EVENT #74/28 to 4/29/97
Daily Report Final Table
1."Miami" John CernutoLas Vegas$259,150
2.Thomas SparksHouston, TX134,900
3.Ron "Carolina Express" StanleyLas Vegas67,450
4.Bill GazesKensington, CA46,150
5.Bill ComeeJacksonville, FL31,950
6.Jose RosenkrantzMiami, FL24,850
7.Andreas FritzMunich, Germany17,750
8.Brian MyersLas Vegas14,200
9.Tommi HanSydney, Australia11,360
10.Barry GreensteinLos Altos, CA8,520
11.Hassan KameoiIndio, CA8,520
12.Aidan BennettDublin, Ireland8,520
13.Maria SternLas Vegas7,100
14.George HazenPort Orange, FL7,100
15.Marsha WaggonerDowney, CA7,100
16.Leon KhochayanReno, NV5,680
17.Mel WeinerLos Angeles, CA5,680
18.Nils BattyeLondon, England5,680
19.Cesare PoggiMilan, Italy4,260
20.Johnny ChanLas Vegas, NV4,260
21.Mori EskandaniLas Vegas4,260
22.Dewey WeumMonowa, WI4,260
23.Buddy WilliamsLawton, OK4,260
24.T. J. CloutierDallas, TX4,260
25.Billy BaxterLas Vegas4,260
26.John DroutsasWhittier, CA4,260
27.Brent CarterOak Park, IL4,260

Daily Report
Las Vegas, April 29, 1997. We had very strong winds again this morning, but they disappeared around noon and the rest of the day was sunny and beautiful with a high temperature in the eighties.
Smoking Survey: Bill Comee and Jose Rosenkrantz were the only ones I saw smoking at the final table.
Binion's still had some of their 1997 WSOP commemorative coins ($20 + tax) available today. As long as they are available, I will purchase a coin(s) for anyone who will pick them up COD from me in Las Vegas sometime in the near future. I don't want to get into the mailing business though.
I enjoyed today's no limit holdem final table more than any of the previous 1997 final tables. There is more excitement for me in no limit events and also I like flop games better than the stud format. I thought the level and intensity of play was pretty high. One negative (in my view) was that there were several players who took an inordinate amount of time for many (most ?) of their actions. I know that no limit actions can have severe consequences, and may require more deliberation, but it appeared to me that some of this may have been for their opponents benefit, rather than serious thinking on the slow players part.
Tom Sparks was to the left of Miami John, who sat to Bill Gazes' left, and it seemed that any time Bill made a move on the pot, Miami John would reraise, and Tom Sparks was returning the favor on Miami John's moves.

Late in the tournament, Bill Gazes told Jack McClelland that he wanted to reverse positions with Miami John at any future tournaments because Miami John was reraising him so often.

On one occasion when Miami John raised on the button, he told Tom Sparks that he hoped he had caught him with rags for at least once.

On several occasions, it appeared that the blinds folded for no apparent reason after Ron Stanley had limped in. Actually, Ron had said raise (in his quiet voice), had put the amount of the big blind into the pot, and had then announced that he was raising all in, but he did not move his chips (or not very much). Confusing, until I picked up on his system.

Presto Power: Miami John flopped a set with his pocket fives to eliminate Bill Gazes from the tournament.
Jack McClelland, the consummate professional tournament coordinator, and the best chip estimator I have ever seen, miscounted Andreas Fritz's chips after he called Ron Stanley's all in raise, and a subsequent count of the pot eliminated Andreas, although he still had chips left after he lost the hand.

As I recall, Ron raised all in for about $55K, Andreas also moved all in with about the same amount, and he was given change after Jack physically counted down his chips. As all of the chips were being moved into the center of the pot, Ron asked if Andreas had put enough in the pot, and after Ron won the pot, Jack counted it down and found that indeed, he had miscounted Andreas' chips by $10K too much. Disappointing for Andreas, but professionally and correctly handled by Jack.

