Ebanks wins more than $1.1 million in WSOP six-handed championship

1 July 2011

Another day, another million dollar-plus prize awarded at the 2011 World Series of Poker.

Ho-hum.

Many poker fans may not remember a time when the WSOP Main Event champion received a million dollars. That was big news back then. Bundles of $100 bills used to be carried out in a cardboard box and were unceremoniously dumped on the green felt of the championship final table in front of a jaw-dropping gallery of gawkers. Players and spectators were bug-eyed staring at – what at the time was the most amount of cash most had ever seen.

Now, a million dollar top prize -- $1,158,481 to be exact – seems like just another payday at the world’s richest and most prestigious poker festival.

Joe Ebanks, a 26-year-old poker pro from Stow, Ohio won the $10,000 buy-in Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em championship, held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In addition to the million-dollar prize, Ebanks received his first WSOP gold bracelet, which symbolizes the ultimate achievement in the game of poker.

“This is what it’s all about,” Ebanks said afterward, nearly superfluous to the notion that he had just become a millionaire. “When I first started playing poker seriously seven years ago, my goal was to get to this stage, and now I’ve achieved it.”

Ebanks, a former college student at Kent State University, defeated a stellar lineup which included several notable names from the elite ranks of online and live poker. Chris Moorman, a top online poker from England, finished as runner up. Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, who won his first gold bracelet two weeks ago, finished in third place.

From first place down to the 48th-place finisher, this was as stacked a deck of super-talented players as has been assembled for any WSOP event in 2011. Indeed, it was a great victory, satisfying on every conceivable front -- in terms of prize money, prestige, and the self-satisfaction of overcoming the best players and winning a world championship.

Ebanks, a 26-year-old professional poker player, was and is primarily an online poker player. In response to the events of “Black Friday,” he is considering moving outside the United States in order to continue playing online.

Moorman won $716,282 to bring his 2011 WSOP total to over $1 million, while Grospellier won $447,074 for third.

Tristan Wade of Orlando, Fla., was fourth for $292,866, Taylor Paur of El Dorado Hills, Calif., was fifth for $198,140, and Mike Sowers of Charlotte, N.C., was sixth for $138,301.

The top 48 finishers collected prize money. Apart from the final table players, former gold bracelet winners that cashed in this tournament included: Ben Lamb (12th), Joe Cada (26th), Phil Laak (28th), Daniel Alaei (43rd) and Davidi Katai (45th).

Lamb widened his lead as the current leader in the 2011 “Player of the Year” race, while Moorman moved into second and Grospellier moved into third.

Tournament summary provided by Nolan Dalla, WSOP Media Director, republished by permission.

Related Links
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Details
Nevada Gambling
Ranked Online Poker Rooms

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