Volume 31 • Number 1 • April 23, 2000
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2000 Champion


Event #1 Results
Dealer's Limit Hold'em
$500 Buy-in
$500 in chips
1. Dave Alizadeh$21,800
2. Von Huang10,900
3. Tom Harper5,450
4. Keith Watkins3,270
5. Gary Ding2,450
6. Blaize Hjelmgren1,910
7. C J Schoot1,370
8. Lloyd Fontillas1,090
9. Perry Lewis875
10. Chang Wu Ning655
11. John Lindwall655
12. Victor Stancio655
13. John Phan595
14. Kenny Tran595
15. Mark Mansfield595
16. Raymond Cousins545
17. Xia Byrne545
18. Howard Paquin545

Total Prize Pool: $54,500
Number of Entrants: 109

Entries to Date: 109
Prize Money to Date: $54,500


By Mike Paulle

Often the players forget that without dealers there would be no poker tournaments. In a move to add prestige to being a professional poker dealer, the World Series of Poker has established a dealer's tournament event. Some of the choicest dealers in the game showed up to challenge for the inaugural poker dealer's championship at the World Series of Poker.

There were 109 entrants in the $500 Buy-In, Dealer's Limit Hold'em for a total prize pool of $54,500. 2 tables were paid, a total of 18 players.

When Victor Stancio, a dealer at Hollywood Park in Inglewood CA, took out the all-in big blind a cheer went up from the last three tables. The first 18 players in the first WSOP dealer's tournament were in the money.

The Final Table was set up Saturday night when Chang Wu Ning, a dealer at the Garden City Casino in Los Angeles, ran into pocket Aces from Keith Watkins.

THE FINAL TABLE: 40 mins left of 1 hr. The blind are $200 and $400
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1Von HuangChandler AZ$7,200
Seat 2Blaize HjelmgrenSt. Paul MN$12,000
Seat 3Tom HarperVassar MI$4,600
Seat 4Gary DingRenton WA$6,500
Seat 5Keith WatkinsSan Diego CA$5,700
Seat 6Lloyd FontillasManila, The Philippines$800
Seat 7C J SchootColorado Springs CO$4,000
Seat 8Dave AlizadehLas Vegas NV$12,700
Seat 9Perry LewisDetroit MI$1,000

As the only Binion's Horseshoe dealer at the Final Table, Perry Lewis had the home court advantage. Unfortunately for Perry, he neglected to bring many chips with him. As his fellow Horseshoe dealers cheered him on from the rail, Lewis lasted a few all-ins before finishing in 9th when Keith Watkins turned a huge hand. Lewis went all-in with his last few chips and A Q on the turn. By then Watkins, with K 5, had a full house 5's full of Kings. At least Perry has bragging rights now. Of the seven Horseshoe dealers that entered, Lewis was the only one in the money.

From the outset, it seemed either Perry Lewis or Lloyd Fontillas, a dealer at Bay 101 in San Jose CA, would be the first one to leave. Lloyd won some big all-in hands early and looked like he'd be a factor to deal with as he got his stack up to $2,500. But Lloyd was unable to lay down pocket Kings and they took Fontillas out in 8th. In his final hand, Fontillas three-bet Dave Alizadeh's raise under the gun from the small blind. When an Ace flopped, Lloyd checked and after a long study so did Alizadeh. Dave's check sank the hook into Fontillas and insured Lloyd's demise. He couldn't lay down the pocket Kings now and they lost to Alizade A 10.

Dealer's tournaments in the past have always been characterized as wild affairs with chips flying in every direction. But these players were very serious about winning the first title ever for dealers at a WSOP event. It took over an hour to eliminate the next player as the action was extraordinarily tight. Finally short-stacked by the rising blinds C J Schoot, from the Cripple Creek Casino in Colorado, raised then went all-in on the flop with the A 10 of Clubs. Schoot didn't have enough chips to deter Keith Watkins from calling with pocket 7's. C J didn't Schoot himself in the foot, it wasn't his fault neither of his overcards hit. The 7's held up and play resumed with six.

It's a sickening feeling when your cards go dead at a Final Table. Blaize Hjelmgren, a dealer at Palace Station in Las Vegas, started out 2nd in chips and he couldn't make a hand. With his last $4,000, Blaize went down in an Hjelmgren of glory. Blaize flopped an up and down straight from the small blind against Tom Harper in the big blind. Hjelmgren had a suited 6 5, Harper has a suited A K with an A 7 8 on the flop. Blaize went up in flames for 5th as the straight didn't get there.

With the most gorgeous cheering section, Gary 'Cricket' Ding, from Sonny's Casino in Washington State, went out in 5th when his A 7 of Diamonds all-in was outkicked by Von Huang's A 9 on the button.

After several failed attempts at a deal, one that satisfied everyone was finally arrived at. As a World Series bracelet was not available for negotiation, the players decided to take their money and go home. Dave Alizadeh was the chip leader so he won the first WSOP Dealer's title, followed by Von Huang, Tom Harper and Keith Watkins.

It was a choice night for poker dealers everywhere as, for the first time, their contribution to poker tournaments is acknowledged at the World Series of Poker in an event that will only get bigger and more important as the years go by.

Super Satellite Update

The first two players to win a Super Satellite at the WSOP for the $10,000 Final Event on Friday were: O'Neil Longson (Salt Lake City UT) and Victor Perches (Las Vegas NV)

Saturday, three more players won their Super Satellite: Monsour Matloubi (London UK), Dan Alspach (La Jolla CA) and Ross Lichen (Ocean NJ).

Internet coverage of the 2000 World Series of Poker is brought to you as a service of ConJelCo with the full and active cooperation of Binion's Horseshoe. ©2000 Binion's Horseshoe • some portions © 2000 ConJelCo