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2005 World Series Of Poker
Sun July 3, 2005
Event #36
Limit Hold’em
$3,000 BUY-IN

Players: 406
Prize Pool: $1,120,560

1. Todd ‘Dan Druff’ Witteles Las Vegas, NV $347,385
2. Daryl Mixan Omaha, NE $179,290
3. Kieu Duong Mays Landing, NJ $89,645
4. Rafael Perry Las Vegas, NV $78,440
5. Matthew Hawrilenko Philadelphia, PA $67,235
6. Craig Crivello Scottsdale, AZ $56,030
7. Cyndy Violette Atlantic City, NJ $44,820
8. Michael Nargi Las Vegas, NV $33,615
9. Matt Matros Brooklyn, NY $22,410
10. Eddy Scharf Cologne, Germany $13,445
11. Authur Loring Boston, MA $13,445
12. Benjamin Lin Rockville, MD $13,445
13. Anders Berg NA $11,205
14. Holger Lindemann NA $11,205
15. Martin Cedercrantz Sweden $11,205
16. Roy Thung NA $8,965
17. Luis Santoni Las Vegas, NV $8,965
18. Glenn Latona Egg Harbor City, NJ $8,965
19. Christopher Gildon Chagrin Falls, OH $6,725
20. Carlo Atrone Gateshead, England $6,725
21. Mark Gregorich Las Vegas, NV $6,725
22. Daniel Negreanu Las Vegas, NV $6,725
23. Robert Perry Highlands Beach, FL $6,725
24. Peter Hedland Luhea, Sweden $6,725
25. Qi Chang Chi Las Vegas, NV $6,725
26. Eli Balas Henderson, NV $6,725
27. Alex Markovic Mississauga, ON $6,725
28. V Senthilkuman Los Gatos, CA $4,480
29. Alexander Uskov Moscow, Russia $4,480
30. Chad Moore Frankfort, IN $4,480
31. Kenna James Downey, CA $4,480
32. Shawn Ostertag Louisville, KY $4,480
33. Ylon Schwartz Brooklyn, NY $4,480
34. Matt Tamura Vancouver, WA $4,480
35. Jay Heimowitz Bethel, NY $4,480
36. Don Grove Dallas, OR $4,480

Head and Shoulders above the Rest:
Todd ‘Dan Druff’ Witteles wins Limit Hold’em championship and earns first WSOP gold bracelet

It's very likely that Todd 'Dan Druff' Witteles owns a World Series of Poker record which may never be broken. To date, Witteles has played in exactly two WSOP events in his lifetime. He took 3rd place in his first tournament ever (Event #4). Then, he won his second tournament - the $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em championship. No other player in WSOP history has finished so high (1st and 3rd) in their first two tournaments.

This is not what one would expect from a player who goes by the nickname 'Dan Druff.' Playing with a bottle of Head and Shoulders (hair shampoo) on the poker table which was used as a card protector, Witteles lathered up second in chips at the start and rinsed away his opponents in the final stages of the tournament. It took Witteles eight hours to rake in the final pot of the night and contain a late rally by the runner up, Daryl Mixan.

Witteles, a professional poker player from Las Vegas, plays mostly on the Internet. He is well-known in online poker circles, but is virtually anonymous inside cardrooms and at poker tournaments (at least until now - winning a gold bracelet tends to change everything).

"I wanted to pick a screen name that was funny," Witteles explained when asked about his pesky nickname. "When I play live - I decided to use this bottle of shampoo to throw off my opponents. "I even washed my hair with this bottle twice. So, it worked!"

Most interesting is that fact that Witteles has earned nearly half a million dollars in Limit Hold'em, rather than the far more popular No-Limit game. "In limit poker, the cost of making a mistake is not nearly as high," Witteles said. "If I make a mistake in Limit Hold'em it costs me a few bets. But if I make the same mistake in No-Limit I can lose my whole stack. That's why I prefer Limit Hold'em."

