Jorg Peisert, a hitherto relatively unknown poker player from Dusseldorf in Germany, is the latest bracelet winner at the World Series of Poker, having triumphed in event 52 – the $3 000 buy-in Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em.
Peisert survived an original field of 854 players that included names like James Van Alstyne, Kathy Liebert, Michael Mizrachi, Sandra Naujoks, Jeff Lisandro, and John Juanda and generated a prize pool of $2 357 040. The Triple Chance format has an interesting twist – players receive their initial starting stack plus two other special chips that can be redeemed at any time through the first three levels for another starting stack of chips. The result is a final table groaning with a superabundance of chips allowing for aggressive and exciting play.
Three long and stressful days on, the final table in the event was headed by Peisert on 1 650 000, who had played to a disciplined strategy, keeping his action close and safe and picking his opportunities and targets. His closest rival was Jason DeWitt (1 620 000), who was soon ‘contributed' to Peisert's stack in a bigway, increasing the German's lead. Following the two leaders came Michael Katz (1 164 000), Benjamin Gilbert (960 000), Michael Noda (730 000), Karga Holt (635 000), Jason Somerville (400 000) and William Erickson (375 000).
Benjamin Gilbert's departure in third place for $205 180 just before 10pm Vegas time on Tuesday opened the heads up phase of the competition, with Peisert facing Jason DeWitt across the table. By then Peisert – thanks in part to big pots taken off DeWitt and Michael Katz earlier – had amassed a huge chip lead and by 11.15pm it was all over – Peisert had his first WSOP bracelet and a check for $506 800, and DeWitt was left with a none-too-shabby second placing reward of $313 227.
Event 53 – the $1 500 buy-in Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better, also concluded, with New Orleans attorney and restaurant owner David Halpern earning the respect, his first bracelet and the $159 390 first prize.
“We had fun the whole time," said a delighted Halpern. "What’s funny about this game is you look around and it’s mostly old-timers. All the young guys are playing No Limit Hold ‘em, since I’ve got grey hair and I’m over 50 maybe this is more my game!”
There were 467 entrants for the event, building a prize pool of $657 455. Halpern entered the registration list on a whim, being at a loose end having earlier missed out on a cash game….and his last-minute decision certainly paid a handsome dividend.
The final table consisted of David Halpern, leading on 427 000, William Kohler of Cincinatti (310 000), Brian Swinford (305 000), Chad Brown (235 000), Max Stern (210 000), Allie Prescott (200 000), Matt Savage (193 000) and Zak Gilbert (184 000), which came down to a Halpern vs. Kohler heads up early evening on the last day.
It was the start of another see-saw heads up marathon that went on for over 4 hours, ending minutes before midnight when Halpern finally managed to gain the upper hand and relegate his opponent to a second placing with $98 550 for his time and trouble.
The win is Halpern's biggest to date, although he has cashed in 9 previous tournaments.
Latest World Series of Poker stats reveal that as this year's poker epic enters its final few tourneys (excluding the still active HORSE Event 49 and the Main Event), 49 064 players have participated in some 51 competitions to date, with $101 000 605 being paid out in prizes.
Highlights have been multiple bracelet wins by Jeff Lisandro, Phil Ivey, Brock Parker and Greg Mueller, with most winners understandably coming from the United States (33) Canada and the UK (3 each) and Australia (2). Nine other bracelets were taken by nine nations ranging from Russia to Mexico.
Professional players have won the most bracelets so far – 37, with semi-professionals picking up 7 and amateurs the balance of the 51 awarded so far.
With seven cashes in this 40th WSOP, Daryll Fish has been a busy man, whilst Mark Gregorich, John Juanda, Jeffrey Lisandro, Greg Mueller, Phil Ivey and Ville Wahlbeck have each managed to get through to 3 final tables this year.
But the most energetic player is probably Nikolay Evdakov, who has managed to find the time to enter and play in 33 different events!