(Way) Inside the WSOP

Everything you wanted to know about Day 3-4 and way more

by , Jul 11, 2009 | 9:45 am

Elky: Chipleader at the end of yesterday, sure … but what has he done lately?

There’s so much good stuff in here it’s hardly even excerptible. Nolan’s Official Day 3 Report (with help from Alan Fowler) gives you not just insight about who stands where in chips, but also info on records in play, historical perspective on how far being a chip leader early can take you, a breakdown of what countries are performing admirablybeing broken, an interview with celebrity big-stack (and Lodge poker alum) Lou Diamond Phillips, and a reference to how far he has to go to pass Telly Savalas:

Click below for all the data fit to cut-and-paste:

2009 World Series of Poker Presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada

Official Report
Event #57
World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,494
Players Remaining: 789
Total Net Prize Pool: $61,043,600
Number of Places Paid: 648
First Place Prize: $8,546,435
July 3–November 10, 2009

Tournament Highlights:

Day Three Headlines

1. World Series of Poker Main Event Continues – Players Expected to Reach the Money during Day Four Tomorrow

2. France’s Bertrand Grospellier (a.k.a. “Elky”) is the Current Chip Leader

3. Many Poker Superstars Still Alive – Kenny Tran, Dennis Phillips, Mike Sexton, Justin Bonomo, Phil Hellmuth, David Benyamine, Blair Rodman, All in the Top 150

The Main Event Continues

— The 2009 WSOP Main Event continued with the conclusion of Day 3. This day marked the first time that this year’s Main Event brought all the surviving players together at the Rio on the same day. Since there were two “Day Twos” and four “Day Ones,” no more than about half the total field has been at the Rio, until this time.

— Day 3 began with 2,044 players. The day ended with 789 survivors. Players are expected to reach the prize money sometime on Day 4, which is played tomorrow (Saturday). Only the top 648 finishers will collect prize money. Note: Last year, players reached the money at the end of Day 3. However, due to larger starting stack sizes this year, eliminations have taken longer. The payout point is likely to be reached approximately two levels later than last year.

— Players are currently 141 spots from the money.

— The day began with WSOP President and Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack introducing “Captain” Tom Franklin to the capacity crowd of players and spectators. Franklin, a highly-respected poker pro and player-rights advocate thanked Harrah’s Entertainment and the entire WSOP staff for “working so hard to make this as smooth as possible.” Franklin then began play by announcing “Let’s get this party started!” and continued with the customary “Shuffle-Up and Deal” pronouncement.

— This is the 44th day of the WSOP. Play continues for five more days, plus the finale to be played in November.

— Tomorrow (Saturday) begins at noon and is expected to include five levels of play.

— Any player dealt four jacks in this year’s Main Event receives a special prize from Jack Link’s Beef Jerky valued at $100. So far, 34 packages have been given away (through seven completed days).

— Play on Day 3 began on July 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm.

Play on Day 3

— Defending champion Peter Eastgate remains very much alive in the 2009 Main Event. Incredibly, he was down to just 8,000 in chips late on Day 2 but went on a fortuitous rush during the final hour and ended up with about an average-sized stack (110,000). On Day 3, he remained consistent and finished the day with an average-sized stack. It should be noted that Eastgate had an average stack at the completion of Day 3 last year, and went on to win the championship.

— Former world champions who continued play on Day 3 included – Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin (1978), Phil Hellmuth (1989), Dan Harrington (1995), Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2000), Greg “Fossilman” Raymer (2004), Joe Hachem (2005), and Peter Eastgate (2008). Raymer was eliminated, while the other champions all survived.

— The ESPN feature table included two of Australia’s most successful poker pros – 2005 world champion Joe Hachem and four-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Jeffrey Lisandro.

— With Ville Wahlbeck’s elimination on this day, Jeffrey Lisandro officially locked up the 2009 WSOP “Player of the Year” title. When the decision became known, Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack took the microphone and approached Lisandro, who was playing at the ESPN feature table. He announced Lisandro’s achievement, which received a nice round of applause. All of Lisandro’s opponents at the table also offered handshakes and congratulatory remarks. However, Lisandro was eliminated late in the day.

— The first player to reach the million-chip mark was Owen Crowe, from Halifax, NS (Canada). He hit the milestone about mid-way through level 14, which occurred at about 9:15 pm. However, he slipped back below the figure during the final hour of play in Day 3.

