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Steve

Tuesday, June 5, 2007 | Francis Lee

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The World Series of Poker 2007  has finally started in Las Vegas this week with Event 1 Mixed Hold’em, a $5,000 buy in event with $536,000 going to the winner.  A total of 451 players started out the three day event  with most of the well known Poker Pro’s in attendance, with the likes of Phil Hellmuth ten times WSOP bracelet winner, Johnny Chan also holding 10 bracelet wins hoping to be the first to reach no 11.  Phil Ivey was also attracting a lot of attention around his tables being known as one of the best poker players around.   There were multiple WSOP bracelet winners across the card room floor.

Day one ended with only 97 survivors and with the bubble being at 45th place the pressure was really on the short stack holders to double up.  Greg ‘FTB’ Mueller was the chip leader on $130,000 in chips, closely followed by  Sabyl Cohen on $122,200.  Todd Brunson was doing well reaching $56,000 and Barry Greenstein was still in the mix on $39,000.  Neither Phil Hellmuth or Phil Ivey made day two of this event, Hellmuth going out to Paul Snead early on with Snead hitting a full house holding :js :qs against :10s :10c Not long after Phil Ivey was eliminated holding pocket Queens against the Big Slick AK.

The second days play would decide the final nine players left to fight out the final table, and the other 36 paid places.  It took nearly four hours of play to reach the money, the lucky player who just avoided going out on the bubble was Cindy Violette winning $11,658.  Seven hours later we had our nine finalists, Fred Berger was the chip leader on just under a million in chips.  Jon Turner was on the short stack on $88,000.

Final Table Chip Counts:

  • 1st Fred Berger $942,000
  • 2nd Steve Paul Ambrose $771,000
  • 3rd Greg ‘FBT’ Mueller $683,000
  • 4th Steve Bilirakis $562,000
  • 5th Tony George $546,000
  • 6th Kirk Morrison $512,000
  • 7th Roger McDow $320,000
  • 8th John Younger $94,000
  • 9th Jon Turner $88,000

The final table’s blinds started out at $15,000 - $30,000 and limits of $30,000 - $60,000 so both Jon Turner and  John Younger needed to make early moves to stay alive. On the very first hand  it was Younger who was eliminated in 9th place.  Playing Limit Hold’em Greg Mueller started off the betting with a $60,000 raise, this was followed up by a re raise from Younger to $90,000.  Fred Berger re raises this up to $120,000 and Mueller folds his hand.  Younger calls for the $4,000 he has left and shows :ad :qc Berger was in a dominating position holding :ah :kc The board missed both players coming down :jc :5s :4s :8s :7c and Younger collected $33,915 for 9th place.  Mueller was unhappy at this point claiming he mucked :as :js that would have gave him the nut flush.

Jon Turner was the next person to go out in 8th place on hand 33 of the final table playing No Limit Hold‘em.  Soon after Younger’s exit on the first hand Turner doubled up twice, firstly against Steve Bilirakis and then against Kirk Morrison.  His exit came when going All In for $325,000 with :ad :kc against Fred Berger holding :qc :qh The Flop was no good for Turner showing :10h :8d :3d and the Turn :6h and River :5c ended his tournament taking $46,633 in winnings.

After the break Kirk Morrison found himself on the short stack with $250,000, Berger opened the betting to $80,000 which was followed by a re-raise by Morrison to $120,000 on the button.  Paul Ambrose re-raised this to $160,000 and Berger folds his cards.  Morrison makes the call and Ambrose bet blind before the Flop is shown for $10,000 meaning Morrison would be All In if he called.  The Flop comes down :qh :6d :2h and Morrison calls the bet and flips over :10s :10h Ambrose hit a set holding :qc :qs leaving Morrison needing two tens or two hearts on the Turn and River to stay in the tournament. The :3h gave him a glimmer of hope after the Turn but this was quickly dashed with the :ks on the River, knocking him out and taking $63,591 in 7th place.

Sixth place went to Roger McDow winning $84,788 when going out on the 47th hand of play.  He was on the short stack at $80,000 and moved All In, this was called by three players Berger, Mueller and Ambrose.  The Flop came down :ad :kh :8s and Berger opens the betting at $40,000, both Mueller and Ambrose called.  With the Turn :qs came a check from Berger and an $80,000 bet from Mueller. Burger calls and the River came down with :qc Both players checked and Mueller takes the pot showing :ah :9s against Berger with pocket fours.  Mcdow mucks his cards and takes $84,788 in 6th.

Down to five players and the official chip count after the break had Greg Mueller on top with $1.48million in chips, followed by Fred Berger and Steve Paul Ambrose on just over the million mark.  Steve Billirakis and Tony George was short stacked both having just over $400,000.

Steve Billirakis started a great run seeing his chips stack increase substantially over the next twenty hands and the early chip leader Fred Berger was on a  bit of a loosing run, seeing his stack go, loosing some big pots along the way. 

He finally went out on hand  74, loosing to Billirakis playing Limit Hold’em.  Berger raised on the button to $120,000 which was re-raised by Billirakis to $180,000, Berger calls and the Flop comes down :qc :10h :5h Billirakis opens up with a $60,000 bet and Berger moves All In for $100,000, which Billirakis calls.  Billirakis found himself in a dominating position, holding :ah :jh against :ad :2c The Turn and River were no help to Berger showing :6s :10c knocking him out in 5th taking $108,105.

Nine hands later we were down to three players after Ambrose ran into Mueller holding :ac :ad playing Limit Hold’em. Ambrose with :js :8h bet out after the Flop with it coming down :jd :10d :7d and then both players were All In after the Turn came down :ah Ambrose hit the straight with the :9d on the River but Mueller took the pot with an ace high diamond flush.  Ambrose took home the $146,259 4th place prize.

Steve Billirakis was the chip leader after this point with $2,2 million in chips followed by Mueller on 1.5million and Tony George was on the short stack with $740,000.  A great come back from Billirakis, considering his position throughout the final table, making his surge to the top at the perfect time.

Tony George was the inevitable next casualty, going out against Mueller playing No Limit Hold’em.  Both players were All In pre flop, George with :5s :5c and Mueller with :ah :ks Mueller hit the broadway straight with the board coming down :jh :10s :8c :6c :qd and George was out in 3rd winning $218,329.

Heads up play between Billirakis and Mueller lasted just over two hours, Billirakis using his large chip stack to his advantage eventually  came through as winner on hand 157.  Hitting a deuce on the flop All In with :ks :2d he held a small lead over Mueller with :4d :5d but neither player improved on the Turn  and River and Billirakis becomes the youngest player to win a WSOP bracelet winning $536,287 in the process.  This record has been broken at the last four years of the World Series of Poker, it will be a hard one to break now as its set at 21 years and 10 days.

Final Standings

  • 1st Steve Billirakis $536,287
  • 2nd Greg Mueller $328,554
  • 3rd Tony George $218,329
  • 4th Steve Paul Ambrose $146,259
  • 5th Fred Berger $108,105
  • 6th Roger Mcdow $84,788
  • 7th Kirk Morrison $63,591
  • 8th Jon Turner $46,633
  • 9th John Younger $33,915

Pit your wits against the pro’s online at Full Tilt Poker



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