Volume 31 • Number 11 • May 5, 2000
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2000 Champion


Event #11 Results
$3,000 Buy-in
$3,000 in chips
1. Chris Tsiprailidis$213,600
2. Ed Smith$106,800
3. Jay Chang$53,400
4. Berry Johnston$32,040
5. Michael Ross$24,030
6. S B Karabinas$18,690
7. Flan Pilkington$13,350
8. Thien Phan$10,685
9. Bob Feduniak$8,545
10. John Juanda$6,410
11. Jan Backstrom$6,410
12. Humberto Brenes$6,410
13. Yueqi 'Rich' Zhu$5,870
14. Kiet Tran$5,870
15. Michael Halford$5,870
16. Armando Balbi$5,340
17. Max Faulkner$5,340
18. James Krantz$5,340

Total Prize Pool: $534,000
Number of Entrants: 178

Entries to Date: 2,617
Prize Money to Date: $5,002,500


By Mike Paulle

Both players had tasted the bitterness of finishing in 2nd place in the World Series of Poker. Neither wanted to have that taste in their mouths, again. Both wanted the last slice of the same pie. But one of them would have to be disappointed. As heads up play entered it's third hour only one of them could get the prize, their first gold bracelet.

There were 178 entrants in the $3,000 Limit Hold'em for a total prize pool of $534,000. 2 tables were paid, a total of 18 players.

Already the substantial chip leader, Ed Smith only had to put in one chip over his small blind to call John Juanda's all-in bet with J 8. Smith had A 10, which was good enough to set the Final Table.

Coming back on Thursday afternoon, we were graced by the presence of former World Champion Berry Johnson who was making his 26th WSOP Final Table in a storied poker career.

THE FINAL TABLE 44 mins left of 80. The blinds are $1,500/$3,000
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 S B KarbinasAustin TX$68,000
Seat 2 Berry JohnstonLas Vegas NV$65,500
Seat 3 Thien PhanSan Gabrial CA$40,500
Seat 4 Flan PilkingtonYorktown IN$27,500
Seat 5 Michael RossBoca Raton FL$66,500
Seat 6 Chris TsiprailidisSyracuse NY$67,500
Seat 7 Ed Smith29 Palms CA$110,000
Seat 8 Bob FeduniakLas Vegas NV$18,000
Seat 9 Jay ChangLodi CA$70,500
The trick isn't just getting to the Final Table. You should bring some chips with you, also. Bob Fenuniak is making his second appearance of WSOP 2000 and again he is a low stack. When Bob flopped top pair from the small blind with Q 9 and a Queen on board, he was committed to the hand. Since Feduniak didn't have enough chips to do him any damage, Ed Smith had an easy call of Bob's bet. On the button with A K, Ed Smith got the card he needed on the turn a King. Then Smith got a card he didn't need on the river, an Ace. Feduniak was history in 9th.

Getting the perfect situation in the big blind, Thien Phan bet out on the flop. The perfect situation was that Phan caught Berry Johnston raising his big blind with a marginal hand, the K 4 of Hearts. Phan had pocket Jacks and smooth called. Thien went all-in for his last $12k when the board paired with a 4 on the turn. Thien couldn't put the great Berry Johnston on trip 4's. What a belt to Phan in 8th when that's what Berry turned over.

When you are up against the chip leader, sometimes it's advisable to be a little cautious. Maybe one of the reasons they are the chip leader is because they've picked up a lot of big hands. Flan 'Irish Mike' Pilkington got his Irish up when the flop came Queen high. Flan had A Q. He bet, raised, reraised and reraise again until he was all-in with that top pair with the top kicker. Ed Smith was unconcerned. With pocket Kings, Smith knew where Pilkington was at and was happy for the donations. Flan was turned into custard in 7th.

What a disappointing Final Table for S B Karabinas. The good doctor couldn't make a hand. As the stacks grew around him, his shrank alarmingly. Karabinas took a stand and went to the river looking for an Ace that didn't come. When Jay Chang raised on the button, Dr. Karabinas found himself with A 4 in the small blind. Doc decided that Chang may be stealing, so come what may, this was the hand he would fight with. Jay Chang had pocket Kings, not your usual stealing hand. The doctor was paged to the emergency room in 6th with himself as the patient. Two hands in a row, two pocket Kings in a row. Two more bodies to the rail.

In a limit game you can't protect your hand. Michael Ross fought for hours without any ammunition. It was a losing battle. After surviving a few all-ins, Ross picked up pocket 4's, which looked like Aces to him after all the cheese he'd seen. Ross raised, Chris Tsiprailidis reraised to get head up with the miniscule stake. Michael went all-in and was called for his last few chips by Chris with pocket 5's. Ross was discounted into 5th.

As unbelievable as 36 WSOP cashes is, 26 Final Tables is even more unbelievable. Berry Johnston has been here more often than anyone in World Series history. This one won't be one of Berry's favorite memories. Although Johnston moved up from 6th in chips at the start, he could never get anything going. In his last hand of the day, the living legend of poker bet out when a King hit the flop. Berry had K 9. On the button, Ed Smith held A Q and turned the nut straight. One of the greatest players ever to pick$up a hand was out in 4th.

Three-handed the chips were nearly even. Ed Smith, Chris Tsiprailidis and Jay Chang saved $100k each and played for the rest. It was a good move for Jay Chang as his cards immediately went dead. After a valiant struggle that included an extra save with Smith, Chang went all-in from the big blind with A J. Ed Smith had the 8 5 of Clubs, flopped a five and rivered a five

Head up it looked like no contest. Chris Tsiprailidis, the pizzeria owner from Syracuse NY, had 4-1 chip lead. But miraculously, Ed Smith fought all the way back to take a 4-1 chip lead himself. The key hand in the turnaround was when Chris flopped the nut straight and Ed rivered a full house. Few players have more head up tournament experience than 'Syracuse' Chris. "I was paying him off too much," Chris said. "I decided to start grinding him down." The last hand was typical of heads up play. Smith went all-in with the A 7 of Spades. Tsiprailidis called with a Q 3. When a 3 flopped that's all Chris needed to order Pizzas all around. He'd won his first gold bracelet.

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