1996 World Series of Poker

Texas Hold'em (No Limit)

$10,000 Buy-in
Entries: 295
Total Prize Money: $2,950,000

1995 Champion: Dan Harrington

1996 Champion: Huck Seed

The following report is courtesy of Tom Sims, 5/16/96

The Winners

The 1996 Champion

1. Huck Seed $1,000,000 Las Vegas, NV


2. Bruce Van Horn 585,000 Ada, OK 3. John Bonetti 341,250 Houston, TX 4. Men Nguyen 195,000 Bell Gardens, CA 5. An Tran 128,700 Las Vegas, NV 6. Andre Boyer 97,500 Las Vegas, NV 7. J. P. Schmalz 78,000 Houston, TX 8. Fernando Fisdel 58,500 Denver, CO 9. Steve Beam 44,850 Las Vegas, NV 10. David Chiu 31,200 Lakewood, CO 11. Paul Ladanyi 31,200 Las Vegas, NV 12. John Saer 31,200 Little Rock, AR 13. Chau Giang 27,300 Las Vegas, NV 14. John "Akron" Franjesh 27,300 Akron, OH 15. Steve Melton 27,300 Noble, OK 16. Berry Johnston 23,400 Las Vegas, NV 17. Dan Harrington 23,400 Las Vegas, NV 18. Frank Henderson 23,400 Houston, TX 19. John Esposito 19,500 Las Vegas, NV 20. Larry Gordon 19,500 Los Angeles, CA 21. Peter Vilandos 19,500 Houston, TX 22. Tom Hufnagle 19,500 Las Vegas, NV 23. Mike Laing 19,500 Franklin, PA 24. Hal "Deadman" Kant 19,500 Reno, NV 25. Donn O'Dea 19,500 London, England 26. Lucy Rokach 19,500 Stoke-on-Trent, England 27. Jeff Burdsall 19,500 Las Vegas, NV

The Showdown

Binion's Horseshoe, May 16, 1966 -- Huck Seed, a 27-year-old professional gambler from Las Vegas, battled a record field of 295 entrants over a four-day period to win the championship event of the 27th annual World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe Hotel and Casino. For his first-place finish in the $10,000 buy-in no-limit Texas Holdem competition, Seed was awarded $1 million and a custom-designed 14-karat gold bracelet to commemorate his victory.

"I don't know how I feel about being called the world champion", he said. "Sometimes players get lucky, but I know I can play really well and I expected to win today. I was pretty confident."

This is the second World Series of Poker title for Seed, who also captured first place in the $2,500 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event during the 1994 tournament. His $1 million championship award brings Seed's total World Series earnings to $1,392,508, and he now ranks No. 7 on the roster of all-time money winners. A former electrical engineering student at Cal Tech, Seed took a leave of absence in 1989, started playing poker, and never returned to college.

Placing second in the championship event and winning $585,000 was Dr. Bruce Van Horn of Ada, Oklahoma. A 57-year-old pathologist at Valley View Regional Hospital in Ada and the Pontotoc County Medical Examiner, Van Horn has finished in the money in several major poker tournaments during the past five years. He began playing poker in college.

"I want to go back home to Oklahoma now", Van Horn said. "I'd hate to do this for a living, but its a good hobby for someone like me. I'm just a doctor -- not a professional player -- and there's no other sport where an amateur like me can enter a tournament and end up playing with the Magic Johnsons and Henry Aarons of the game."

John Bonetti of Houston, Texas, won third place and $341,250. A 67-year-old retiree from the property management business, Bonetti also finished third in the 1993 championship event. He has to his credit three World Series of Poker titles, as well as numerous titles from other major competitions. With total World Series earnings of $1,218,832, he ranks ninth on the tournament roster of all-time money winners. Bonetti began playing poker on a serious level when he moved from New York to Texas 18 years ago.

Berry Johnston, the 1986 World Champion of Poker, placed 16th for $23,400, and also winning $23,400 for his 17th-place finish was Dan Harrington, the 1995 World Champion of Poker. The only woman placing in this years championship event was Lucy Rokach of Stoke-on-Trent, England, who finished 26th for $19,500.

The 1996 no-limit Holdem championship event attracted a record field of 295 players who posted a record prize purse of $2,950,000. This competition also marked the highest pot ever won in a World Series event -- $2,328,000.

In addition to Lucy Rokach, who ultimately placed in three events this year, 13 other women finished in the money in open events. Of particular note are Barbara Enright and Annie Duke. Enright, the only two-time Women's World Poker Champion, won the $2,500 buy-in pot-limit Texas Holdem competition held May 8. Her first-place award of $180,000 is the highest payoff for a woman in World Series history. With total earnings of $350,960, she tops the womens roster of all-time World Series money winners.

