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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | WSOP2009 Tournaments

Event 6, 10K 7 Card Stud: Old Timer Freddie Ellis Takes Home the Gold

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The highest buy-in Stud tournament in the world - at a price of $10,000 - drew 142 of the finest poker players in the world to Las Vegas, Nevada. With such a small field, this was one of the better opportunities to win a bracelet and the field contained recognizable names like Negreanu, Ivey, and Lindgren. When Jeffrey Lisandro busted out in 9th place the final table, with seat positions and approximate chip counts, was as follows:

Seat 1: Freddie Ellis 569,000
Seat 2: Eric Drache 847,000
Seat 3: Hasan Habib 593,000
Seat 4: Ivan Schertzer 337,000
Seat 5: Max Pescatori 536,000
Seat 6: Greg Mueller 222,000
Seat 7: Ville Wahlbeck 613,000
Seat 8: Tim Phan 167,000

The final table began as The Freddie Ellis Show as the affable and extremely likable older gentleman won what seemed like every pot to more than double the stack that he started with. In the meantime, Tim Phan had been fighting a short stack and found himself all in facing the rolled up tens of Ivan Schertzer who was also all in by the time 5th street was done. Ellis tried to knock them both out but was unable to and Schertzer had Phan covered. Tim Phan finished in 8th place winning $47,352.

Greg Mueller was the next to fall when he decided to make his stand and ran into the split aces of Hasan Habib. The aces were good enough and Greg Mueller finished in 7th place winning $53,886.

It was mere moments before the other short stack joined Mueller and Phan on the rail, as Ivan Schertzer got it all in with buried kings with J-6-2 showing against Eric Drache who had 10-9-3 showing. Ivan was dismayed, grimacing and muttering “shit” when Drache turned over his buried aces. That grimace turned into a grin on 6th street, however, as Ivan paired his jacks to put him comfortably in the lead. It wasn't to be though as Drache paired on the river to give him a bigger two pair. Who said the river only gets you in Hold Em? Ivan Schertzer finished in 6th place winning $64,297.


Hasan Habib lost a series of pots and was now the short stack in the tournament. Habib completed with a jack showing and Eric Drache called. Habib continued to fire bets with Drache calling and on 6th street, Drache raised, which was enough to set Habib all in. Drache had hit two pair - tens and sixes - while all Habib had was A-K-Q-J and needed one of the two last tens in the deck to stay alive. His last card paired his king and Hasan Habib was out as the 5th place finisher winning $80,969.

Just moments later Max Pescatori made a similar stand when he got the remainder of his chips in the middle on third street with Q-J-10 and Ville Wahlbeck called him with Q-Q-9. Pescatori would hit two pair but Wahlbeck would get another pair to go with his queens to end the Italian's day. Max Pescatori finished in 4th place winning $107,959.

Ellis continued to run away from the field but not before doubling up Eric Drache when Eric hit a straight against Ellis's two pair. Ellis rebounded nicely though winning the next two pots against Wahlbeck to maintain his sizable chip lead. Wahlbeck would be the next player to go when he took buried kings against the buried aces of Eric Drache. Drache was unable to improve on his aces, but neither was Wahlbeck able to improve and he was eliminated. Ville Wahlbeck finished in 3rd place winning $152,915.

Heads up play began with Ellis holding a moderate chip advantage over Drache by the amount of 2.5 million to 1.8 million. Drache immediately went to work on Ellis and chipped away methodically to take the chip lead. Normally the late night would have worked against the older Ellis, but Drache wasn't much younger and the two looked weary as the heads up match dragged on. Ellis finally seized advantage when he hit trip nines against Drache who had a board of Q-J-10-9 and was unable to make a straight. Drache finally just conceded when he checked 7th street and facing a bet from Ellis said, “Well I don't want to hang onto these so I'll raise you!” and stuck in the remainder of his chips. Ellis had a heart flush which was good enough for the win and Eric Drache finished in 2nd place winning $231,014.

Freddie Ellis is a well known player in the Northeast, especially in the New York City and Atlantic City poker circles. Despite struggling with the late hours of a poker tournament, Ellis was able to maintain his composure to pull out a win and win a WSOP bracelet at an age where many people are retired or not living. Ellis's only previous notable tournament cash had been in 2003 at a USPC 7 Stud event; now he can add to that with a very notable tournament cash and a prestigious WSOP bracelet. Freddie Ellis finished in 1st place winning $373,751. Congratulations Freddie!

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