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

2008 WSOP Event #38 Recap

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Event #38 at the 2008 World Series of Poker was held on June 20th-22nd. The event was a $2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em championship, attracting 605 entries, who vied for their share of the $1,101,100 prize pool. The top 63 finishers collected prize money. Last year, there were 599 entries for this event, showing a slight increase in attendance this year by six entrants.

Until 1992, Pot-Limit Hold’em was not an event offered on the WSOP schedule, but this year there were three. This shows how popular Pot-Limit Hold’em events have become over the last 16 years. This is evident by the line-up of famous faces in the poker world that enter this event like past winners: John Bonetti, T.J. Cloutier, Jay Heimowitz, Phil Hellmuth, David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack, Steve Zolotow, Mickey Appleman, and Johnny Chan. Despite the big guns that play this event every year, no player has ever won two gold bracelets in Pot-Limit Hold’em, making it one of the few games in WSOP history to have no multiple winners.

Event #38 was played out over three consecutive days with the final table being played on the ESPN main stage. Since last year’s champion Greg Hopkins did not enter, this brings the current streak to 38 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.

This year’s $244,583 first place winner was Davidi Kitai, a 28-year-old economic analyst from Brussels, Belgium. Not only did this signal his first WSOP title, but he also becomes the first ever gold bracelet winner from Belgium. Kitai received encouragement from his father who sat in the audience, along with a cheering section including several fans and fellow poker players from the Benalux region of Belguim.

Chris Bell, a tournament circuit regular from Raleigh, NC was the second-place finisher. The heads-up match between Kitai and Bell clocked in at almost five long hours and went 186 hands. In comparison, it only took 3.5 hours and 101 hands for the first seven players to bust out at the final table. Bell seemed to dominate the table when he busted five of the first seven players, garnering the chip lead.

Keith E. Greer, Jr. from Ft. Worth, TX took home third-place after staging e a huge comeback in this tournament. On the fourth hand of the tournament, with 4,000 in chips, Greer lost an all-in hand just three minutes after the tournament began. With only 225 in chips remaining, he looked destined to make an early exit. In an amazing show of grit, Greer not only managed to hang on and recover his chips, but he made it all the way to the final table. Perseverance paid off for Greer and he collected $94,694 in prize money for his efforts.

Fifth place finisher was Former WSOP gold bracelet winner Lee Watkinson, who racked up his fourth time to cash at the 2008 World Series. Watkinson is no stranger to being at a final table; he also made it to the Main Event final table last year where he finished in eighth place. Another former WSOP gold bracelet winner was at the final table also, sixth place finisher Robert Cheung.

Pakistani-born poker pro Ayaz Mahmood added to his list of WSOP cashes, when he cashed for the 16th time by taking seventh-place. Ben Roberts High-stakes cash game player, from London, England garnered the eighth place spot, not quite besting his sixth place finish in the 1998 WSOP Main Event. Fellow UK player and English actor Michael Greco finished ninth. Before turning to poker, Greco was a regular cast member on the popular British soap opera “East Enders” which ran from 1998 through 2002.

For a tally of WSOP final table finishers, up to Event #38, only two players had made three final table appearances; Jacobo Fernandez and David Benyamine. Sixteen players made two WSOP final table appearances including; Chris Bjorin, Andy Bloch, Alex Bolotin, Scott Clements, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, Fu Wong, Greg Jamison, Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren, Minh Ly, Daniel Negreanu, David Singer, J.C. Tran, Theo Tran, and Tim West.

Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia was the only player at this year’s WSOP who had cashed seven times up until the end of event #38, just one cash shy of the all-time record mark. Evdakov is trying to break the record set for “Most WSOP Cashes in a Single Year,” shared by five players; Michael Binger (2007), Chad Brown (2007), Phil Hellmuth (2006), Richard Tatalovich (2006), and Humberto Brenes (2006), with eight. Although Jan Von Halle was the chip leader at the start of the final table, he couldn’t get past fourth-place. Through Event #38, sixteen of 36 chip leaders at the start of the final table (44 percent) went on to win the event. Twenty-two of 36 chip leaders (61 percent) went on to finish in the top three spots. Vanessa Selbst, Event #19, holds the honors of being the one and only chip leader that went on to win the event.

With event #38 in the record books, Belgium became the ninth nation to produce a gold bracelet winner at this year’s WSOP joining Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, and the United States. The final table players represented five different countries; Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, and the United States.