Annie Duke collected $95,363 for placing in two open events during this years tournament. With a total of nine in-the-money finishes -- more than any other woman -- and cumulative earnings of $185,346, Duke holds down the No. 2 spot on the womens list of all-time World Series money winners.

A record number of 4,267 entrants participated in the 1996 World Series of Poker, and the total prize money distributed was $11,647,000, also setting a new tournament record.

The Play by Play

Binion's Horseshoe, May 16, 1996 -- At about 1545 hours on a windy, sunny, mild Las Vegas day, Huck Seed, a 27 year old professional poker player from Las Vegas won a WSOP record $2,320,000 pot from Dr. Bruce Van Horn of Ada OK to capture the 1996 WSOP Championship event at Binion's Horseshoe.
  • Play began with a continuation of T1,000 antes and T3,000/ T6,000 blinds.
  • Some of the $ figures and other information reported below will be guesstimates, since only crucial hands were announced and the Press obscured the view frequently. There probably will be some typos in here also, I don't type well and this was so long and detailed, I didn't feel like proof reading.
  • I did not record the first few hands where Huck Seed (HS) set the tone for the final day by playing a great majority of the hands and coming into most of the pots with a small raise. HS won most of the first several hands with a Before The Flop (BTF) raise and only two hands had a flop. John Bonetti (JB) lost one of these to HS and the other to Bruce Van Horn (BVH).
  • Antes go to T2000, blinds to T5000/T10000
  • HS makes it T30,000 To Go (TG), Men Nguyen (MN) calls, flop is Q74. HS checks, MN bets T45,000, HS calls. (A) on the turn, HS bets T130,000, MN shows KQ and folds. HS is now chip leader with about T800,000.
  • HS T30,000 TG, MN raises + T200,000 in big blind (BB), all fold.
  • JB makes it T30,000 TG from the button, all fold, and Jack McClelland (JM) announces that JB has set a new WSOP record for tightness by JB: They was 27 minutes of play before JB made his first BTF raise.
  • JB bets T40,000 Under The Gun (UTG), all fold, and JB shows 23 off. JB ROOOOLS.
  • An Tran (AT) makes it T25,000 TG, HS bumps it T90,000 in BB, AT raises another T140,000 and HS folds. AT shows AA and is now a co leader with about T700,000.
  • JB walks (folded to his BB).
  • T40,000 to go by AT, no callers, shows AJ.
  • HS steals for T30,000.
  • T30,000 TG by HS, JB calls, MN raises about T200,000 all-in on the button, no callers.
  • HS steals for T30,000.
  • HS walks
  • HS limps in SB, JB checks in BB, JB bets T20,000 on a 5K6 flop and HS folds.
  • Andre Boyer (AB) has been blinded down to T55,000 and makes his first voluntary bet by going all-in in Late Position (LP) and gets no callers.
  • T35,000 TG on the button by JB, MN calls in SB, JB bets T100,000 into a 235 flop, MN moves all in with about T150,000 more, and JB folds. MN shows A4.
  • HS steals with T40,000 TG.
  • JB makes it T30,000 TG, BVH calls, AT calls, AB calls. The 57T flop is checked to AB (67) who goes all-in for about T45,000. AT (JJ) calls and AB gets 6th place when the turn and river show two more T's. AT is chip leader with T900000, followed by MN 600000, JB 580000, HS 540000, and BVH 400000.
  • MN wins a 150000 pot from HS. HS bet 60000 on turn and MN showed a KT on a checked river to win (QJ2TQ).
  • HS limped in SB, JB checked, HS bet a garbage flop, JB folded.
  • BVH steals with 40000 TG.
  • JB steals on button with 30000 TG.
  • HS steals with 30000 TG.
  • MN 40000 TG, HS calls in BB and bets 60000 into a 522 flop. MN folds.
  • 30000 TG by MN, AT calls on button, HS calls in SB. Flop is K64, HS checks, MN bets 60000, AT folds, HS checkraises 130000 more, MN shows KT and folds.
  • AT limps in in LP, MN checks BB, MN checks AK5 flop and folds when AT bets 40000.
  • AT calls UG, HS calls, BVH checks in BB. All check the A74 flop and BVH bets 50,000 to win on the turn (x).
  • JB makes it 40000 TG in LP, MN raises 100,000 more on the button and JB folds.
