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World Series of Poker roundup: Pros and semi-pros find success

2 July 2007

Israeli semi-pro wins Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball

Rafi Amit feels right at home in the World Series of Poker. The semi-professional poker player from Israel won his second career bracelet Sunday in the Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball World Championship. Amit cashed in six WSOP events in his career. He hasn't cashed in any other major-tournament play.

Amit won his first bracelet in the 2005 $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha championship. In that event, Amit became only person in WSOP history to be given a mandatory penalty during heads-up play for inappropriate language.

Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball used to be a regular WSOP staple. But as Hold'em and Omaha boomed, it was taken off the calendar. The WSOP added it to this year's schedule in response to player demand for a greater variety of games.

Veteran gambler wins first bracelet

Longtime professional gambler Blair Rodman won his first WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em championship Sunday.

Rodman, who actively gambles on golf, sports and poker, has been playing in the WSOP since 1982.

But the 53-year-old Las Vegas resident almost didn't play in this event.

"I got eliminated on late on the second day in Omaha (the day before)," Rodman explained in a post-tournament interview. "I almost didn't play (in this tournament). If I would not have been knocked out of that Omaha High-Low event, I would not have been here. So, I guess getting busted in that event was a good thing!"

Rodman took home $707,898 for his victory. New Jersey's Amato Galasso finished second and won $448,808. This is the first time Galasso has cashed in a live tournament.

Mark McKibben, who making his first trip to Las Vegas, finished ninth. He decided to enter the tournament after winning a jackpot on a slot machine. He collected $42,655 for his poker efforts.

Other notable finishes: Anna Wroblewski (4th), Roland de Wolfe (6th), T.J. Cloutier (17th), Jen Tilly (30th), David Singer (44th) and Tom McEvoy (93rd).

Schneider picks up second 2007 bracelet

Poker pro Tom Schneider won his second bracelet of the 2007 WSOP when he beat Hoyt Verner heads up to capture Event 46, the $1,000 Seven Card Stud High-Low title.

Verner reached the final table of this event last year as well.

Schneider, who hosts a poker radio show, is the first player to win multiple bracelets at this year's World Series.

Edler wins first bracelet

Not even Spiderman could stop Bill Edler. Edler, who entered final-table play in last place, rallied to beat Alex Bolotin, Erik Friberg, Greg Pohler, Dutch Boyd and Gioi Luong to win the Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em event. Spiderman star Tobey Maguire finished in the money at 66th.

It took about four hours for Edler, who began final-table play with $535,000 in chips, to capture his first WSOP bracelet. Cheering him on as he outlasted Friberg and Bolotin – who both started with more than 2 million chips – were fellow pros Erick Lindgren, Gavin Smith and Chris Bell. Edler is the first of the close friends to win a bracelet.

Edler won $904,672 for finishing in first. It was the third-highest payout of this year's WSOP. Bolotin finished in second and won $504,686. Friberg finished third.

O'Dell scoops Omaha High-Low bracelet

Frank O'Dell won his second WSOP bracelet in the $2,000 buy-in Limit Omaha High-Low event Friday. O'Dell's first bracelet came in a 2003 Omaha High-Low event.

O'Dell, who has been playing tournament poker for about ten years, beat a final table that included Marcel Luske (4th) and Stuart Patterson (8th). Thang Luu finished in second.

O'Dell won $240,057 for his efforts, but is happier about the bracelet than the prize money.

"To me a win is more important than money or anything else," O'Dell said. "It's a great experience."

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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.