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Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Francis Lee


The next stop on the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOP) was at the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The $5,000 buy in main event attracted 99 entrants, a little down on last years attendance but the prize pool was still a healthy $495,000. The first place prize was set at $169,327 and only the nine final players made the money.

When we reached the third and final day of the event the official chip rankings was as follows:

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Michael Martin $214,500
  • 2nd Bernard Lee $155,500
  • 3rd Ben Hock $122,000
  • 4th Samuel Shamburg $117,000
  • 5th Keith Murrell $116,500
  • 6th Dan Jensen $83,500
  • 7th Nicholas Manganaro $75,000
  • 8th Howard Wolper $63,000
  • 9th Ron Koenemann $43,000

The first elimination on this final table came in the opening exchanges. The chip leader Michael Martin made the first raise from an early position and Howard Wopler moved All In from the big blind with :ad :2c Martin made the call showing pocket Three’s which held up as the final board came down :kd :9s :4s :10d :qd

Moments later we had an almost identical situation as Wopler’s exit. Ron Koenenmann on the short stack moved over the top of Bernard Lee’s raise with :ah :6h Lee was happy to call tabling pocket Queens. The board came down :jc :9d :5c :8d :2d sending Koenenmann to the rail in 8th place.

The next player to go in the early stages on this final table was Dan Jensen when he made an All In move with :kh :jd His caller Keith Murrell held a small lead with :ac :qs going into the Flop. Murrell’s hand held up in the end as the all low board of :8d :3d :3c :6d :4s spelt the end of Jensen’s event.

This face pace on the final table continued after the break when Samuel Shamburg went out in a three way pot involving Bernard Lee and Ben Hock. The action started with an All In raise from Shamburg which was called by both Lee and Hock. The Flop came down :jh :4d :2s both players checked to see the :10s fall on the Turn. Again no one bet out and the :9s came down on the River. Both players checked again and Hock took down the pot with pocket Queens. Lee showed his loosing :ad :ks and Shamburg threw his cards in and left to collect his 6th place prize.

Fifth place went to Keith Murrell when his :ah :ks was beat by Martin’s :js :8c Martin hit two pair with the Flop coming down :10d :10h :8d and this was enough to take down the pot.

Michael Martins held a huge chip lead at this point and increased it further by eliminating the next two players in quick succession to set up the heads up showdown.

Bernard Lee was first to go when his :qs :jd was beat by Martin’s :as :5s and the final board coming down :kc :8s :3c :kd :3s Shortly after Nicholas Manganaro tangled with Martin moving over the top All In holding :jc :10c Martin made the call showing :kd :5d Neither player hit any piece of the flop and the King high was enough to take the pot.

The heads up battle between Martin and Hock lasted for over 1 ½ hours as Hock chipped away at Martin’s lead. The end came when Martin limped in and saw a Flop of :10h :6s :3h Hocked checked and then called Martin’s raise to see the :7c fall on the Turn. Hock this time check rasied, Martin went All In with :8h :4h and Hock called with :10c :6c Hock had flopped two pair but was up against Martin drawing for a flush and gun shot straight draw, having around 15 outs to take the pot. The :3c fell on the River to end Martin’s event handing Hock the top prize of $169,327 and the WSOP championship ring.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Ben Hock $169,327
  • 2nd Michael Martin $94,263
  • 3rd Nicholas Manganaro $52,039
  • 4th Bernard Lee $37,965
  • 5th Keith Murrell $33,273
  • 6th Samuel Shamburg $28,582
  • 7th Dan Jensen $23,981
  • 8th Ron Koenenmann $19,199
  • 9th Howard Wolper $14,508



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