  • A trend that developed showed JB jumping on HS's steals and MN jumping on HS's and JB's steals.
  • 40000 TG by MN in late position, BVH calls on button and AT raises 150000 in SB. All fold and AT shows J8 suited. AT ROOOOLS.
  • AT limps in on button, JB raises 40000 in BB, AT calls. KQ4 flop is checked, JB bets 40000 on turn (9) and 40000 on river (5), is called by AT and JB wins with KJ.
  • 30000 TG by HS, called by MN and HS bets 40000 on the j83 flop. MN raises all-in about 320000 more. HS shows Jx and folds and MN shows QQ.
  • 35000 TG by HS and MN calls on button. HS bets 60000 on the Q92 flop and MN folds.
  • HS and JB both limp in blinds and HS bets 20000 and is called on the TT6 flop. JB bets 30000 on the turn (x) and HS folds.
  • MN steals for 30000.
  • HS steals for 30000.
  • AT limps UG, MN raises 50000 in SB, all fold.
  • 25000 TG by HS, BVH raises 110000, HS shows AJ and folds.
  • AT limps in SB, HS raises 20000 in BB, AT folds.
  • AT limps on button and HS and JB call in blinds. 44K is checked around. JB bets 20000 on turn (8s) and AT calls. JB bets 30000 on river (7s) which is the 4th spade and AT raises 150000. JB calls and wins with QQs. AT shows Kx.
  • BVH makes it 40000 TG UG, HS calls on the button and both check the AT3 flop. BVH bets 90000 0n the turn (5) and MN folds.
  • HS steals for 30000.
  • MN is the only one drinking anything alcoholic (heinekins) and he appears to be getting looser.
  • 30000 TG by HS and BVH calls in SB. BVH bets 100000 at the A24 flop and HS folds.
  • 40000 TG by JB UG, MN calls and the flop is all hearts A97. Both check and JB bets 70000 and is called on the (6h) turn. JB checks the river (3h) and folds when MN bets 120000. MN shows the Kh.
  • BVH limps in MP, HS calls in SB and both fold when JB raises 60000 in BB.
  • JB makes it 35000 TG in SB, MN calls in BB and JB bets 30000 and is called by MN on the all club A87 flop. JB checks and folds to MN's 40000 bet on the turn (Qc).
  • HS steals for 30000.
  • HS makes it 30000 TG, JB raises 80000, HS folds. JB shows 23 off. JB ROOOOLS.
  • MN, BVH and AT all limp in, HS raises 60000 in BB. All fold.
  • HS steals for 35000 in SB.
  • 35000 TG by HS on button, MN calls in BB. Both check the AQ8 flop. HS checks and calls 50000 on the turn (6). HS checks on the river (8), MN bets 100000 and is check raised by HS for 180000 more. MN folds. HS shows 97. HS really ROOOOLS.
  • 30000 TG by JB on button and called by BVH in BB. BVH (QJ) checks the QJ5 flop, JB (KK) bets 40000 and BVH checkraises 60000 more and is called. BVH bets 170000 and is called on the turn (T) and goes all-in for about 125000 more on the river (4) and is called by JB. Pot is about 900000.
  • BVH steals for 50000 in SB.
  • 30000 TG by MN UG, HS calls in BB. MN bets 40000 at the QJ5 flop and HS folds.
  • JB wins a small pot from HS and MN with a checked turn and river. JB had ??.
  • Ante goes to 2000, blinds to 10000/20000
  • HS limps on button, JB and MN limp in blinds, HS bets 40000 when the A57 flop is checked to him. No calls.
  • JB makes 40000 steal on button.
  • JB (88) limps UG, BVH limps, AT calls in SB and HS (73) calls in BB. AT and HS check and JB bets 100000 on the 237 flop, BVH calls, AT folds and HS raises 200000. JB calls all-in and BVH folds. Turn is a (5) and an (8) on the river saves JB.
  • HS limps in SB, JB raises 20000 in BB and HS folds.
  • 40000 TG by HS on button and MN calls in BB. They checked all the way to river and HS's Q3 won the showdown (K6Q2K).
  • MN makes 50000 steal from SB.
  • 50000 TG by HS is called by JB. (36932) is checked to river and JB shows an AT to win.
  • 40000 steal by JB.
  • HS makes it 60000 TG, MN raises all-in in SB. HS folds.
  • 70000 TG by HS, BVH calls. Both check the A38 flop, HS bets 80000 and is called on the turn (2), both check the river (7) and BVH shows Ax to win.
  • 60000 TG by JB, MN raises 100000 and JB folds.
  • BVH makes 100000 steal.
  • 40000 TG by MN UG, BVH raises 110000, MN folds, BVH shows QQ.
  • HS steals on the button.