— Moments after Crowe reached a million in chips, Bertrand Grospellier, originally from Nancy, France hit the 1.2 million mark and seized the chip lead (Note: He currently resides in London, UK). He ended the day with a sizable advantage over the remainder of the field.

— Players competed for five complete levels. Play ended after Level 14. When play resumes tomorrow at Level 15, blinds will be 2,000-4,000 with a 500 ante. The average stack size is 240,519.

— Day 3 started with a field of 2,044 players and ended with 789 survivors. This means only about 12.2 percent of the original 6,494 starters survived past the third day.

— At the end of the day, black 100-denomination chips were raced off. This means the lowest-denomination chip at the start of Day 4 will be 500.

— Players who survived Day 3 will return to continue their quest for the 2009 world poker championship gold bracelet and $8.5 million in prize money on July 11h, starting at noon.

— Play on Day 3 ended at 12:55 pm.

Day 3 Chip Leader (Bertrand Grospellier) –

— The current chip leader is Bertrand Grospellier, a.k.a. “ElkY,” who is originally from Nancy, France. Grospellier has also lived in Korea. He presently calls London, England his home. However, given his intense travel schedule playing in poker tournaments around the world, Grospellier’s real home is spent in luxury hotels and at poker tables.

— Grospellier is a master gamesman. Prior to focusing full-time on poker, he was one of the world’s top computer game players. He lived in Korea for six years, where he mastered the video and computer game circuit, winning many top prizes.

— Grospellier already has accrued nearly $6 million in worldwide poker tournament winnings, all within the past four years. His major titles include two wins at the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and the 2008 Festa Al Lago Championship. He also finished fourth in the NBC Heads-Up World Championship held earlier this year.

— Grospellier has yet to break through at the WSOP. He has eight cashes, all since 2006. Grospellier’s best showing was ninth place in a No-Limit Hold’em event two years ago.



“It was a very good day. The beginning was pretty slow. Then, I began to get good hands and I picked my spots pretty well.”

“I got good hands and people tried to push me off hands when I would flop sets, so it was pretty good timing. Anyone that was weak and trying to stay alive, I tried to push around but that’s about it.”


“Ivey is probably the best player in the world. I respect his game very much. I’m gonna’ play my hands, if I have good hands but I was not going out of my way to get involved with Ivey. There were so many other weaker players left, so I went after them.”

“There are ten days in the Main Event. There is so much time to wait for opponents to make mistakes. That’s why I love the Main Event. In this event you have plenty of time to play your hands, and pick your spots well.”


“The early events have a faster structure than the Main Event, which did not give me enough time to pick my spots well. I cannot play the game that I want.”


“It seems like a very, very long way to go. I just hope that I keep playing well, and that cards keep coming my way, so that I can make a good showing.”

Special thanks for Alan Fowler, WSOP Assistant Media Director, for the Bertrand Grospellier interview.

— The highest-ranked former WSOP gold bracelet winner after Day 3 is Kenny Tran, from Arcadia, CA. Tran is now ranked 20th, with 666,500 in chips.

— Here is how the previous end-of-day chip leaders have fared:

Day 1-A: Redmond Lee (London, UK) – eliminated, did not cash
Day 1-B: Brandon Demes (Tempe, AZ) – eliminated, did not cash
Day 1-C: Joseph Cada (Shelby Township, MI) – currently in 100th place
Day 1-D: Troy Weber (West Terre Haute, IN) – currently in 648th place
Day 2-A: Andrew Gaw (Philippines) – eliminated, did not cash
Day 2-B: Amir Lehavot (Weston, FL) – currently in 128th place

An Interview with Actor Lou Diamond Phillips

Lou Diamond Phillips is perhaps the best-known celebrity still alive in the 2009 WSOP Main Event. The popular film, television, and stage actor first became known more than 20 years ago for his portrayal of rocker Ritchie Valens in La Bamba. Since then, Phillips has starred in several popular movies, and has won awards for his work on Broadway. He has also directed films. Phillips will return to Hollywood following this year’s WSOP to star in the television series, Stargate Universe. Phillips was interviewed moments after play ended on Day 3 of the Main Event. He ended the day in 171st place, with 359,500 in chips.

