Volume 31 • Number 14 • May 7, 2000
previous event Razzo's Videos@pokerpages.com   pokersearch.com   Andy Glazer@poker.casino.com next event

2000 Champion


Event #14 Results
OMAHA (pot limit)
$2,500 Buy-in (Rebuys)
$2,500 in chips
1. Phillip Ivey$195,000
2. Amarillo Slim Preston$97,500
3. Markus Golser$48,750
4. Phil Hellmuth Jr$29,250
5. David Ulliott$21,940
6. David Colclough$17,065
7. Hassan Kamoei$12,190
8. Ali Sarkeshik$9,750
9. Chris Bjorin$7,800
10. Allen Cunningham$5,850
11. Tam Duong$5,850
12. David Winston$5,850
13. Chau Giang$5,360
14. Dewey Tomko$5,360
15. Phil Mazzella$5,360
16. Donald Thompson$4,875
17. Danny Dang$4,875
18. Donald O'Callaghan$4,875

Total Prize Pool: $487,500
Number of Entrants: 100, 95 rebuys

Entries to Date: 2,876
Prize Money to Date: $6,137,500


By Mike Paulle

Two poker players met in the present, one represented in quintessence the glorious past of tournament poker, the other represented its potentially fantastic future. One had been playing for generations, the other was in his first generation. As long as poker is played, this might be the day that will be known as the turning point. We may have experienced the day when the past met the present and turned into the future of poker.

There were 100 entrants and 95 rebuys in the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha for a total prize pool of $487,500. 2 tables were paid, a total of 18 players.

For the second time in less than a week, Phillip Ivey took over the chip lead entering the Final Table by eliminating the 10th place finisher on the last hand of the night. This time it was Allen Cunningham who took 10's up against Ivey's Aces.

Coming back on Saturday afternoon, Ivey's win had barely pushed his chip count past that of a legend, the 1972 World Champion Thomas 'Amarillo Slim' Preston.

THE FINAL TABLE 34 mins left of 80. The blinds are $1,000/$2,000
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 Hassan KamoeiIndio CA$38,000
Seat 2 Amarillo Slim PrestonAmarillo TX$90,000
Seat 3 Markus GolserSalzburg, Austria$47,000
Seat 4 Dave ColcloughSmethwick UK$68,000
Seat 5 Phillip IveyAtlantic City NJ$91,500
Seat 6 Chris BjorinLondon UK$26,000
Seat 7 David UlliottHull UK$33,500
Seat 8 Ali SarkeshikNorthhampton UK$38,000
Seat 9 Phil Hellmuth JrPalo Alto CA$55,500
What a lineup! Twelve bracelets, uncountable victories, untold millions of dollars won and lost. If you had to pick a winner before play began, how could you pick against Amarillo Slim? In 30 years of playing in the World Series of Poker, NO ONE, not Johnny Moss, not Doyle Brunson, not Johnny Chan, not Phil Hellmuth, no one had EVER beaten Thomas Preston at a Final Table.

As many cashes as Chris Bjorin has in the World Series, Chris had to know he was trailing Phil Hellmuth when he called Phil's bet all-in for Chris' last $12k. When an Ace hit the turn, Phil had A's and 3's. Chris had only an Ace and a gutshot straight draw. "I was rooting for a 4," Chris said afterward. Bjorin should have been more specific. With the 4 of Diamonds on the river, Chris mad a straight and Phil made a flush with his 8 3 of Diamonds.

For the last several years, Europeans and especially the English have been dominant at Pot Limit Omaha. It makes sense, the game is played extensively in Europe and hardly at all in the USA. This Final Table started with five Europeans, four of them English, and "only four lonely Americans" as Tournament Director Bob Thompson called them. Even with the recent success, it was the English who sent the first two players home. When a Queen high board flopped, Ali Sarkeshik went all-in from the big blind with his last $17k and A Q. Markus Golser, from Austria, was hesitant to call with pocket Kings for fear of trips. Markus had the high straight draw locked up with K J. When the board paired on the river, Golser's Kings were good and Ali 'Baba' Sarkeshik took his 40 thieves out with him in 8th.

Now it was the American's turn to give up one of their own. Hassan Kamoei waited for pocket Aces to go all-in. The flop came J J 10 with two spades. Hassan, who'd raised before the flop, now put in his last $9k. The flop gave Dave Colclough a gutshot Royal draw with his A Q of Spades so $9,000 didn't seem too much to pay to see the last two cards. When a Spade came, Kamoei left in 7th.

