Former dealer makes history at WSOP

17 June 2010

David Warga was the winner of the $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker.

This marked Warga's first career WSOP gold bracelet victory in an open event and is his second bracelet overall. He having won the WSOP Casino Employees Championship in 2002. This victory paid $208,682, which was his biggest poker payday ever.

Warga is a 41-year-old former real estate investor-turned poker pro. He lives in Chandler, AZ.

The runner up was Maxwell Troy, a professional poker player from Los Angeles, CA. He plays daily at the Commerce Casino, mostly in Stud games. He won $129,253 for his efforts.

The third place finisher was longtime tournament veteran, David Levi -- an Israeli-born poker pro from Las Vegas, NV. With his third-place cash, Levi neared the half-million dollar mark in career WSOP winnings.

The top 64 finishers collected prize money. Former WSOP gold bracelet winners who cashed in this event included Andre Boyer, Vince Burgio, Brandon Cantu, Scott Clements, Phil Ivey, Chris Reslock, James Richburg, Blair Rodman, and David Warga.

Warga was born in Dearborn, MI but now lives in the Phoenix area.
He won the Casino Employees Championship at the 2002 WSOP. The Casino Employees Championship was/is open only to casino workers. Warga's win totaled $47,300. At the time, he was a poker dealer at Casino Arizona.
David Warga became the only player in WSOP history to ever win the Casino Employees Championship in addition to an open gold bracelet event.

David Warga became the only player in WSOP history to ever win the Casino Employees Championship in addition to an open gold bracelet event. (photo by GreasieWheels)


Warga becomes the only player in WSOP history to ever win the Casino Employees Championship in addition to an open gold bracelet event.

Following his 2002 win, Warga went on to invest in real estate.

While dealing poker, Warga began playing poker seriously. He found himself playing more than he was dealing. He also found playing on the Internet to be preferable (and more profitable at the time) than playing in live-action games.

Warga now plays poker full-time. He has concentrated on online tournaments the last few years, after initially playing mostly in cash games.

Warga plays a wide range of tournaments, from $24 buy-in events up to those with $1,000 buy-ins. He says his comfort level (before winning this event) is the $216 entry fee events online.

He admits he had never played Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split in a casino before. His favorite poker game is H.O.R.S.E.

This was Warga's first recorded cash in a live poker tournament since 2006.

Warga said winning his first WSOP gold bracelet in an open event meant a lot.

"It means so much," he said. "I had very low expectations of actually winning it. I was very happy just make it into the money. And then to make it to the final table, I was ecstatic."

The former dealer said he was proud of his 2002 win, but that this win is really special.

"I worked at Casino Arizona at the time as a dealer….I've always been proud of that first bracelet, but some saw it as a little bit tainted (because it's not an open event)," he said. "So, to win an open event means a lot more to me. And, that it is the second one. There are not many players who have won multiple bracelets."

The final table consisted of no former WSOP gold bracelet winners from open events, which guaranteed a first-time open event champion. This was the 11th final table this year with no former open event winners, which is an unusually large number of first time finalists.

For only the second time this year, only one nation was represented at the final table -- the United States.

The final table began eight-handed. Seven-Card Stud finals include only the top eight finishers, as opposed to nine in Hold'em.

Final table participants ranged in age from 23 to 50.

The final table officially began at 7 pm and ended at 1:10 am. The final table clocked in at 6 hours and 10 minutes.

"Dutch" Boyd cashed in this event, finishing in 28th place, which came the day after he won his second WSOP gold bracelet. Boyd won Event #23.

Ivey's cash was the 39th of his career. This puts him in a 25th-place tie on the all-time WSOP cashes list (with Steve Zolotow).

The defending champion was David J. Halpern, from New Orleans, LA. He did not enter this year's tournament.

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

Related Links
Nevada Gambling
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