Question: When did you start playing poker?
LDP: I started playing back in college. I played with some friends in the Texas mafia. Then, when I moved to Los Angeles, I kept a home game going for about 20 years. It was mostly a bunch of my buddies from Texas. I got asked by one of them to play in the first Celebrity Invitational. I’ve been playing in it every year since then, except for one year when I was working on a film. So, I’m a big fan of Texas Hold’em and I have a little bit of experience.
Question: How many times have you played at the WSOP?
LDP: This is the first time I have played in the Main Event. I played in a $1,500 buy-in tournament two years ago when there were like 3,400 players. It was the biggest single day they had ever had at that point. I came in 710th. I have cashed in a few tournaments, at the Commerce (Casino) and the (Bicycle Club Casino).
Question: You are very close to the money – about 160 spots away from cashing in the Main Event.
LDP: Nice!
Question: That’s pretty impressive. But are you content to just make the money or do you have higher aspirations?
LDP: Obviously, I have grander ambitions. But to make the money in my first Main Event? I would be thrilled!
Question: How does working as a successful actor for so many years help you at the poker table?
LDP: Well, I don’t play with the sunglasses. It allows me to act if I have to. I can either give them the poker face and try not to show anything. Or, maybe I will give them something to nudge them one way or the other. The acting skills do take a part in it and what I do at the poker table.
Question: Any predictions for tomorrow?
LDP: I’ve got some chips. But so do a lot of other people. I’m just going to try and play solid. I’m going to play my game and not be silly.
Question: Right now, let’s say hypothetically that a genie appears and you can be guaranteed 10th place in this tournament and take home $896,730. But you miss making the final table and give up the chance to be the world champion. Would you take the deal?
LDP: I’d take it right now! Deal! Where is the genie? Get the genie over here.
Question: What’s your next project after the WSOP?
LDP: Right now, I’m in the midst of Stargate Universe. I’ve got a number of episodes in the can. I’m going back to finish up this season and it premiers in October.
Question: One last question, Lou. What’s more fun – going deep in the World Series of Poker or playing all those great movie roles?
LDP: Wow. You are talking about my passion which is my acting. But I have to say as far as hobbies go, this is a damn good one. I’m having a blast right now. This is really one of the top weeks of my life, I must say.

Players to Watch

— Here is the current status of all former WSOP world champions who played in this year’s Main Event. Six former champions remain still alive:

1972: “Amarillo Slim” Preston – eliminated on Day 2
1975/1976: Doyle Brunson – eliminated on Day 1
1978: Bobby Baldwin – STILL ALIVE (424th place, average stack)
1983: Tom McEvoy – eliminated on Day 1
1986: Berry Johnston – eliminated on Day 2
1987/1988: Johnny Chan – eliminated on Day 2
1989: Phil Hellmuth – STILL ALIVE (89th place, above-average stack)
1993: Jim Bechtel – eliminated on Day 3
1995: Dan Harrington – STILL ALIVE (449th place, average stack)
1996: Huck Seed – eliminated on Day 1
1998: Scotty Nguyen – eliminated on Day 2
2000: Chris “Jesus” Ferguson – STILL ALIVE (366th place, average stack)
2001: Carlos “the Matador” Mortensen – eliminated on Day 3
2002: Robert Varkonyi – eliminated on Day 2
2003: Chris Moneymaker – eliminated on Day 1
2004: Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – eliminated on Day 3
2005: Joe Hachem – STILL ALIVE (354th place, average stack)
2006: Jamie Gold – eliminated in Day 1
2007: Jerry Yang – eliminated on Day 1
2008: Peter Eastgate – STILL ALIVE (263rd place, above average stack)

— Here is the current status of all current and former WSOP “Player of the Year” champions who played in this year’s Main Event:

2005: Daniel Negreanu – eliminated on Day 1
2006: Allen Cunningham – eliminated on Day 2
2007: Tom Schneider – STILL ALIVE (268th place, average stack)
2008: Erick Lindgren – eliminated on Day 2
2009: Jeffrey Lisandro – eliminated on Day 3

— Here is the current status of those players with notable results from this year’s WSOP:

