WSOP main event repeat champion not likely

Jul 5, 2011 3:08 AM

It has been 10 years since the World Series of Poker main event has had a repeat champion, which is what Jonathan Duhamel faces Thursday at the Rio when the 42nd annual gathering of the world’s best convenes.

Duhamel came out of last year’s November Nine with the first prize of over $8.9 million and the prestigious Gold Bracelet, defeating runnerup John Racener.

Last year’s Main Event was also highlighted by brothers Robert and Michael Mizrachi making the final nine – just the third time in WSOP history that two siblings have faced each other at the final table of a WSOP event.

The only world champions to win a gold bracelet after capturing the WSOP championship the previous year were Johnny Moss (1975), Doyle Brunson (1977), Bobby Baldwin (1979), Johnny Chan (1988), Hamid Dastmalchi (1993) and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson (2001)

Michael Mizrachi is in good form again this year, having finished second in the $2,500 Mixed High-Low Split.

Another highlight was Phil Hellmuth adding to his WSOP record as the individual all-time leader in both cashes (83) and in most final table appearances (42).

This year’s final table breakdown will take place on July 19 with ESPN providing extensive coverage each week throughout the summer culminating with the November Nine finals Nov. 5-7.

PAKISTAN IN THE HOUSE

The $2,500 buy-in Mixed High-Low Split (Seven-Card Stud/Omaha) champion is Owais Ahmed, from Irvine, Calif.

Ahmed, a 27-year-old data warehouse analyst and supply chain project manager, became just the second WSOP gold bracelet winner to have been born in Pakistan.

Ahmed collected $255,959 for first place and now has six in-the-money finishes in WSOP events, including four this year. He is classified as an amateur poker player (in WSOP records and stats), as a result of having a full-time job in another career.

The final table contained three former gold bracelet winners – Scotty Nguyen, Mizrachi, and Abe Mosseri.

Dr. Jerry Buss, majority owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and a longtime WSOP participant, finished in 25th place. Buss first cashed at the WSOP back in 1991.

WSOP STATISTICS

• Through Event #53 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 56,890 combined total entries. $105,586,755 in prize money has been awarded to winners.

• The nationality breakdown of gold bracelet winners has been:

USA (33); Canada (5); France (4); Ukraine (4); England (3), Russia (2); Brazil (1); Pakistan (1).

• The breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:

Pros (41): 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, Elie Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulas, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak.

Amateurs (7): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko.

Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis.

• The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 209 consecutive events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker Championship (Marsha Wolak won Sunday), the last female player to take a WSOP tourney open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008.

• The highest finishes by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP were by Maria Ho (second in $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em) and Kim Nguyen (second, $1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).

• The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker who, after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship, finished in sixth place.

NEW STANDARDS

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

• Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament (925 entries, Event 3)

• Largest live Six-Handed tournament(1,920 entries, Event 10)

• Biggest Deuce-to-Seven prize pool($1,184,400, Event 16)

• Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em with single day start (3,157 entries, Event 18)

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

• Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tourney (1,071 entries, Event 22)

• Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix, 489 entries, Event 23)

• Largest Seniors tournament (3,752 entries, Event 30)

• Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool ($3,376,800, Event 30)

• Largest single-day live tournament start (3,752 entries, Event 30)

• Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries, Events 30, 32)

• Largest four-consecutive days field sizes (12,224 entries, Events 28, 30, 32, 34)

• Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament (606 entries, Event 39)

• Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history ($3,393,400, Event 42)

PLAYER RECORDS

• The 35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in the same event (1976) and his most recent (2011) is the longest time span in WSOP history.

• Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (83) and final table appearances (42).