EVENT #58: $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP
PRIZE POOL: $14,249,925
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $3,989,985
PLACES PAID: 16
DATES: June 28-29, 2015
2010 World Poker Champ Collects $3,989,985 Top Prize and Second WSOP Gold Bracelet.
Runner-Up Bill Klein Donates His Entire Winnings, $2,465,522, to Charity
Defending Champion Daniel Colman Finishes Third
Phil Hellmuth Comes Close to a 15th Gold Bracelet, but Exits in Sixth Place
Final Table Delayed by Medical Emergency in Crowd – Spectator Suffers Heart Attack
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Jonathan Duhamel
Birthplace: Boucherville, Quebec (Canada)
Current Residence: Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Marital Status: Single
Profession: Professional Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 26
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 6
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 2
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 1st (2010)
Total WSOP Earnings: $13,796,281
Personal Facts: Duhamel won the WSOP Main Event Championship in 2010
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
The biggest buy-in tournament on the 2015 World Series of Poker schedule was completed this evening when Jonathan Duhamel, from Montreal, Quebec won the “$111,111 buy-in High Roller for ONE DROP.”
As advertised, the buy-in was $111,111 -- with $105,556 of the entry fee going into the prize pool and $5,555 specifically designated for the ONE DROP charity, which was originally founded by Guy Laliberte. ONE DROP is a charitable foundation which assists in bringing clean water to various parts of the developing world. [Note: The charity actually receives an even larger donation from the poker community, since several players who cashes donated extra funds for the cause.]
This marked the fourth year of a big buy-in ONE DROP event. Previous tournaments were won by Antonio Esfandiari (2012), Tony Gregg (2013), and Daniel Colman (2014).
Duhamel, the famed 2010 world poker champion added his name to the list of huge cash winners who have won this prestigious prize which has a far more lasting impact on the lives of many, beyond the game of poker. He collected first-place prize money totaling $3,989,985. Duhamel also won his second career WSOP gold bracelet.
“I feel so lucky and so blessed in so many ways where I am right now,” Duhamel said afterward. “This is the biggest buy-in event of the summer, and it turned out to be my second-best day.”
Obviously, the high point of Duhamel’s poker career remains his breakout, life-changing world championship victory five years ago, when he earned nearly $9 million and his first WSOP victory.
The 135 entries created this year’s largest prize pool, so far – even bigger than the much celebrated “Colossus” tournament. The top 16 finishers carved up a prize pool amounting to $14,249,925.
The three most recognizable names at the final table included two former world poker champions (Jonathan Duhamel and Phil Hellmuth), and last year’s winner who returned to defend his title (Daniel Colman).
Hellmuth was in the chip lead at one point when play was six-handed. Daniel Colman had dominated the early stages and it looked like he might go back-to-back with another win. However, Hellmuth seized the chip lead for a time, before seeing his chip stack crumble ending in elimination. This was Hellmuth’s second time to make a final table in a ONE DROP event, after coming in 4th place the inaugural year.
“I was so fortunate to double up early at the final table with aces,” Duhamel said. “After that, I could just use my chips and played my game.”
The tournament was a cause for both celebration and reflection. However, the final table was interrupted when play was at three-handed when a spectator in the crowd suffered a heart attack and medical personnel were rushed in. A surreal atmosphere surrounded the proceedings as Daniel Colman was all in against Bill Klein, and just as the flop came out the medical emergency took place. The tournament was halted on the spot while attention was given to the victim. [Note: At press time, the condition of the man remains unknown].
“That moment really gave this all a sense of perspective,” Duhamel said about the incident. “Obviously, we are all hoping he will make it and be okay. It was so unfortunate.”
After Colman went out in 3rd place, Bill Klein looked like he might stage a monumental upset, given the stiff competition. The part-time amateur poker player and owner of a successful construction company from Laguna Hills, CA had pledged to donate whatever he earned in this tournament to two charities. Even though he didn’t win, lots of good will come from Klein's gesture and generosity.
As for Duhamel, he won the final hand holding pocket kings, which held up versus Klein’s K-J. A jack flopped, giving Klein some hope, but he failed to improve after that and the former world champion was declared the winner.
The earlier incident subdued the celebration somewhat, but also gave the charitable aspect of this tournament added dimension.
“This tournament and this cause means a lot to me,” Duhamel said. “So, to win this tournament is such an honor. I know Guy (Laliberte) well, and he’s the one who started this. I’ve also been a spokesman for ONE DROP. This tournament and the money raised will help lots of people. So for me, this is like a double win.”
Following Duhamel’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Bill Klein, from Laguna Hills, CA finished in 2nd place, which paid $2,465,522. This marked his second time to cash in a WSOP event.
Third Place: Daniel Colman, the winner of last year’s ONE DROP championship, finished in 3rd place and collected $1,544,121. The camera-shy winner and controversial champion from 2014 once again proved to be an enormous force in the poker world, collecting yet another huge cash prize. Colman’s WSOP earnings now total close to $17 million, in addition to substantial winnings elsewhere in other non-WSOP events.
Fourth Place: Ben Sulsky, from Brewster, MA finished in 4th place, which paid $1,118,049. He took 4th place in the $50K buy-in Poker Players Championship, which ended a week ago. In fact, each of Sulsky’s last three cashes at the series were fourth-place showings. With this prize, Sulsky now has in excess of $1.5 million in WSOP earnings.
Fifth Place: Dan Perper, from Highland Park, IL finished in 5th place, which paid $873,805. This was the biggest WSOP cash of Perper’s career, to date, after six previous in-the-money finishes.
Sixth Place: Phil Hellmuth, from Palo Alto, CA finished in 6th place, which paid $696,821. The all-time leader in virtually every major category at the WSOP (wins, final table appearance, and cashes) added to his legacy with a second final table appearance in this event, after finishing 4th in 2012.
Seventh Place: Anthony Zinno, from Boston, MA finished in 7th place, which paid $565,864. Zinno is on a remarkable run at this year’s series, having made his fourth final table appearance already, after coming in 5th, 6th, and 7th in previous events. Oddly enough, the former attorney had never made a final table before this year, and now has four premier showings.
Eighth Place: Sergey Lebedev, from Troitsk, Russia finished in 8th place, which paid $466,970. This was his eighth time to cash at the series, his biggest payday, and third final table appearance.
Ninth Place: Andrew Lichtenberger, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 9th place, which paid $390,875. This was Lichtenberger’s seventh occasion to make a final table, with 2nd place back in 2009 as his deepest run. He also won the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Caesars Place back in 2010.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS:
Aside from the final table finishers, other gold bracelet winners who cashed included – Brian Hastings (11th), Byron Kaverman (12th), and David Sands (14th).
Phil Hellmuth’s cash in this event now gives him 113 for his career, the most ever for any player in history.