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World Series Of Poker
 $50,000 No Limit H.O.R.S.E Result 12th July
June 25 – August 10 2006

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Event # 20 (3 day event)
Entries -- 143 (new)
Buy-in -- $50,000
Prize Pool -- $7,150,000
David "Chip" Reese
(Las Vegas, NV, USA)
wins $1,784,640 and
his 4th bracelet
Pos. Player Origin Prize
1 David "Chip" Reese NV $1,784,640
2 Andrew Bloch NV $1,029,600
3 Phil Ivey NV $617,760
4 Jim Bechtel TX $549,120
5 T.J. Cloutier TX $480,480
6 David Singer NY $411,840
7 Dewey Tomko FL $343,200
8 Doyle Brunson NV $274,560
9 Patrik Antonius Helsinki $205,920
10 Robert Williamson III $205,920
11 Gavin Smith $205,920
12 Barry Greenstein $205,920
13 Joe Cassidy $137,280
14 David Levi $137,280
15 Ralph Perry $137,280
16 Cong Do $137,280
Key Facts 
16 places paid.
Poker Legend Chip Reese Outlasts the Competition and Wins $1,784,640 in First WSOP Victory in 24-Years

Las Vegas, NV - The latest World Series of Poker match was a throwback to an earlier era when poker all was about seemingly endless games, creaky bones, and weary faces. Card after card after card had been tossed and turned and reshuffled again and again. Exhausted spectators who had been standing and cheering hours earlier were now crashed around all sides of the gallery. And in the middle of the darkened poker room, an overhead beam illuminated a green felt table, anchored on each side by two aspiring champions, their faces chiseled with determination.

It all began four long days earlier. The biggest buy-in poker tournament on the planet took place at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Consider that it cost fifty grand -- more than the list price of a brand new Cadillac just to sit down in the big game. The 20th event on the 2006 World Series of Poker schedule attracted the toughest compilation of poker talent ever assembled inside one arena. While the world championship main event is still two weeks away, a spectacle that will shatter every previous record in poker history, this far more exclusive competition proved to be the ultimate test of overall poker skill.

Players played a rotation of poker's six most popular games - symbolized in the acronym H.O.R.S.E. - which stands for Hold'em (both limit and no-limit), Omaha High-Low Split, Razz, Seven-Card Stud, and Eight or Better. A field of 143 of the world's best poker players competed over a grueling four-day marathon, which became as much a test of mental and physical endurance as poker skill. For instance, the first day took 14 hours to complete. The second day was even longer. Day Two began at 12 noon and ended at 9:00 am the next day. After playing 21 straight hours, the nine surviving players got some well-deserved rest and returned for a final table which began at 9:00 pm on Friday night.

The 2006 World Series of Poker presented by Milwaukee's Best Light offered spectators and an ESPN television audience one of the most extraordinary final tables ever assembled in the history of the game. The nine players in the H.O.R.S.E. championship had previously won a whopping 27 WSOP gold bracelets combined. Present were former world champions, living poker legends, celebrity superstars, and a few aspiring younger champions who hoped for a breakthrough victory.

The nine finalists in the event were as follows:
SEAT 1: Jim Bechtel - 1993 World Series of Poker champion; one WSOP gold bracelet
SEAT 2: Doyle Brunson - Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame; 1976 and 1977 World Series of Poker champion; ten WSOP gold bracelets
SEAT 3: David 'Chip' Reese - Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame; three WSOP gold bracelets
SEAT 4: Dewey Tomko - High-stakes poker player; runner-up in the main event twice; three WSOP gold bracelets
SEAT 5: Andy Bloch - Formally on the M.I.T. blackjack team immortalized in the book 'Breaking Vegas'; Harvard Law School graduate; successful winning poker player for past ten years
SEAT 6: T.J. Cloutier - Former professional football player; top tournament player in lifetime cashes, final table appearances, and wins; six WSOP gold bracelets
SEAT 7: David Singer - Top tournament professional with many cashes and millions won at the poker table
SEAT 8: Patrik Antonius - Top European poker pro; many tournament cashes and wins throughout Europe
SEAT 9: Phil Ivey - Superstar poker icon; five WSOP gold bracelets

The final contest between Andy Bloch and Chip Reese posed two gladiators of similar styles and character. Reese first arrived in Las Vegas 31-years ago, fresh out of college (Reese is a graduate of Dartmouth University). He was on his way to attend law school in California, but instead found his passion and talent for cards and gambling. Since 1974, Reese has won tens of millions of dollars in high-stakes poker games and earned a well-deserved reputation as the world's best all-around player.

Bloch arrived in Las Vegas with a shorter, albeit similar story. Bloch graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later earned his degree from Harvard University Law School. Like Reese before him, Bloch opted to gamble professionally rather than work in a more conventional career. He also shared Reese's cerebral personality to a large extent - favoring substance over style, tranquility over bravado, and contemplation over haste.

At 1:00 am, as $1.7 million in cash was brought out to the table, no one in the audience nor over the worldwide listening audience on the Bluff Radio Network (carried live by Sirius) could possibly have forecasted the epic match that was to follow. When the sun cracked over the horizon the following morning, the two contenders were still sitting there face to face - thinking, planning, contemplating, strategizing, and searching for the evasive holy poker grail that would pummel the defiant into submission.

Together, they played an astonishing 300-plus hands heads-up, twice as many hands as it took to eliminate the first seven players. At one point, spectators who had left the night before began returning to the poker room again, and saw that neither player had yielded an inch in the battle of endurance and psychology.

At precisely 9:12 am, Chip Reece and Andy Bloch shattered a WSOP-record that many thought might never be broken. In the 1983 main event, Tom McEvoy and Rod Peate battled for seven straight hours. This epic duel clocked in at 7 hours, 6 minutes.

Bloch started the duel with a slight chip lead. In fact, he held the lead during most of the match. At one point, Bloch enjoyed a better than 3 to 1 chip advantage. Bloch had his opponent all-in a few times, but was never able to finish off the resilient Reese. On one occasion, Reese was extremely lucky catching a miracle card to make an inside straight to defy the odds stacked against him. Another time, Reese caught a flush to survive.

The poker game of all poker games finally ended when Reese had seized the chip lead midway through the morning and pushed all-in before the flop with ace-queen. Bloch had taken a few tough beats and was so low on chips he had to call with nine-eight. The final board showed J-7-7-4-4, giving Reese the win with the higher kicker (ace).

As the runner-up, Andy Bloch received $1,029,600. But the money was the last thing that seemed to matter to Bloch, who was so groomed to win his first gold bracelet. Very few people outside the poker world understand that this match was not about money. It was about proving something of incalculable value -- impossible to describe and too foreign to comprehend.

The winner, David 'Chip' Reese collected $1,784,640 in prize money and the gold bracelet, presented by World Series of Poker Commissioner, Jeffrey Pollack. It was Reese's fourth WSOP career win, and his first since 1982. From a historical perspective, the triumph validates the unofficial title Reese has carried throughout his storied poker career, as the world's best all-around poker player.
by Nolan Dalla
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