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Event #4 - WSOP Limit Hold'em Results & Report

37th Annual World Series of Poker

Event #4 - WSOP Limit Hold'em
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV, 89103, US
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Kianoush Abolfathi Kianoush Abolfathi Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet
Iranian-born student now living in Los Angeles wins biggest limit hold'em prize in history! Las Vegas, NV- Once upon a...
Profile: Kianoush Abolfathi
Date: June 29, 2006 Time: 12:00 PM

Buy-In: $1,500
Prizepool: $1,602,000
Entries: 1,068
Game Type: Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 USA Kianoush Abolfathi $335,389
2 USA Eric Buchman $174,938
3 USA Josh Schlein $101,318
4 USA Michele Lewis AKA "Cougar" $72,891
5 USA Vipul Kothavi $58,313
6 USA Hank Sparks $51,029
7 USA Patrick Maloney $43,735
8 Denmark Lars Hansen $36,446
9 USA Matthew Elsby $32,801
10 USA Brandon Bates $29,156
11 USA Sean Luckey AKA "Luckey" $26,970
12 USA Roger Mezhibovsky $24,783
13 USA Chad Davis $22,596
14 USA Kevin Manley $20,409
15 USA Ron Burke $18,223
16 USA Gary Margadonna $16,036
17 USA Stuart Krasney $13,849
18 USA Aaron Bartley $11,663
19 Japan Genki Jinno $9,476
20 USA Joe Cassidy $9,476
21 USA Phil Ivey $9,476
22 USA Chris McHugh $9,476
23 USA Troy Tuggle $9,476
24 USA Chris "Syracuse" Tsiprailidis $9,476
25 Netherlands Steve Wong AKA "S 18" $9,476
26 USA Jonathan Little AKA "FieryJustice" $9,476
27 USA Ryan McGuire $9,476
28 USA Young V Phan $7,289
29 USA Jason Gillis $7,289
30 USA Selma Gluhbegovic $7,289
31 USA Wyley Lynch $7,289
32 USA Michael Russ $7,289
33 Canada Greg Mueller AKA "FBT" $7,289
34 USA Howard Boyd AKA "Terry" $7,289
35 USA Peter Dominie $7,289
36 USA Julio Rodriguez $7,289
37 USA Jorge Martinez $5,831
38 USA Ed Sass $5,831
39 USA Van Nguyen AKA "mrs master" $5,831
40 USA James Giuffre $5,831
41 USA Jed Pickerson $5,831
42 USA Phil Gordon $5,831
43 USA James Green $5,831
44 USA Brad Anderson $5,831
45 USA Mitch Kroll $5,831
46 USA Robert Vollmer $4,373
47 USA Ed Brodsky $4,373
48 UK Michael Hill $4,373
49 USA Aaron Ogus $4,373
50 USA Jerry Dunning AKA "gerome" $4,373
51 USA George Billias $4,373
52 Taiwan Kuei Chi Chang $4,373
53 USA Bud Lavassani $4,373
54 USA Alan Schein $4,373
55 USA Fi Tran $3,645
56 USA Jim Wavra $3,645
57 USA Jesse Martin $3,645
58 USA Christopher Feeney $3,645
59 USA Eugene Ji $3,645
60 USA Joshua Blanchfield $3,645
61 USA Kendrick Roberts AKA "ken" $3,645
62 USA Phuong Nguyen $3,645
63 USA Paul Taylor $3,645
64 USA Victor I. Parashiv $2,916
65 USA David G. Pincus $2,916
66 USA Gregory S. Wilson $2,916
67 USA Kyle D. Miaso $2,916
68 USA Keith Sexton $2,916
69 USA Eric J. Nickelson $2,916
70 Canada Andre Ross $2,916
71 Unknown $2,916
72 USA John Jenkins $2,916
73 USA Cal Namihino $2,916
74 USA Jesse Jamison $2,916
75 USA Donald Sekorky $2,916
76 USA B I Dong AKA "TD" $2,916
77 USA Tom Koral $2,916
78 USA Claudie Holland $2,916
79 USA Jonathan Aguiar $2,916
80 USA Vanessa Rousso AKA "Lady Maverick" $2,916
81 USA James Richburg $2,916
82 USA Salim Valimahomed $2,187
83 USA Kenny Chanthamalo $2,187
84 USA Mark Jones $2,187
85 USA James Browwer $2,187
86 USA Andy Wynn $2,187
87 USA James Guill $2,187
88 USA Michael Castelli $2,187
89 USA Chad Burum $2,187
90 Canada Eric Young $2,187
91 USA Ernie Scherer III AKA "Killer" $2,187
92 USA David Stroj $2,187
93 USA Joel Black $2,187
94 USA Larry Thomas $2,187
95 USA Christopher James $2,187
96 USA Kevin Kim $1,749
97 USA Denton Gleaves $1,749
98 USA Allen Cunningham $1,749
99 USA Jeff Mervis $1,749
100 USA Tim Post $1,749

Tournament Report

Kianoush Abolfathi Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet

Iranian-born student now living in Los Angeles wins biggest limit hold'em prize in history!

Las Vegas, NV- Once upon a time there was a poker game called 'Limit Hold'em.' It was the most popular game in the land. Everywhere you went, in each cardroom and every casino, limit was the game that was played. Then, the earth shook and the poker world changed -- perhaps forever.

