At the World Series of Poker, two seniors fought it out in the heads up of the $10 000 Seven-Card Stud World Championship when Freddie Ellis (74) and Eric Drache (66) tangled after surviving a tourney that lasted a total of 13 hours, a star-studded entry field of 142 players and a final table that included three former WSOP gold bracelet winners – Max Pescatori, Hasan Habib and Jeffrey Lisandro.
In the end it was Ellis, a semi-retired realtor who made his fortune on the New York property market after abandoning a nightclub singing career, who prevailed in the four hour heads up to collect the winner's check for $373 744 and a world championship gold bracelet.
Las Vegas resident Drache, who was formerly a card room manager at the Golden Nugget and Mirage Casinos was rewarded with a $231 014 payday for his second-place finish. Many of today's online and live poker operators can thank Drache for breathing life into the concept of satellite competitions, which over the years have allowed far more players to qualify for major poker tournaments. He introduced satellite tournaments at the 1982 WSOP.
For Ellis, a talented and experienced player, there was an element of "first time lucky" as well – this was his first WSOP competition.
The hard-fought heads up attracted a large crown of rail-birds, including many of the pofessionals currently in the city who stopped by to watch the action from time to time.
Other big names in the 3 day event, who did not make the final table but were in the money bubble, included Daniel Negreanu, Mel Judah and defending champion Eric Brooks.
The next event to reach its climax with final table play will be #8 the $2 500 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw, where John Monnette holds the chip lead going into final table action after the original field of 147 was thinned out to 35 by day 2, and 9 players at the end of the second day action. Monnette is closely pursued by Raphael Zimmerman and the formidable international ace Phil Ivey is playing strongly and is definitely in with a chance to win his sixth WSOP bracelet.
The prize pool for the event is $338 100, which means a winner's prize of around $96 361.
Among the interesting blow-by-blow WSOP statistics is the news that by event 6, this year's WSOP had recorded a total of just under 9 000 players, with almost $17 million already paid from prize pools.
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