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WSOP weekend - Records fall, first bracelets awarded

4 June 2007

Player numbers up

So much for the expected decline in player participation.

Event #3, the first $1,500 No Limit Hold'em affair, drew 2,998 players, making it the third largest live-poker tournament of all time. The previous record of 2,891 players was set at the 2006 WSOP in the $1,000 buy-in Event #17 won by Jon Friedberg.

The first No Limit Hold'em event usually draws a large crowd. Last year, 2,776 players participated in the same $1,500 event.

The only two live tournaments with larger fields were the 2005 and 2006 WSOP Main Events, with 5,619 and 8,773 players respectively.

Alex Jacob, with 3.1 million chips, is the runaway leader in the tournament as it heads to the final table. Paul Evans trails the 2006 U.S. poker champ with 1,690,000 chips. Everyone else at the final table is under $1 million.

It's good to be young

The youngest-player-to-ever-win-a-bracelet record fell for the third time in three years after Chicago's Steve Billirakis won 2007's first bracelet at the tender age of 21 years and 11 days.

The previous record holder was Jeff Madsen at 21 years, one month and nine days. Madsen became the youngest to win two bracelets later in the tournament series.

Billirakis, barely able to legally play at the Rio, says he intends to play more events at the series, giving him a chance to surpass Madsen's youngest-to-win-two-bracelets mark if he wins another tournament before the 2007 Main Event.

The young champion is the first to win one of the showcased World Championship tournaments, capturing his first bracelet in a $5,000 Mixed Hold'em World Championship event. He earned $536,287 and is currently first Casino City's WSOP Player of the Year rankings.

One for the dealers

Frederick Narciso, 24, of Las Vegas, won the $500 employees-only event, earning $104,701. Narciso deals at the Harrah's-owned Orleans Casino in Las Vegas. He won a $90 satellite to play in the tournament.

Narciso finished 27th in the same event last year.


Mucking McLane
WSOP weekend - Records fall, first bracelets awarded is republished from CasinoVendors.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.