Alaskan wins first bracelet, Elezra leading H.O.R.S.E

25 June 2007

Alaskan wins Event # 37

Greg Hopkins erased 13-years of tournament poker futility by taking home his first gold bracelet Sunday in the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold'em event.

Hopkins, a 41-year old professional from Anchorage, Alaska, claims to have entered hundreds of poker tournaments with minimal success. He had two WSOP cashes before Sunday. But each time he finished eighth. Hopkins had not cashed at the WSOP since 2000.

"You have no idea how good this moment feels," Hopkins said.

Hopkins won $269,274. His previous high was $89,000 in a 2003 L.A. Poker Classic preliminary event.

When asked by WSOP officials what was his profession was before he became a professional player, he replied "an optimist."

$50,000 H.O.R.S.E.

Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack called this tournament the WSOP's all-star event.

And he wasn't bluffing.

Eli Elezra, just one week removed from winning his first WSOP bracelet, has a massive lead over his closest opponent Bruno Fitoussi. Elezra has $561,000 chips. Fitoussi has $358,000.

David Oppenheim, Gavin Smith, Phil Ivey, Alex Kravchenko, Barry Greenstein, Erik Seidel, Toto Leonidas, and Scotty Nguyen round out the top ten.

Players are competing for bragging rights, prop bets and a $2.2 million first-place prize.

Massive Event #38 field down to final table

It seems nearly everyone who couldn't afford the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. buy-in decided to play in the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event that preceded it. The tournament drew 2,778 players, one of the largest fields in WSOP history.

Chris Bjorin is playing at his third final table this year. The two-time bracelet winner is looking for his first since 2000.

Erica Schoenberg, a pop-culture figure in the poker world for her looks and blackjack prowess, is making her first appearance at a WSOP final table.

The rest of the final nine are also looking for their first gold bracelet, with five players cashing in their first WSOP event.


Mucking McLane

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