The $1,500 buy-in Mixed Hold’em championship, Event #41, was held June 22-24th and attracted 731 entries. The top 72 finishers collected their share of the prize money from the $997,815 prize pool. Mixed Hold’em includes a rotation of two games, Limit Hold’em and No-Limit Hold’em with each game being played for 30 minutes at a time. This was only the second year this event has been on the WSOP schedule and entries increased 18 percent over last year when there were 620 participants.
The tournament was played over three consecutive days with the final table being played on the ESPN main stage and broadcast live by Bluff Media on ESPN360. Fred Goldberg, who won this event in 2007, did not enter, which brought the streak to 41 straight non-cashes for defending champions in their respective events.
The final table included players from five different nations including; Canada, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and the United States.
The 2008 Mixed Hold’em champion is a 42-year-old retired bachelor from Fort Meyers, FL, Frank Gary. Gary worked as a software engineer for many years then sold his small high-tech company a few years ago. Since retiring, Gary has traveled around the country in his RV playing poker, usually traveling about half the year at 3 month intervals. This year, Gary decided to schedule a stop in Las Vegas and enter a few tournaments at this year’s WSOP. Being a man of strong personal faith, Gary stated that God made his victory possible. In a post-tournament interview, he said he wanted to make certain that he acknowledged the critical role of his faith in the victory and his first place win of $219,562. When asked what he intends to do with his new found wealth, Gary stated that he will invest most of the prize money but he also planned to play in a few more WSOP events.
The second-place finisher was Jonathan Tamayo, a recent graduate from Cornell University with a degree in hotel management who lives in Houston, TX. Commenting on his runner-up finish, Tamayo jokingly said, “I’m still unemployed.”
Taking down third place was Nick Binger who marked his fifth cash in two years at the WSOP and first final table appearance.
Former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event were:
• Michael Chu – eighth place, who won a WSOP gold bracelet last year
• Todd Witteles - 10th place
• Alexander Borteh - 20th place
Through the end of Event #41, only two players have made three final table appearances; Jacobo Fernandez and David Benyamine. And, Nikolay Evdakov, from Moscow, Russia was still the only player at this year’s WSOP who cashed seven times, just one off the all-time record mark.
Through the conclusion of Event #41 at this year’s World Series of Poker, the gold bracelet count by nations and states read as follows:
10 – Nevada
7 – California
4 – New York
2 – Canada
2 – Germany
2 – Italy
2 – Missouri
1 – Belgium
1 – Denmark
1 – Florida
1 – France
1 – Georgia
1 – Holland
1 – Maryland
1 – Michigan
1 – Pennsylvania
1 – Russia
1 – South Carolina
1 – Wisconsin
Nine different nations have produced a gold bracelet winner at this year’s WSOP including; Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Russia, and the United States.
The “Pro-Am” gold bracelet scoreboard read:
Professionals – 32 wins
Amateurs -- 7 wins
Semi-Pros -- 2 wins
The Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” rankings include points accrued from the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship. The Milwaukee’s Best Light “Player of the Year” top five standings showed:
1. Jacobo Fernandez – 222 points
2. David Benyamine – 220 points
3. John Phan – 200 points
4. Barry Greenstein – 190 points
5. Erick Lindgren – 185 points
At the end of Event #41 David Benyamine was the leader on the 2008 prize money list, having won the most money at the WSOP with accrued winnings totaling $941,651.
Event #41 Final Standings:
|1 ||Frank Gary ||$219,562 ||Fort Myers Florida |
|2 ||Jonathan Tamayo ||$140,093 || Humble Texas |
|3 ||Nick Binger|| $84,814 ||Las Vegas Nevada |
|4||Chris Rentes ||$69,348 ||Kinnegad Ireland |
|5 ||Alex Jalali ||$56,875 ||Bochum Germany |
|6 ||David Machowsky ||$44,901 ||Dayton Ohio |
|7 ||Mats Gavatin ||$34,923 ||Stockholm Sweden |
|8 ||Michael Chu ||$27,439 || Los Angeles California |
|9 ||David Sorger ||$19,956 ||Toronto Ontario, Canada |
|10 ||Todd Witteles ||$12,472 ||Las Vegas Nevada |