Two time WSOP champ Johnny Chan received a 20 minute penalty after throwing his cards in the air, with some or all landing on the floor. During his penalty, he was blinded out of the no limit holdem tournament in 20th place. Johnny accepted the situation very graciously, and this served to reinforce the policy of exacting the prescribed penalties for violating rules, regardless of who does the violating.
The Final Table
Card by Card and Bet by Bet
WSOP Event #7: $2,000 No Limit Holdem
355 Entries, $710,000 Total Prize Pool and chips in play

Final Table chip position:
1.[T] Thomas Sparks - Houston, TX$149,0001
2.[G] Bill Gazes - Kensington, CA140,0006
3.[J] Jose Rosenkrantz - Miami, FL99,0003
4.[M] "Miami" John Cernuto - Las Vegas94,0008
5.[R] Ron "Carolina Express" Stanley - Las Vegas68,0005
6.[B] Brian Myers - Las Vegas59,0004
7.[H] Tommi Han - Sydney, Australia41,0007
8.[F] Andreas Fritz - Munich, Germany31,0009
9.[C] Bill Comee - Jacksonville, FL31,0002

Standard Abbreviations:
Bet [b]Big Blind [bb]
Bring in [bi]Call [c]
Check [ck]Fifth Street [5:]
First In [fi]Flop [fl]
Fold [f]Fourth Street [4:]
River [rv]Seventh Street [7:]
Sixth Street [6:]Small Blind [sb]
Show Down [sd]Third Street [3:]
Turn [t]Winner [w]

    Standard Flop Game Notations

    [K] Kevin Song Seat #1
    [Y] Yvan Lanvin Seat #2

    96. sb K - c K - ck Y - fl 9s 5h 7h - ck Y - b K - f Y - w K

    Interpretation: On hand #96 in heads-up play, Kevin Song had the small blind on the button, Kevin called and Yvan checked. The flop was the 9s 5h 7h. Yvan checked, Kevin bet and Yvan folded. Kevin won the hand.

    Standard Stud Notations

    [B] Peter Brownstein Seat #1
    [L] Linda Johnson Seat #2

    170. 3: 4h 9s - bi L 9s - c B 4h - 4: Ad Kc - b B - f L - w B

    Interpretation: On hand #170 in heads-up Razz play, the doorcards on third street in seat order were the 4h for Peter and the 9s for Linda. Linda's 9s made the bring-in bet and Peter called. On 4th street Peter got the Ad and Linda got the Kc. Peter Bet. Linda folded. Peter won the hand.

    Cards were in the air at 4:03 PM with Jack McClelland and Jim Albrecht presiding. The ante was $1,000 with blinds of $2,000/4,000. 44 minutes were remaining at this level. An additional $2,000 in chips are in play due to rounding up during chip races.

  1. sb C - bb J - fi r46000 M - all fold - w M shows 9 9
  2. sb J - bb B - fi r16000 R - r80000 M - all fold - w M
  3. sb B - bb R - fi r22000 C - all fold - w C
  4. sb R - bb G - fi r33000 H - c R - R shows Jh Js - H shows Ad 9c - Board 8c Th Qd Qc 9d - w R

    *** Tommi Han finishes 9th at 4:11 PM.

  5. sb G - bb M - fi c2000 G - ck M - fl Qc 6d 5h - b6000 G - c M - t 2d - b6000 G - f M - w G
  6. sb M - bb F - fi r16000 T - all fold - w T
  7. sb F - bb T - fi r12000 J - r4000 F all in - c J - J shows Ah Qs - F shows As Qh - Board Js Td 5h 7d - rv not dealt - split pot J + F
  8. sb T - bb C - fi r41000 B - all fold - w B
  9. sb C - bb J - fi r4000 B - c C - c J - fl 3d Kd 7h - all ck - t Ks - b20000+ C all in - all fold - w C
  10. sb J - bb B - fi r10000 G - c T - f J - f B - fl 9s 6c 7d - ck G - b 34000 T - f G - w T
  11. sb B - bb R - fi r15000 M - all fold - w M
  12. sb R - bb G - fi c C - f R - ck G - fl 3c 6s 8h - all ck - t Ac - b4000 G - c C - 8s - b43000 G - f C - w G
  13. sb G - bb M - fi c G - ck M - fl 6s Ks 2s - b5000 G - c M - t Ad - all ck - rv 5s - all ck - G shows 8d Js - M mucks - w G
  14. sb M - bb F - fi r46000 M - f F - w M

