texas won the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, classified as Event #53.  
 
Willerson not only received the game’s most coveted prize – the gold bracelet – but a whopping $737,248 in prize money as well.
 
Willerson is used to competing -- and winning.  He was the 1994 Texas State singles champion in tennis.  He also played tennis while in college, where he attended Southern Methodist University and lettered for three-straight years.
 
However, this victory was a bit more profitable.  The three-day competition drew another monster-sized field.  The tournament began with 3,166 entrants on Saturday at noon, and concluded on a late Tuesday afternoon at the Rio in Las Vegas.  In fact, the field size was so large and the final table play went so long that an unscheduled fourth day was added.
 
The runner up was Vladimir Mefodichev, from Moscow, Russia.  He had a shot to becoming the first Russian to win a gold bracelet this year.  When heads-up play began, Mefodichev enjoyed about a 3 to 1 chip lead and it appeared he was going to join the likes of fellow countrymen Konstantin Puchkov, Alex Kravchenko and other Russians who have won poker's supreme achievement.  But the Willerson played an extraordinary heads-up match and earned the biggest victory of his poker career.
 
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Note:  A more comprehensive official report of this tournament, with much more news and official data, will be posted soon to WSOP.com.
 
-- by Nolan Dalla