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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | Francis Lee


The Amazon card room held host to event 29, the $3,000 no limit hold’em at the World Series of Poker, with 713 players starting out. $434,789 was on offer to the winner and the rest of the $2,148,000 was shared up to 72nd place.

The bubble was fast approaching as the first days play came to a close with just 81 players remaining. Alex Zaslavsky was leading the field in the chip rankings on $187,000. The bubble burst early on the second day with Roberto Romanelo being the unlucky bubble boy. This helped speed proceedings up and at the end of the day the final nine was as follows.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Matt Vengrin $1,007,500
  • 2nd Johnny Neckar $796,000
  • 3rd David Singer $534,000
  • 4th Alex Bolotin $515,000
  • 5th Stewart Newman $398,000
  • 6th John Phan $396,500
  • 7th Thuyen Doan $396,500
  • 8th Tony Dunst $333,000
  • 9th Sebastian Segovia $128,500

Short stacked Sebastian Segovia picked up :as :kh and opened up the betting, John Phan re raised, Matt Vengrin moved All In and Phan folded after Segovia made the call. Vengrin had pocket Queens and it was a race to the finish. The board came down :7c :4d :6d :4c :qh eliminating Segovia into 9th place.

The chip leader Matt Vengrin added to his chip stack eliminating Tony Dunst in the process. Dunst with pocket Kings was looking good to double up when Vengrin tabled :8c :9c The flop :10d :7d :8d wasn’t what Dunst wanted to see giving Vengrin numerous outs although none of them could be a diamond. The :jh completed Vengrin’s straight leaving Dunst needing a diamond to survive. The River was no help as the :10s finished off the board and his tournament.

After a slow start for Theyen Doan in the opening exchanges, she decided to make a stand when picking up pocket Sixes, by moving All In for $260,00. The table folded round to John Pan in the small blind and he called tabling :ah :jc Phan paired his Jack on the Flop taking the lead to which Doan never recovered.

Phan continued his good start by taking out Stewart Newman when he was dominated to start with. Phan called Newman’s All In raise with :kc :jh against :kh :qd The Flop changed the out look of the hand coming down :3c :jc :5h giving Phan the advantage. The Turn and River brought two low cards down, leaving Newman cursing his luck as he headed for the rail.

David Singer looking for his second bracelet became Phan’s next victim of as he was eliminated next into 5th place. Phan opened the betting to $54,000 from under the gun, and Singer called from the big blind the see the flop come down :ac :ks :3s Phan bet out for the same amount and Singer moved All In, Phan called instantly to see Singer table just :jd :qh on a draw when holding :kc :3c The board filled out with the :9d and :6h confirming Singers exit.

Phan continued his dominance on this table taking a commanding chip lead, picking up another knock out along the way. Alex Bolotin found his pocket Nines no good on the board showing :kd :4s :ac :4c :2h up against :ad :ks This win put Phan on $2.5 million in chips with both his last two remaining opponents on $900,000.

The two short stacked players clashed early on during three handed play with Johnny Neckar dominating Vengrin with :ad :qs against :ac :9h The Queen kicker proved decisive as the final board ran down :7d :as :ks :2h :8d eliminating Vengrin out in third place winning $167,973.

Johnny Neckar had around $1million less in chips then David Phan at the start of heads up and he made this up in the early hands. This battle turned into a marathon event as play lasted for over six hours before both players decided to play All In blind. Neckar doubled up when pairing a Nine on the Turn with :7c :9s against :qs :4d Phan doubled up in the next hand with Seven high against :4c :2s Then it was Neckar’s turn beating :ks :6s with :ks :4s pairing his four on the River. Phan took the lead back and finally finished off the event pairing an Ace on the River with :ah :9s This ended an amazing spectacle witnessed at the WSOP with Phan walking away with the $434,789 first place prize and his first WSOP bracelet.

WSOP 2008 Event 29 Final Standings

  • 1st John Phan $434,789
  • 2nd Johnny Neckar $277,452
  • 3rd Matt Vengrin $167,973
  • 4th Alex Bolotin $137,343
  • 5th David Singer $112,641
  • 6th Stewart Newman $88,927
  • 7th Thuyen Doan $69,165
  • 8th Tony Dunst $54,344
  • 9th Sebastian Segovia $39,523



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