Another world championship is in the books at the 2011 World Series of Poker. Event 21, a $10,000 Stud Hi Tournament, came to a close Wednesday morning a the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tournament attracted 126 of the world’s best Seven Card Stud players including the likes of Ville Wahlbeck, Daniel Negreanu, Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, and more. One name that was notably missing was Phil Ivey. For those unfamiliar with Ivey’s current situation, he is boycotting the world series until Americans are paid their frozen funds from FullTilt. In a move that has both been applauded and criticized, the world’s best poker player decided to sit out the entire WSOP after he filed a lawsuit against his former company, Tiltware. This event was probably one of the toughest for Ivey to miss as he cut his teeth in Atlantic City card rooms on Seven Card Stud playing under the pseudonym “Jerome” until he turned 21.
Even without Ivey, the $10k Stud Championship had plenty of firepower with an incredible final table including the likes of Chad Brown, John Hennigan, and Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier. Out of all the players make the final table the best story came from Brown. Just a few months ago it was announced that Brown, a regular in high-stakes cash games and tournaments, had a 10 pound tumor surgically removed from his stomach. Brown, who is currently married to fellow poker professional Vanessa Rousso, hardly missed a beat as he recovered in enough time to compete at this year’s World Series of Poker. The former actor turned poker player is perhaps most famous for his inability to win a WSOP bracelet despite many final table appearances. Unfortunately that pattern continued yesterday as Brown’s Cinderella run in Event #21 came to an abrupt end as he busted in 6th place for a modest $57,917 payday.
Busting a few spots later was John “Johnny World” Hennigan. The two-time bracelet winner won his last WSOP event all the way back in 2004 in a $5,000 Limit Hold’em tournament. Since then he has won the $10k WPT Borgata Winter Open and nearly won a $5k 2-7 WSOP Event in 2005 before falling heads-up to David Grey. Hennigan busted in 4th place for $92,928 when his low two-pair was not enough to outlast Steve Landfish’s Aces-up. Next to go was Maxwell Troy who again was busted by Steve Landfish when his pair of nines failed to improve against his opponent’s Queens. Troy seems to be a Stud specialist who has final tabled numerous WSOP events over the last few years including a pair of runner up finished last year in a $2,500 Razz and $1,500 Stud Hi/Lo events for more than $261,000 combined.
With the heads-up match set it was the relatively unknown Landfish who held a 3:2 chiplead over the poker sensation Grospellier. The match took more than four and a half hours but Elky ultimately chipped away at his opponent to take down his opponent and earn his first ever World Series of Poker title. The WSOP bracelet was just one of many accomplishments for the 30 year old superstar who won the PCA in 2008, WPT Festa Al Lago that same year, $25,000 EPT High RolleR Madrid just last month, and has been crushing online tournaments and cash games for years. The French poker pro is a Team PokerStars member and can often be found grinding a large amount of high-stakes cash games, SNGs, and tournaments at the world’s largest poker site. To give an idea of his dominance, the $331,639 won yesterday did not even crack the top five on his all-time scores list. With his ability to put in a lot of hours Elky could soon find himself atop the WSOP Player of the Year Race.
Be sure to continue reading FlopTurnRiver for updates on the 2011 World Series of Poker.