Las Vegas, NV (June 3, 2012) – Herbert Tapscott won the largest live Omaha High-Low Split poker tournament ever held tonight, topping a record 967-player field in the eighth gold bracelet event of this year’s World Series of Poker.
The 71-year-old financier from Hartselle, Alabama collected $264,400 – one of the largest Omaha High-Low Split prizes in poker history. He was also presented his first WSOP gold bracelet, the game’s ultimate prize. Remarkably, this marked Tapscott’s first time ever to cash in a WSOP event in Las Vegas -- proving once again that it's never to late to triumph on poker's grandest stage.
Tapscott’s previous career results include two cashes on the WSOP Circuit a few years ago. He won a gold ring in the $550 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event played at Harrah’s Tunica in January 2010. But nothing came close to the thrill of victory experienced by Tapscott as he scooped the final pot of the tournament in front of what remained of a packed gallery of spectators.
Gavin Griffin, a poker pro from Ladera Beach, California finished as the runner up. He barely missed what would have been his second WSOP gold bracelet victory, eight (seemingly endless) years after his first win – when, at 22, he became the youngest winner in WSOP history (at the time). Instead, Griffin has to settle for $163,625 as a consolation prize.
The tournament also gave Phil Hellmuth yet another opportunity to pad his record as the all-time career cashes leader in WSOP history. The 11-time gold bracelet winner cashed for second time this year, and 88th time overall – which now adds even more distance from his many challengers. However, Men “the Master” Nguyen also cashed in this tournament, which was his 74th time in-the-money. Nguyen continues to rank second to Hellmuth in that category.
A full list of players that cashed in Event #8
This was a record-smashing tournament that took three full days to complete -- plus a three-hour runover into an unscheduled fourth day. The previous attendance record had been set last year in an identical Omaha High-Low Split tournament that was held during opening weekend. The previous record was 925 entries.
This is one of two Omaha High-Low Split tournaments on the schedule. The next is the $5,000 buy-in world championship (Event #25), starting June 11th.
Herbert Tapscott hereby becomes the seventh player to win a gold bracelet at this year’s WSOP.
MEET NEW WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION – HERBERT TAPSCOTT
Name: Herbert Tapscott
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama (USA)
Age at Time of Victory: 71
Current Residence: Hartselle, Alabama (USA)
Marital Status: Married
Profession: Business Owner (Finance Company)
Background: Enlisted in United States Air Force in 1958. Stationed in Montana. Served in Vietnam.
Number of WSOP Cashes: 1 (2 WSOP Circuit cashes – 1 gold ring won in 2010)
Number of WSOP final table appearances: 1
Number of WSOP gold bracelet victory (with this tournament): 1
Best Previous WSOP finish: None
Total WSOP Earnings: $264,400 (plus $26,213 in WSOP Circuit earnings)
Other Interests: Private pilot
WINNER QUOTES (POST-TOURNAMENT INTERVIEW)
On his goal entering the tournament: My goal was to make the money. Once I get to the money, then I want to go to the final table -- that’s my goal. You know the money’s nice but getting to the final table and getting a gold bracelet is what I was really after. That’s what anybody that plays in any event or series, that’s what they are after.
On coming back from a massive chip disadvantage when the final table was seven-handed: I’ve been short-stacked before and you just have to pick your spots to push it. Lady luck was on my side when I pushed it tonight.
On seniors competing against many young players at the WSOP: This 71-year-old man has a thing or two to prove. Some of us old folks can flip it up on the young folks, too.
On playing versus many tough players at the final table and being a first-timer: Oh yes. They were all very, very tough, and very aggressive. Most of the young kids are so aggressive and in the tournament I’m pretty passive. Final table, you know I can get aggressive too and that’s what I had planned to do and worked out for me.
On his short bio: I left home when I was 17-years old and joined the Air Force. I stayed in the Air Force for four years, matter of fact, I was stationed in Montana. So, I learned to play poker for four years. I got out, married, had four children, worked for a finance company for several years, then I bought my home in the mid-1980s and I’ve been doing that ever since. I am also a private pilot. I like to fly. I just like to do about anything that anybody else can do and you know like you said when you get 71-years-old you, you don’t think you’re there at that age, your body says no, you can’t, your mind says c’mon let’s do it! So I try to do it. I try to stay focused on life itself.
On how his family and friends will react to his WSOP victory: I’ve had a whole bunch of texts and calls and they were watching the broadcast on (WSOP.com). They were calling and texting and wishing me good luck. I’ve had all my kids who have already called me. It’s super good.
The official report of this tournament, with much more news and official data, will be posted soon to WSOP.com.
-- by Nolan Dalla