Caldwell parlays home game satellite into $668K, WSOP title

21 June 2011

Kirk A. Caldwell won the latest $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The 31-year-old Canadian who works in retail sales, enjoyed the biggest score of his life collecting the fabulous sum of $668,276 in prize money.

For the eighth time this year, a poker player who had never previously cashed in any World Series of Poker tournament ever in his life won a gold bracelet. High-stakes tournament experience simply didn't matter when the cards were dealt and the chips began circulating in a whirlwind of frenzy. A younger, hungrier, more determined challenger rose to the top of the poker hierarchy and added yet another cannon blast into the drawbridge of what had previously been a dynasty based on the notion that it takes experience to win.

Caldwell came to his ultimate conquest with the help of his friends. A few months prior to the tournament, several of his buddies in the Toronto, Ontario area decided to host a mini-satellite, with the top prize being a trip to Las Vegas with an entry fee into a gold bracelet event. Caldwell won the first battle. Then, he won the second, too.

Caldwell becomes the fourth Canadian citizen to win a gold bracelet at the 2011 WSOP. This matches the total number of wins by Canadian players last year. Canadians took three of the top four money positions, and four places among the top ten.

The runner up was Corbin White, from Austin, Texas. He earned a nice consolation prize amounting to $414,918. Canadians Marc Mclaughlin (Saint Jean, Que., $292,634) and Gabriel Houle (Montreal, $211,353) finished third and fourth, respectively, while Dror Michaelo of Malibu, Calif., was fifth for $154,506. Randy Haddox, from Kingwood, Texas, was sixth for $114,304, and Rodrigo Portaleoni, from Sao Paolo, Brazil was seventh, Kyle Cartwright of Bartlett, Tenn., was eighth, and Martin Stevens, from Castle Rock, Colo., was ninth.

The top 297 finishers collected prize money. Layne Flack (197th) and T.J. Cloutier (200th) were the only former gold bracelet winners who cashed in the tournament. Cloutier has now cashed 25 of the last 26 years at the WSOP.

Tournament summary by Nolan Dalla, WSOP Media Director, reprinted by permission.

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