. This is the second Hall of Fame title for Francisco, who also holds a title from the Diamond Jim Brady tournament and has cashed in several other major competitions. An investor in both the real estate and import businesses, Francisco has been playing poker for 25 years.
. Francisco came to the final table in good chip position, but when heads-up play began, runner-up Jim Bucci had almost a 2-to-1 advantage. Several hands later, Francisco seized a substantial lead when he moved all in on the flop with AC KH and Bucci, who held 7C 6C called. The flop showed 6S 5H3C, giving Bucci a pair of sixes and a gutshot straight draw. But the turn brought Francisco the KC for a higher pair, and when a blank fell on the river, Bucci was left short-stacked. It was all over two hands later when Bucci called all in before the flop with J-5 offsuit. The final board showed 7-4-3-2-10, and Francisco, who held AS 6S, won the pot and his second Hall of Fame title with an ace high.
. Bucci, a 59-year-old recreational player from Hollywood, Maryland, received $56,400 for his second-place finish. Retired from the Washington Post, where he worked as a printer, Bucci holds a title from the World Poker Finals and has cashed in several other major tournaments. He began playing poker at the age of 25.
. Winning third place in the no-limit Hold'em competition and taking home $28,200 was Mel Weiner of Los Angeles. Weiner, who came to the final table as the chip leader, was knocked out of the tournament when he moved all in before the flop with QS 7S and was called by Bucci, who held A-9 offsuit. The flop came A-Q-2 with one spade, and the 9D fell on the turn to give Bucci two pair. Only a queen could save Weiner, and when the river brought an eight, Bucci took down the pot.
. As a special note, Dan Harrington of Las Vegas, the reigning World Champion of Poker, placed 13th in the no-limit Hold'em event and pocketed $2,820 in prize money.
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