Record Poker Payout Awarded

26 April 2004

LAS VEGAS -- Swedish player Martin Dekenijff won the biggest-money event in poker history Friday night, collecting $2.7 million when he captured the World Poker Tour Championship at the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Dekenijff's pair of 10s beat the Ace-high hand held by Downey, Calif., player Hasan Habib in the $8.34 million prize-pool, no-limit Texas hold'em event.

The Stockholm resident's win passed the $2.5 million prize collected by 2003 World Series of Poker championship event winner Chris Moneymaker. The top slot will likely be short-lived, as this year's WSOP champion is expected to collect at least $3 million.

The tournament was held in Bellagio's Fontana Bar, a move MGM MIRAGE executives said was intended to provide spectacular images for the event's tape-delayed broadcast on the Travel Channel. One taped sequence had the Lake Bellagio fountains perform to the WPT TV show's music theme while the camera shot looks across the lake and through the wide open doors of the Fontana Bar, to the tournament's final table.

Habib collected $1.3 million for his second-place finish. Bronxville, N.Y., native Matt Matros took third place and $706,903. Las Vegas resident Richard Grijalva finished fourth, collecting $457,408; Maryland's Russell Rosenblum was fifth, getting $332,660; and Reno's Steve Brecher finished in sixth place, winning $232,862.

Meanwhile, at Binion's Horseshoe not a single Nevada player made it to the final table of the World Series of Poker's first open-to-the-public event, the $2,000 buy-in no-limit Texas hold'em tourney that kicked off Friday and ended Saturday night.

London's James Vogl conquered the 834-player field, winning $400,000 and beating a nine-person final table that included five Californians.

Las Vegas got some redemption in the next event, the $1,500 buy-in Seven-card Stud tourney that concluded Sunday night, as Bellagio cash-game specialist Ted Forrest won $111,440 to beat the event's 258-player field.


Related Links
Nevada Online Gambling
WPT Gaming Vendor Information
WPT Enterprises Gaming Vendor Information


Copyright © Las Vegas Sun. Inc. Republished with permission.
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