Volume 31 • Number 9 • May 3, 2000
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2000 Champion


Event #9 Results
$2,500 Buy-in
$2,500 in chips
1. Chris Ferguson$151,000
2. Al DeCarlo75,500
3. Perry Friedman37,750
4. Kevin Song22,650
5. Kim Nguyen18,875
6. Fred Brown15,100
7. Pierre Peretti11,330
8. Larry Kantor7,555
9. John Gledhill5,660
10. Mel Judah5,660
11. James Pauton5,660
12. Wei Wei5,660
13. Frank Thompson3,775
14. Peter Brownstein3,775
15. Brian Kaplan3,775
16. Yueqi 'Rich' Zhu3,775

Total Prize Pool: $377,500
Number of Entrants: 151

Entries to Date: 2,204
Prize Money to Date: $3,998,500


By Mike Paulle

If you are very lucky and extremely dedicated you may ONCE in your life be in a situation where a World Series bracelet is almost on your wrist. How heartbreaking if you lose that one opportunity.

There were 151 entrants in the $2,500 Buy-In, Seven-Card Stud for a total prize pool of $377,500. 2 tables were paid, a total of 16 players.

Tournament Stud is such a tough game. There are comparatively few hands an hour, yet the levels increase just as fast as in other games. The antes on every hand take an enormous toll on the patient. You have to gamble and you have to win. When John Gledhill was forced to gamble Monday night and lost, Larry Kantor got in by the skin of his teeth.

Coming back Tuesday afternoon, 'Fast Freddie' Brown had the chip lead. We were to find out quickly how 'Fast' Freddie really was.

THE FINAL TABLE: 52 mins left of 80. The ante is $300, bring-in $500, playing $2,000/$4,000
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 Chris FergusonPacific Palisades CA$69,100
Seat 2 Perry FriedmanMonterey, CA$48,600
Seat 3 Al DeCarloMiami Beach FL$60,100
Seat 4 Larry KantorWoodland Hills CA$4,000
Seat 5 Kevin SongHacienda Hts CA$60,400
Seat 6 Pierre PerettiParis, France$24,700
Seat 7 Kim NguyenLas Vegas NV$25,200
Seat 8 Fred BrownHowell MI$85,700

How ironic for Larry Kantor. Here he is at the Final Table with no chips and he makes quad 10's on his first all-in hand. Where were those puppies when they could have made him some money? Now the quads couldn't even take Kantor off life support. Larry would have to sing for his supper in 8th when his flush draw all-in lost to Fred Brown's 9's and 4's.

Chris Ferguson was the main recipient of Pierre Peretti's chips. With only $24,000 to start with, Pierre couldn't afford to lose a showdown, but he did. Chris turned over A's and 8's. Pierre mucked his hand with only a few chips left. All-in for $600 Peretti, a Frenchman with an Italian name who speaks very little English, couldn't even catch a pair as Ferguson finished him off in 7th with Aces up.

Speed kills. 'Fast Freddie' Brown lived up to his nickname by dusting off $85,000 in chips in near record time. Brown lost every big pot he contested with Chris Ferguson and Perry Friedman. In the hand that ended the day of Pierre Peretti, Fred Brown went to the river with a pair of 7's and no draw. Fred was drawing dead to a 7 that didn't come. Ferguson took out two players on the same Aces up hand. Brown was already downtown but with more chips than Peretti at the start of the hand, so Freddie quickly took 6th.

Gambler or Housewife? Is there a difference? Kim Nguyen on her bio for the Final Table scratched out 'Gambler' as her occupation and wrote in 'Housewife.' Maybe she knew she'd get no cards to gamble with. After being nearly anted out of the game, Kim found a hand she could at least make a stand with. All-in for her last $4,000, Nguyen made Q's and 10's. The red-hot Chris Ferguson took no pity on the poor housewife and wiped out her lifesavings with A's and K's.

A dominant limit hold'em player, Kevin Song made up no tunes at this Stud table. Repeatedly, Kevin had the best hand to 5th or 6th street only to be drawn out on. The ultimate discordant note came on Song's final aria. With rolled up 5's, Kevin and Perry Friedman went at it to the river. Perry started with A 2, then he had 2's with an Ace, Aces and 2's and finally 2's full of Aces as the cards kept rolling in. Meanwhile, Kevin's hand went flat when he couldn't make another pair. Song could sing the blues in 4th.

Today's Final Table is a story about lost opportunities. With three players left, Perry Friedman had half the chips. He was cruising to the title. The magic cards kept coming. Then suddenly they stopped. On the pivotal hand for Friedman, he and Al DeCarlo built a $250,000 pot. Unbeknownst to Friedman with two pair, DeCarlo had caught a third Jack. Now the magic slippers were on the feet of Al DeCarlo and Friedman was headed for the rail. After a couple of valiant saves to stay alive, Perry left in 3rd to Chris Ferguson's A's and K's.

"We were playing for second," Chris Ferguson said. After Al DeCarlo made his trip Jacks to take the chip lead, he went on to stack over $300,000 of the $377,000 in chips on the table. This game was over. Ferguson and Friedman were actually mucking hands to try to finish 2nd. That's how over this game was. But when Chris Ferguson took out Perry Friedman, suddenly Ferguson's prospects brightened. He had a little stack to bet with. Al DeCarlo is a high-stakes Stud player who doesn't enter many tournaments. He plays very fast and hard as is normal in big money live games. Maybe only once in his life will Al DeCarlo be this close to having a World Series bracelet on his wrist. Maybe he'll win one soon, who knows? But as well and courageously as Chris Ferguson played today, this opportunity was lost by Al DeCarlo. The game should have been over. The door was never slammed shut and Chris Ferguson, with some divine intervention, squeezed through and won.

Internet coverage of the 2000 World Series of Poker is brought to you as a service of ConJelCo with the full and active cooperation of Binion's Horseshoe. ©2000 Binion's Horseshoe • some portions © 2000 ConJelCo