21-year-old poker pro wins WSOP bracelet, $485,791

1 July 2010

Shawn Busse won the fifth $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em championship at the World Series of Poker on Wednesday night. A 21-year-old poker pro from Massapequa, N.Y., Busse had gone 0-for-15 in WSOP events this year before winning the gold bracelet and the $485,791 first-place prize.

"I was starting to question myself, but I just kept at it," said Busse. "And, it worked out."

Busse says he is very entrepreneurial-minded. He looks at poker as an investment in his skill and knowledge. He plans to continue playing as long as he believes he enjoys an edge, but is also interested in pursuing other business interests when the opportunity arises.

Busse admits that members of his family were not enthusiastic about his career path. But after he was successful for a few years, they slowly began to change their minds. Busse expects this victory, which paid nearly half-a-million dollars for first place will seal his family's approval.

"At first they were resistant," said Busse. "But when I enjoyed some success they came around to it. And, I think this will really help."

This tournament had special meaning because it was played in memory of former gold bracelet winner Amir Vahedi, who won a similar No-Limit Hold'em event in 2003. Vahedi, famous for his smile, his wit, and his trademark cigar, passed away late last year. To remember Vahedi, the WSOP presented Busse with a box of the late champion's favorite cigars — Saint Luis Rey Rothchilde.

The 16th time was the charm for Busse

The 16th time was the charm for Busse (photo by GreasieWheels)

The runner up was Owen Crowe, from Dartmouth, N.S., who cashed for the eighth time at the WSOP. Crowe's most notable previous achievement was a 15th-place finish in the 2008 WSOP Main Event championship. He came close to becoming the sixth Canadian champion at this year's WSOP and collected a nice consolation prize of $300,494.

The final hand of the tournament came when Busse was dealt ace-four against Crowe's five-three suited. Crowe made two pair (sevens and threes) on the flop, but his two pair was counterfeited when the turn and river were both sixes, and Busse's ace kicker won the hand and the championship.

Pekka Ikonen, from Helsinki, Finland, finished third for $212,660, Chuan Shi, a 21-year-old student from Plano, Texas, was fourth for 153,935, and Wenlong Jin, from Shanghai, China, was fifth for $112,720.

Ilya Andreev, from Roster-on-Don, Russia, was sixth, Jason Mann, from Hermitage, Ark., was seventh, Allan Baekke, from Fredriksberg, Denmark, was eighth, and Adam White, from Tempe, Ariz., was ninth.

The top 324 finishers in the 3,128-player prize pool collected prize money. Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included: Scott Montgomery (29th); Antonio "the Magician" Esfandiari (73rd); Peter Traply (75th); Simon Watt (118th); Mickey Appleman (156th); Jeff Madsen (200th); David Sklansky (247th); and Al Krux (276th).

Modified from notes provided by Nolan Dalla for www.wsop.com

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