This is the first major poker tournament title for Thompson, who commented upon winning the competition, "I'm very surprised -- and I'm delighted that I finally got back some of the huge amount of money I've poured into these tournaments over the years." A poker player for more than two decades, Thompson has three previous in the money finishes at the World Series and has cashed in several other major poker competitions.
Placing second in the limit Seven Card Stud High/Low Split event and winning $54,050 was Ted Forrest of Las Vegas. A 29 year old professional poker player, Forrest captured three World Series of Poker titles in 1993 -- becoming the first person in the tournaments history to accomplish this feat -- and has to his credit several titles from other major competitions. He has been playing poker for nine years.
Andy Blumen, a 43 year old recreational poker player from Las Vegas, won third place and $28,200. The executive vice president and general counsel for Stratosphere Corporation, Blumen has finished in the money in several other major competitions and holds a Seven Card Stud High/Low Split title from the Hall of Fame Poker Classic.
The 1996 World Series of Poker continues at the Horseshoe through May 16. The $2,500 buyin limit Omaha HighLow Split (Eight or Better) competition begins today at noon, followed by the $1,500 buyin limit Ace to Five Draw (with Joker) event and the $5,000 buyin Chinese Poker event, both on May 4.
More than 4,000 entrants -- representing at least 20 countries -- are expected to participate in this years World Series, and the total money distributed is anticipated to be in excess of $11 million.