EVENT #43: “Super Seniors” Championship ($1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em)
PRIZE POOL: $1,379,700
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $262,220
PLACES PAID: 171
Jon Andlovec Wins Inaugural WSOP “Super Seniors” Championship
Longtime Poker Veteran Collects First Gold Bracelet and $262,220
Latest WSOP Winner Dedicates Victory to His Daughter
First-Ever Poker Tournament Open to Players 65+ Draws Whopping 1,533 Entrants
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Jon Andlovec
Birthplace: Boise, Idaho (USA)
Current Residence: Carson City, NV (USA)
Marital Status: Yes
Profession: Retired/Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 4
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 4
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 4th (1990)
Total WSOP Earnings: $324,703
Personal Facts: Andlovec has four WSOP cashes, and all are final table appearances
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
Call Jon Andlovec the “Super Senior.”
He won the first ever Super Seniors Poker Championship, held at the Rio Las Vegas as part of the 2015 World Series of Poker.
The Carson City (Nevada) poker player and retiree obliterated the 1,533-player field, winning his first career gold bracelet. Andlovec is a 70-year-old part-time poker player who has been around the poker scene for many years. He’s best known in the poker world as “Hippie Jon.”
Andlovec has only cashed at the WSOP four times over the past 25 years, but he’s made the most of his opportunities. All four in-the-money finishes include final table appearances – with 9th, 6th, 4th, and now 1st as the entries on his poker tournament resume. However, this was by far the biggest win of Andlovec’s poker career and marked the fulfilment of the dream of a lifetime. Moreover, the fallout from this victory will help others close to the winner.
“I won this for my daughter Jennifer,” Andlovec said afterward in a post-tournament interview. “I wasn’t planning to come to the World Series of Poker, but she sent me a $1,000 and she told me to go win the Super Seniors so I can have an elaborate wedding.”
Andlovec’s share of the prize pool came to $262,220, which is going to buy quite a few flowers and a big wedding cake.
This was his first gold bracelet victory. Andlovec has cashed four times at the series, the last in-the-money finish taking place way back in 2004. Andlovec remembers the days when the WSOP wasn’t nearly as big or as well-known as it is today.
“I was around way back before the poker boom and Chris Moneymaker,” he said. “I’m a walking historian about poker.”
When asked his craziest poker story and memory, Andlovec remembered a time he borrowed money to come to play at the WSOP. “I was in Reno and I borrowed $40 to get here (to Las Vegas). By the time I got here, I had $2 left in my pocket,” Andlovec said. “Anyway, I got in the tournament that day somehow (his first WSOP cash) and took 4th place.”
Actually, Andlovec has been a professional poker player long before it was fashionable to claim such status. “I used to file taxes as a professional poker player years ago, and did that for a living. I was a farmer before that,” Andlovec said.
This tournament was both fun and historic for a number of reasons. The Seniors Championship has been growing so huge in recent years that it spawned another event, known as the “Super Seniors Championship.” This new tournament (Event #43), premiering at the 2015 WSOP for the first time, was open to players age 65 and older. This year, many players played in both events, since the two tournaments were scheduled just two days apart during the same weekend, which is about midway through the 2015 WSOP schedule.
Whereas the Seniors Poker Championship drew 4,193 entrants, the “Super Seniors” attracted 1,533 players – which was far more than anyone was expecting. In fact, the elder tourney drew about the same number of players as the regular Seniors’ event used to draw ten years ago. One has to wonder of a “Super, Super Seniors” will be too far off.
“I told all these guys back in Reno I was going to come down here and dominate in my age group,” Andlovec said. “And, I sure did!”
When asked how old he is, Andlovec answered, “I’m pretty old.”
This tournament was notable for yet another reason. Ten-time gold bracelet winner, 1976 and 1977 world poker champion, and living legend Doyle Brunson made his first -- and so far only -- 2015 WSOP appearance by participating on this event. He was eliminated on open day, but before leaving was honored with a standing ovation by the thousand-plus participants and tournament staff.
Another longtime poker veteran Rod Pardey finished in second place. He’s a two-time gold bracelet winner, the champion on 7-Card Stud events held in 1991 and 1994. Pardey barely missed out on what would have been a victory 21 years after his last win.
Also worth citing was Perry Green’s 8th-place finish. He’s a 3-time WSOP gold bracelet winner, with championship coming back in 1976, 1977, and 1979. Had Green won, it would have been the longest span between WSOP victories – at 36 years. Green is arguably best known as the runner up to Su Ungar in the 1981 WSOP Main Event Championship.
Following Andlovec’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Rod Pardey is a grizzled veteran of many poker confrontations. He’s a 70-year-old retiree and poker pro from Seattle, WA. Pardey, a two-time gold bracelet winner collected $162,100. He was in decent chip position throughout play on Day Three, but began heads-up play from a significant chip disadvantage and simply couldn’t overcome Andlovec’s domination. Pardey, a 7-Card Stud specialist, enjoyed his best showing at the WSOP since 20014.
Third Place: Charles Havens, from Sun Prairie, WI made the most of his first time to cash at the WSOP, which paid $106,678 for 3rd place. Havens, a former cowboy who used to play poker in the U.S. Air Force, enjoyed quite a debut showing here at the annual classic.
Fourth Place: Wayne “Buz” Knyal, from Los Angeles, CA is another player who enjoyed his first cash at the WSOP in this event. Fourth place paid $76,904. Knyal is an investor. He was also a pilot for 35 years.
Fifth Place: Thomas Lock, from Henderson, NV locked up 5th place, which paid $56,291. This marked his first time to cash at the WSOP in ten years. It was his second final table appearance after coming in 3rd place in an event back in 1993. Lock is a retired former State Park Ranger from Michigan.
Sixth Place: Mark Estes, a former software engineer (and bowler and blackjack player) doubled down in this tourney and ended up in 6th place. He earned $41,804. This was the best WSOP showing ever for the part-time poker player from Grapevine, TX.
Seventh Place: Ted Cohen, a retired accountant from Bonita Springs, FL took 7th place, with paid $31,484. This was his second time to cash at the series.
Eighth Place: Perry Green had few equals in poker, for experience, stories, and the ability to remain an ageless wonder. At age 79, he’s still playing great poker, proven by cashes in each of the last five years. This was his 30th career cash at the series, dating back 40 years. Eighth place paid $24,034. Green is a fur-trader from Anchorage, AK.
Ninth Place: Mark Schwartz, an actuary and dealer of sports memorabilia from Chicago, rounded out the final table at the 9th-place finisher, worth $18,584.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other former gold bracelet winning players who cashed included – Barry Shulman (31st), Artie Cobb (63rd), and Gary Gibbs (98th).
Other notables who cashed included – Woody Moore (53 WSOP Circuit cashes, and 2 gold rings), and Frank Mariani (part owner – NBA’S Los Angeles Lakers).
(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)