    *** Approx chip count: T 175K C 40K J 60K B 40K R 75K G 165K M 155K F 10K

  15. sb F - bb T - fi r21000 R - all fold - w R
  16. sb T - bb C - fi c B - r8000 G - r40000 M - c11000 F all in - c33000 B - f G - B shows Kd Qs - M shows Td Tc - F shows Ad 6d - Board 3d 3h 6h As 3c - w F main pot - w M side pot

    *** Brian Myers finishes 8th at 4:42 PM

  17. sb C - bb J - fi r20000 R - r 60000 M - all fold - w M

    *** New levels at 4:45 PM: $1,000 ante, $3,000/6,000 blinds

  18. sb J - bb R - fi R9000 F - f J - r54000 R all in - c50000 all in F - R shows 9c 9s - F shows Ad Ks - Board Qc 2c Ac 3c Kh - w R

    *** Andreas Fritz finishes 7th at 4:50 PM.

  19. sb R - bb G - folded to bb - w G
  20. sb G - bb M - fi r24000 C - c G - f M - G shows Qc Jc - C shows 3c Kc - Board: 4d 6s 7s 8s 9s - w C
  21. sb M - bb T - fi r55000 J - all fold - w J
  22. sb T - bb C - fi r14000 G - all fold - w G
  23. sb C - bb J - fi r14000 T - all fold - w T
  24. sb J - bb R - fi r24000 T - r87000 R - f T - w R shows Q Q

    *** Approx chip count: T 140K C 52K J 62K R 160K G 112K M 185K

  25. sb R - bb G - fi r57000 J - f R - c G - G shows Td Th - J shows 3s Kc - Board 8d 4d Jc 2c 6c - w G

    *** Jose Rosenkrantz finishes 6th at 5:06 PM.

  26. sb G - bb M - fi c C - c G - ck M - fl Qh Qs Td - all ck - t 4s - all ck - rv Ah - ck G - ck M - b60000 C all in - all fold - w C shows Kd Jd
  27. sb M - bb T - fi r14000 C - all fold - w C
  28. sb T - bb C - fi r14000 G - r160000 M - all fold - w M
  29. sb C - bb R - fi c G - r24000 T - all fold - w T
  30. sb R - bb G - all fold to bb - w G
  31. sb G - bb M - fi r24000 T - all fold - w T shows K K - M shows Jh Qh after deciding not to call in bb
  32. sb M - bb T - fi r17000 M - c T - fl Kd Ad Qd - all ck - t 4h - b20000 M - r40000 T - f M - w T
  33. sb T - bb C - fi r9000 T - c C - fl 8d Jd Th - ck T - b45000 C all in - f T - w C
  34. sb C - bb R - all fold to bb - w R
  35. sb R - bb G - all fold to bb - w G shows A Q
  36. sb G - bb M - all fold to bb - w M
  37. sb M - bb T - fi r12000 - f M - c T - fl Jd Qs 7d - ck T - b20000 R - r100000 T - f R - w T
  38. sb T - bb C - fi r15000 R - all fold - w R
  39. sb C - bb R - fi r24000 M - all fold - w M
  40. sb R - bb G - fi c M - r20000 C - all fold - w C
  41. sb G - bb M - fi r29000 T - all fold - w T
  42. sb M - bb T - fi r19000 G - f M - c T - fl 3c Jh Qs - b20000 T - c G - t Td - ck T - b35000 G - f T - w G
  43. sb T - bb C - fi r17000 M - all fold - w M
  44. sb C - bb R - fi c C - r25000 R - f C - w R
  45. sb R - bb G - fi r19000 T - all fold - w T
  46. sb G - bb M - fi r40000 R - all fold - w R
  47. sb M - bb T - fi r25000 R - all fold - w R
  48. sb T - bb C - fi r19000 M - r60000 T - all fold - w T

