The Most Dramatic Wins (1)


Every year, there are a number of dramatic wins during bracelet events at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). With so much money on the line and with some of the top poker players in the world in attendance, you can’t help but imagine that dramatic wins will continue to pile up over time. The 2006 event has been no different. At this year’s WSOP, there have already been a number of dramatic victories. Consider a few of them as a way to mark this year’s WSOP.


One of the most dramatic wins came at event 34 of No Limit Hold’em; this one involved Phil Hellmuch, who had been to a few final tables already in 2006, but had been unable to break through with a victory at one. He was matched up against Juha Helppi who is considered a top tournament style poker player in his own right. There was a question of whether or not all that final table experience could help Hellmuch.


Helmuth was dealt picket fives to start the hand and then got to admire a five flopped. There was his set, all ready for him, but it came at a price. There were three diamonds showing. On the turn, remarkably, a fourth diamond showed up to set Helppi up with a flush. With a blank on the river, Helppi would be the victor, but in an amazing turn of events, Hellmuth made his full house on the river. A combination of excitement and disappointment filled the casino air, a strange and yet common meld at the WSOP.


Another big 2006 win happened at the Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship. As the tournament whittled its way down to four players, an all-in hand told the tale. World champion, Joe Hachem, had pushed everything in against Kevin Ho. He was down to the river and desperate, but that is when a queen saved his rear end. The crowd erupted before Hachem waved his arms to calm them as a gesture of sportsmanship. That final hand went down as not only one of the more dramatic moments at this year’s WSOP, but also as one of the greatest displays of  sportsmanship of the year as well. It showed that Hachem was not only a great poker player, but also a great champion.


There was yet another dramatic finish over at the Ladies World Series of Poker. Mary Jones Meyer and Shawnee Barton faced off on the final table. Their last hand was befitting the drama of the evening. The hand started with Barton, holding ace four in her hand, went all in before the flop. At that time, her 170,000 was easily covered by Meyer, who had a shaky queen-six hand. From there, blanks were thrown down to the felt, leaving only the final river card to decide the fate of the two women. A six found its way to the table, completing a pair for Meyer along with a WSOP victory.


Like every other year, the 2006 WSOP of poker has, thus far, provided some exciting finishes. From killer river cards to gutsy all-in bets, each year’s events provide dramatic moments that rival those of any other sport. When you bring together the best in the world at anything, put millions on the line, and roll the television cameras, you can always expect high level drama to ensue. With a year like 2006 nearly in the books, it is not too much to start thinking about the great finished that lie in wait at those tables for the 2007 event. After all, it happens every year.


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