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2005 World Series of Poker -- Mid Tournament Report

The 2005 World Series of Poker started its 36th year bigger and better than ever at the RIO! Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the mid point of the tournament series, Events #1 through #22 have been completed. If you were not fortunate enough to be in Las Vegas for this mega event, here are some of the updates, results and highlights for you.

Records were being made from the start as 662 casino employees entered Event #1 which was the "Casino Employee No-limit Hold'Em" tournament. The number broke the record set last year, which was 279 entrants. Andy Nguyen, a poker dealer from Binion's in Las Vegas, won this event earning a payday of $83,390. Things really picked up as Event #2 "No-Limit Texas Hold'Em" began with an astounding 2,305 players signing up to play. For comparison, the 2004 WSOP Main Event had 2,576 players in it. Allen Cunningham was the recipient of a WSOP gold bracelet and $725,405 for winning this one. Event #3 "Pot-Limit Hold'Em" had Thom Werthmann pocketing $369,535 by overcoming tough play from Layne Flack in the heads up match at the final table. Another WSOP record was set when 21 year old Eric Froehlich became the youngest person to earn a WSOP championship bracelet by winning Event #4 "Limit Hold'Em" and an additional $361,910 for his efforts. Pat Poels who quit his full time job to become a professional poker player won event #5 "Omaha Hi-Low Split". His paycheck that day was $270,100. Isaac Galazan won Event #6 "No-limit Hold'Em" a shootout tournament by defeating a determined Harry Demetriou and took home $315,125 for becoming champion.

Event #7 "No-Limit Hold'Em with Rebuys" was won by 24 year old poker tournament millionaire Michael Gracz, picking up an additional $594,460 for the win. But Michael said he would give up all the winnings just to have the WSOP bracelet, that's how much it meant to him. Event #8 "Seven Card Stud" had online qualifier Cliff Josephy claim the victory and $192,100. Erik Seidel picked up his 6th WSOP bracelet and $611,795 after winning the Event #9 "No-Limit Hold'Em" tournament. Reza Payvar who saw a marathon 13 hour heads up match to the end, won Event #10 "Limit Hold'Em". Reza, who received $303,610 and a WSOP bracelet, stated he dedicated the win to his father who passed away last year. Reza missed the 2004 WSOP to be with his father who had cancer. Online qualifier Edward Moncada won Event #11 "Pot-Limit Hold'Em" receiving his first WSOP bracelet and $298,070. The winner of Event #12 "Pot Limit Omaha" was Josh Arieh who earned his 2nd gold WSOP bracelet along with a $381,600 payday.

In his 58th major tournament win, T.J. Cloutier picked up his 6th WSOP bracelet by winning the Event #13 "No Limit Hold'Em" event and pocketing $657,100 in the process. Event #14 "Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split" lasted 36 hours, but in the end Steve Hohn picked up his bracelet and $156,985. Steve even endured a 4 1/2- hour heads up battle with Mike Wattel at the final table to capture this tournament victory! Mark Seif was able to place a desired crown on his poker resume by winning Event #15 "Limit Hold'Em Shootout" and $181,330 in his wallet. The champion for the Event #16 "No-Limit Hold'Em Shootout" tournament was Anthony Reategui, proving himself the best of 780 players for the title of champion and $269,100. Quinn Do ended up with $265,975 for winning Event #17's "Limit Hold'Em" tournament. Denis Ethier came from behind as the final table's short stack to win Event #18 "Seven Card Stud High-Low Split". Denis was rewarded with $160,682 for his effort. And Barry Greenstein became the champion of the Event #19 "Pot Limit Omaha" tournament gaining another $423,405 and a bracelet. Barry in his true humanitarian form dedicated his win to a terminally ill cancer patient named Charlie Tuttle. For Event #20 which was "Pot Limit Hold'Em", Brian Wilson won $370,685 for his efforts at the WSOP.

Todd Brunson, son of Doyle Brunson was the winner of the Event #21 "Omaha High-Low Split" tournament. Todd won $255,945 and entered World Series of Poker history, as he and his father became the only father and son to win championship bracelets. And Mark Seif captured his 2nd WSOP bracelet in a week plus $611,145 to boot by winning the Event #22 "No-Limit Hold'Em" tournament.

With an unprecedented number of players participating, it seems records are being broken and WSOP history is being rewritten almost daily. Recently the WSOP officials revised their total prize pool estimate from $60,000,000 to $100,000,000 because the amount of people entering the tournaments has surpassed even their highest expectations. When this tournament series becomes televised, the world will have a lot to watch.

Tom Howze is a webmaster for 9 sites that relate to 2005 World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events, updates and information.

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