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World Series of Poker 40th Anniversary Kicks Off With $40,000 Buy-In Event

Vitaly Lunkin Captures the Title and $1.9 Million

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: Jul 10, 2009

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It was a difficult decision for some tournament-circuit regulars: to play or not to play? On one hand, the $40,000 buy-in 40th-anniversary tournament kicked off the World Series of Poker and was considered to be one of the most prestigious events of the year. On the other, no one wants to start a summer campaign at the Series that far in the red. Many speculated on the final entrant count, but tournament officials were satisfied with the 201-player field and a $7,718,400 prize pool that rivaled the recent World Poker Tour Championship. Needless to say, the field was absolutely stacked with the world’s best players, at one point featuring a table that included the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Scotty Nguyen, Phil Ivey, David “The Dragon” Pham, and Bertrand Grospellier, among others. With the game’s greatest on hand, it was budding Russian superstar Vitaly Lunkin, clearly a dark horse by all ...


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