It's hard to argue with success. The $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold'em championship attracted 406 entries. The prize pool was $1,120,560. After 397 players were eliminated on the first two days, the nine finalists arrived at the final table. Two former gold bracelet winners played in the finale - Eddy Scharf (with two titles) and Cyndy Violette (with one title). The chip leader was Kieu Duong (with 310,000). Todd Witteles was second in chips (with 211,000).

Players were eliminated in the following order:

10th Place - Lufthansa Airlines pilot and two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Eddy Scharf was eliminated when he lost a big pot with pocket aces to a diamond flush. That left Scharf flying on fumes. He crash landed in 10th place when his Q-J was shot down by Matt Matros' pocket 10s. Scharf earned $13,455.

9th Place - Poker author and up and coming tournament player Matt Matros was written out of the final table script when his A-Q was burned by J-10, when a ten flopped. Matros, who now lives in Brooklyn, NY, 'forgotabout' winning the tournament. Ninth place paid $22,410.

8th Place - Mike Nargi, a professional gambler from Las Vegas was low on chips and went out next. He picked up $33,615 for 8th place.

7th Place - This was Cyndy Violette's third final table appearance at this year's WSOP (all in hold'em events). She has also cashed five times. Violette was knocked out by Rafael Perry's pocket aces. Seventh-place paid $44,820.

6th Place - Craig Crivello was getting low on chips and went out on the hand after Violette's elimination. Crivello found pocket sixes then watched in horror as five overcards came on board and a raising war broke out between his two rivals. Crivello might as well have had front row tickets to an NHL game. His sixes were worthless. But the 6th place prize money was not -- $56,030 for Crivello.

5th Place - Matt Hawrilenko is a 23-year-old stock trader from Philadelphia. His investment background paid off in this tournament as he came in 5th in a highly-competitive field. Hawrilenko was blinded down to the point where he had to play a hand and was eliminated. His experience in the poker exchange paid $67,235.

4th Place - Rafael 'Ralph' Perry went out next. Perry threw his last chips into the pot with 2-2. Todd Witteles had Q-J and caught a jack on the turn. That blew Perry away. Rafael Perry, born in Russia, finished third in the WSOP main event in 2002. He finished fourth this time, winning $78,440 in prize money.

3rd Place - This was the first final table so far this year to feature at least two female players. Cyndy Violette went out 7th. Kieu Duong, who arrived as the chip leader, went out in third place. Interestingly, both women live within a few miles of Atlantic City, NY. Duong, who says she is a housewife, showed she can also play poker with the best in the world. She lost the chip lead about midway through the finale, and was low on chips when she found an ace and made a raise short-handed. Todd Witteles had a king and rivered a pair of cowboys, which eliminated Duong. Third place paid $89,645.

2nd Place - When heads-up play began, Witteles enjoyed the advantage of a 3 to 1 chip lead. After losing a few key pots, Daryl Mixan was down to about 60,000 in chips and made his last stand with K-6 after a king flopped. Witteles had 10-7 and faded the final bet holding a pair of sevens. A ten fell on the turn, which gave Witteles a second pair. Mixan still had outs going into the final card, but missed when a blank fell on the river.

Daryl Mixan has an interesting story. He is serving in the Coast Guard and is stationed in Alaska. He spent this year's Independence Day at the WSOP, winning $179,290. This was his first-ever WSOP tournament. Quite an accomplishment.

1st Place - Tood Witteles is a 33-year-old former software engineer. He holds a M.S. degree in computer science.

Next time 'Dan Druff' enters a poker tournament, his expectations will be high. After winning $115,800 in his first tournament and $347,385 in his second, Witteles can't possibly improve his final table percentages or increase his financial return on investment.

Then again, with the main event of the 2005 World Series of Poker scheduled to begin in just two days, Witteles will be shooting for the biggest trifecta in poker history. If he brings his bottle of Head and Shoulders to the table, look out.

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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