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2009 WSOP Event Number 14 Recap: Six-Handed Limit Hold'em

2009 WSOP $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em (Event #14) Recap

Event: #14
Game: Six-Handed Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $2,500
Number of Entries: 367
Total Net Prize Pool: $844,100
Number of Places Paid: 36
First Place Prize: $223,697
Date: June 5-7, 2009

The $2,500 buy-in Limit Hold’em (Event #14) at the 2009 World Series of Poker attracted 367 entrants and created a prize pool of $844,100, which was distributed among the top 36. This tournament tested short-handed poker skills rather than full table skills. Instead of the usual nine players, each table was played six-handed (or less, as players bust out). The first Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em event made its debut at the 2005 WSOP, making this event the sixth six-handed tournament played in WSOP history. The tournament officially began on Friday, June 5th, at 5 pm and ended on Sunday, June 7th, at 10:20 pm.

Since this event was not offered in 2008, there was no defending champion. However, a number of notable professionals made a bid for the title, including Barry Greenstein who finished in 30th place and Daniel Alaei who took 24th. Unfortunately for them, they were not one of the top six players who made the final table (since this was a 6-handed event there were only six players at the final table instead of the customary eight or nine).

The highlight of the final table was WSOP gold bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu, whose presence packed the spectator stands. Kyle Ray, from Fayetteville, Georgia, was the first to be eliminated, finishing in 6th place. 2002 Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better gold bracelet winner and publisher of Card Player magazine, Barry Shulman, was eliminated in 5th place. Following him was 4th place finisher Kevin Hong, from Los Angeles, California. Tommi Horkko from Tampere, Finland was sent home in 3rd place signaling the start of what was to be an epic heads-up battle between Brock Parker and Negreanu.

Negreanu was after his third Limit Hold’em bracelet, which would have tied him with Phil Hellmuth in that category, and had held the chip lead throughout most of the final table. However, once heads-up Negreanu went card dead and lost most of the final hands dealt and was eliminated fairly quickly. The final hand came when Negreanu held K-10 and made a pair of tens only to be up against Parker’s pair of aces, which held to win the tournament. The crowd that had gathered was audibly shocked at Negreanu’s elimination, while Parker’s friends – Alex Borteh and Eric “E-Fro” Froehlich - cheered him on. Negreanu was gracious as he congratulated Parker and quietly made his exit in order to join another tournament.

Brock Parker became the 2009 WSOP $2,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em champion. Parker, from Silver Spring, Maryland, is a 27-year-old professional poker player who started playing poker ten years ago. A prodigy of the card game Magic, like his friend David Williams, Parker believes Limit Hold‘em is his best game.

Froehlich, a two-time bracelet winner, credits Parker with his start in poker, “We all played Magic together, but Brock was the good poker player. We watched him play and he made all this money and it looked like fun, so we got into it also. I think a lot of (Magic players) who first got into poker came to it because of Brock . . . He was part of the Magic scene and he is responsible for many of us becoming poker players.”

“He’s an online legend, and it’s well deserved,” Borteh said of his friend, “Daniel is great as a player and a person. But a lot of people get famous because the toot their own horns. People don’t know Brock because he does not post on poker forums all day or draw attention to himself. He is a below-the-radar kind of guy.“ Parker collected $223,697 for first his victory and claimed his first WSOP gold bracelet.

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