When ESPN began showing the 2003 World Series of Poker in prime time, millions of television viewers were exposed to an exciting 'new' poker game for the very first time. No-limit hold'em, a game previously tucked away inside smoky backrooms played regularly only by a few dusty old-timers, skyrocketed in popularity and revolutionized poker and the way it is perceived everywhere. Limit hold'em has since become poker's step-child. Sure, remains widely-played and is a staple game inside many cardrooms. But, in tournament poker, no-limit is king.

Limit poker requires a very different set of skills and strategies to win. Unlike the reckless 'all in' mentality often present at no-limit tables, limit is a game of patience and percentages. For that reason it is not nearly as dramatic to watch, due to its more methodological qualities.

Nevertheless, the first limit hold'em event at this year's World Series attracted one of the largest 'limit' fields in poker history. A whopping 1,068 players put up $1,500 each for the chance to win a gold bracelet. One-thousand, and sixty-eight entries. Ho-hum. Just another day at the 2006 World Series of Poker.

The winner was a 29-year-old Iranian-born student from Los Angeles named Kianoush Abolfathi. He won $335,289 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Abolfathi's comeback victory from one of the lowest stacks was as impressive as it was remarkable. He started at the final table eighth in the chip count. It took Abolfathi just under seven hours to obliterate eight would-be champions en route to his first major tournament victory. After two long days of play, the limit final table was set with the nine survivors. When the first hand was dealt out, seating positions and chips counts were as follows:

Name Chip Count Seat #

Vipul Kothavi	   $132,000	1
Matt Elsby	   $51,000	2
Josh Schlein	   $243,000	3
Michele Lewis	   $225,000	4
Eric Buchman	   $213,000	5
Kianoush Abolfathi $75,000	6
Lars Hansen	   $156,000	7
Hank Sparks	   $243,000	8
Patrick Maloney	   $259,000	9

The first player eliminated was the shortest stack. In fact, the hand would set the stage for what would ultimately become 'the Kianoush Abolfathi show.' Matthew Elsby was dealt pocket aces and got into a raising war with Abolfathi after making trip kings (holding K-Q) when a third-king fell on the river. The big pot put Abolfathi up to third in the chip count, zooming from pretender to contender. Elsby earned $32,801 as the first player out. Lars Hansen is one of many talented Scandinavian players who have fared well at the WSOP in recent years.

However, he went out next when he lost a series of pots and had to commit his final chips with a dog hand. The dog failed to bark, and Hansen marched away in eighth place. He received $36,446.

Patrick Maloney suffered much the same fate- a few bad hands and then low on chips -- a forced final commitment with a weak hand. Maloney's 7-6 failed to slay Michele Lewis' Q-10 and the night was over for the Las Vegas-based poker pro. Seventh place paid $43,735. Hank Sparks arrived as the co-chip leader at the start, but got a shock on his final hand of the night when his pocket nines lost to Michele Lewis' pocket tens. Sparks, appropriately enough an electrical engineer by trade, got zapped and had to settle for $51,024 for sixth place.

Vipul Kothari, from Edison, NJ was eliminated next. Kothari left in a disappointing way, losing with A-K suited after the flop brought two cards to his suit. But the flush card of salvation failed to come. All of Kothari's chips went over to Kianoush Abolfathi. Kothari went to the cage and collected $58,313 for fifth place.

The first female to make a final table appearance at this year's WSOP was Michele Lewis, a real estate broker and full-time mother of two children. Lewis arrived within striking distance of the chip lead a few times, but suffered a tough beat on her final hand of the tournament. Lewis was dealt pocket aces against Josh Schlein's Q-10 suited. After the flop came with two of Schlein's suits, a raising war broke out.

A spade on the river completed Schlein's flush and paved the exit path for Lewis. Part of her $72,891 in winnings, she says, will go to a charity that works to promote and fund cancer research.

Down to three players, just as it looked as though Josh Schlein might start to pull away from his two rivals, he took a number of disappointing beats with the second-best hand and ended up the victim of a complete chip reversal. Schlein finally busted-out with top pair (kings) which lost to Abolfathi's set of deuces. Third-place paid $101,318.

That big hand gave Abolfathi a 4 to 1 chip lead when heads-up play began. His lone opponent, Eric Buchman would prove to be a tough final blockade. Despite being out-chipped by a large margin throughout the final duel, Buchman won several key hands and did his best to pull off a comeback. He got close a few times, but in the end- the big stack and the more aggressive player who knew how to take advantage of the situation won. After 90 minutes of scratching and clawing, Abolfathi finally delivered the knockout blow with a pair of tens to Buchman's no-pair, and a new poker champion was crowned at the Rio.

As the runner-up, Eric Buchman received $174,938 in prize money. The winner showed great appreciation for the moment and proudly snapped on the coveted gold bracelet. Abolfathi was the $1,500 Limit Event champion.

by Nolan Dalla

Overall Tournament Statistics (through end of Event #4):
Total Entries to Date: 6,178
Total Prize Money Distributed: $ 7,305,690

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For official photographs from the 2006 World Series of Poker, please contact Eric Harkins (Image Masters PDI) at: Or visit:

For additions news and information from the 2006 WSOP, please contact:

World Series of Poker Commissioner- Jeffrey Pollack
Director of Sports and Entertainment Marketing (Licensing) -- Ty Stewart
Director of Sports and Entertainment Marketing (Communications)- Gary Thompson
Vice President of Specialty Gaming -- Howard Greenbaum
WSOP Tournament Director- Robert Daily
WSOP Tournament Director / Director of Poker Operations for Harrah's Entertainment- Jack Effel

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