David Bach (HORSE World Championship winner) – eliminated on Day 2
Alex Bolotin (“Ante-Up for Africa” championship winner) – eliminated on Day 3
Darryll Fish (cashed 7 times at this year’s WSOP) – eliminated on Day 2
Jeffrey Lisandro (won three gold bracelets this year) – eliminated on Day 3
Ville Wahlbeck (finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th in four events) – eliminated on Day 3
Vitaly Lunkin (finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in three events) – STILL ALIVE (511th place, below average stack)
Greg Mueller (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (below average stack)
Phil Ivey (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (162nd place, above average stack)

— Here is the current status of notable non-pro celebrities from this year’s Main Event:

Jason Alexander (actor) – eliminated on Day 3
Scott Ian (musician with band “Anthrax”) – eliminated on Day 3
Shane Warne (world famous cricket player) – eliminated on Day 3
Torrie Wilson (female wrestler) – eliminated on Day 1
John Salley (former NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 1
Patrick Bruel (French actor and singer) – STILL ALIVE (343rd place, average stack)
Lou Diamond Phillips (actor and singer) – STILL ALIVE (171st place, above average stack)
Marlon Wayans (actor) – eliminated on Day 2
Jordan Farmar (NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 3
Sam Simon (Hollywood writer and producer) – eliminated on Day 3
Joseph Kahn (music video producer) – eliminated on Day 1
Ray Romano (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
Sully Erna (musician) – eliminated on Day 1
Shannon Elizabeth (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
Brad Garrett (actor) — eliminated on Day 1
Jennifer Tilly (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
Orel Hershiser (former major league baseball player – eliminated on Day 1

Historical Footnote: The highest Main Event finish for a (non-poker) celebrity was actor Telly Savalas, who finished 21st in the 1992 championship.

— Here is the current status of last year’s “November Nine” (2009 Main Event Final Table participants):

Ivan Demidov – eliminated on Day 2
Peter Eastgate – STILL ALIVE (263rdd place, above average stack)
Kelly Kim – STILL ALIVE (184th place, above average stack)
Craig Marquis – eliminated in Day 1
Scott Montgomery – eliminated on Day 2
Dennis Phillips – STILL ALIVE (79th place, above average stack)
David “Chino” Rheem – eliminated on Day 1
Ylon Schwartz – eliminated on Day 2
Darus Suharto – eliminated on Day 3

— The Top-10 chip leaders going into Day 4 are:

1. Bertrand Grospellier France 1,380,500
2. Lacay Ludovic France 896,000
3. Jason Brice USA 858,500
4. Benjamin Jensen Denmark 835,500
5. Kasper Cordes Denmark 796,000
6. James Akenhead UK 794,000
7. Billy Kopp USA 792,000
8. Tyler Patterson USA 784,000
9. Adam Bilzerian St. Kitts 767,000
10. Christian Heich Germany 735,000

— Of the remaining players who are still alive going into Day 4, 270 are international (non-American) players. This represents 34 percent of the field. Nations still in contention include:

Argentina — 2
Australia — 15
Austria — 1
Belgium — 1
Bolivia — 1
Brazil — 6
Bulgaria — 1
Canada — 46
China — 1
Chile — 1
Costa Rica — 2
Croatia — 1
Czech Republic — 3
Denmark — 14
Estonia — 1
Finland — 4
France — 17
Germany — 17
Greece — 1
Holland — 11
Hong Kong — 2
Hungary — 4
Ireland — 8
Israel — 2
Italy — 9
Japan — 1
Macedonia — 2
Malaysia — 1
Mexico — 1
Norway — 4
Panama — 1
Peru — 1
Poland — 1
Portugal — 5
Russian Federation — 9
Scotland — 1
Slovakia — 1
Slovenia — 2
South Africa — 4
Spain — 6
St. Kitts — 1
Sweden — 11
Switzerland — 5
Turkey — 1
UK — 39
Virgin Islands — 1

Putting Day Three into Perspective

— In 2008, at the conclusion of Day 3, the eventual champion Peter Eastgate was ranked in 386th place, which was in the middle of the pack.

— In 2008, none of the top ten ranked players at the conclusion of Day 3 made it to the final table.

— In 2007, at the conclusion of Day 3, the eventual champion Jerry Yang was ranked in 46th place.

— In 2007, at the conclusion of Day 3, five of the nine players who made it to the final table were ranked in top 20 (Alex Kravchenko, Hevad Khan, Tuan Lam, Lee Watkinson, and Raymond Rahme).

