Phil Ivey wasn't going to play in Event #27 $5000 Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys. He was sleeping at the time that the event was scheduled to start. Barry Greenstein noticed he was not registered, so he woke him up with a phone call. Barry knew that Pot Limit Omaha is one of Phil's better games and insisted that Phil get over to the Rio to play. Phil Ivey mainly concentrates on cash games these days and he chose to play a light tournament schedule this year. It's a good thing that Phil Ivey woke up and answered Barry Greenstein's phone call because he picked up his fifth WSOP bracelet.
The $5K Pot Limit Omaha w/ Rebuys event started with 134 players who added 129 rebuys and add-ons to the $1,765,568 prize pool. Here are the chip counts and seating assignments at today's exciting final table:
Seat 1: E.C. Cohen (Paris, France) $130K
Seat 2: Robert Williamson III (Dallas, TX) $153K
Seat 3: Allen Cunningham (Marina Del Ray, CA) $202K
Seat 4: Davood Mehrmand (Germany) $125K
Seat 5: Surinder Sunar (Wolver Hampton, England) $96K
Seat 6: Phil Ivey (Las Vegas, NV) $494K
Seat 7: Phil Hellmuth (Palo Alto, CA) $114K
Seat 8: Eddy Scharf (Cologne) $150K
Seat 9: Richard St. Peter (Sault Ste. Marie, MI) $162K
Seat 10: Sigi Stockinger (Linz, Austria) $213K
Here are some random facts about the final table:
* There are 20 WSOP bracelets among all of the players who made the final table.
* E.C. Cohen was born in Tunisia. He enjoys horses and backgammon.
* Robert Williamson III is an investor and professional poker player. He won his only WSOP bracelet in this event back in 2002. He made the final table in this event in four consecutive years.
* Allen Cunningham has won more money this year than any other player. After today's cash, his 2005 WSOP winnings will be in excess of $1 million.
* Davood Mehrmand lists his occupation as "fun seeker." He was born in Persia and enjoys blackjack and sewing.
* Surinder Sunar has won many events in Europe and won the 1996 U.S. Poker Championships. He's also made several final tables at the WSOP.
* Phil Ivey has 4 gold bracelets and recently purchased a brand new Mercedes worth almost $400K.
* Phil Hellmuth is the most humble person in poker. Ask him who he thinks is the best player and he'll tell you, "Phil Hellmuth." He has 9 WSOP bracelets and is trying to tie Johnny Chan for 10. He has 50 cashes at the WSOP.
* Eddy Sharf is an airline pilot from Germany. He won 2 WSOP bracelets and every time he made a final table... he won the event.
* Richard St. Peter is the father of four. He's currently "in between jobs" despite having an MBA. He also studied at the School of Negotiations at Harvard.
* Sigi Stockinger is a businessman who's in Las Vegas on vacation. He's playing at his first WSOP final table.
This was an important final table for Phil Hellmuth. Every time he enters a WSOP event, he has a legitimate shot at making history. He's been racking up different WSOP records and has been trying to make it to as many final tables as possible. He's also been battling Berry Johnston for the most career WSOP cashes. With nine bracelets, Phil Hellmuth is currently tied for second most WSOP bracelets with Doyle Brunson. They both trail Johnny Chan by one after Chan won his 10th a few days ago.
Richard St. Peter was the first player was eliminated. Phil Ivey sent him home in 10th place. On a flop of Jc-6c-5s, St. Peter moved all in with Ac-As-7s-3h. Phil Ivey called with Jh-Qc-9h-8h. Ivey was behind and caught two pair when the Qs fell on the turn. St. Peter picked up a flush draw but it didn't hit and he finished in 10th place. Phil Ivey added to his big stack.
Davood Mehrmand knocked out E.C. Cohen. On the flop of Qh-Jd-2s, E.C. Cohen moved all in with Jh-9c-6c-2h. Mehrmand called with Ad-As-Qs-3s. Davood Mehrmand caught trip aces on the river and scooped the pot. E.C. Cohen finished in 9th place and won $52,555.
Johnny Chan's record is safe for a while after Phil Hellmuth was eliminated in 8th place. Phil Hellmuth check raised Williamson on a flop of Kh-Qh-7c. Both were all in. Hellmuth had Ah-Kd-Qd-Qs and Williamson showed Kc-Ks-5s-5h. Hellmuth's hand did not improve and he went home in 8th place without his 10th bracelet. He won $70,075.
In the biggest pot of the tournament, Phil Ivey knocked out Sigi Stockinger and Eddy Scharf. All three players moved all in on the flop of Qs-8s-2d. Scharf had a set of twos. Sigi had a set of Queens and Ivey showed the nut flush draw. Ivey caught his flush on the turn and knocked out both players. Phil Ivey had almost $1 million in chips, which was more than twice as many as Robert Williamson. Eddy Scharf went home in 7th with $88,280. Sigi Stockinger was knocked out in 6th Place and won $105,935.
Surinder Sunar was busted when Allen Cunningham flopped a straight. Surinder finished in 5th Place and won $122,635. Allen Cunningham's attempt to win his second WSOP bracelet this year came to a halt when he was eliminated by Phil Ivey. On a flop of Qd-10d-4d, Cunningham moved all in with As-Qh-Qs-5h and a set of Queens. Ivey flipped over Ac-Kd-Qc-6d for a flush. His hand held up and Allen Cunningham finished in fourth place. He won $140,150. Three players are left and Phil Ivey is running over the table.
Phil Ivey blew his 3 to 1 chip advantage as Robert Williamson moved into the chip lead. Action was still three handed, when momentum had swung Williamson's way. He also seemed to have the most railbirds who cheered him on every time he won a pot.
After about two more hours of three handed play, Williamson coughed up the lead. Phil Ivey got the chip lead back, while Davood Mehrmand quietly jumped into second place. Phil Ivey eventually knocked out Davood Mehrmand in 3rd place. Davood flopped an open ended straight draw and Ivey showed top pair. Davood's hand failed to improve. Davood Mehrmand hung on and played tough for several hours. He was up against two tough players. Robert Williamson is considered one of the best PLO players in the world and Phil Ivey is one of the toughest cash game players to beat in Las Vegas. Davood won $194,210 for his efforts. Phil Ivey had over a $900K chip lead.
On the verge of elimination, Robert Williamson doubled up against Phil Ivey. Williamson's Ace high flush was better than Ivey's King high flush. Ivey still held a commanding chip lead, while Williamson never had enough chips to put any pressure on Ivey.
After winning a big pot on the previous hand, Phil Ivey flopped a straight. Robert Williamson moved all in and he had only two outs to help him. Unfortunately, he did not catch any of them and was eliminated. Robert won $353,115 for his runner up finish. Phil Ivey won $635,603 for first place and collected his fifth WSOP bracelet.
I'm sure that Robert Williamson wished Phil Ivey didn't answer his phone two days ago. I suspect that Phil Hellmuth wasn't too pleased that Barry Greenstein woke up Phil Ivey, especially because Phil Ivey's big stack at the final table helped prevent Hellmuth from winning his 10th bracelet. Phil Ivey won his fifth WSOP bracelet and he's not even 30 years old. I wonder how many Ivey would have won if he entered in twice as many events that he had been playing?