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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

2008 WSOP Event #34 Recap

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The $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys championship, Event #34, was held on June 18th-20th and attracted 320 entries. The 1,350 of Re-Buys swelled the prize pool to an amazing $2,407,125, with the top 36 finishers at the final four tables collecting their slice of the money.

Pot-Limit Omaha first debuted on the WSOP schedule back in 1984, when two events were introduced. This event showed one of the largest prize pool increases of the year over the same event played in 2007. Last year, 298 players made 880 Re-Buys, creating a prize pool totaling $1,684,305, showing a 7% increase in entries this year, while Re-Buys were up a whopping 53 percent. The total prize pool increased by 43 percent, shooting down any concerns that the ‘soft economy” would affect turnout at the World Series of Poker.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days with the final table being played on the ESPN main stage. Coverage was provided by Bluff Media on ESPN360. The secondary final table featured the conclusion of the $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud championship, which took place at the same time.

Last year’s champion Alan Smurfit, from Ireland, played in this event but he did not cash. This brings the current streak to 34 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events. Four different nations were represented by players at this final table, including Australia, Germany, Italy, and the United States.

The 2008 $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-Buys champion is Layne Flack, from Las Vegas, NV. This was Flack’s sixth career WSOP gold bracelet victory. Flack collected $577,725 for first place, which was his largest poker payday ever. With six gold bracelets, he is now tied with Jay Heimowitz, Men “the Master” Nguyen, and T.J. Cloutier for seventh on the all-time WSOP wins list. All six wins have come within an 11-year span and his lifetime earnings at the WSOP total an impressive $2,268,357. This win saw Flack ending his five year long dry spell since his last WSOP victory. During his personal and professional abyss, Flack admits to going through many troubles but now says those troubles are behind him and he has focused on his craft as a poker player.

Flack credits his “life coach” Ed Walters for helping him to recover from his personal problems. Walters was allegedly the inspiration for the fictional “Fast Eddie” Felson, Paul Newman’s legendary character in two classic gambling movies, “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money.”

Flack’s first and only job was once working as a poker dealer at small card clubs in Montana. Many who knew Flack back then say he was one of the best dealers ever seen in the region. Through the years, Flack’s poker nicknames have changed from “Heart Attack” Flack for his aggressive playing style, to “Back-to-Back” Flack, a label which lost its luster since he never actually won back to back events at the WSOP. Flack’s final table record is phenomenal; he has appeared at 12 WSOP final tables during his career, and won half of them. After his victory, Flack conveyed that he had given away his other five WSOP gold bracelets as gifts, mostly to family members; except for one that he says was stolen.

Flack dismissed inevitable comparisons of his life to the late Stu Ungar’s. “I never met Stu Ungar,” Flack said. “I don’t think I really was in his league either in terms of his personal demons or his talent.”

Flack invested $33,000 in this tournament, including 21 re-buys. “When we made the money, everybody was cheering,” Flack stated. “Everybody was a winner but me. I still had to get to at least 12th place just to get my money back. It’s not like I outplayed everybody.” Flack admitted after his victory that it wasn’t just luck, “I mean, I did catch some cards” he said.

The final table lasted about seven hours but the heads-up match lasted only a few hands with Daniel Makowsky, a German-born poker player now living in Switzerland, finishing second.

Third place finisher Jacobo Fernandez had quite an impressive World Series, taking second, third, and fourth place in five combined cashes so far. Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Dario Alioto finished in fourth place. Last September, Alioto made poker history by becoming the first player ever to win a WSOP title in an event played outside the United States. In 2007, Harrahs Entertainment launched the first “World Series of Poker – Europe” tournament series which scheduled three gold bracelet events which were played in London, England. Alioto won the first tournament, the Pot-Limit Omaha championship.
Making his second final table appearance at this year’s World Series was five-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Ted Forrest, who finished in fifth place. Forrest also finished second in the Omaha High-Low Split event.

Jerrod Ankenman took 17th place in this tournament, just days after finishing as the runner up in the Limit Hold’em World Championship. Ankenman is the co-author of “The Mathematics of Poker” with two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Bill Chen.
Eight-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Erik Seidel finished 21st, marking his 50th career WSOP in-the-money finish, which ranks seventh on the all-time list.

With his 30th-place showing in this tournament, Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia cashed yet again and is now the only player who has cashed seven times – just one off the all-time record mark.

The Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” standings showed a dead heat between two top pros; Erick Lindgren and Barry Greenstein.

Through Event #34, only Jacobo Fernandez has made three final table appearances, while sixteen players have made two WSOP final table appearances including:

• Chris Bjorin
• Andy Bloch
• David Benyamine
• Alex Bolotin
• Scott Clements
• Chris “Jesus” Ferguson
• Ted Forrest
• Barry Greenstein
• Fu Wong
• Erick Lindgren
• Minh Ly
Daniel Negreanu
• David Singer
• J.C. Tran
• Theo Tran
• Tim West

Through the conclusion of Event #34 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states reads as follows:

9 – Nevada
6 – California
4 – New York
2 – Canada
2 – Germany
2 – Italy
2 – Missouri
1 – Holland
1 – Maryland
1 – Michigan
1 – Pennsylvania
1 – Russia
1 – South Carolina
1 – Wisconsin

At the end of Event #34, the “Pro-Am” gold bracelet scoreboard read:
Professionals – 27 wins

Amateurs -- 5 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins
Event #34 Final results:

1 Layne Flack $577,725 Las Vegas Nevada
2 Daniel Makowsky $355,050 Zurich Germany
3 Jacobo Fernandez $222,659 Hollywood Florida
4 Dario Alioto $180,534 Palermo Italy
5 Ted Forrest $144,427 Las Vegas Nevada
6 Kyle Kloeckner $114,338 St. Louis Missouri
7 Michael Guzzardi $90,267 Melbourne Australia
8 Tim West $72,213 Los Altos California
9 Frank Vizza $54,160 Cold Spring Harbor New York
10 Kevin O'Donnell $36,106 Scottsdale Arizona
11 Michael Schwartz $36,106 Roswell Georgia
12 Nathan Hagens $36,106 Appleton Wisconsin
13 Francisco Azares $30,089 Maracaibo Venezuela
14 Thomas Wahlroos $30,089 Helsinki Finland
15 Tino LeChich $30,089 Melbourne Australia
16 Nathan Doudney $24,071 Rockwall Texas
17 Jerrod Ankenman $24,071 Avon Connecticut
18 Steven Saris $24,071 Canton Ohio
19 Michael Zowie $19,257 Australia
20 Jeff Williams $19,257 Dunwoody Georgia
21 Erik Seidel $19,257 Las Vegas Nevada
22 Johannes Strassmann $19,257 Berlin Germany
23 Ravi Shankar $19,257 Cupertino California
24 Benjamin Hammett $19,257 Holbrook Pennsylvania
25 Julian Powell $19,257 Victoria Australia
26 Loren Klein $19,257 Golden Colorado
27 Patryk Hildebranski $19,257 Kitchener Ontario, Canada
28 Barny Boatman $16,849 London England
29 Anthony Hartmann $16,849 Richfield Minnesota
30 Nikolay Evdakov $16,849 Moscow Russia
31 Rene Mouritsen $16,849 Copenhagen Denmark
32 Martel De La Chesnaye $16,849 Paris France
33 Jamie Robbins $16,849 Portland Oregon
34 Clonie Gowen $16,849 Murphy Texas
35 Steven Ware $16,849 North Caldwell New Jersey
36 Rami Boukai $16,849 Laguna Hills California

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