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Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Fire Fan a Winner

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

A 37-year-old fire department groupie originally from South Carolina and playing in his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament has won it–and now vows to give 25% of his winnings to his hometown firefighters.

Jimmy Shultz, who now lives in Columbus, Ohio, USA, but who is originally from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, wore a Charleston Fire Department cap as his headwear of choice as he competed in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in WSOP Event #12, a $1,500 buy-in, limit Texas hold ‘em tourney that had 883 entrants and a total prize pool of $1.2 million.

The lucky cap paid off, and paid off well, as Shultz, who is not a firefighter himself but who knows many in the department, won the event and the $257,105 top prize.

For those who count more than chips, that’s a tidy $64,000 or so for the fire department.

Coming in second in the tournament was Zachary Fellows of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, earning $165,165.

Third was Vinnie Vinh of Houston, Texas, USA, earning $99,099.

Fourth was Teddy “Iceman” Monroe of Washington, D.C., USA, earning $82,882.

Fifth was Brendan Taylor of Henderson, Nevada, USA, earning $67,868.

Sixth was Marcus Golser of Salzburg, Austria, earning $53,453.

Seventh was Ali Eslami of Van Nuys, California, USA, earning $41,441.

Eighth was Chris Niesert, hometown unknown, earning $32,432.

Ninth was Chung Law of Milpitas, California, USA, earning $23,423.

Tenth was top poker pro Erick Lindgren of Las Vegas, earning $14,775.

After his victory, Shultz told reporters covering the event: “This is a dream come true. This is my second visit to the World Series of Poker. I came here two years ago. I wanted to play in the six-handed event in 2006. I played some satellites, but I could not get in. Now, here I am today.”

Asked about his lucky fire department cap, he said some firefighters back in Charleston were killed in an accident last year and he wanted to honor them.

“They suffered a tragic accident back in June of 2007,” Shultz said. “This is near a year to the day of the tragedy. All of them perished. In their remembrance and to honor my community, I’ll wear all of their t-shirts and hats all week.”

He then promised to give a fourth of his prize pot to the Charleston Fire Department.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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