— In 2006, at the conclusion of Day 3, the eventual champion Jamie Gold was ranked in 35th place.

— In 2006, none of the top ten ranked players at the conclusion of Day 3 made it to the final table.

— Based on WSOP figures during the mega-era (2006 to present when the Main Event went to a 10+ day format), the previous results of Day 3 chip leaders ended up as follows:

2008 – Brain Schaedlich (Cleveland, OH) finished in 456th place
2007 – Dag Martin Mikkelsen (Stavanger, Norway) finished in 42nd place
2005 – Jon Lane (Oshkosh, WI) finished in 200th place

— Daily elimination percentages are as follows:

DAY ONE: 68 percent of the original starters in this tournament survived the first day / 32 percent were eliminated.
DAY TWO: 31 percent of the original starters survived the second day / 27 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.
DAY THREE: 12 percent of the original starters survived the third day / 60 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.

Female Participants in the 2009 Main Event

(Note: The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc. do not warrant special mention. However, since many members of the media wish to know details about female participation and status, the staff is providing this information for media use.)

— The number of female participants in this year’s Main Event is estimated to be 187, which amounts to 2.8 percent of the field. There is no official record since entrants are not designated by their gender. However, it has been customary to count every player at the start of Day One and take an unofficial head-count of female players.

— An estimated eight female players remain alive in the Main Event at the conclusion of Day 3 (precise number is not known, this is an estiamte). This list includes:

Kara Scott Tobin (UK)
Emma Grace (Australia)
Marla Schwartz (USA)
Kristy Gazes (USA)
Melanie Banfield (South Africa)
“Oklahoma” Sarah Hale (USA)
Denise Malloy (USA)
Christina Renz (USA)

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note: Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):

No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.

1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)
1987 – None
1988 – None
1989 – None
1990 – None
1991 – None
1992 – None
1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)
1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)
1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)
1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)
1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)
1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)
1999 – None
2000 – Annie Duke (10th)
2001 – None
2002 – None
2003 – Annie Duke (47th)
2004 – Rose Richie (98th)
2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)
2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)
2007 – Maria Ho (38th)
2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)

World Series of Poker Statistics

— The 2009 WSOP Main Event now ranks as the third-largest live poker tournament in history. Only the 2006 and 2008 Main Event championships drew larger numbers. It should be noted that if the Rio had greater seating capacity (Day 1-D sold out), this year’s tournament would have unquestionably surpassed last year’s attendance figures.

— The total prize pool for this year’s Main Event totals $61,043,600. However, this figure is not final. Since interest is added to payouts for players who will constitute the November Nine, the final figure will actually be slightly higher.

— All players who make it to the final table this year (the November Nine) will earn at least $1 million. The 2009 world champion will collect $8,546,435 for first place (plus slightly more money in added interest).

— With registration for this year’s Main Event, the World Series of Poker crossed the $1,000,000,000 threshold in total prize money awarded to players. During its 40-year history, the WSOP has paid out $1,041,265,271. Incredibly, more than $600,000,000 has been paid out just in the last five years alone, since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed control of the tournament. Here is the historical prize pool information for the World Series of Poker.

2009 — $174,011,894
2008 — $180,774,427
2007 — $159,796,918
2006 — $159,599,815
1970-2005 — $354,000,000

— This is the 57th and final event on the 2009 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas. Four more gold bracelet events will take place later this year in London, England at the Empire Casino, to be held from September 19th through October 1st.

— Players have come to the WSOP from at least 115 different nations and territories. By contrast, only 80 nations were represented at the most recent Winter Olympic Games.

— This marks the fifth consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. More money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past five years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe. This is a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Harrah’s Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event.

New Records Set at the 2009 WSOP

Ten tournaments reached maximum capacity at this year’s WSOP. This is the most gold bracelet events ever to sell out within a single year. A complete “sell out” means every seat at every available table is sold and additional players are/were turned away at registration. Sell-outs are based on various numbers, which include the total tables and seats available for tournament use. Events which sold out this year included: 4, 7, 22, 24, 28, 29, 39, 43, 51, and 54. Note that the Main Event also partially sold out, since Day 1-D reached full capacity – which means 11 events reached the maximum, in part.

This year’s WSOP had more tournaments with more than $1 million in prize money than any other. There were 39 events out of 57 which crossed the million-dollar mark.

