It was a stacked field and I had my hurdles and pitfalls but I overcame them.
Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles (PRWEB) June 10, 2008
It seemed, after the first week of PokerListings.com's live coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker*, that 2008 was set to be the year of the pro.
Full-time poker professionals had clearly asserted their dominance to that point and run away with all the glory, taking eight of the first nine events.
But weekend action saw some of poker's lesser-known names finally take a measure of revenge, scooping a few gold bracelets of their own and besting the higher-profile players most were expecting to continue the domination.
First to break the spell for poker's less-celebrated was Farzad Rouhani - although certainly no poker slouch in his own right - who topped more familiar names Miami John Cernuto, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, John Racener and Greg Pappas for the title in Event 10, Omaha Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo Eight-or-Better.
Continuing the trend was Philip Tom, a surprise victor in Event 11, the $5k No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, who outlasted tough Full Tilt Poker pro Greg "FBT" Mueller heads-up for his first bracelet.
And rounding out the troika of lesser-knowns was the most surprising of them all - a mortgage broker from Charleston, South Carolina named Jimmy Shultz, who bested pros Vinny Vinh, Ali Eslami, Teddy "Iceman" Monroe, Markus Golser and Erick Lindgren in Event 12, $1,500 Limit Hold'em, to take his first major poker win.
Not to say the winners were completely without poker chops, as both Rouhani and Tom have several cashes to their names, but it was undeniably a shift from the first week's action, with star-studded final tables in virtually all events and several big name pros - Lindgren included - capturing the hardware.
Said Shultz, in his exclusive PokerListings.com post-win interview:
"I've been a poker player for about five years and this is a dream come true. I was here just to visit last year and didn't play any events.
"It was a stacked field and I had my hurdles and pitfalls but I overcame them."
Said Rouhani in his post-win interview:
"There were lots of great players in the tournament but in this game, I feel at home, especially when I come to the final table. I feel like a winner! I feel like I finally made it! I wish my wife was here to see it."
Complete interviews with all three - and plenty of other big-name pros - are all available in the PokerListings.com player interview section.
Live 2008 WSOP* coverage continues daily at PokerListings.com with updates, blogs, player interviews and photos from all ongoing events, which on Tuesday includes six more events either playing down to their conclusions or firing up their first days.
Final tables include Event 15, the $1k Ladies World Championship and Event 16, $2,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better; first- or second-day action runs for Events 17-20, including the popular $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout.
PokerListings.com's coverage is also of course capped off by the daily video recap with host Amy Macbride (above), and new video features added over the weekend include in-depth interviews with poker pros Clonie Gowen and Steve Wong.
Visit the PokerListings.com 2008 World Series live coverage section to access all features.
PokerListings.com (http://www.pokerlistings.com) was launched in 2003 and quickly became the largest online poker guide in the world. It provides poker players with in-depth reviews of all major online poker rooms, the world's best sign-up bonuses and promotions, breaking poker news and detailed content on strategy, tours, tournaments and the game's best players. PokerListings.com also has the best live poker tournament reporting on the Web, with unrivaled year-round coverage from the World Series, the World Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour and more.
(*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ('Harrahs'). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerListings.com or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.)