Volume 31 • Number 20 • May 13, 2000
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2000 Champion


Event #20 Results
TEXAS HOLD'EM (no limit)
$3,000 Buy-in
$3,000 in chips
1. Chris Bjorin$334,110
2. Paul Evans$171,570
3. Matt Lefkowitz$85,785
4. John Clements$54,180
5. Marciano Elie$40,635
6. John Cernuto$31,605
7. Carlos Mortonson$22,575
8. David Pham$18,060
9. Alfredo Moreno$14,445
10. John Aglialoro$10,385
11. Johnny Chan$10,385
12. Paul Ladanyi$10,385
13. Artie Cobb$9,030
14. Bill Gazes$9,030
15. Vasili Lazarou$9,030
16. Dimitrios Magdalinos$7,200
17. Richard St Peter$7,200
18. Barney Boatman$7,200
19. Men Nguyen$5,420
20. Ian Dobson$5,420
21. Marc-Jean Baptiste$5,420
22. John Hom$5,420
23. David Cai$5,420
24. Randal Reeb$5,420
25. Alex Gurevich$5,420
26. Don Barton$5,420
27. David Ulliott$5,420

Total Prize Pool: $903,000
Number of Entrants: 301

Entries to Date: 3,894
Prize Money to Date: $8,929,500


By Mike Paulle

Over the last few years, the popularity of No Limit Hold'em has increased markedly. After they got over being intimidated by a giant all-in bet, players realized that No Limit is the best game for protecting a player's quality hands. Today's amazing, record-smashing prize pool is an indication that No Limit Hold'em fields will continue to increase in the future.

There were 301 entrants in the $3,000 No Limit Hold'em for a total prize pool of $903,000. 3 tables were paid, a total of 27 players.

There are risks inherent in playing No Limit, also, of course. The primary one being, if someone catches with the worst hand you are history. That's what happened to John Aglialoro in 10th place. John had A Q, Alfredo Moreno had a clearly dominated K Q. But all-in John couldn't protect his hand. The board came 9 10 and a gutshot Jack on the river. After over 15 hours of incredible tension, play was over for Thursday night.

Coming back Friday afternoon, and unusually high five of the nine players at the Final Table had never cashed at the World Series before. The other four were wily veterans. Could experience prevail over chip count?

THE FINAL TABLE 38 mins left of 80. The ante is $1k. The blinds are $2,000/$4,000
PlayerHometownChip Count
Seat 1 Carlos MortonsonMadrid, Spain$55,500
Seat 2 John ClementsBrandon MS$40,500
Seat 3 David PhamBell Gardens CA$81,000
Seat 4 Alfredo MorenoLas Vegas NV$56,000
Seat 5 John CernutoLas Vegas NV$21,000
Seat 6 Chris BjorinLondon UK$121,500
Seat 7 Matt LefkowitzBrookline MA$126,500
Seat 8 Paul EvansFremont CA$236,000
Seat 9 Marciano ElieBoulogne, France$165,000

Being fearless, as Alfredo Moreno is, can sometimes be costly. Moreno tangled with a big stack belonging to Marciano Elie and came away greatly depleted. Forced to raise all-in to get some chips back, Moreno was the first to leave in 9th as his Q J of Hearts met the A 8 of chip leader Paul Evans. "Why me?" Evans said as he called Moreno's all-in. Evans didn't need the straight he made on the river; the Ace was good.

"This never happens to me," a confused David Pham lamented. Two miracle cards for his opponents cost Pham a chance at the title. David took Aces against John Clements' Jacks only to have a Jack flop. To make Pham feel even worse, John Cernuto said it was the case Jack because he threw one away. Then Pham tried A K all-in against Chris Bjorin's A Q BAM! Comes the Queen on the flop. It may be the year of the dragon, but today David 'The Dragon' Pham had to return to his lair in 8th.

Whoever drew the one seat the last few days has been having trouble getting any cards. Carlos Mortonson was watching a good poker game in the one seat today. Finally, he made a move and it was his last one. Carlos went all-in with pocket 3's. The 'Why Me' chip leader, Paul Evans was the designated Inquisitor with pocket 9's. Mortonson was burned at the stake in 7th.

For a little while the vast experience of John Cernuto over many of the players at this table looked like it was going to pay off. John did move up three spots, but the chips against him were just overwhelming. Cernuto tried to take the antes and blinds by going all-in for his last $45k from middle position with A J. Chris Bjorin, right behind Cernuto, would hear none of it with pocket Jacks. 'Miami' John's flight plan had him jetting out in 6th.

The two-day format for these events can be tough on some players. You are so hot the night before, and so cold when you come back the next afternoon. Repeatedly , Marciano Elie had to muck his hand when someone came over the top on him. Five-handed Elie tried to pick up the spare change in the middle by going all-in with the A 7 of Hearts and $63k. John 'Chicken Man' Clements woke up with pocket Aces in the small blind and the French representative of this International Final Table bid all 'adieu' in 5th.

Players always have the right to negotiate in private. The last quartet exercised that right. After hammering out a deal, play resumed. As is often the case, momentum shifted rapidly after the agreement. John Clements had surged from 8th in chips at the beginning to 2nd when the money came down. Good timing, Chicken Man. John went out 4th when on two hands to Paul Evans. John fell for Paul's check on the river and bet $100k. Evans had trip 8's and took John's bet. Later, Evans bet $70k from the small blind, Clements came over the top all-in. Paul had so many chips, it wasn't a hard call even with A 9. Clements turned over pocket Kings, the Ace fell on the flop and Clements plucked a 4th.

When you are the shortest stack, you are just looking for a hand you can double up on. Matt Lefkowitz found the hand. He bet $12k from the small blind. Paul Evans reraised him all-in from the big blind. Matt had Paul just where he wanted him. Matt had pocket Jacks, Paul had the A 4 of Spades. Matt's problem was that you can't beat a hot player. Evans had been having a naked Ace fall for him for two days. It happened again. Paul had Matt right where he wanted him, on the rail in 3rd.

With a 7-2 chip lead, this was supposed to be a cakewalk for Paul Evans to his first WSOP cash, a gold bracelet. To Paul's misfortune, he was up against one of the most experienced tournament players in the world in Chris Bjorin. Chris is especially experienced at finishing 2nd, however, in the World Series and only had one bracelet himself after years of trying. The pivotal hand for both players came when Chris bet $50k. This seemed like a steal amount to Paul. He went all-in with A J. Bjorin beat Evans into the pot with all his chips and pocket Aces. The momentum had now turned completely around. When Evans went all-it with two pair on the flop, Bjorin called with an open-ended straight draw. With a 3 on the turn, Chris had a seven high straight to Paul's 7's and 6's. After nearly 20 years of trying, Chris was Bjorin again as a winner of his second gold bracelet.

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