A young man, Markus Golser probably aged considerably after today. He kept being forced to make life or death decisions. Golser flopped J's and 10's, the top two pair. In Hold'em this would be a pretty good hand, in Omaha High it's a ticket to disaster. Dave Colclough had pocket Queens with a King, an overpair to the board and the nut straight draw. Dave went all-in with only slightly fewer chips than Markus Golser had. What to do? If he was wrong, Markus would surely be the next one out. After several minutes, Golser called and was rewarded when his two pair held up. Markus doubled up and David Colclough got up in 6th.

The 'Devilfish' David Ulliott promotes this nasty table image. It's helped make him a fortune at poker. But many people don't know how funny Ulliott is, because his humor is of the dry, sardonic English variety. When Ulliott survived an early all-in with a miracle card on the river, David jumped up from his chair and did a swivel-hipped Elvis Presley imitation complete with a few bars of "All Shook Up." It was fall-on-the-floor funny coming so unexpectedly from poker's bad boy, the Devilfish. By even "The Devil," as Ulliott calls himself, couldn't beat Amarillo Slim at a Final Table in the World Series of Poker. No one had before, why should anyone start now? The flop came 9 9 4. "If he bets, I fold." Slim said later. We'll never know if that would have been true or not. Slim tells many tales. Ulliott checked the flop, "I don't know what he's got," Slim said. "I bet." Now the Devilfish came over the top all-in for $37,5k. Slim called with pocket Queens and rivered a Queen to crack Ulliott's Kings and send the Devil back to Hades in 5th to practice his Elvis routines.

The hand that Phil Hellmuth went out on wasn't the one that gave him 4th place. Against Markus Golser, Phil still had enough chips to move up, but when Hellmuth raised and was called by Golser, Phil gave up on a hand that he might have won. The flop came 9 3 3. Phil checked and Markus bet. Hellmuth had A Q J 9 and folded with only $10,000 left after putting over $40,000 in the pot. Golser said Phil's 9 was good. All-in for $7,500 against his nemesis Phillip Ivey, Phil bolted from the room when Ivey's two Queens were a winner.

"I should have raised before the flop," Markus Golser said. "I made a big mistake." By allowing Amarillo Slim to limp in from the small blind, Golser trapped himself with A Q. The flop came with an Ace and the turn brought a Queen, but by then it was too late for the Austrian. Slim had flopped trip 5's and took almost all of Golser's precious chips. Phillip Ivey finished Markus off in 3rd with two Queens against A K.

Like Jennifer Harman against Lyle Berman a few days ago, this was supposed to be a gigantic mismatch. The 71-year-old Thomas 'Amarillo Slim' Preston with over 50 years of top grade experience, and a perfect World Series record of never having been beaten at a Final Table. Oh, and a 5-1 chip lead head up. Against a kid, really, only barely legal at 23. Someone who has only played tournament poker for six months. Why, Slim has lizard-skin boots older than 23. How could Phillip Ivey win? It was impossible. The future hasn't arrived yet, has it? It's still the present, isn't it? And the past is still vivid in our imaginations, isn't it? Maybe that was Slim's problem, he imagined himself winning another World Series bracelet and forgot he had to play the hands.

Phillip Ivey is a very tight player. He throws away a lot of hands, but when he bets or calls watch out! He has a big hand. Slim may have thought he could run over the kid heads up, because Phillip wouldn't call a lot of Slim's bets. It's hard to get good hands heads up, even in Omaha. But Phillip Ivey is a player. Just when Slim thought he knew how Ivey played, Phillip loosened up. Twice, for gigantic pots each time, Slim bet out with two pair on the flop. Both times Phillip called with draws. Each time the draw got there, once with a flush and once with a straight. Now the lizard-skinned boot was on the other foot.

Phillip Ivey at 23 isn't the future of poker by himself, but he represents a new generation of players that will carry poker into what looks to be a fantastic future. That Phillip Ivey is African-American is only a small part of this story. If poker is going to grow, as we all expect it to, we will need to open poker up to everyone. If Phillip's flush draw doesn't come on his first all-in, we'd be writing about how Amarillo Slim won his 5th bracelet, but the flush came and the straight after it. Now with Slim all-in with the best hand for the third time, Preston flopped a straight. Slim had two Kings with a 9. The flop came Q J 10. Phillip Ivey had A J. Only a King would give him the title. There were only two Kings left in the deck and one came on the turn. Phillip Ivey had accomplished what seemed impossible. He is the only player in WSOP history to beat Amarillo Slim Preston at a Final Table. The past is prologue, the present is forever and the future is now.

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