Through the conclusion of Event #38 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states is:

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

By the end of event #38, the leader on the 2008 prize money list was David Benyamine, with winnings totaling $941,651.

According to the “Pro-Am” gold bracelet scoreboard, event #38 winner Davidi Kitai is classified as an amateur, since he plays poker part-time and has a full-time occupation. At the end of event #38 The Pro Am board standings were:

• Professionals – 30 wins
• Amateurs - 6 wins
• Semi-Pros - 2 wins

And in the Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” competition; rankings will now include points accrued from the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship. The Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” standings after event #38 showed Jacobo Fernandez as the leader, with David Benyamine close behind.

The top five ranked players:

  1. Jaccobo Fernandez – 222 points
  2. David Benyamine –220 points
  3. Barry Greenstein – 185 points (tied)
  4. Erick Lindgren – 185 points (tied)
  5. Daniel Negreanu - 170 points
Final Results of the 2008 WSOP Event #38:

1 Davidi Kitai $244,583 Brussels Belgium
2 Chris Bell $155,805 Raleigh North Carolina
3 Keith Greer $94,694 Fort Worth Texas
4 Jan Von Halle $77,077 Hamburg Germany
5 Lee Watkinson $63,313 Longbranch Washington
6 Robert Cheung $50,100 Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
7 Ayaz Mahmood $39,089 Houston Texas
8 Ben Roberts $30,830 London England
9 Michele Greco $22,572 London England
10 Benjamin Zamani $14,314 Boca Raton Florida
11 Michael Binger $14,314 Las Vegas Nevada
12 Charles Lehr $14,314 Bossier City Louisiana
13 Jeffrey Sluzinski $11,561 Westland Michigan
14 Amato Galasso $11,561 Ridgewood New Jersey
15 Christopher Dombrowski $11,561 Dade City Florida
16 Neil Channing $8,808 Maida Vale England
17 Davood Mehrmand $8,808 Frankfurt Germany
18 Eugene Todd $8,808 Brooklyn New York
19 Daniel Quinn $6,606 Toronto Ontario, Canada
20 Robert Perry $6,606 Highland Beach Florida
21 Alan Adler $6,606 Bakersfield California
22 Phillip Lowery $6,606 Atlanta Georgia
23 David Brooker $6,606 Stuart Florida
24 Jonathan Tamayo $6,606 Humble Texas
25 Blake Stepp $6,606 Spokane Washington
26 Noam Freedman $6,606 Cambridge Massachusetts
27 Brett Wiesner $6,606 Las Vegas Nevada
28 Gavin Polone $5,505 Beverly Hills California
29 Shaun Linefsky $5,505 Arlington Virginia
30 Trevor Lawson $5,505 Cueshire Australia
31 Paul Foltyn $5,505 Doncaster England
32 Shawn Van Asdale $5,505 Reno Nevada
33 Shane Schleger $5,505 Santa Monica California
34 Clonie Gowen $5,505 Murphy Texas
35 David Chicotsky $5,505 Fort Worth Texas
36 Marco Traniello $5,505 Las Vegas Nevada
37 Derek Dempsey $4,404 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
38 Thomas Fuller $4,404 Boulder Colorado
39 George Shahrezay $4,404 Paramount California
40 Anthony George $4,404 Las Vegas Nevada
41 Matthew Hilger $4,404 Suwanee Georgia
42 Eric Lupovich $4,404 Mont-Royal Quebec, Canada
43 Sunny Chattha $4,404 Lee England
44 Dale Pinchot $4,404 Yardley Pennsylvania
45 Thomas Sanduski $4,404 Las Vegas Nevada
46 Larry Wright $4,074 McQueeny Texas
47 James Gorham Jr. $4,074 Pasadena California
48 Cristian Dragomir $4,074 Bucharest Romania
49 Olivia Boeree $4,074
50 Kyle Wilson $4,074
51 Christopher Howard $4,074 Hampshire England
52 David Machowsky $4,074
53 Jeffrey Langdon $4,074 Santa Fe New Mexico
54 Veronica Castellana $4,074 Tampa Florida
55 Rado Boltryk $3,743 Glenview Illinois
56 Roy Winston $3,743
57 Vanessa Rousso $3,743
58 Andre Johnstone $3,743 Cape Town South Africa
59 Josef Bachar $3,743 Rmat Gan Israel
60 Andrew Rosskamm $3,743 Gates Mills Ohio
61 Paul Quade $3,743
62 Michael Cordell $3,743 Little Rock Arkansas
63 Clifford Spiro $3,743 Naperville Illinois

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