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Event #1 - WSOP Employee Event - Limit Hold'em Results & Report

32nd Annual World Series of Poker

Event #1 - WSOP Employee Event - Limit Hold'em
Binion's Gambling Hall
128 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas, NV, 89101, US
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Travis Jonas Travis Jonas, a 30-year-old dealer who travels the tournament circuit, took down the first tournament of the 32nd annual...
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Profile: Travis Jonas
Date: April 20, 2001 Time: 12:00 PM

Buy-In: $500
Prizepool: $108,640
Entries: 224
Game Type: Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 USA Travis Jonas $40,200
2 USA Jae Kim $20,640
3 USA Dave Crunkleton $10,320
4 USA Robert Tamanana $6,520
5 USA Don Harkey $4,890
6 USA Kenny Franks $3,800
7 USA Royal Miles $2,715
8 USA Ben He $2,175
9 USA Raymond Cruz $1,750
10 USA Keith Andorfer $1,305
11 USA Brian Pordoe $1,305
12 USA Jimmy Taing $1,305
13 USA Joo Lee $1,085
14 USA Gary Ilson $1,085
15 USA James Luong $1,085
16 USA Jerome Flor AKA "Jerry" $870
17 USA Mike Sweaney $870
18 USA Penny Silman $870

Tournament Report

Travis Jonas, a 30-year-old dealer who travels the tournament circuit, took down the first tournament of the 32nd annual World Series of Poker, the casino employees limit hold'em event. He arrived at the final table with the chip lead, gradually built his stacks and scored pretty much a wire-to-wire victory to pocket $40,200 and a coveted WSOP gold bracelet.

Jonas, who started playing poker five years ago, plays a lot of ring games and small tournaments He says he played real snug at the outset of the tournament, and then used controlled aggression and gear shifting when he got to the final table.

Added drama was provided by Dave Crunkleton, a wily veteran with 50 years of poker experience and two final table finishes at WSOP championships, who is now a sports book ticket writer at Binion's. With four players left, and only a single $500 chip, Crunkleton laid down pocket eights against a scary board and then proceeded to build that $500 into $26,000 before fading, but not before he moved up one notch to collect an extra $4,000.

There were three Binion's employees at the final table and three more from the Hustler Casino. Jonas arrived with $28,300 in chips, $5,000 more than Kim Jae, a prop at the Hustler, who finished second. Jae has been playing poker for eight years and has one small tournament win to her credit.

With limits at $500-$1,000, Raimundo Cruz went out on the unlucky 13th hand with pocket aces. He went all in on a flop of J-10-2 with three clubs against Don Harkey, a sports book manager at Binion's, who held A-Q of clubs. The river brought a king of clubs and Cruz, a circuit poker dealer, was flushed out of the tournament.

Robert Tamanaha, who works in administration at the Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota, went all in a couple of times later on, but both times survived with a J-10. Instead, it was Ben He, a Hustler house player, who bowed out in eighth spot. After he was all in, Jonas and Crunkleton checked down a board of 10-10-9-4-Q, and Crunkleton's A-Q overpowered He's A-7.

Soon after limits were raised to $1,000-$2,000, Jonas paired a queen to take a big pot from Royale Miles, a lead floorman at Hustler. Left with just $1,000, Miles put it in two hands later holding K-7 or spades. Travis called on the button with 10-9. A nine flopped, and the floorman walked the final mile.

Jonas, who had been picking up chips with aggressive raises, now got hot. A hand after busting Miles, he flopped a set of jacks against Jae to build a commanding lead of about $50,000.

Young whippersnappers are catching more cards in five minutes than I do in five hours, Crunkleton grumbled good-naturedly. A few hands later, he was dealt A-K and flopped a king to beat the pocket nines held by Binion's floorman Kenny Frank and put him out. Reminded of his complaint, he said he only caught cards against old guys.

On hand number 47, Harkey, who earlier had busted Cruz by beating his pocket aces, now got a taste of his own medicine. Holding the same aces, he bet his last $2,000 into a board of K-10-2-2. Jae called with Q-J, and outran him when a river nine completed her open-end straight. Harkey was philosphical about his bad beat ("What goes around !!) and heaped praise on Tex Morgan's TEARS betting structure. "The best event I've ever played in. It gives players a chance," he said.

At the 5:30 break, Jonas still held the chip lead with about $42,000, followed by Jae with $32,000, Crunkleton with $21,000 and Tamanaha with $19,000. "I wish I hadn't sold 119 percent of myself," Jonas remarked. After winning with pocket aces and then pocket kings which turned into a full house, he raced into a big lead with $70,000, about 60 percent of all the chips on the table. Crunkleton, meanwhile, was having opposite luck. Finally, he was down to one chip when Jae bet into a board of A-10-7-Q. "Two eights can't win," he announced, and folded.

He doubled up when his K-5 held up against Joans' Q-6, then dropped back to $500 when he gave up his small blind. "Get my paperwork ready," he said. Not quite yet. He won a pot with 9-7, got a couple of walks, won when he hit his K-7 and Jae missed a flush, won a couple of pots when he wasn't called, took a big pot with A-6 against Tae's K-J when he floped an ace, and then knocked Tamanaha out of the tournament when he made a set of kings on the turn and filled on the river to hit the $26,000 mark. (This wasn't even his biggest comeback, he said later. He once was down to $75 with three tables left in a stud tournament and won it.)

But after his high-water mark, Crunkleton steadily declined. Finally, in three-way action, he four-bet a pot and went all in with Q-J, losing to Jonas' A-Q when the board came all rags.

More than 100 hands had gone by, and Jonas would need 23 more to finish the Hustler prop. Exploiting her tentativeness with aggressive betting, he built a lead of about $200,000 to her $10,000. On the final hand, Jonas held K-2 to her A-J. He put her in and won when a board of K-5-4-J-8 gave him kings to her jacks. As Jonas collected his money and bracelet and basked in his victory, he was asked what he'll do next. "I'm coming back to deal on Sunday," the dedicated dealer replied.

Max Shapiro

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