    *** Break from 5:47 until 5:58 - Don't believe a deal was discussed Approx chip count: C 70K R 140K T 210K M 120K G 160K

  49. sb C - bb R - fi c M - c C - ck R - fl 4s Js Ac - ck C - ck R - b35000 M - all fold - w M
  50. sb R - bb G - fi c M - r35000 T - all fold - w T
  51. sb G - bb M - fi c G - ck M - fl Qs 4d Td - all ck - t Kd - ck G - b35000 M - f G - w G
  52. sb M - bb T - fi r30000 M - f T - w M
  53. sb T - bb C - fi r100000 R all in - all fold - w R
  54. sb C - bb R - fi r25000 C - f S - w C
  55. sb R - bb G - fi r100000+ R all in - f G - w R
  56. sb G - bb M - fi r130000 R - all fold - w R
  57. sb M - bb T - fi r39000 C all in - c M - f T - M shows Jc Jh - C shows Ad Qc - Board 7h 6h 3s 9d 6d - w M

    *** Bill Comee finishes 5th at 6:13 PM. - Deal Break Official chip count: T 209K R 155K G 118K M 230K Deal probably made

  58. sb T - bb R - fi r106000 G all in - all fold - w G
  59. sb R - bb G - fi c R - ck G - fl 8h As 9c - b15000 R - f G - w R
  60. sb G - bb M - fi c G - ck M - fl Jd 9c 7d - b15000 G - f M - w G
  61. sb M - bb T - fi r35000 R - r96000 all in G - all fold - w G
  62. sb T - bb R - fi r30000 T - f R - w T
  63. sb R - bb G - fi r30000 M - all fold - w M
  64. sb G - bb M - folded to bb - w M
  65. sb M - bb T - fi c M - ck T - fl 9h 8s Qc - all ck - t 2h - b20000 M - f T - w M
  66. sb T - bb R - fi r30000 G - all fold - w G
  67. sb R - bb G - fi r63000 R all in - all fold - w R
  68. sb G - bb M - fi r20000 G - c M - fl Td 5c Kc - b40000 G - r180000 M - f G - w M
  69. sb M - bb T - fi r80000 R all in - all fold - w R

    *** Approx chip count: R 110K G 110K M 330K T 160K

  70. sb T - bb R - fi r35000 M - all fold - w M
  71. sb R - bb G - fi r30000 M - r 114000 T all in - all fold - w T shows Ad Kc
  72. sb G - bb M - fi r25000 T - all fold - w T
  73. sb M - bb T - fi r75000 R all in - all fold - w R
  74. sb T - bb R - fi r40000 M - all fold - w M
  75. sb R - bb G - fi r40000 T - all fold - w T showed As
  76. sb G - bb M - fi r72000 G all in - c M - G shows As 8h - M shows 5s 5h - Board Tc Qc 5d 7c Kd - w M

    *** Bill Gazes finishes 4th at 7:09 PM

  77. sb M - bb T - all fold to bb - w T
  78. sb T - bb R - fi r250000 T all in - f R - w T shows 5 5
  79. sb R - bb M - fi r25000 T - all fold - w T
  80. sb M - bb T - fi r60000 R all in - all fold - w R
  81. sb T - bb R - fi c T - ck R - fl 8s Kd 6h - all ck - t 8h - all ck - rv 6s - all ck - T shows Ks 2d - R mucks - w T

    *** New levels at 7:15 PM: $3,000 ante, $10,000/20,000 blinds Approx chip count: R 70K M 380K T 260K

  82. sb R - bb M - fi r63000 R all in - c M - R shows Kd Ts - M shows Kc 7d - Board Tc 7s 2h 9c - w R
  83. sb M - bb T - fi r140000 R all in - r300000+ M all in - f T shows Ad Qd - R shows Ac 3s - M shows Tc Td - Board 2h Kc 7c 4d 2s - w M

    *** Ron "Carolina Express" Stanley finishes 3rd at 7:19 PM. Approx chip count: T 230K M 480K

  84. sb on button T - c T - r460000 all in M - f T - w M
  85. sb M - r M all in - f T - w M
  86. sb T - f T - w M
  87. sb M - r M all in - c160000 T all in - T shows Ks Ts - M shows Ah Jh - Board Qh 2c Tc 2d Kh - w M

    *** Thomas Sparks finishes 2nd and Miami John Cernuto wins the $2000 No Limit Holdem WSOP Championship at 7:25 PM.

Final Table Chip Standings - Seat Positions

Missing Picture Respected poker veteran John Cernuto, with a heart-stopping river card, captured the title in the $2,000 buy in No Limit Hold'em event. For his victory, Cernuto was awarded record prize money of $259,150 and his second gold WSOP winner's bracelet.

