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World Series Of Poker
 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Result  14th June
June 2, 2005 – July 15, 2005

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Event : #13
Entries : 466 (254)
Buy-in : $2000
Prize Pool : $2,190,200
Report by Nolan Dalla

Money Leaders
Pos. Player Origin Prize
1 T.J. Cloutier Richardson, TX $657,100
2 Steven Zoine Merrick, NY $352,620
3 John Bonetti Houston, TX $175,215
4 Neal Wang Los Angeles, CA $153,315
5 Jason "Doc" Berilgen Houston, TX $131,410
6 John "World" Hennigan Philadelphia, PA $109,510
7 Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf Los Angeles, CA $46,225
8 Todd Brunson Las Vegas, NV $65,705
9 Hieu "Tony" Ma S. El Monte, CA $48,805
10 Gavin Smith Guelph, Canada $24,090
16 Julian Gardner Cheshire, England $19,710
17 Micky Appleman Ft Lee, NJ $10,950
44 Paul Magriel Las Vegas, NV  $6,570 
History was made at the end of this event when poker legend T.J. Cloutier won gold bracelet number six. His victory in the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em championship marked his 58th major tournament win during the past 20 years. More importantly, the $657,100 first prize rocketed him up into second place on the all-time World Series of Poker money-winnings list. It almost didn't happen

The (now) six-time champ, who has probably taken more bad beats than anyone in WSOP history (recall his disastrous bad beat heads-up versus Chris "Jesus" Ferguson in the 2000 championship), actually drew out on an opponent when play was six-handed, spiking a six-outer that effectively propelled him across the finish line four hours later.

That decisive hand took place when opponent Neal Wang had 9-9 versus Cloutier's A-Q. With the river still to be dealt, Cloutier desperately needed to catch a pair to survive. Wham! A queen fell from the sky, and for an instant, the bad karma of getting all the money in with the best hand, only to lose, had been reversed. "It sure felt good to suck out on someone for a change," Cloutier chuckled later.

Of the 13 events held so far, this final table was unquestionably the most theatrical. It marked the return of the explosive 77-year-old, Brooklyn-born John Bonetti to poker's grandest stage. It also featured a complete newcomer to tournament poker who was making his first-ever final table. Steve Zoine picked up a book by T.J. Cloutier (co-authored with Tom McEvoy), read through it, and decided to come to Las Vegas to see if he could play poker with the very best. He couldn't possibly have imagined that just two days after getting off the plane, he would be sitting across the table from the author, battling him for a gold bracelet. And there was Cloutier himself, less than two years removed from suffering a serious heart attack and now back where he belongs, sitting at a final table, playing for a poker championship.

The total prize pool amounted to $2,190,200. The final table included four former gold bracelet winners - T.J. Cloutier (with 5 wins going in); John Bonetti (with 3 wins); Tony Ma (with 2 wins); and John "World" Hennigan (with 2 wins). But it was 37-year-old self-employed Neal Wang, from Los Angeles, who had a dominant chip lead when play began.

This was T.J. Cloutier's 47th time in-the-money at the World Series of Poker (one finish behind Berry Johnston and Phil Hellmuth) and his 37th final table appearance (he holds the all-time record). Cloutier has now won over $3.7 million at the WSOP in lifetime earnings and is second only to last year's $5 million winner, Greg Raymer. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Cloutier has now cashed 19 consecutive years at the WSOP, dating all the way back to 1986. "It always feels good to win," Cloutier said afterward. "I'm not ready for the pasture just yet. I still have a few more wins left in me. [John] Bonetti (who is now 20th all-time money winner) was here tonight and he's 12 years older than me. So, maybe I can still be doing it when I'm his age. Compared to him, I'm still a kid."

Official Report by Nolan Dalla – World Series of Poker Media Director
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