The 2009 WSOP attracted 60,875 tournament entries overall. This mark eclipses the previous record set last year which was 58,720. These figures do not include WSOP-Europe.

Every single gold bracelet winner won at least $165,000. Most winners won in excess of $300,000. However, for the first time ever – the winner of a non-Main Event/non-mega buy-in tournament won more than $1 million. Matthew Hawrilenko’s victory in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #56) netted him a cash prize totaling $1,003,218.

The $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event 4) is the largest non-WSOP Main Event tournament in poker history. The previous record was set at the 2008 WSOP when the first No-Limit Hold’em competition ($1,500 buy-in Event #2) attracted 3,929 entrants. The number of players in the $1,000 buy-in “Stimulus Special” – 6,012! – demolished the previous mark and represented a whopping 53 percent increase in attendance over the previous record many initially thought might not be broken for some time!
Note: LARGEST WSOP EVENTS IN HISTORY: Here is a ranking of the six largest live poker tournaments in history:

8,773 players — 2006 WSOP Main Event
6,844 players — 2008 WSOP Main Event
6,358 players — 2007 WSOP Main Event
6,494 players – 2009 WSOP Main Event
6,012 players — 2009 WSOP Event 4

The $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout (Event 41) was the youngest final table composition in WSOP history, with player ages ranging from 21 (youngest) to 24 (oldest).

The $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. World Championship (Event 49) was the second-longest finale in poker history – both by time and number of hands:
Longest WSOP Final Tables (Time Duration)
19 hours/9 minutes — 2008 WSOP-Europe Championship
18 hours/44 minutes – 2009 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
16 hours (estimated) — 2005 $1,500 Razz Championship
14 hours/30 minutes – 2005 WSOP Main Event
14 hours – 2006 H.O.R.S.E. Championship

Longest WSOP Final Tables (Number of Hands)
484 – 2008 WSOP-Europe Championship
480 – 2009 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
354 – 2006 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
341 – 2007 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
314 – 2008 H.O.R.S.E. Championship

(Note: Number of hands was not recorded for WSOP events prior to 2003)

The winner of the inaugural “Binion’s Cup Champions Invitational was designated “The Champion of Champions.” The honors belongs to Atom McEvoy, the winner. It was the largest collection of WSOP current and former world champions ever in history. There were 19 former champions entered in last year’s Main Event, but this tournament had twenty.

Event 37 was the richest Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split prize pool in poker history at $1,541,600. It eclipsed last year’s previous record by more than $300,000. This was only the second million-dollar prize pool ever for any Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournament.

The Seniors Championship was the largest such event in poker history. The turnout of 2,707 this year shattered last year’s record of 2,218 (then, a record high). The 2009 figure represents a 22 percent increase over 2008. Records were also smashed for largest prize pool and biggest cash prize ever paid in a seniors’ poker event.

This was the largest live Omaha High-Low Split tournament in history. The previous record was set at the 2008 WSOP when the same event attracted 833 players. The number of entrants this year – 918 – smashed the previous mark and represented a nine percent increase in attendance over the same tournament held last year.

Last year’s event attracted 238 entries. Entries increased by 8 percent to 258 players in 2009. Event 55 was the largest Limit Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball tournament in poker history.

The $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event (Event 5) attracted 809 entrants. This is the largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history.

Event #9 was the largest live Six-Handed tournament in history – with 1,459 players.

Phil Hellmuth added to his status as the all-time leader in WSOP cashes, now with 74 career in-the-money finishes.

Berry Johnston’s in-the-money finish in a gold bracelet tournament this year gives the 1986 World Champion cashes for 27 Straight WSOP Years — the most in history.

Jeffrey Lisandro tied the mark for most wins in a single year, with three. He is the fifth player to accomplish this feat.

Peter Traply became the first Hungarian WSOP champion in history. The best previous finish by a Hungarian player was Richard Toth, who finished second in 2006.

With his two victories this year, Phil Ivey joins Billy Baxter with seven WSOP titles, which ranks sixth on the all-time wins list. Still remaining ahead of Ivey are Phil Hellmuth (11 wins), Doyle Brunson (10 wins), Johnny Moss (10 wins), Johnny Moss (9 wins), and Erik Seidel (8 wins).

Note: All results are now official and may be reprinted by media.

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