Guelph known for producing World Series of Poker champions

Jun 17, 2011 10:12 PM

There must be something in the water in Guelph.

The small southern Ontario locale is known in Canada as part of the "tri-cities," which also includes Kitchener and Waterloo. Now it’s known for producing World Series of Poker champions.

WSOP gold bracelet winner Gavin Smith grew up in Guelph. Steve Paul-Ambrose, with nearly $2 million in live tournament winnings, lives near Guelph. Mike McDonald, one of the top online players in the world, is from Guelph. Grant Pittman, one of the best online cash games player lives nearby.

Then, there’s Howard Goldfarb, who finished as runner up to Dan Harrington in the 1995 WSOP Main Event Championship, who lives about an hour way. Pat Pezzin, another respected pro, lives roughly the same distance, too. Poker superstar Daniel Negreanu is originally from Toronto, about 40 miles away.

The latest winner is Mark Radoja, who captured the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout, earning $436,568 in prize money.

Through the conclusion of Event No. 24, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 27,954 entries. So far, $43,757,335 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:

United States (16)

Great Britain (3)

France (2)

Canada (2)

Russia (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:

Professional Players (20): Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Mark Radoja.

Semi-Pros (2): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot.

Amateurs (2): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays

The streak of male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 185 consecutive events. Aside from the annual Ladies Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The longest "cold" streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.

The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players – Maria Ho, who finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) and Kim Nguyen, who also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).

New records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

• Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

• Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

• Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

• Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

• Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3157 entries) – Event #18

• Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3,175 entries) – Event #20

• Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,350 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

• Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

• Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23