EVENT #63:  $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E.
ENTRIES:  204 
PRIZE POOL:  $1,917,000
DATES:  July 1-3, 2015

Andrew Barber Wins $10K HORSE Championship

Doctoral Student Obliterates a Star-Stacked Finale and Collects First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Barber’s Latest Victory at 2015 WSOP Nets $517,766 Cash Prize

Eight Former Gold Bracelet Winners Stack the Top 12

Name:  Andrew Barber
Birthplace:  Springfield, IL
Age:  32
Current Residence:  Sacramento, CA
Marital Status:  Single (in relationship)
Children:  None
Profession:  PhD Student
Number of WSOP Cashes:  16
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories:  1
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  16th (2015)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $593,502 
Personal Facts:  Barber plans to teach and work in academia
[Note:  All statistics above include the results of this tournament]

Andrew Barber has just won one of the most prestigious events in poker, the $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the WSOP.  He topped a tough field of 204 players and prevailed in what has to be considered one of the most star-studded final tables in recent memory.
Barber collected $517,766 in prize money and his first career gold bracelet playing a mix of five popular forms of poker – including Hold’em, Omaha Split, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Eight-or-Better.
Among those who finished in the top ten were six gold bracelet winners (and 8 in the top 12).  However, none of them were a match for the latest newcomer to the elite club of WSOP winners in this event, as the 32-year-old college student from Sacramento, CA not only pulled off a dramatic upset but managed to earn what was unquestionably his most satisfying moment in poker.
“This game has a lot of swings,” Barber said.  “Unless you play it long enough, you don’t realize how much variance there is, so to finally get the win is great.”
Barber is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the University of California at Santa Cruz.  He has previously worked as an engineer.  Barber plans to earn a doctorate in economics and teach.  He says learning and teaching are his primary interests.
“I could have come here (to the WSOP) and won the Main Event and it wouldn’t change my plans,” Barber said.  “I would still show up day one of school ready to go in and study.  That’s my interest.  That’s my passion.”
The level of competition Barber was up against was mind-boggling.
Viacheslav Zhukov, a two-time WSOP champion finished as the runner up.  The Russian poker pro won titles in 2011 and 2012.  However, he couldn’t seize the chip lead away Barber when playing heads-up and was defeated in about 40 minutes time.
Joe Hachem, the 2005 world poker champion from Melbourne, Australia, didn’t hear many chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” once the final table hit five-handed, as he lost his chips and was eliminated short of winning what could have been a second gold bracelet.  This was his deepest run at the series in five years.
Frank Kassela, best known for his WSOP “Player of the Year” honor in 2010, exited in 7th place.  He missed a shot at what would have been a third gold bracelet.
Scotty Nguyen, the famed 1998 world poker champion and winner of more than $5 million at the WSOP alone, finished 8th.  He’s a Poker Hall of Fame inductee and a five-time WSOP winner.
Arash Ghaneian, the local poker grinder who recently won his first gold bracelet three weeks ago, ended up in 9th place.
Eli Elezra, aiming for his fourth career victory at the series and second gold bracelet this year, was the 10th-place finisher.
Then, there was Don Zewin, who has to be one of the most snake-bitten players in WSOP history.  He’s been playing at the series for nearly three decades and with this finale now has nine final table appearances – posting 2nd, 3rd (twice), 6th (twice), 7th, and 9th (twice). He placed 3rd place in this tourney.
An interesting bit of motivation for Barber was when he was playing at one point when an opponents berated him at the table, insisting he was “a terrible player.”
“That really riled me up and got me motivated to win,” Barber said.  “That’s bad poker etiquette.  There’s no place in the game for that.”
Indeed, Barber got his revenge, and then some.  He’s been playing semi-professionally for several years, posting lots of cashes and deep runs on the WSOP Circuit before coming to the annual Las Vegas series during each of the past five years.  Barber’s resume includes 17 cashes on the WSOP Circuit and 13 in-the-money finishes as the series.
“This was a tough lineup, there’s no doubt about that,” Barber said.  “But I knew I could compete.  I wasn’t star-struck, or anything.  I had played with most of these guys before, so it wasn’t new to me.  I knew that with a break or two I could get here and win it.”
Following Barber’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place:  Viacheslav Zhukov, from Stary Oskol, Russia finished as the runner up and barely missed what would have been a third career WSOP victory.  Instead, he collected a nice consolation prize amounting to $319,989.

Third Place:  Don Zewin, the longtime poker pro originally from Niagara Falls, NY and now residing in Las Vegas, finished in 3rd place, which paid $210,629.  This was his ninth time to make a final table at the series.  However, Zewin still remains without a gold bracelet.  The closest he came was finishing second to Phil Hellmuth when he won his 12th career victory three years ago in a Razz tournament.

Fourth Place:  Jared Bleznick, from New York, NY finished in 4th place, which paid $153,638.  He’s now cashed eight times as the series and at least once each year dating back to 2011.  Bleznick’s best showing was a runner-up finish in the $10K Pot-Limit Omaha event two years ago.  He now has more than $800,000 in accumulated WSOP earnings.

Fifth Place:   Joe Hachem, from Melbourne, Australia, finished in 5th place, which paid $114,308.  Hachem now has 21 cashes and crossed the $8 million mark in WSOP earnings with this finish.

Sixth Place:   Frank Kassela, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 6th place, which paid $86,541.  He is a two-time gold bracelet winner and was the WSOP Player of the Year in 2010.  Kassela now has 24 cashes in his resume, and nearly $2 million in series winnings.

Seventh Place:  Scotty Nguyen, from Henderson, NV finished in 7th place, which paid $66,579.  This was Nguyen’s first final table appearance as the series in three years.  He’s now won more than $5.2 million at the WSOP during his illustrious career, which goes back 20 years.

Eighth Place:  Arash Ghaneian, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 8th place, which paid $51,986.  He won a gold bracelet earlier this summer in the $1,500 buy-in HORSE competition, so this has certainly been an amazing run for the poker pro in mixed games.

Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – Eli Elezra (10th), Phillip Hui (11th), Barry Greenstein (12th), Brock Parker (16th), Brandon Shack-Harris (17th), and Randy Ohel (19th). 
This marked the 70th career cash for Poker Hall of Fame inductee Barry Greenstein, who ranks in the top 15 all time.

There were 205 males and 6 females in this event.
There were 154 American players and 50 players from other nations in this event.  Out of 16 total countries who had participants, Russia was the nation with the second-most players – at 15.

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