  • HS steals in SB.
  • MN (44) makes it 70000 TG on the button and AT (AQ) calls in BB. AT bets 300000 all-in on the 456 flop, and MN gleefully calls. Turn is a (K) and river is an (A) and AT gets 5th place.
  • MN steals.
  • MN and BVH limp, HS raises 400000 all-in on button. No calls.
  • HS makes 90000 steal.
  • HS, MN and BVH all limp in and check to the river (9625J). MN shows two face cards and wins.
  • 50000 TG by MN, BVH raises 100000, MN folds.
  • HS steals for 30000.
  • HS steals for 60000.
  • HS steals all-in.
  • HS and JB limp in. JB bets on garbage flop and wins.
  • HS steals.
  • 90000 steal by JB in SB.
  • 60000 TG by HS and BVH calls. HS bets 100000 on 359 flop, BVH raises 700000 all-in, HS folds.
  • 30000 TG by MN (AKs) on button and HS (J6) raises all-in in BB. MN gleefully calls to make a 750000 pot. (45798) makes a straight for HS. HS ROOOOLS. MN has 350000 left.
  • BVH steals.
  • 60000 TG by HS on button, JB raises 100000 and calls time on MN in BB. MN folds and HS folds. JB shows AQ.
  • HS steals for 70000.
  • MN makes 300000 all-in steal in EP.
  • MN makes 300000+ all-in steal UG.
  • 50000 TG by HS on button, JB (AQ) raises 125000 in SB and MN (89s) goes all-in for the third hand in a row, raising 145000. HS folds and JB calls to make a 750000+ pot. MN finishes in 4th place as the board shows (663J3).
  • HS steals for 50000.
  • Chips: JB 1200000, BVH 1100000, HS 650000.
  • HS walks.
  • HS limps in SB, JB raises 50000 in BB, HS folds.
  • HS steals for 60000 on button.
  • HS walks.
  • HS makes it 60000 TG in SB, JB raises 200000 in BB, HS folds, JB shows 24 offsuit. JB ROOOOLS.
  • HS steals from button for 60000.
  • 80000 TG by JB on button, BVH raises 140000 in SB, JB folds and shows 35. JB almost ROOOOLS.
  • JB wins checked pot with HS, showing K high to win after river.
  • 40000 TG by JB, BVH(TT) calls. JB (??) bets 60000 and is called on the 986 flop. They both check the turn (A) and river (2) and RVH's TT wins.
  • JB (Kx) limps and HS (73) checks in the BB. They both check the KQ7 flop and JB bets 50000 and is called on the turn (3). HS bets 150000 and is called on the river (6). HS wins.
  • 50000 TG by HS, JB calls. JB bets the 993 flop and HS folds.
  • BREAK. Possibility (but no definite indication) of a deal as all 3 met with JM in an office. Don't know exact chip count, but it was pretty even. HS had a little less than others.
  • 60000 steal by HS on button.
  • JB limps on button and HS checks in BB. JB bet 20000 on river (248J5) and HS folded.
  • 60000 TG by BVH on button, JB raises 800000 all-in, BVH folds.
  • JB steals.
  • BVH steals from SB.
  • HS (??) and JB (24) play non raised blind hands. JB bets 30000 and is called on the 28T flop. Both check the turn (5) and JB bets 100000 and is called on the river (4). JB wins.
  • 50000 TG by HS on button, JB raises 200000 in SB, HS folds.
  • HS walks.
  • JB walks.
  • JB and BVH play a non raised blind hand, JB bets a 3TQ flop and BVH folds.
  • JB limps on button and HS raises 60000 in BB and JB calls. Both check the 68J flop, JB bets 80000 on the turn (9) and HS folds.
  • 60000 TG by HS (JJ) in SB, JB (33) raises 250000, HS raises 241000 more all-in and JB calls for a 1100000 pot. (689J9) wins for HS. JB probably has about 500000 left.
  • JB steals for 70000.
  • Family limp in pot. All check the 24J flop. BVH bets 80000 on the turn (8) and HS calls. Both check the river (5) and BVH wins with a J9.
  • HS and JB limp in. Both check a garbage flop and JB wins with a 40000 bet on the turn (x).
  • Antes go to 3000, blinds to 15000/30000.
  • 70000 steal by JB in SB.
  • HS steals for 90000.
  • HS and JB limp in in blinds. HS bets at TJ2 flop, JB folds.
  • 60000 TG by HS, BVH calls in BB. HS bets 40000 on the 27J flop and BVH folds.
  • HS walks.
  • HS and JB limp in. HS bets 40000 and is called on A27 flop of 3 spades. JB bets 50000 and is called on turn (6s), both check the river (T) and HS wins with Js.
