EVENT #205/10/98

The Final Table
How they finished
Live From the 'Shoe
The Play-by-Play

The View from the Rail


With 17 players left in the tournament today, when only 16 would get paid, Phyllis Meyers said, "We don't want anyone to play this long and not get any money."

Everyone chipped in $50, to go to the next person out, so they would get $800. That woman turned out to be Candy Brodreaux.

Do you think men would do that?

But one woman was especially lucky today. She got knocked out of the tournament early.

The Final Table:

Seat 1Gertrude Schimmel$8,700New York NY
Seat 2Starla Brodie7,800Las Vegas
Seat 3Mandy Commanda24,000Sault Ste Marie CAN
Seat 4Esther Rossi14,000Las Vegas
Seat 5Phyllis Meyers19,700Las Vegas
Seat 6Juanda Ridgway5,500Las Vegas
Seat 7Brenda Jacobus7,800Las Vegas
Seat 8Jerri Thomas12,500Ft Lauderdale FL

What about the woman who was lucky enough to be knocked out early?

That woman was Phyllis Kessler. When Marie Gabert took her last chips, ... well, let's let Jack McClelland tell the story, "she steamed out of the tournament area, directly to the $1 slots, and hit a royal flush for $100,000."

Someone will win $1,000,000 Thursday and be the new World Series of Poker Champion. No matter who it is and how they win, it will be hard to top Phyllis Kessler's story.

The Final Table got underway at 10:02 PM, and Brenda Jacobus had finished 8th by 10:03, on the first hand. Brenda bet her hand all the way, despite Mandy Commanda's straight looking board. Brenda made Aces up, but Mandy had the straight, and served notice that she was in commanda the Final Table.

Mandy's rivered Kings beat Juanda Ridgway's pair of fours, and Juanda finished 7th.

Jerri Thomas and Esther Rossi contest a large pot that ends up with Esther all-in. Jerri started with split Jacks, and Esther with hidden Tens. Neither improved and Esther finishes 6th.

Starla Brodie was Jerri's next victim. Starla raised with her split 8's and kept betting them until she was all-in. Jerri slow played pocket Aces, that made trips on 4th street, and gave Starla enough rope to hang herself. Neither improved further and Starla finished 5th.

Gertrude Schimmel finishes 4th, when her pair of Aces loses to Phyllis Meyer's two pair.

Mandy Commanda and Phyllis went to the river, with Phyllis all-in, and her pair of fives trailing Mandy's pair of sevens. Mandy made a straight on the river, and Phyllis had to settle for 3rd place.

Mandy started heads up play with a commanding 4/1 chip advantage over Jerri Thomas, and needed only 18 minutes to win the championship.

Jerri went all-in on 4th street, with a pair of nines against Mandy's Ace high. Mandy also had three diamonds, which turned out to be the Girl's best friend. Jerri didn't improve, and runner, runner diamonds flushed the attractive and youngish looking Mandy, to the bracelet and $40,000.


$1,000 Ladies 7 Card Stud
100 Entries - $100,000 Prize Pool

1.Mandy CommandaSault Ste. Marie CAN$40,000
2.Jerri ThomasFt. Lauderdale FL20,000
3.Phyllis MeyersLas Vegas10,000
4.Gertrude SchimmelNew York NY6,000
5.Starla BrodieLas Vegas5,000
6.Esther RossiLas Vegas4,000
7.Juanda RidgwayLas Vegas3,000
8.Brenda JacobusLas Vegas2,000
9.Jane HughesLas Vegas1,500
10.Marsha WaggonerDowney CA1,500
11.Wanda KnafflLas Vegas1,500
12.Kathy LiebertLas Vegas1,500
13.Kathy Keller-KohlbergPhoenix AZ1,000
14.Terry KingLong Beach CA1,000
15.Nani DollisonLake Cormorant MS1,000
16.Petcharut MartinLas Vegas1,000



World Series of Poker insiders call it the freeloader's "freeroll", though you'll never hear them say it.

This is as much like a normal poker tournament as the Indy 500 is like your daily commute. It feels like the blinds double every five minutes. My participation in this event brought jeers from the poker players, many of whom wanted to get even for things I've written about their play.

Humberto Brenes pointed at me and laughed. "If you play bad Mike, we're putting it on the internet."

Hah! Beat you to it. I played bad. The worst part was that if I'd had a "last longer bet" with Matt Damon, I would have lost. He lasted to the third table.

Although I was out before the second level, there were extenuating circumstances. Let me tell you my favorite one.

