2005 World Series of Poker -- Complete Report
Over 29,000 poker players came to Las Vegas from 40 different countries all over the earth to play in the 2005 World Series of Poker tournament events. This generated a total net prize pool of over $103,000,000 dollars, more than twice the total prize pool amount in 2004. New records were being made and old ones being broken so fast the challenge was to keep up with them all. Here is a "complete report" of what went on at this years World Series of Poker. It is complete because it covers tournament events #1 to #45.
Records were being made from the start as 662 casino employees entered Event #1 which was the "Casino Employee No-limit Hold'Em" tournament. The number broke the record set last year, which was 279 entrants. Andy Nguyen, a poker dealer from Binion's in Las Vegas, won this event earning a payday of $83,390. Things really picked up as Event #2 "No-Limit Texas Hold'Em" began with an astounding 2,305 players signing up to play. For comparison, the 2004 WSOP Main Event had 2,576 players in it. Allen Cunningham was the recipient of a WSOP gold bracelet and $725,405 for winning this one. Event #3 "Pot-Limit Hold'Em" had Thom Werthmann pocketing $369,535 by overcoming tough play from Layne Flack in the heads up match at the final table. Another WSOP record was set when 21 year old Eric Froehlich became the youngest person to earn a WSOP championship bracelet by winning Event #4 "Limit Hold'Em" and an additional $361,910 for his efforts. Pat Poels who quit his full time job to become a professional poker player won event #5 "Omaha Hi-Low Split". His paycheck that day was $270,100. Isaac Galazan won Event #6 "No-limit Hold'Em" a shootout tournament by defeating a determined Harry Demetriou and took home $315,125 for becoming champion.
Event #7 "No-Limit Hold'Em with Rebuys" was won by 24 year old poker tournament millionaire Michael Gracz, picking up an additional $594,460 for the win. But Michael said he would give up all the winnings just to have the WSOP bracelet, that's how much it meant to him. Event #8 "Seven Card Stud" had online qualifier Cliff Josephy claim the victory and $192,100. Erik Seidel picked up his 6th WSOP bracelet and $611,795 after winning the Event #9 "No-Limit Hold'Em" tournament. Reza Payvar who saw a marathon 13 hour heads up match to the end, won Event #10 "Limit Hold'Em". Reza, who received $303,610 and a WSOP bracelet, stated he dedicated the win to his father who passed away last year. Reza missed the 2004 WSOP to be with his father who had cancer. Online qualifier Edward Moncada won Event #11 "Pot-Limit Hold'Em" receiving his first WSOP bracelet and $298,070. The winner of Event #12 "Pot Limit Omaha" was Josh Arieh who earned his 2nd gold WSOP bracelet along with a $381,600 payday.
In his 58th major tournament win, T. J. Cloutier picked up his 6th WSOP bracelet by winning the Event #13 "No Limit Hold'Em" event and pocketing $657,100 in the process. Event #14 "Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split" lasted 36 hours, but in the end Steve Hohn picked up his bracelet and $156,985. Steve even endured a 4 1/2 hour heads up battle with Mike Wattel at the final table to capture this tournament victory! Mark Seif was able to place a desired crown on his poker resume by winning Event #15 "Limit Hold'Em Shootout" and $181,330 in his wallet. The champion for the Event #16 "No-Limit Hold'Em Shootout" tournament was Anthony Reategui, proving himself the best of 780 players for the title of champion and $269,100. Quinn Do ended up with $265,975 for winning Event #17's "Limit Hold'Em" tournament. Denis Ethier came from behind as the final table's short stack to win Event #18 "Seven Card Stud High-Low Split". Denis was rewarded with $160,682 for his effort. And Barry Greenstein became the champion of the Event #19 "Pot Limit Omaha" tournament gaining another $423,405 and a bracelet. Barry in his true humanitarian form dedicated his win to a terminally ill cancer patient named Charlie Tuttle. For Event #20 which was "Pot Limit Hold'Em", Brian Wilson won $370,685 for his efforts at the WSOP.
Todd Brunson, son of Doyle Brunson was the winner of the Event #21 "Omaha High-Low Split" tournament. Todd won $255,945 and entered World Series of Poker history, as he and his father became the only father and son to win championship bracelets. And Mark Seif captured his 2nd WSOP bracelet in a week plus $611,145 to boot by winning the Event #22 "No-Limit Hold'Em" tournament.
