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World Series Of Poker
 $2,000 1/2 Holdem, 1/2 Stud (limit) Result
April 19th - May 24th, 2002

17th May - 144 (not run last year) players. Prizepool $270,720 (-). 1st prize $108,300 (-). New event not tried before. Ram does well in an event that he has little knowledge off. Read more
Pos. Player Origin Prize
1 Dan Heimiller NV $108,300
2 Ram Vaswani London $54,140
3 Anthony Criniti PA $27,100
4 Jeff Pierce NV $16,240
5 Alan Boston NV $13,540
6 Max Stern NV $10,820
7 Don Zewin NV $8,120
8 Paul McKinney WV $5,420
9 James Athanas CA $4,060
10 Danny Qutami CA $4,060
11 - 12 Vince Calvino, Peter Brownstein $4,060
13 - 16 Mel Judah (London), Paul Sherr, Tom Franklin, Alan Nugent $2,700
Key Plays 

With the ever-present chomped, unlit cigar in his mouth, Paul McKinney was first to leave this one. He didn't have enough chips to ignore split 9's even while seeing a raise from a Queen door card. Paul was all-in on 5th St and made 10's and 9's on the river. No good. The Queen was a pair and another pair came on the river for Queens up.

Don Zewin was 3rd in the Championship Final several years ago. He doesn't play in many events so his success ratio is still high. But Don couldn't find a hand today and went all-in from the big blind for his last two chips without looking at his hand. "I might chicken out, if I look." The only equity Zewin would get was with the big blind hand. Don turned over K 4, which was dominated in 7th place by Alan Boston's K 9.

Dr. Max Stern isn't having any trouble getting to a Final Table, but reaching the big bucks has proved difficult. The retired Pediatrician still has a child's enthusiasm for the game, even after repeated disappointments. He is a prime example of the power of perseverance. But Max does get frustrated, just as we all do. Unlike most of us, however, Dr. Stern's frustration is most commonly displayed after he's 'in the money.' Max pounded the table when Jeff Pierce showed him pocket Aces. Stern had gone all-in for his case money with A J. Bye, Doc; we'll probably be seeing you back here again soon.

'Boston' is a poker name for Alan. He has so many Final Table appearances; they had to be added up from the three different names he's cashed under. Generally regarded as a Stud specialist, he's actually a College Basketball handicapping specialist with a book written about him called "The Odds." Odds were that Alan wasn't going any higher than 5th with the cards he was getting. On fumes when the game changed back to Stud, Boston couldn't do beans with Ace high against Tony Criniti's pair of 4's.

Another guy who couldn't Pierce the big money was Jeff Pierce. Jeff was so hot from the start; you had to wonder if he'd peaked too early. That seemed to be the case as Dan Heimiller and Ram Vaswani chipped away at Jeff's stack on every hand. Like Alan Boston, Jeff Pierce is considered a Stud specialist. Maybe Jeff's expertise got him into trouble in his last hand. It's obvious to everyone watching, so it must be doubly obvious to Pierce that Ram Vaswani bluffs a lot. Pierce went all-in for $15k with a pair of sevens against Ram's Ace showing. Jeff was a mutt on this hand as Ram really did have Aces. Vaswani, the English golden boy of the moment, made Aces up to Pierce Jeff's dream of another bracelet in 4th.

It's uncommon to have a wire-to-wire victor. Tony Criniti was no exception to prove the rule. Chip leaders often lose their aggressiveness. The defensive posture is deadly when the levels are increasing. Here, the aggressive players were Ram Vaswani and Dan Heimiller. Tony Criniti would get involved in a hand and have to lay it down to surge betting by either. All-in three-handed, Criniti would have been back in the race if he'd won this hand. Tony had J 7 on the button and flopped second pair. He went all-in when a Jack hit the turn. Ram Vaswani flopped up and down with his 8 5. It was all down for Tony Criniti in 3rd when one of Ram's eight outs rivered to give Vaswani an 8 high straight.

Heads up, Dan Heimiller had a slight chip lead. It didn't seem possible that Dan would be able to stand up to the withering heat that Ram Vaswani supplies. But in the first few hands, Heimiller not only was the aggressor, he showed Ram a bluff! Normally that would be like showing a bull a red flag, but not today. Vaswani was never able to take the aggressive stance away from Heimiller. In heads up play, whoever bets the most often usually wins. It's so hard to make a hand, bluffing is mandatory. Heimiller closed Vaswani out with a Jack on the turn with his J 7 for a pair to crack Ram's all-in A 8. It was Final Table veteran Dan Heimiller that played brilliantly. After chronic bouts of frustration and self-doubt, a player that had made an amazing nine Final Tables in the last few years finally broke through to get his well-deserved bracelet. Dan Heimiller will never be the same player again. He is now a champion and will probably continue to play like one. His game is that strong.

Commentary Mike Paulle sent by Tex Whitson of Binions Horseshoe
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