  • 60000 TG by HS with two callers. All check the 7JQ flop and HS bets 170000 and is called by BVH on turn (K). HS bets 875000 on the river (3) and BVH folds. Pot was $529000.
  • HS is chip leader with 1600000.
  • HS walks.
  • BVH steals.
  • HS limps on button and BVH checks in BB. They check down a (6Q7QJ) board and BVH wins with ??.
  • HS walks.
  • BVH steals for 100000 on button.
  • 50000 TG by HS (T9s) on button, BVH (KQs) raises 150000 and HS calls. BVH bets 678000 all-in and is called on the 239 flop. Turn is a (3) and the river (Q) kept BVH alive. the pot totaled 1755000. HS has about 500000 left.
  • May have missed a nothing hand.
  • BVH steals.
  • 60000 TG by JB, all-in raise by BVH, JB folds.
  • HS walks.
  • JB steals.
  • 65000 TG by JB, BVH calls. BVH goes all-in on 8TQ flop. JB folds.
  • JB (A3) goes all-in for about 250000 on button and BVH (AJ) calls in SB. No one helps and JB is gone in 3rd place.
  • Chip position is approximately 2/1 favor of BVH.
  • BVH walks.
  • HS walks.
  • Both limp. Check the 25967 board down to the river. HS bets 50000, BVH calls. BVH wins with ??.
  • HS walks. HS limps, BVH raises 100000, HS calls. 26J77 is checked down and BVH wins with Jx.
  • HS walks.
  • HS raises 50000, BVH calls. 5TQ7x board is checked down and HS wins with Ax.
  • HS walks.
  • HS steals.
  • HS walks.
  • 70000 TG by HS, BVH calls. 68K flop is checked. HS bets 120000 on turn (6) and BVH folds.
  • Both limp and BVH bets and isn't called on 5TJ flop.
  • HS steals for 75000.
  • 90000 TG by BVH (AJ) and HS (QQ) raises all-in and is called. HS wins $1964000 pot (KK6J9).
  • HS walks.
  • HS steals.
  • Both limp. Both check the Q88 flop. HS bets 50000 on turn (3) and BVH raises 70000. HS folds.
  • HS raises, BVH calls. Check flop and turn. BVS bets 60000 on river and HS folds (AQ4T6).
  • BVH limps, HS raises 80000, BVH folds.
  • Both limp. HS bets 64Q flop and BVH folds.
  • Both limp. HS bets 60000 at K54 flop and BVH folds.
  • 80000 TG by HS, BVH raises 100000, HS calls. Both check TT4 flop. BVH bets 250000 on turn (9) and HS folds.
  • BVH limps, HS raises, BVH folds.
  • 80000 TG by HS, BVH calls. Check the AQ9 flop. HS bets turn (A) and BVH folds.
  • HS walks.
  • 80000 TG by HS, BVH calls. Both check the flop and turn (ATQJ) and BVH bets 100000 on the river (J). HS folds.
  • FINAL HAND: T80000 TG by BVH (K8s), HS (98) calls. Flop is 984 and HS bets T120000. BVH raises T210000 and HS re-raises all-in. Bruce Van Horn calls all-in, and the pot totals a WSOP record T2,320,000. The turn (Ac) gives Bruce the nut flush draw but the river (3s) gives Huck Seed the 1996 WSOP Championship. Huck Seed ROOOOOLS.
  • None of the final six wore a Tux (at least two, maybe three had shorts on) nor did Steve R., the CARDPLAYER editor, who was in attendance.
  • No public spectators were allowed in the viewing area until about 1005. There was a long line (I was 5th in line) and there was a lot of grumbling going on. They saved one section for the public and all the rest had already been filled by friends, family, Press and big poker names.
  • The Horseshoe is not a very good place to watch the WSOP. The Press (mostly camera people) made viewing extremely difficult.
  • They did have live TV monitors that helped a lot.
  • Jack Binion introduced Donald Trump before the tournament started, and DT announced that the Taj would be running a $5,000,000 tournament in AC next fall. He then let JM and Jim Albrecht fill in the details.
  • I did not see any celebrity announcer, nor did I see any ESPN cameras, or any other network that I recognized. Lots of cameras though.
  • Georgia followed the standard "returning from the Horseshoe, which is unbelievably smoky, procedure" and made me shed all of my smoke infested clothes and get into the shower as soon as I got home.
    Internet Coverage of the 1996 World Series of Poker is brought to you
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    ©1996, Binion's Horseshoe. Some portions ©1996, ConJelCo. All Rights Reserved.
    Day Three

    Page last modified: 5-17-96