Volume 31 • Number 22 • May 15, 2000
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2000 Champion


Event #22 Results
$5,000 Buy-in
$5,000 in chips
1. Jay Heimowitz$284,000
2. Melissa Hayden$142,000
3. Men 'The Master' Nguyen$71,000
4. Steve Zolotow$42,600
5. Gustavo Echeverri$31,950
6. Fred Brown$24,850
7. Michael Danino$17,750
8. Hung La$14,200
9. Harry Thomas$11,360
10. Kevin Song$8,520
11. Tom McCormick$8,520
12. Jim 'Snake' Courtney$8,520
13. Annie 'Preggers Again' Duke$7,810
14. Scott Mayfield$7,810
15. Dan Heimiller$7,810
16. Matthew Glantz$7,100
17. 'Miami' John Cernuto$7,100
18. Jerri Thomas$7,100

Total Prize Pool: $710,000
Number of Entrants: 142

Entries to Date: 4,135
Prize Money to Date: $10,134,500


By Mike Paulle

Our winner never let this table take a breath. Either he had an enormous amount of good cards or the other players believed he did, because he came out betting on almost every hand that he played. This shifted the pressure to the other players, who were in the hand with him, to find something to call with. Few could find that something.

There were 142 entrants in the $5,000 Limit Hold'em for a total prize pool of $710,000. 2 tables were paid, a total of 18 players.

Kevin Song only had a few thousand left when he went all-in. Kevin mucked his hand when Fred Brown showed him pocket Aces. We were done for Saturday night.

Coming back Sunday afternoon, Men 'The Master' Nguyen had a sizable chip lead. A classic frontrunner, you don't often see Nguyen lose from this chip position.

THE FINAL TABLE 23 mins left of 80. The blinds are $1,500/$3,000
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 Harry ThomasHamilton OH$57,000
Seat 2 Men 'The Master' NguyenBell Gardens CA$170,000
Seat 3 Gus EcheverriMiami FL$36,000
Seat 4 Jay HeimowitzBethel NY$71,000
Seat 5 Michael DaninoLas Vegas NV$75,000
Seat 6 Steve ZolotowLas Vegas NV$66,000
Seat 7 Fred BrownHowell MI$121,000
Seat 8 Melissa HaydenLas Vegas NV$35,000
Seat 9 Hung LaTorrance CA$64,000

You may have already noticed where Harry Thomas sat. "That was short and sweet," Thomas said sarcastically. The one seat took another victim as Harry flopped an underset with 3's to Men Nguyen's 9's. Set under set on the flop is guaranteed to lose you a lot of money. When the board paired on the river, Thomas had a worse full house. Ouch! All-in quickly with K 10, it was 'The Master' who finished the job on Thomas with a Q J of Spades when a Jack flopped.

Either stubbornness or a misread cost Hung La. La kept pounding Steve Zolotow and Steve kept calling. There was an A 9 on board, La was Hung up on the value of his A Q. For some reason he couldn't put Zolotow on A 9. That's what Steve had and La had many fewer chips. Hung raised all-in a little later with the J 9 of Hearts. Fred Brown had pocket 4's in the big blind that walked, giving La a Hung over in 8th.

At every Final Table there are players who just go stone cold. They can't buy a flop for any amount of money. Michael Danino was one of those players today. He could never get past the turn. Someone would bet and he'd have to fold, he couldn't even pick up a decent draw. After a couple of all-in survivals, Michael was in the big blind all-in with top pair on the flop. His 9 3 of Spades was leading the small blind's Jay Heimowitz with a 10 7 offsuit. But as we were to see all afternoon, there were no cards that didn't find Jay Heimowitz. Four Clubs came on board to send Danino out in 7th to a Club flush.

His nickname may have to be changed after this World Series. 'Fast Freddy' Brown made his second Final Table this year. In the first he was chip leader and finish 6th. Today, he started 2nd in chips and finished 6th. Today Fred's nickname could have been 'slow death.' Like Danino, Brown who was so hot the night before was equally cold today. The 'Next-Day' Syndrome was in full force. Normally Brown likes to play a lot of hands. He gets in there with draws and makes them. There were no hands to play this afternoon, no draws to make. Brown was practically blinded off. To his credit, Fred never whined or steamed. He left quietly when his pocket 3's all-in were crushed by a typical Jay Heimowitz flop. Jay had A Q, the flop came A K Q.

There is nothing more frustrating than losing to a perfect perfect four flush. Gus Echeverri may have only had 2's, but he had the only pair. All-in against Men Nguyen, Gus couldn't protect his hand. The board kept coming up with Diamonds and more Diamonds. Not a man's best friend, that's a dog, Echeverri left in 5th to Nguyen's Diamond flush and a Q 10 offsuit.

Noted more for his Hi-Lo and Lowball game, Steve Zolotow showed again that he has all-around skills. With the chip lead briefly when he won a monster 7-way pot with A Q, Zolotow then went on a downward spiral he couldn't pull out of. Finally all-in with pocket 6's. Zolotow got 4th when Melissa Hayden made Jacks full.

In that hand, Melissa's Jacks full, Men Nguyen flopped four Spades and an overcard with the K 5 of Spades. Hayden flopped trip Jacks. In a dream scenario for Hayden, Men kept reraising her raises with a draw to her made hand. When Nguyen finally gave up, Melissa had most of his chips. She took 'The Master' out in 3rd when she flopped trip 4's with a K 4 to his A Q. The stage was set for the heads up duel.

Reading is fundamental, and Melissa Hayden put a world-class read on this table. Starting out 9th in chip count against a field of this quality, Hayden made all the right moves to get into 2nd place. But head up, she was down $500,000 to $200,000. Jay Heimowitz had four bracelet before today. He's one of the best players ever to pick up paste boards. He also made a lot of hands. This was Hayden's first cash in the World Series, she was always too busy taking other player's picture to play herself. Truthfully she was never close to Heimowitz. This was his day from the start. When Jay said, "I have a flush." Melissa responded, "I'm drawing dead." On the last hand of the night, Jay Heimowitz had the 8 7 of Spades and turned a flush. Melissa Hayden had the Q 7 of Hearts and turned into a world-class poker player.

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