BY TOM SOMACH
A total of 451 poker players entered WSOP Event #1, a $5,000 buy-in, mixed limit Texas hold ‘em tourney that spanned the first three days of the WSOP and had a total prize pool over $2 million.
Mixed limit means part of the tournament was limit hold ‘em and part of it was no-limit hold ‘em.
The winner of that first event was Steve Billirakis of Chicago, Illinois, USA, who at age 21 years and 11 days becomes the youngest person ever to win a WSOP event.
He breaks the record set last year by Jeff Madsen, who won a WSOP event at age 21 years and 42 days.
Madsen then won a second gold bracelet a few days later.
As for Billirakis’ big win, he will take home more than a half million bucks–$536,287 to be exact.
And, he says, he will hang around at the WSOP and enter a few more events.
His goal: to be the youngest poker player ever to win two WSOP events.
Finishing second to Billirakis in the tourney was Greg Mueller of White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, who earned $328,554.
Third was Tony George of Mesquite, Nevada, USA, who won $218,329.
Fourth was Steve Ambrose of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, who took home $146,259.
Fifth was Frederick Berger of Slidell, Louisiana, USA, who copped $108,105.
Sixth was Roger McDow of=A0 Foothill Ranch, California, USA, who garnered $84,788.
Seventh was Kirk Morrison of Wichita, Kansas, USA, who earned $63,591.
Morrison will also be competing in the WSOP main event next month, a $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament, having won a free seat by winning a celebrity charity poker tournament in April run by Jen Harman for the Nevada SPCA.
Morrison won a seven-card stud WSOP tourney in 1998.
Eighth was Jon Turner of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, who won $46,633.
Ninth was John Younger of San Antonio, California, USA, who took home $33,915.
The event’s final table seated nine players.
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])