"It's an absolutely wonderful experience," said Cernuto, 53, who has been a regular on the U.S. poker tournament circuit since his career as an air traffic controller was short-circuited by President Reagan sixteen years ago.

"I've always felt that to be fully accredited in the poker world, you have to win a major no limit tournament. This was my first." It was his 10th major tournament victory in various other disciplines and his 13th finish in the money at the WSOP where his earnings now total $605,595.

The victory had special meaning for Cernuto: "I dedicated this tournament to my aunt, Jean Schmidt, who passed away two days ago," he said. "She was the most poker-minded member of my family and a source of inspiration for me. I really wanted to win for her.'

Cernuto said players at the final table made the going tough --"they had good reading abilities and played back at me."

But he had the last word, dramatically, against runner-up Thomas Sparks who went all in with K-10 of spades. Cernuto called with A-J of hearts, and was immediately behind when the flop came Q-10-2 with one heart. The turn card was the diamond deuce, giving Sparks two pair and leaving Cernuto still looking for a gutshot straight. When the king of hearts fell on the river, the large crowd on the rail roared and Cernuto beamed.

Sparks collected $134,900 for second place, his biggest win in two years on the tournament circuit. Now 53, he ranked in the world's top twenty professional pool players for three years before taking up an auto dealership from which he has retired.

"I'm really happy but also disappointed," Sparks said. "I didn't come to finish second. But it's a fine experience, I'm enjoying the tournament, the atmosphere, and the way they are treating us." Speaking for the Texas contingent supporting Sparks, Dr.Phil Earle said, "Jeff is a class individual who plays with heart. In the poker world he's an ace of spades."

Third place and $67,450 went to popular local player Ron Stanley, who has a bracelet and a runner-up finish among his 11 WSOP in-the-money placings. His winnings have now reached $326,408. "I'm happy with this finish," he said. "It was a struggle all through, against various topnotch players." Stanley is also a former professional pool player. He now always attends the World Series which he called "the greatest tournment in the world." Stanley was eliminated going all in with A-3 against Cernuto who called with a pair of tens which stood up.

Bill Gazes, 30, another professional, collected $46,150 for fourth place, his first time in the money at the World Series and his largest prize ever. "I'm proud of my achievement," he said. "I love the World Series and playing against the best players from all around the U.S. and the world." All in with A-8, Gazes was knocked out when Cernuto flopped a set of fives.

With an admirable performance with the shortest stack at the final table, Bill Comee, a 50 year-old real estate developer playing in his first major tournament, survived to take fifth place. "I'm a casual player," he said. "This was a good learning experience. I only had two playable hands in some two hours, and I lost with the second one -- A-Q -- against John Cernuto's pair of jacks." Comee came west primarily for his daughter's wedding last week and said "I'll certainly give her a honeymoon present from my prize money."

Jose Rosenkrantz, 50, one of seven Costa Rican-born players already here, placed sixth and said, "I feel very good -- this is the best of my seven finishes in the money at the World Series."

Seventh place went to Andreas Fritz, 42, a former wine dealer who now plays regularly on the European circuit. "I feel great to finish at the final table at the World Series," he said. "It's a great experience." Now a part-time antiques dealer, Fritz was eliminated in a classic hold'em hand: Stanley went all in with 9c-9s and Fritz called with A-K for a $136,000 pot. The flop came Ac-Qc-2c and Fritz's European fans cheered. But the killer 3 of clubs on the river gave Stanley the flush.

Brian Myers was eliminated in eighth place when his K-Q didn't improve against Cernuto's pair of tens.

Finishing ninth was Tommi Han, 33, one of 22 Australian citizens who have arrived for this World Series. Born in mainland China, Han is a former restaurateur who now plays poker regularly in Canberra. "I feel very good," he said of his first WSOP performance.

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Page last modified: 4-30-97