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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP 2011

WSOP Triple Chance NLH Winner David Diaz

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Nearly 28 hours of play was required to eliminate 1,339 players and leave David Diaz as the last player standing in the $1,500 buy-in Event #12 Triple chance No-Limit Holdem.  There were 1,340 players that created a prize pool of $1,809,000 and the top 144 players were paid.

With four tables left, the field still had some major contenders vying for the gold; this tournament still had the likes of Sam Trickett, Cliff Josephy, Bill Chen, Andy Black, J.C. Tran, Getty Mattingsly and Dan Smith.

Special interest story from David Diaz:

Beneath the glow of the Las Vegas Strip, Diaz just won the most recent WSOP event, which was the $1,500 Triple-Chance No-Limit Hold’em Championship. He collected $352,808 in cash for his victory and was presented with the ultimate symbol of achievement in the game of poker -- the WSOP gold bracelet.

But Diaz’ greatest lifetime victory took place 22 years ago

As a child growing up in Honduras, Diaz was accustomed to daily struggle. His family’s daily ritual didn’t include casino gambling or entering big-time poker tournaments. Staying alive and remaining healthy were the equal to be being dealt pocket kings and aces. For a little boy named David -- beset with the griping trials of incessant poverty, lack of nutritious food, and little opportunity for education or advancement -- things were about to go from bad to worse. The four-year-old was hit with his biggest challenge of all when he was
diagnosed with cancer.


It’s a six-letter word no four-year-old can quite understand nor comprehend in terms of its potential devastation.

At the time, for most children living in Central America, a cancer prognosis might as well have been a death sentence. Diaz had few medical facilities that could treat his condition. Worse, his family did not have the money to pay for proper treatment.

But Diaz and his family got a big break. In poker parlance, they hit a proverbial one-outer on the river. The “dealer” in the game of life and death was none other than the late, great actor and philanthropist Danny Thomas and the extraordinary medical facility he helped to create, called St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was quite literally young David's salvation.

Diaz was taken from Honduras to Memphis, TN, to undergo medical treatment. Some years later, he was finally cured and cancer free.

Diaz and his family eventually went on to settle down as legal residents in the United States They moved to New Jersey, where he attended school. Diaz learned English. He made new friends.

The final day of Event #12 started with 10 players and Diaz had 9th place locked up in chip count. He stayed out of the heavy action and managed to find spots to add chips when he could; that included a bluff with 10-3. He managed to get all of his chips in against Nicholas Rampone and took over the chip lead for the first time and then went back to playing short again. He took control of the chips again when he flopped the nut flush against the second nut flush draw of Bill Chen and never relinquished the lead after that.

The final hand was a 'coin flip' when Anders Meli got all of his chips in with {4-Spades}{4-Diamonds} against David Diaz's {A-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}.  The board brought the {3-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{5-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{3-Clubs} to end the tournament for Anders Meli and awarding him $218,183 for 2nd place.

Diaz was asked if he expected to win a bracelet this year at the World Series and Diaz responded, “Actually, I expected to win two. I don’t know why but I just did.”

David Diaz took down his first gold bracelet and $352,808 for winning the $1,500 Triple Chance No Limit Holdem tournament.  Congratulations David!

The final 10:

David Diaz 
Anders Meli
Andrea Dato 
Bill Chen
Corey Hastings
Richard Trigg
Justin Sternberg
Nicholas Rampone
Matthew Henson
Steve Watts

For more detailed hands and information about the event, visit PokerNews Live Reporting.

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