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Sunday, June 22, 2008 | Francis Lee


The 37th event at the World Series of Poker 2008 brought up the next $10,000 World Championship event playing Omaha Hi/Lo. This drew a very tough field of players contained in the 235 starting out. $535,687 was on offer to the winner and the rest of the $2.3 million dollar prize pool was shared down to 27th place.

The play was more calculated in this event that others recently seen, so the eliminations didn’t come as often as normal. 123 players survived the first days play meaning the second day would not see the final table set. The notable names not to make the second day included the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Scotty Nguyen, Rob Hollink, Andy Bloch, Barry Greenstein and Eli Elezra.

It was decided that the second day would concluded when there was just 18 players left standing. It took a long while to reach the bubble, which burst when Doyle Brunson and Thang Nguyen was eliminated at the same time. Play loosened up after this point and the day came to a close just after 3am, as Berry Johnson eliminated Patrick Rao in 19th place. It took four hours of play to reach the final table on the third day, the line up and chips counts was as follows.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st David Benyamine $1,200,000
  • 2nd David Chiu $730,000
  • 3rd Toto Leonidas $720,000
  • 4th Jason Gray $590,000
  • 5th Greg Jamison $450,000
  • 6th Hieu Ma $310,000
  • 7th Eugene Katchalov $300,000
  • 8th Mike Matusow $195,000
  • 9th Ram Vaswani $175,000

Mike Matusow made a great start to the final table as he Quadrupled up in the opening exchanges. Almost immediately after this Tony Ma was eliminated in 9th place as his :5h :8h flush was bettered by Toto Leonardas :9h :2h Ma missed the low draw on the final card and headed for the rail.

It took a while for the next knockout hand to come, but when it did we had three in the space of half an hour. David Chiu was first to go as his :3h :5c :5d :4c was beaten by Greg Jamison with :as :10c :ks :kc on an all high board. Ram Vaswani quickly followed Chiu as his hand of :qh :qs :6h :6s was bettered by Jamison with :as :2s :8c :7c hitting two pair. Jamison then crippled Eugene Katchalov down to his last few chips and Jason Gray finished him off on the next hand of play.

Mike “the mouth” Matusow had an up and down day, staring the day with in the chip lead, only to end up on the final table with the short stack. After a great start to the final table he continued his aggressive style of play, which eventually led to his downfall when David Benyamine crippled his down to just a few chips. Toto Leonardas ended Matusow’s run hitting two pair, Kings and Aces on the Flop when Matusow could only manage just a pair of Aces. Matusow collected $138,062 for all his hard work.

Three handed quickly turned into heads up as David Benyamine took the chip lead, eliminating Jason Gray from the tournament. Gray had a nut flush draw and a straight draw after the Flop came down :kd :jd :8h holding :ad :2d :3h :qc Benyamine called his All In with :js :10h :10d :9c in the lead but under threat. None of Gray’s out came as the :2s and :jc completed the board.

David Benyamine started off with a 2-1 chip advantage over Jamison, which he put to good use finishing off the tournament in just over half an hour. The end came for Jamison when Benyamine hit a set of Tens on the Flop and Jamison had completed a nut straight. The :jh on the Turn paired the board up giving Benyamine a full house leaving Jamison drawing dead. This was Benyamine’s first WSOP bracelet win which is a good achievement considering the tough field he had to negotiate. Along with the $535,687 first place prize he was also given the Omaha Hi/Lo 2008 world title to his name.

WSOP 2008 Event 37 Final Standings

  • 1st David Benyamine $535,687
  • 2nd Greg Jamison $331,350
  • 3rd Jason Gray $209,855
  • 4th Toto Leonidas $171,197
  • 5th Mike Matusow $138,062
  • 6th Eugene Katchalov $110,450
  • 7th Ram Vaswani $88,360
  • 8th David Chiu $71,792
  • 9th Hieu Ma $55,225



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