Event #23 "Seven Card Stud" had a happy Jan Sorensen from Denmark ready to take home $293,275 and a bracelet for winning this tournament. Event #24 "No Limit Hold'Em" was won by the very serious, solid playing Farzad Bonyadi who earned $594,960 for the effort. In Event #25 "Pot-Limit Hold'Em", Johnny Chan won his 10th WSOP bracelet breaking a 3-way tie with him, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth Jr., setting a record in the process. Johnny picked up a hefty $303,025 as well. Actress Jennifer Tilly turned heads again by winning Event #26 "Ladies No-Limit Hold'Em". She actually dominated final table play against top women poker players in the world to win $158,335 and a bracelet you can't buy in a store anywhere. Expect no less from the girlfriend of Phil "Unabomber" Laak. Phil Ivey overcame a determined Robert Williamson III to win Event #27 "Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys" earning his 5th gold WSOP bracelet and $630,685. Dan Schmiech won $404,585 by winning against actor Gabe Kaplan in the Event #28 "Limit Hold'em" tournament. Event #29 "No Limit Hold'Em" has Lawrence Gosney as this years champion pocketing $483,195 for the win. Now Event #30 "Seven Card Razz" is actually a little tough to understand and play, but O'Neil Longson proved he could do it and took home $125,690 as proof.
The 3-way tie Johnny Chan broke earlier became a tie again as Doyle Brunson won the Event #31 "No-limit Hold'Em (Short Handed 6/table)" tournament earning his 10th WSOP bracelet and $367,800 once again showing how his legendary reputation was earned. Event #32 "Omaha High-Low Split" was won by David Chiu taking home his 4th bracelet and $347,410. Andre Boyer, a poker analyst for TV station Le Rйseau des Sports in Quebec won Event #33 "No Limit Hold'Em" who's skill was rewarded with a $682,810 payday. Event #34 "Seniors No Limit Hold'Em" has a new champion who's name is Paul McKinney. Paul, who is 80 years old, can relax in the sun after depositing $202,725 in his bank account. Rafi Amit won Event #35 "Pot Limit Omaha" and $511,835 after becoming victorious in a heads up battle with Vinny Vinh.
A dominate Todd Witteles won Event #36 "Limit Hold'em" knocking out opponents left and right to take home the bracelet and $347,385. Event #37 "No Limit Hold'Em with Rebuys" was won by Jon Heneghan taking home $611,015 in the process. Event #38 was a super satellite tournament for seats to the Main Event, so no prize pool or list of winners was produced. Event #39 "No Limit 2 to 7 Draw Lowball with Rebuys" had David Grey as the champion who was heralded with $365,135. Event #40 was also a super satellite like #38 so there is nothing to report unfortunately. When it came time for raising money for charity, the media and celebrities in Event #41 showed up at the tables. Randy Bowman of the media won $10,000 for the Noblesville Boys and Girls Club.
Event #42 is the WSOP Main Event, the big tournament where millionaires are born. This year the first place prize was $7,500,000 and every person who made the final table became a millionaire guaranteed. 5,619 entrants competed in the tournament making it the largest in WSOP history. In fact it was so large that it had to be spread out over 9 days. 2004 champion Greg Raymer made it up to 25th place before elimination, receiving $304,680 for his efforts. But it was Joseph Hachem who became champion for this year, pocketing the $7.5 million and a beautiful diamond bracelet that can only be earned by winning the Main Event.
For those who were busted out of the Main Event, they found additional tournaments for play in Events #43, #44 and #45 which were 1 day events. Ron Kirk beat out players like Erik Seidel and Marcel Luske to take home $321,520 for winning the Event #43 "No Limit Hold'Em" tournament. Event #44 "No Limit Hold'Em" was won by John Pires who received $220,935 for his victory. And the Event #45 "No Limit Hold'Em" winner was Willie Tann who happily received his bracelet and $188,335 for 1 day's work! Not bad at all.
With the sheer size of this event and a total number of staff and players that could make up a small city, it is hard to think of anything the poker world could do to surpass it. But Harrah's has already released the 2006 World Series of Poker Tournament Circuit schedule and it is expanded from 2005's five tournaments to twelve, so we'll have to wait and see. Poker on TV will keep us all happy until then.