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2005 World Series Of Poker
Sun-Mon June 26-27, 2005
Event #27
Pot-Limit Omaha with Re-buys
$5,000 BUY-IN

Players: 134
Re-Buys and Add-ons: 229
Prize Pool: $1,765,568

1. Phil Ivey Las Vegas, NV $630,685
2. Robert Williamson III Dallas, TX $350,380
3. Davood Mehrmand Frankfurt, Germany $192,710
4. Allen Cunningham MDR, CA $140,150
5. Surinder Suar Wolver Hampton $122,635
6. Sigi Stockinger Linz, Austria $105,115
7. Eddy Scharf Cologne, Germany $87,595
8. Phil Hellmuth Palo Alto, CA $70,075
9. Emile Cohen Paris, France $52,555


Ivey Takes the Fifth:
Phil Ivey wins fifth WSOP gold bracelet, defeats Robert Williamson in marathon heads-up match

What do Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Bones Berland, T.J. Cloutier, Ted Forrest, Berry Johnston, Layne Flack, and Stu Ungar all have in common?

If you answered all of the above players have won five gold bracelets (lifetime wins) at the World Series of Poker -- you're right. On June 28, 2005 Phil Ivey won his fifth WSOP title, becoming the youngest player in history ever to reach such a lofty plateau. Still in his 20s, Ivey has won more bracelets than great players twice his age and shows no signs of slowing down. Only 14 players in WSOP have won five or more gold bracelets in their lifetime.

“I think I can win 30,” said Ivey afterward. “Tournaments are much tougher to win now because the fields are (so big). I don't play as many tournaments for that reason, but I still think I can get to 30.”

The notion that any single player, even a player with Phil Ivey's level of skill and self-confidence could possibly reach 30 lifetime victories seems remote at first glance. But given what Ivey has accomplished in just seven years of tournament poker, don't bet against the player who started out grinding an hourly win rate in the cardrooms of Atlantic City over a decade ago (he allegedly played poker with a false ID).

But times do change. Ivey has experienced a rocky year, both personally and professionally. Ivey had not won at the WSOP in three long years, seemingly an eternity for the player who burst upon the scene like a firestorm and won three bracelets all in a single year (2002). Ivey appeared at the final table here at the Rio four months ago. He played in the WSOP Circuit event, finishing a disappointing 8th. Little did he know at the time, but that would be the last occasion when Ivey's father would ever see his son play. Ivey Sr. passed away a few weeks later. After taking some time off, Ivey returned to the final table at the WSOP Circuit event at Lake Tahoe and finished in 2nd place. While 8th and 2nd might have been acceptable finishes for many poker players, Ivey was more determined than ever to come to this year's WSOP and win his fifth gold bracelet.

This tournament was special for a number of reasons. It was arguably the most appealing final table thus far in 2005, loaded with superstar talent and just enough wild cards to make the night unpredictable. Five of the nine players were former gold bracelet winners, with a staggering 20 titles shared between them – Phil Hellmuth (9), Allen Cuningham (4), Phil Ivey (4), Eddy Scharf (2), and Robert Williamson III (1).

Perhaps just as impressive was the fact that Robert Williamson III was making his fourth straight final table appearance in this event. Widely-acknowledged as one of the world's top Pot-Limit Omaha players, Williamson solidified his reputation as a master of the game by making it through a grueling level of competition for a fourth consecutive year. Williamson came into this year with previous 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes. He wasn't interested in anything other than winning his second gold bracelet. There were a number of problems, however, with that notion -- eight problems, in fact. But no problem loomed larger than the player sitting in Seat Six with the chip lead. Phil Ivey arrived with 494,000 in chips, over twice the level of his closest rival.

On Day Three, players were eliminated in the following order:

10th – Richard St. Peter took poker's toughest beat when he not only made an ESPN-televised final table, but he busted out first (10th place) which was officially the bubble. He busted out and received a few handshakes and applause. No money. Brutal beat.

9th – Claude Emile Cohen was the first player to exit in the money. Cohen started with two pair, but busted out losing to Davood Mehrmand's trip aces. Cohen was one of four Europeans in the finale. Ninth place paid $52,555.