On the first hand, when it came to his turn, Marv Cutler looked at his cards, then to the dealer. He was bewildered. He quizzically looked at the flop that had just been spread. Pointing to the flop, he asked the dealer, "Can I use those cards?"

Really, what chance did I have! Marv went on to call every bet and win most of the first six hands dealt. My chips were mortally wounded and I was soon on the rail.

The Final Table

Seat 1Mort Silverstein$9,200The Valley Explorer
Seat 2Stephen Nover5,000Vegas Insider
Seat 3Conrad Brunner5,000Trans World Int'l
Seat 4Rainer Gottlieb9,600Stuttgarter Nachrichten
Seat 5Peter Ruchman2,500Gambler's Book Club
Seat 6David Friendly12,500L. A. Times
Seat 7Melissa Hayden16,100Freelance
Seat 8Peter Alson9,600Unlimited Magazine
Seat 9Jim Barrows2,100Las Vegas Style

Rainer Gottlieb from Stuttgart, Germany dominated this event, like he was playing a day too early.

With three players left he had over 60% of the chips. Then something happened. He made a friendly bluff. Or more precisely, he tried to bluff David Friendly. That took a third of his chips.

Then Rainer tried it again. Got caught again. That took most of the remainder.

Going all-in on the small blind with J 4, Gottlieb hit with the Jack on the turn. It turned him around. He wiped out the other two players from then on.

1st Rainer Gottlieb$1,000
2nd David Friendly500
3rd Conrad Brunner300
4th Stephen Nover200
5th Melissa Hayden150
6th Peter Alson125
7th Peter Ruchman100
8th Jim Barrows75
9th Mort Silverstein50

That was fun, let's go to the free buffet.


(Becky Kerber, Barbara Lotief and Terry Vanderlip)

Single Table Satellites are run continuously 21 hours every day (8:00 AM until 5:00 AM) and usually last around 90 minutes. There are featured Satellites each day for the next day's event, as well as other Satellites depending on demand. Single Table Satellites for the $10,000 Main event and for the next no-limit Holdem event are spread frequently. Binion's charges $10 per player in a Satellite.

For the $1,010 buy-in Single Table $10,000 Satellites, ten players start with $4,000 each in chips. The blinds start at $25/50 and increase every 20 minutes. The winner gets a non-transferrable seat in the Championship Event.


The Temperature sign atop Binion's Horseshoe read 75 degrees at 3:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. The sky was partly cloudy, sunny, blue and hazy. The wind was out of the SW at 10 to 20mph most of the day.


The Ladies, particularly Mandy Commanda and Jerri Thomas, seemed to play a lot more aggressively than their counterparts in the 7 Card Stud Open Events this year.


Two Royal Flushes, both in clubs, were seen winning hands during the Ladies' 7 Card Stud Event.

But, the biggest Royal, and a sequential one at that, was made in spades, by Phyllis Kessler shortly after busting out of the Ladies' Tournament. Phyllis made her spade Royal on a $1 Video Poker machine, and it paid her $100,000.

Phyllis, who had finished third in The $2500 7 Card Stud earlier this year, said that she was going to use part of her winnings to enter her husband, Morris, in the $10,000 Championship Event. Phyllis didn't express too much confidence in Morris, who had finished third in the $3000 Omaha 8 Event. Phyllis said that she was buying a seat for Morris, because they needed the tax write-off.


ESPN will be doing TV coverage of the Final Table of the $10,000 Championship event, and it is scheduled to be aired on 12 July.

The Final Table will be held in the Special Events room (which has been the location of the 20 table Poker room during the 1998 WSOP) and Vince Van Patten will be the Celebrity Host for the telecast. Bleachers will surround the Final Table in the Special Events room, and a large screen TV will be set up in the Tournament Pavilion.

Jim Albrecht says "We expect to exceed the record 312 entries of last year."


19981997CUM DIFF
Event #1$2000 Holdem5:322:36+ 2:56
Event #2$1500 Razz4:374:023:31
Event #3$1500 Omaha3:003:592:32
Event #4$1500 Stud2:393:581:13
Event #5$1500 PL Omaha5:063:412:38
Event #6$1500 Stud Hi/Lo 83:513:083:21
Event #7$2000 NL Holdem1:593:221:58
Event #8$2000 Omaha Hi/Lo 83:493:282:19
Event #9$2000 PL Holdem4:123:113:20
Event #10$2500 Stud4:103:124:18
Event #11$2500 PL Omaha3:213:453:54
Event #12$2500 Stud Hi/Lo 85:314:125:13
Event #13$3000 Holdem5:084:265:55
Event #14$3000 Omaha Hi/Lo 83:084:264:37
Event #15$3000 PL Holdem3:562:236:10
Event #16$5000 NL 2 to 73:182:416:47
Event #17$5000 NL Holdem2:543:386:03
Event #18$5000 7 Stud2:243:484:39
Event #98$5000 Holdem4:383:126:05
Event #20$1000 Ladies 7 Stud2:14?-
Event #21$10000 NL Holdem3:47


First 20 Events: $8,982,000 (1998) vs $9,139,000 (1997)


It is not likely that any Deal was made at the Final Table of the Ladies' $1000 7 Card Stud Event.

