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2011 42nd Annual World Series of Poker

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 to Thursday, June 02, 2011

Event #1: $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $500
  • Prizepool: $382,500
  • Entries: 850
  • Remaining: 0


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Thursday, June 2, 2011 6:20 PM Local Time

Sean Drake - Champion

A field of 850 kicked off the 2011 World Series of Poker on Tuesday as Event #1, the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold'em tournament, started the summer festivities. After 10 levels on Day 1, 77 were fortunate enough to return on Day 2. Another 10 levels were played and even though the tournament was scheduled for two days, a third would be needed as four players were still in the running to capture the coveted WSOP gold bracelet. In the end, only one would be able to claim the title and earn the title of champion. That man was Sean Drake, a part-time poker dealer from Folsom, California.

Though he was the chip leader entering Day 3, there was a time when things looked very bleak. Heads-up with Jason Baker, Drake could taste victory when they got the chips in on a     flop. Drake's    was miles ahead of Baker's   , but a cruel   hit the turn and put the momentum in Baker's corner.

Drake, however, stayed focused and would not be denied. Two crucial double ups vaulted him to a commanding chip lead. First, it was his    holding against Baker's   . Shortly after that, Drake got it in with    on a      against Baker's   . No miracle one-outer came for Baker and he bowed out in second place the next hand, paving the way for Drake to claim the first 2011 WSOP bracelet awarded at the Rio this summer.

Final Table Payouts

1Sean Drake$82,292
2Jason Baker$50,807
3Claudio Falcaro$32,753
4Christopher Perez$23,994
5Daniel Quach$17,835
6Richard Kozlowski$13,437
7Adam Falk$10,247
8Joseph Zeman$7,906
9Edward Marcus$6,165

Congratulations to Drake for a job well done! That concludes our coverage of the Casino Employees Event, but the excitement of the summer has only just begun. Be sure to keep it here at PokerNews throughout the summer as we continue to keep you up-to-date on the happenings from the Rio.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:37 PM Local Time

Jason Baker - 2nd place

The very next hand, Sean Drake shoved on the button and Jason Baker called all in from the big blind.


Baker needed help to survive and found little from the     flop. The   turn left him only six outs to survive and the   river was not one of them, bringing the tournament to an end.

For his runner-up showing, Jason Baker earned $50,807.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:31 PM Local Time

Jason Baker limped in on the button and Sean Drake popped it to 140,000 from the big blind.

Baker called and the flop came down    . Little did we know how much both players loved that flop. Drake bet 105,000 and Baker called, landing the   on the turn. Again, little did we know how much both players loved that turn. A check from Drake led to a bet of 200,000 from Baker. Drake, though, popped it to 450,000. Baker responded by shoving with the big stack. An immediate call from Drake revealed the following hands:


A dejected Baker hoped to catch the   on the river, but it did not happen as the   hit to secure the double for Drake.

Sean Drake2,270,0001,380,000
Jason Baker330,000-1,380,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:16 PM Local Time

After slipping to under 500,000, Sean Drake found a much needed double up.

Jason Baker raised to 120,000 on the button and Sean Drake re-raised all in for 440,000 from the big blind. Baker called with   , trailing Drake's   .

The board ran out a beautiful       for Drake, keeping his hopes of capturing WSOP gold alive.

Jason Baker1,710,000-400,000
Sean Drake890,000400,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:07 PM Local Time

Jason Baker

Jason Baker called on the button and Sean Drake popped it to 140,000 from the big blind.

Baker called and a     flop followed. Drake bet 145,000, but saw his bet quickly raised to 345,000 by Baker. That was fine with Drake who re-raised all in. After about 90 seconds and with 365,000 behind, Baker called all in and tabled   .

Drake was dominating with   , but the   turn changed everything and put Baker way out in front. The   river was no help to Drake and he is now the one down about 2:1 in chips.

Jason Baker1,710,000840,000
Sean Drake890,000-840,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 2, 2011 5:03 PM Local Time

Sean Drake raised to 100,000 on the button and Jason Baker called from the big blind.

The flop fell     and Baker checked. Drake bet 115,000, quickly getting called by Baker. Both checked the   turn and the   followed on the river. Baker bet 200,000, enough to take it down.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:42 PM Local Time

Jason Baker limped on the button and Sean Drake checked his option.

The flop came down     and Drake checked. Baker bet 50,000, but was put to the test when Drake raised all in. After a few moments, Baker called all in for 300,000 and revealed   . He was ahead of Drake's    and clinched the double when the   turn and   river fell.

Baker upped his stack to roughly 870,000, but still finds himself down 2:1 in chips.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:36 PM Local Time

On a      board, Jason Baker checked it to Sean Drake. After a few moments Drake bet 85,000, but Baker popped it to 185,000. Drake responded by shoving, getting Baker to fold immediately.

"Show the deuce!" yelled one of Drake's friends on the rail. Drake obliged, showing the   as he collected the chips.

Sean Drake1,900,000410,000
Jason Baker700,000-410,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:25 PM Local Time
Level: 23
Blinds: 20000/40000
Ante: 5000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:08 PM Local Time
Sean Drake1,490,000238,000
Jason Baker1,110,000-190,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:04 PM Local Time

The players are on a 20-minute break. Exact chip counts are on the way.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:52 PM Local Time

A few small pots here and there have made the two men nearly even in chips.

Jason Baker1,300,000-300,000
Sean Drake1,252,000290,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:33 PM Local Time

As heads-up play begins, here are the approximate chip counts.

Jason Baker1,600,0000
Sean Drake962,0000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:30 PM Local Time

Claudio Falcaro - 3rd place

From the small blind, Claudio Falcaro shoved for 257,000. Jason Baker called from the big blind and revealed   , slightly ahead Falcaro's   .

Falcaro picked up extra outs when the flop came down    . However, the   turn brought Falcaro no help nor did the   river, ending his tournament in 3rd place for $32,753.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:15 PM Local Time

In a limped pot between the blinds, Jason Baker bet 45,000 at a     flop. Sean Drake called to see the   hit the turn and called another 75,000 from Baker.

When the   hit the river, Baker really turned up the heat and fired 300,000. Drake went into the tank for about a minute before calling. Unfortunately for Drake, Baker tabled    for trips. A dejected Drake shook his head and surrendered the pot to Baker.

Jason Baker1,600,000438,000
Sean Drake715,000-385,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander
Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:06 PM Local Time
Level: 22
Blinds: 15000/30000
Ante: 5000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 3:01 PM Local Time

A few lost pots have made the Cluadio Falcaro the short stack and in the danger zone with about 12 big blinds.

Jason Baker1,162,000-60,000
Sean Drake1,100,000380,000
Claudio Falcaro290,000-320,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 2:48 PM Local Time
Jason Baker1,222,000122,000
Sean Drake720,000110,000
Claudio Falcaro610,000-274,000
Thursday, June 2, 2011 2:35 PM Local Time

Sean Drake

In the small blind, Jason Baker raised to 80,000. Sean Drake re-raised all in from the big blind for an additional 219,000 and Baker called with   . Drake turned over    and took it down when the board ran out      . Baker slipped to about 1,100,000 while Drake is up to 610,000.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 2:26 PM Local Time

Claudio Falcaro shoved on the button and was called by Jason Baker in the small blind.


The     flop was no help to Falcaro, but the   hit the turn to give him the lead. The river was the  , securing the double for Falcaro.

Jason Baker1,300,000-300,000
Claudio Falcaro884,000660,000
Playtika - Jason Alexander