WSOP H.O.R.S.E. Tournament Down to Nine after 19 Hour "Day Two"

14 July 2006

The 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament may turn out to be the toughest test of poker skill and endurance in the history of the game. Play began at 2 p.m. PST yesterday afternoon with 127 players starting the day, and at 19 hours later, the field was winnowed down to the final nine.

And what a nine. The final table has combined for 27 WSOP bracelets and 116 final table appearances. Ten of those bracelets belong to Doyle Brunson, who will be looking to become the first player in WSOP history to score his 11th tonight.

Patrik Antonius, Jim Bechtel, Andy Bloch, T.J. Cloutier, Phil Ivey, Chip Reese, David Singer and Dewey Tomko will join Brunson in a battle for the gold bracelet tonight starting at 9 p.m. PST.

A brief look at each player, organized by chip count ...

Name – Chip Count

1. Chip Reese - $1,756,000 (Two bracelets, 12th WSOP final table)
Reese owns two WSOP bracelets, with both coming in Seven-Card Stud over 20 years ago. But don't let his recent lack of bling fool you. Reese doesn't play in many tournaments, preferring the action in cash games to tournament structures. Reese will be a definite threat to take the title, especially with such a strong chip lead.

2. Doyle Brunson - $1,227,000 (10 bracelets, 23rd WSOP final table)
The Main Event champion in 1976 and 1977, Brunson has been called "The Godfather of Poker." Brunson won his first six bracelets in a four-year span in the 1970's, but has experienced a rebirth of sorts, claiming two titles in the last three years, including one in H.O.R.S.E. in 2004.

3. Andy Bloch - $934,000 (Fourth WSOP final table)
Best known for his work with the MIT Blackjack Team, Bloch is also an accomplished poker player. He made it to the final table in Seven-Card Stud and Razz in 2001, and is making his second appearance at a final table this year after finishing eighth in a $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event.

4. Phil Ivey - $885,000 (Five bracelets, 14th WSOP final table)
Ivey is a serious contender, with one mixed-game title already among his five WSOP bracelets. This year, Ivey claimed more than $200,000 with a second-place finish in the $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo event. It's no surprise that Ivey has advanced to the final table; he has won WSOP bracelets in Pot Limit Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, and S.H.O.E.

5. Jim Bechtel - $841,000 (One bracelet, Seventh WSOP final table)
The 1993 Main Event champion, Bechtel is a consistent player who always seems to be in the money. While he doesn't play as many events as some of the other WSOP big names, this event marks the fifth time Bechtel has cashed in the 2006 WSOP.

6. David Singer - $745,000 (Sixth WSOP final table)
Known for wearing a ring on nearly every finger while he plays, Singer is also known as an outstanding No Limit Hold'em player. Singer finished ninth in the 2003 Main Event and may benefit the most from the change in format to No Limit Hold'em tonight. Singer is a regular on the World Poker Tour and has done well in shorthanded No Limit Hold'em events throughout his career.

7. Dewey Tomko - $438,000 (Three bracelets, 21st WSOP final table)
Another great all-around player, Tomko is looking for his first WSOP bracelet since 1984, but don't let the gap between titles mislead you. Tomko finished second to Carlos Mortensen in the 2001 Main Event and this marks the third time he has finished in the money in the 2006 WSOP.

8. T.J. Cloutier - $351,000 (Six bracelets, 37th WSOP final table)
Cloutier has made more final tables in the WSOP than any other player, breaking out of a tie with Men "The Master" Nguyen with his 37th final table appearance tonight. Cloutier claimed his sixth WSOP title in a $5,000 Hold'em event last year. Despite a 20-year track record of solid results, a finish in the top two would give Cloutier his largest payday to date.

9. Patrik Antonius $13,000 (First WSOP final table)
The only non-American in the final nine, Antonius has done quite well on the European Poker Tour, winning two titles in 2005. The Finn is making his first WSOP final table appearance, though he has already cashed in two events this year.


AT OffSuite
In his previous life, Aaron Todd was a sports journalist by day and a poker player by night. He can now be found covering the poker beat for Casino City and making horrendously unsuccessful bluffs in his home game.
Write to Aaron at aarontodd@casinocity.com.

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