Event #1$2000 HoldemDeal Unlikely
Event #2$1500 RazzDeal Unlikely
Event #3$1500 OmahaDeal Probable
Event #4$1500 7 StudDeal Probable
Event #5$1500 PL OmahaDeal Probable
Event #6$1500 Stud Hi/LO 8Deal Probable
Event #7$2000 NL HoldemDeal Unlikely
Event #8$2000 Omaha Hi/Lo 8Deal Probable
Event #9$2000 PL HoldemDeal Unlikely
Event #10$2500 7 StudDeal Probable
Event #11$2500 PL OmahaDeal Unlikely
Event #12$2500 Stud Hi/Lo 8Deal Probable
Event #13$3000 Limit HoldemDeal Unlikely
Event #14$3000 Omaha Hi/Lo 8Deal Probable
Event #15$3000 PL HoldemDeal Unlikely
Event #16$5000 NL Deuce to SevenDeal Unlikely
Event #17$3000 NL HoldemDeal Probable
Event #18$5000 7 StudDeal Probable
Event #19$5000 HoldemDeal Probable
Event #20$1000 Ladies 7 StudDeal Unlikely
Event #21$10000 NL Holdem


Unknown20 Minutes
Barry Shulman20 Minutes
Ray Dehkharghani20 Minutes
Unknown20 Minutes
Unknown20 Minutes
Unknown20 Minutes
Phil Tanner20 Minutes
Unknown20 Minutes
Thi Thi Tran20 Minutes
Phil Tanner20 Minutes
Paul Kroh20 Minutes
Joe Macchiaverna20 Minutes
Joe Gualtieri20 Minutes


Updated Through 8:00 PM Sunday 10 MAY 1998


John Aglialoro
"Amazon" Erik Alps
Greg Alston
Sven Arntzen
Derei Asher
Louis Asmo
Fariborz Azima
Don Barton
Joe Baumgartner
Jim Bayton
Jim Bechtel
Andrew Black
Andy Bloch
John Bonetti
Peter Brehm
Jim Brown
Doyle Brunson
Todd Brunson
Debbie Burkhead
Martin Canavan
Mike Caro
Brent Carter
"Miami" John Cernuto
Jimmy Cha
Xanthos Charalambos
Tony Chaskelson
T.J. Cloutier
Jack Culp
Allen Cunningham
Matt Damon
Cliff Davis
Gus Echeverri
Barbara Enright
Hershey Entin
Super Mario Esquerra
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
Bruno Fitoussi
Pat Fleming
Roy Flowerday
Jack Fox
John Franjesh
John Galbraith
Bill Gazes
John Gledhill
Alan Goehring
John Goodfellow
John Gordon
Scott Gray
Jack Green
Oklahoma Johnny Hale
Gorden L. Hall
Thor Hansen
Richard Harroch
Gary Haubelt
Pete Haugan
John Heaney
Phil Hellmuth Jr.
Frank Hernandez
Paul Hoenke
Randy Holland
Don Holt
Paul Honas
Ralph Hoots
Kent Hori
LA Hung
Susie Isaacs
Tom Jacobs
Berry Johnston
Crews Johnston
Casey Kastle
Steve Kaufman
"Q" Knopow
John Juanda
Jim Karambinis
Bob Karp
Earl Key
Robert Kojfer
Kathy Kolberg
Michael Konik
Brian Kruger
Paul Ladanyi
Mike Laing
William Lamkin
Frank Landen
Tony Lantz
Vasilios Lazarou
Howard Lederer
Matt Lefkowitz
Ken Lenaard
Gary Lent
Bill Lester
Andy Lin
Bob Loar
R. London
O'Neil Longson
Steve Lott
Hans "Tuna" Lund
Jan Lundberg
Hieu Ma
Mike Magee
Paul Martin
Jim Masclher
J.P. Massar
Milt Meyers
R.W. Miller
David Momico
John Morgan
Mark Napolitano
Edward Norton
Men Nguyen
Tam Van Nguyen
Michael Pancer
J.C. Pearson
Robert Perry
Ralph Perivoskin
Flan "Irish Mike" Pilkington
Amarillo "Slim" Preston
John Richman
Blair Rodman
David Roepke
Lucy Rokach
Dana Ronald
Mark Rose
Jeff Rothstein
Paul Rowe
David Rubin
Steve Rydel
Junior Sample
Luis Santoni
Larry Satterwhite
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel
Doug Segers
Barry Shulman
Fred Sigur
Randall Skaggs
H.R. Smith
Kevin Song
Max Stern
John Spadaveccia
Ron Stanley
Al Stonum
William Strother
John Strzemp
David Tagg
Richard Tatalovich
David Tavernier
Don Thompson
Judge Thumand
An Tran
Nhut Tran
Chris Tsiprailidis
Greg Turk
David "Devil Fish" Ulliott
Peter Vilandos
Marsha Waggoner
Bob Walker
Jim Ward
Charles Watkins
Lee Watkinson
Ron Weaver
David Welch
Justin Westmoreland
Ronnie Williams
Frank Wong
Bruce Yamron
Rick Young

