Around the WSOP: Woo 'The Manificent ' hauls in a bracelet

24 June 2008

David "The Magnificent" Woo finally has a World Series of Poker bracelet to help him back-up his nickname after the 30-year-old native of South Korea captured the ultra-popular $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em championship on Monday night.

david_woo

David Woo earned his first WSOP bracelet by outlasting a massive field of 2,720 entries. (photo by IMPDI for the 2008 WSOP)

Woo, who lives in Atlanta, was given his nickname by two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Josh Arieh, who is also from Atlanta and plays regularly with Woo in home games. Woo has been playing poker full-time for about five years. He used to own a coffee shop where he would work all day and then play poker at night. But about five years ago he realized he was making more money with poker so he decided to close the coffee shop and play professionally. Now, he's a world champion.

Woo won $631,656 in the event that was the fifth of seven $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournaments on the 2008 WSOP schedule. The event attracted 2,720 entries, which is the second-highest turnout of the year. Woo now has four career WSOP cashes, including 132nd finish at the 2006 Main Event where he was one of the chip leaders after Day Four.

"Every time I play poker is a learning experience," said Woo, who became the 32nd first-time WSOP bracelet this year out of 39 events. "I would have been sick with anything less than first place. I really expected to win."

Woo entered the final table in fourth place on the chip leader board with 1,090,000, trailing first-place Thom Werthmann – the lone former bracelet winner at the table - by more than 500,000, but within 255,000 chips of second-place Thanh Dat Tran and third-place Curtis Early. But when the finale got underway, Woo quickly took control and ended up gaining a 5,000,000-3,165,000 chip lead as he went into heads-up play against Matthew Wood.

Former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event include Mike Carson (22nd), Minh Nguyen (24th), Barry Greenstein (108th), Hasan Habib (126th), Hilbert Shirey (163rd), Humberto Brenes (184th) and John Hom (214th). For Brenes, it was his 52nd career WSOP in-the-money finish. The Costa Rican now ranks fifth on the all-time cashes list.

Pay list hits milestone in Event #39

A significant milestone was crossed at the close of this event as more than 12,000 different players have now cashed in the 39-year history of the World Series of Poker.

Furthermore, a total of 117 players have won over a million dollars at the WSOP.

Senior circuit underway

When play resumes today in the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em event, 220 players will be gunning for the first-place prize of $368,832. The event, which is reserved for players 50 years of age or older, drew 2,218 entrants.

Duane Gerleman, who has never cashed at the WSOP, is in the lead with 139,800 chips. He's followed by Steve Fager (101,700), Dale Eberle (86,200), Tom Franklin (84,100) and six-time bracelet winner Men Nguyen (81,500). Former Main Event winner Tom McEvoy is within striking distance, holding 57,300 chips.


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