BY TOM SOMACH
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) event that poker professionals consider the true championship began Sunday, as competition got underway in 2007 WSOP Event #39, a $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament.
The event was requested by top players last year who wanted a high-priced buy-in tourney that would limit access to all but the consistently best players.
Chip Reese won it last year.
The whopping 50K entrance fee is by far the highest of any event at this year’s WSOP.
While the WSOP, the public and the media, for the most part, consider the final event, Event #55, the $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tourney, to be the championship, and crown the winner of the event as the winner of the WSOP, seasoned poker pros consider the winner of the top H.O.R.S.E. tourney to be the real WSOP champ.
That’s because H.O.R.S.E. involves playing five different kinds of poker, whereas Texas hold ‘em involves just that one kind.
The five kinds, of course, make up the acronym H.O.R.S.E.–hold ‘em, Omaha, razz, seven-card stud and eight-or-better stud.
Most of the top poker players in the world are competing in the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, including Barry Greenstein, Erik Seidel, Phil “Poison” Ivey, Annie Duke, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson, Johnny “The Orient Express” Chan, Erick Lindgren, Scotty Nguyen, Phil “Unabomber” Laak, Mike Matusow, John Juanda and Huck Seed.
Also: Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth Jr., Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, Chip Reese, Gavin Smith, Kirk Morrison, Daniel Negreanu, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Sam Farha, Dave Sklansky, Howard “I’m Annie Duke’s Brother” Lederer, Todd “Son of Doyle” Brunson, Cyndy Violette, Nick Frangos, Mike Sexton, T.J. Cloutier and Alex “Mad Russian” Kravchenko.
The tournament has 148 entrants and a total prize pool of $7,104,000.
The top 16 finishers will land in the money, with the tournament winner getting the top prize of $2,276,832.
The runnerup will receive $1,278,720.
The No. 3 finisher will collect $852,480, while No. 4 will get $586,080 and No. 5 will earn $444,000.
Sixth-place will bring in $337,400, while seventh will get you $259,296 and eighth will get you $188,256.
The Nos. 9 and 10 finishers will each get $131,424.
The Nos. 11 and 12 finishers will each collect $117,216.
The Nos. 13 and 14 finishers will each earn $103,008.
The Nos. 15 and 16 finishers will each take home $88,800.
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])