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Sunday, June 8, 2008 | Francis Lee


The first $2,000 buy in event at this years World Series of Poker was event 7 in the series. Day one started out with 1592 players starting out creating a total prize pool of $3,184,000. The top 152 finishers all made the money with the first place prize set at $550,601.

The day started out with a lot of early eliminations with some of the top names in poker going early on. These included Jennifer Tilly, Antonio Esfandiari, and TJ Cloutier. Theo Tran who was set to make his final table appearance in Event 2 later that day was doing well and ended up the chip leader at the close of play. The bubble had burst in the final few hands with Iacobellis and Sarah Bilney sharing the cash as both were eliminated at the same time.

Theo Tran continued his good work into the second days play, ending the day still in the chip lead going into the final table on $1,884,000 in chips. His nearest rival Mihai Manole had just over $1 million in chips. J.C Tran and Chris Bjorin brought up the rear on the short stacks on around the $200,000 mark.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Theo Tran $1,884,000
  • 2nd Mihai Manole $1,020,000
  • 3rd Matt Keikoan $1,011,000
  • 4th Carter Gill $652,000
  • 5th Shannon Shorr $627,000
  • 6th Mike Lisanti $358,000
  • 7th Alex Bolotin $345,000
  • 8th J.C Tran $273,000
  • 9th Chris Bjorin $205,000

The first two eliminations came with in the first few orbit’s on this final table. First of all Mike Lisanti found his :ad :ks dominated up against Matt Keikoan with pocket Kings. No Ace on the board meant Lisanti headed for the rail in 9th place. Just a few hands later Theo Tran with :as :jh hit an Ace on the Flop up against Alex Bolotin with pocket Nines, which was enough to eliminate him in 8th place.

Not long after J.C Tran was gone as his pocket Tens was beaten by Carter Gill’s pocket Kings with no Ten coming on the board. Two time WSOP bracelet winner Chris Bjorin managed to make his short stack last till this point, and his All In move was called by both Gill and Mihai Malone. Bjorin was leading with :kc :9c after the Turn but Gill hit a straight on River to send him to the rail in 6th place.

Malone had a decent chip stack but was the next player out when tangling with Theo Tran. Tran called Malone All In with pocket Fives after hitting a set on the flop, with Malone having top pair and Ace kicker. This was too much of a mountain for Malone to climb and he ended up collecting $155,013 in 5th place.

Play slowed down at this point which saw Shannon Shorr come to life after a quiet start. Shorr then doubled up against Theo Tran hitting a set of Sevens on the Flop, to which Tran mucked once he saw what he was up against. This hand was the beginning of the end for Tran as on the next hand he found himself all in with pocket Sevens up against Gill with pocket Jacks. No Seven on the board meant the long time chip leader was gone in 4th place.

Soon after Tran’s exit we were down to the heads up showdown. Gill picked up pocket jacks, put in a large bet and was called by both Shorr and Keikoan. Keikoan led out after the Flop had come down :3d :6s :9c Gill moved All In and Shorr left the two to battle it out. Keikoan made the call revealing pocket Sixes having flopped a set which left Gill crippled. On the next hand Gill was All In with :8h :6h but found himself up against Keikoan with the big slick. The flop was :kc :qh :4h giving Keikoan the lead but Gill had outs with a flush draw. The :2c and :4s completed the board leaving Gill to head for the rail in 3rd place collecting $228,897.

The chip stacks of both players were pretty even at the start of heads up and it took around 70 hands to complete. During this time Keikoan had ground Shorr down to $450,000 in chips before Shorr went All In with :10s :6h Keikoan made the call with :ks :5s and ended up making a full house with the final board showing :kh :7c :7d :qd :kd to end the event. Shorr collected $349,141 finishing in second leaving Keikoan to pick up the $550,601 first place prize and the exclusive WSOP bracelet.

Final Standings

  • 1st Matt Keikoan $550,601
  • 2nd Shannon Shorr $349,141
  • 3rd Carter Gill $228,897
  • 4th Theo Tran $191,231
  • 5th Mihai Manole $155,013
  • 6th Chris Bjorin $123,141
  • 7th J.C Tran $94,166
  • 8th Alex Bolotin $72,436
  • 9th Mike Lisanti $50,705



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