Successful Internet players, most under the age of 30 years, were among a youthful final table in Event 15 – the $5 000 buy-in No Limit Hold ‘Em – at the World series of Poker. But the ‘oldest' man at the table at age 32 was the big winner.
Brian Lemke (32), who plays online as SHIP_IT.net, won his first WSOP bracelet and the main prize of $692 658 after besting German player Fabian Quoss (27) in the heads up. It was Lemke's biggest win to date, although he has enjoyed three live tournament cashes since 2006 in events at the Borgata and Foxwoods.
The event attracted a total of 655 players – a substantial decline from the 731 who signed on last year when this event was won by Scott Seiver. Nevertheless, the field was large enough to generate a prize pool of $3 078 500, which meant that the last 63 players would cash in varying amounts.
The final table for the event was set when Internet whiz Isaac "WestmenloAA" Baron took out David Pham in tenth position for $47 501 and Christian Iacobellis in the number nine slot ($66 403) in the same hand. Baron's coup resulted in a final table of Fabian Quoss (chip leader on 2 000 000), Isaac Baron (1.4 million); Danny Illingworth (1.2 million); Billy Kopp (1.1 million); Lika Gerasimova (940 000); Mike Sowers (840 000) and the eventual winner – Brian Lemke at 730 000, with low stack man Thomas Keller on 330 000.
By the time the action had resolved down to the final three players, it looked as if the game was going to be a Quoss romp. The German had an impressive chip lead despite the gains made by Lemke, who had gone from second lowest chip stack at the start of the final table to the main challenger. Thomas Keller was the third player left standing, but not for long as Quoss eliminated him in a few aggressive moves.
Going into heads up play it was Quoss on 7 666 000 against Lemke on 2 150 000 and it looked like a sure thing for the German player. Lemke knew it was going to be tough: "I knew I had to suck out or catch a hand, but once I got even in chips, I thought I could do it," he told the media afterwards.
And that's what the tenacious American did, grinding his way to an even chip count and then on into the chip-lead during a three-hour endurance test of a heads up.
It culminated in Lemke emerging victorious in a truly hard-fought battle from what had seemed to be an untenable position.
Quoss's second placing was worth $427 912, and third placed Thomas Keller earned a $280,852 payday.
The action is building in the WSOP ladies tournament with the final table set and Lori Bender in the lead.
Event 17 – the $1 000 buy-in Ladies World Championship – pulled in an entry field of 1 060, of which 146 survived through to Day 2, with Tamara Tibbles and defending champion Svetlana Gromenkova holding the biggest stacks. But neither of the leaders had managed to make the final table by the end of the action-packed day, which saw some fast, skilled and ruthless poker.
The final table looks like this:
Seat 1: Mari Lou Morelli (320 000) Seat 2: Lisa Parsons (427 000) Seat 3: Dawn Thomas (212 000) Seat 4: Lisa Hamilton (527 000) Seat 5: Lisa Santy (196 000) Seat 6: Angel Pedroza (522 000) Seat 7: Lori Bender (643 000) Seat 8: Kimberly Cunningham (140 000) Seat 9: Kim Rios (197 000)
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