The WSOP Report

Mandy Commanda, a 24 year-old Canadian playing in her first major tournament, dominated the field impressively to win the Women's Seven Card Stud World Championship, the biggest ladies' poker competition ever held.

"It's very exciting. When I woke up this morning I never imagined that I could beat all those women," said Commanda, the mother of two young sons who has been a "regular" poker player for just three years. "Before now the biggest tournament I ever played in had a $25 buy-in. Women are tough - I'd rather play against men," she observed, adding, "Hold'em is my best game."

During the tournament, Commanda listened to Grateful Dead music on her Walkman, having traveled with the group around the U.S. for a month in her Volkswagen van. Acknowledging that runs of good cards contributed to her comfortable chip lead, the new Women's World Champion noted that "I also stole a lot. At 2:00 p.m. I was nearly knocked out: I had $110 in chips left on fifth street and bet $100 on my pair of deuces. I won that pot and went on from there."

With a four-to-one chip advantage, Commanda was finally heads-up against Jerri Thomas. On the first, critical hand, Commanda took a big pot with two jacks, A-K-Q against Thomas's pair of jacks with Q-10 high and a busted diamond draw. Moments later Thomas was all in with 9-9/4-10-J-7/6, losing when Commanda, starting with A-Q-10 of diamonds, caught a diamond six on sixth street and then the killer five of diamonds.

"I had high hopes of winning, but it's great. I'm real happy," said Thomas, a commodities trader and for five years a serious poker player taught and coached by her husband, Harry, a World Series veteran who has won more than $300,000 here. "In five tournaments this year, I got close to the money, 28th place or better, but until tonight I never cashed. It was great. I just love to play," she said.

For third-place finisher Phyllis Meyers, the "better half" of a poker-playing duo with husband Milt, the tournament was "pure unadulterated torture." While "very disappointed" not to win, Meyers, a former real estate broker, said she'd use her $10,000 prize money to buy into the Championship Event, already entered by her husband. Meyers exited with 6h-5h/Kh which became just a pair of fives, while Commanda made a straight on the river.

Gertrude Schimmel, once the first woman Deputy Chief of the New York Police Department and a lifelong poker player, took fourth, her third money finish in this event. "It's tough when you don't have chips," she said, "but it's nice to come in the money." She was knocked out with a pair of aces by Meyers' two pair.

Finishing fifth was the 1995 Women's Champion, Starla Brodie, a poker professional for 20 years who moved to 17th on the Women's Top Money Winners list. "It was drawn out," she said. "I never really had a lot of money, but I feel okay about the result." She was all-in and out with a pair of eights, beaten by Thomas's three aces.

Esther Rossi, a poker pro for seven years, took sixth place, her 7th WSOP cash, and remained 9th on the Women's Top Money Winners list. "It was a total struggle all day for me," Rossi said. She was eliminated when her pocket tens didn't improve against Thomas's pair of jacks.

Seventh place went to Juanda Ridgway, a gaming industry consultant and former casino manager who won the 1981 WSOP Mixed Doubles event. She took two fours with a king up against Commanda's wired jacks and was knocked out, but otherwise "I was happy with my play after starting with the shortest stack."

Brenda Jacobus, l2th on the Women's Top Money Winner's list after finishing third in this year's $3,000 Limit Hold'em event, took ninth place. She finished with aces up, losing to Commanda's low straight.

Play by Play

We will announce when the play-by-play of the final table is available for this event.

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