"I'm very happy - now I can delay getting a real job," said Feldhouse, a recreational player who began competing on a serious level just last November and won the Chinese Poker event at the Queens Poker Classic two months later. This is the first time he has entered a competition at the World Series.
Placing second in the Chinese Poker event and winning $30,000 was Eli Balas, an Israeli-born jeweler from Las Vegas. A 40-year-old recreational player, Balas holds one World Series of Poker title and now has seven in-the-money finishes at the Horseshoe's annual tournament. He also has cashed in several other major poker competitions.
Tyler Wong, a 23-year-old professional gamesman from Nacogdoches, Texas, won third place and $20,000. A former fiction writing and music student, Wong has finished in the money in several other Chinese Poker events, including those held during the Hall of Fame Poker Classic and the Queens Poker Classic.
The 1996 World Series of Poker continues at the Horseshoe through May 16. The $3,000 buy-in limit Texas Hold'em event begins today at noon, followed by the $2,500 buy-in limit Seven Card Stud competition on May 6.
More than 4,000 entrants - representing at least 20 countries - are expected to participate in this year's World Series, and the total money distributed is anticipated to be in excess of $11 million.