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

Employees, Charity and Media Event Results

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The majority of the events at the 2008 World Series of Poker were highly publicized with live updates from the official WSOP reporters and logged on various websites, blogs, and poker publications. Bracelet winners were made known and final table action was tracked. However, there were three events, one of which was a WSOP bracelet event, which received very little attention in the scheme of things.

One of the favorite events each year that does award a WSOP bracelet but is not an open tournament is the Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event. It was listed as Event 55 on the WSOP list and brings casino employees to Las Vegas from coast to coast. This year, a total of 930 players entered the $500 buy-in tournament to create a prize pool of $418,500.

Top prize of $87,929 and the WSOP gold bracelet went to Jonathan Kotula, a casino employee at O’Sheas on the Las Vegas Strip. All of the final results were as follows:

1st Jonathan Kotula $87,929
2nd Kevin O’Harra $56,748
3rd Glenda Harrell $34,107
4th Daniel Kohnen $28,667
5th Andrew Brock $23,435
6th Michael Anderson $18,414
7th Elaine Graham $14,229
8th David Dietrich $11,090
9th Monica Conrad $ 7,951

The Ante Up for Africa charity poker tournament is one of the most anticipated of the WSOP, and its second annual event did not disappoint. Held on July 2nd, the purpose of the tournament was to raise funds for the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, and it was hosted by Don Cheadle and Annie Duke again this year. Proceeds from the event were donated to the ENOUGH project and Not On Our Watch project, both global organizations focused on ending atrocities like the crisis in Darfur and assisting the refugees from those situations.

The $5,000 buy-in to the tournament had to go to the prize pool, as dictated by Nevada state law, but participants were encouraged to donate their winnings to Ante Up for Africa. And they did. Unofficial reports indicated that over $400,000 was raised for the charities. Though organizers were hoping to outdo the $700,000 raised in 2007, attendance was positive at the 2008 event and many mainstream media outlets picked up the story.

Numerous poker pros were in attendance, such as Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Andy Bloch, Phil Laak, and Annie Duke. But it was the celebrities who were the talk of the day, with participants like Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, Ray Ramano, Charles Barkley, Mekhi Phifer, Adam Sandler, and Don Cheadle.

In the end, it was a professional poker player, John Hennigan, who took it down and donated his winnings back to Ante Up for Africa. The rest of the results, which included some big names, were as follows:

1st John Hennigan $136,860
2nd Michael Degusta $ 85,536
3rd Dan Shak $ 54,529
4th Phil Hellmuth $ 38,491
5th Matt Calhoun $ 31,006
6th Jerry Cantrell $ 25,660
7th Jordanna Schutz $ 21,384
8th Ray Romano $ 18,176
9th Casey Affleck $ 16,038

Lastly, Harrah’s hosted a Media Charity Event for all members of the media here to cover the World Series. It was a freeroll with a fast structure, and the $12,000 prize pool was donated by Harrah’s to be awarded to the charities of choice of the top nine finishers. A total of 71 players took part in the event, and the final nine – along with their charities and donation amounts – were as follows:

1st Brett Collson $5000 Wounded Warrior Project
2nd Paul Spitzberg $2500 Undecided
3rd Ted Lynch $1500 Undecided
4th Oskar Garcia $1000 Las Vegas After School All-Stars
5th Paul Coleman $ 750 Cortland Brandenberg Foundation
6th Eric Newby $ 500 Give Kids the World
7th Seth Palansky $ 400 Undecided
8th Eric Benoit $ 250 Make a Wish Foundation
9th Russ Scott $ 100 American Red Cross, Quad-Cities

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