8th – Phil Hellmuth has played as well as anyone at this year's WSOP. But thus far, he has been unable to win the elusive 10th title he seeks. Two days after Johnny Chan became the all-time leader in WSOP wins, Hellmuth hoped to draw back to even with a victory. It wasn't to be. Hellmuth took a horrible beat when he flopped a set of queens, which lost to Robert Williamson's higher set (kings). The 1989 world poker champion received $70,075 for 8th place.

Note: This was Hellmuth's 49th time to cash at the WSOP. He now owns the lifetime record for most cashes – one ahead of Berry Johnston.

7th – One of the tournament's most exciting hands took place when Phil Ivey knocked out two players with a flush. Eddy Scharf flopped bottom set (deuces). Sigi Stockinger flopped top set (queens). Ivey had the nut-flush draw and hit a spade. The board did not pair. That eliminated Lufthansa airline pilot Eddy Scharf in 7th place. Scharf has won two gold bracelets. This time, the best he could do was collect $87,595.

6th – On the same hand, Sigi Stockinger went out. The Austrian initially posed the biggest challenge to Ivey (second in chips), but flopping top set and losing was a crushing blow. Sixth place paid $105,115.

5th – Surinder Sunar was the shortest stack and watched happily as two players went out. That moved him two spots up the money ladder. Sunar went out a few minutes later when he failed to connect on a flush draw. Sunar, from England, received $122,635. Surunder Sunar remains the player who probably has as much talent and experience as anyone, yet has still not won a gold bracelet.

4th – This was Allen Cunningham's third final table appearance so far in at WSOP 2005. His quest for bracelet number five was destroyed when he flopped top set (again, the hex-ridden queens) and lost to Phil Ivey's flush. Ivey flopped a flush and the board failed to pair. Cunningham walked to the cage and quietly collected $140,150.

3rd – Ivey was over a million in chips, and Davood Mehrmand seemed delighted just to be sitting at the dinner table. Mehrmand didn't play many hands and getting short on chips, shifted gears. Incredibly, Mehrmand stunned his two opponents by winning a number of key pots and seized a slight chip lead. That lasted about two hours. Then, after the trio had been playing three hours together with no end in sight, Mehrmand made a surprising play with a straight draw (wrap) which was called down by Ivey. Mehrmand missed his draw and the Iranian-born poker and backgammon player now living in Germany was out in 3rd place. He was paid $192,710.

2nd Place – When heads-up play began, Phil Ivey enjoyed a 3 to 1 chip lead over Robert Williamson – 1,400,000 to 425,000. It took another 90 minutes to clobber Williamson's dream of staging a comeback. On the final hand, Williamson bet aggressively with top pair, overcards, and a flush draw. He picked the wrong time to play a hand strongly. Ivey had flopped a straight and the big hand held up.

The runner up was Robert Williamson III. Second place prize money amounted to $350,380 – a figure the Dallas-based poker pro would gladly have given away for a second gold bracelet.

1st Place – Phil Ivey was born in New Jersey. He has played poker professionally for 10 years. He moved to Las Vegas a few years ago to concentrate on high-stakes games. Ivey routinely plays in the biggest cash games in the world.

Ivey seriously believes he can win 30 gold bracelets. At this rate, he will have number thirty at the 2021 World Series of Poker at the age of 48. Is in conceivable that even Ivey's optimistic estimate may be too low?


Official Report by Nolan Dalla – World Series of Poker Media Director

World Series of Poker Circuit Director of Operations – Ken Lambert
World Series of Poker Tournament Director – John Grooms
Rio Poker Room Manager – Michael Matts
Rio Poker Tournament Director – Robert Daily



2005 World Series of Poker

Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4
Event 5 Event 6 Event 7 Event 8
Event 9 Event 10 Event 11 Event 12
Event 13 Event 14 Event 15 Event 16
Event 17 Event 18 Event 19 Event 20
Event 21 Event 22 Event 23 Event 24
Event 25 Event 26 Event 27 Event 28
Event 29 Event 30 Event 31 Event 32
Event 33 Event 34 Event 35 Event 36
Event 37 Event 38 Event 39 Event 40 Day 1a
Event 40 Day 1b Event 40 Day 1c Event 40 Day 2 Event 40 Day 3
Event 40 Day 4 Event 40 Day 5 Event 40 Day 6 Event 40 Day 7
Event 41 Event 42 Event 43  

 

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