Nenad "The Serb" Medic of Niagara Falls, Ontario, upset some of poker’s most notable professionals last week to take home a first prize of $1.7 million, a seat in the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship worth $25,000, and the Season V WPT World Poker Finals champion title.
The World Poker Finals tournament at Foxwoods Casino Resort drew 609 entrants and generated a prize pool of over $5 million. Also, for the first time in WPT history, two female players — Kathy Liebert and Mimi Tran — made the final six.
Two of poker’s female pioneers, Tran and Liebert proved that they are equal to their male counterparts as they started the final table ahead of Medic, Michael Perry, and Michael Omelchuk.
Cash game diva Tran started out the day in second place, and Liebert, who has four previous WPT final table appearances and a World Series bracelet, was in the third spot.
"Having Kathy and Mimi at the final table was a definitive moment for poker and the World Poker Tour," said Steve Lipscomb, WPTE founder, president and CEO. "While we still wait to crown the first WPT women title winner, this new mark in poker history demonstrates how women are a prominent force in the poker world, proving again and again that they are the total equals of their male opponents."
As the tournament got underway, the first hand brought the first elimination as electrician — and first time main event tournament entrant — Perry was eliminated. Perry took home $200,340.
Liebert was next out, finishing in fifth place with a prize of $257,579. Omelchuk followed, taking home the fourth place prize of $343,439 and Mimi Tran finished third, taking home $472,228.
As the last two players went head to head, Medic came from behind to eliminate second place finisher E.G. Harvin.
The "Cinderella" story of the tournament, former insurance agent and insurance agency owner, Harvin won his way into the World Poker Finals via a $150 satellite. In his first-ever main event, Harvin beat out four pros to take home over $900,000, but Medic, a top pro, emerged the first place winner.
The World Poker Finals will be broadcast May 23, 2007, on the Travel Channel.