Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

World Series of Poker -- Eric Rodawig Wins $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Eight-or-Better Event

Rodawig Defeats Phil Hellmuth Heads-Up to Win a Gold Bracelet and $442,183 -- Denies Hellmuth his 12th Gold Bracelet


Eric RodawigThe 2011 World Series of Poker almost saw Phil Hellmuth win his 12th gold bracelet and first non-hold’em gold once again last night, but in the wee hours of the morning his run came up just short. Eric Rodawig won Event No. 33 ($10,000 seven-card stud eight-or-better) to claim his first gold bracelet and $442,183. Hellmuth took home $273,233 in prize money prize money and 850 Card Player Player of the Year points to bring his total for the year to 1,500. This puts him in 63rd place overall when combined with his other second-place finish at the 2011 WSOP in the $10,000 deuce-to-seven lowball championship.

Rodawig is a 26-year-old banker. He is originally from South Dakota. Rodawig graduated from Georgetown University. He now lives with his wife in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Rodawig is also a pro/instructor at the poker training website Cardrunners. He topped one of the toughest final tables of the summer, also outlasting Ali Eslami (Eighth place) Joe Tehan (Seventh place), David Benyamine (Fifth place), Ted Forrest (Fourth place), and John Racener (Third place).

Here is a look at the elimination hands as featured on’s live updates:

Ali Eslami Eliminated in 8th Place ($51,750)
Ali Eslami

Ali Eslami came to the final table as the short stack and was eliminated shortly after in 8th place. Eslami completed with the 8Heart Suit, Ted Forrest raised the 4Spade Suit and Eslami called all in on third street.

Eslami: 9Diamond Suit 4Club Suit 4Heart Suit AClub Suit 7Spade Suit 3Diamond Suit 7Heart Suit
Forrest: ADiamond Suit 4Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit AHeart Suit 8Club Suit 2Club Suit 3Heart Suit

Both players had a pair of fours on third street. Forrest made aces up on fourth street and Eslami came up short on the river with sevens-up. Ted Forrest raked the pot and Ali Eslami was the first to go in 8th place ($51,750).

Joe Tehan Eliminated in 7th Place ($62,710)Joe Tehan

Joe Tehan was all in on seventh street against Eric Rodawig in his final hand of the evening.

Rodawig: 9Heart Suit 8Heart Suit AClub Suit 7Spade Suit
Tehan: 4Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 4Club Suit QHeart Suit

Tehan turned over aces for two pair (aces and fours) but Rodawig showed JDiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit for a straight. Joe Tehan was eliminated in 7th place ($62,710).

Mikhail SavinovMikhail Savinov Eliminated in 6th Place ($77,222)

David Benyamine brought in the 3Spade Suit, Mikhail Savinov completed the bet with the 6Diamond Suit and Benyamine called.

Savinov: 7Spade Suit 7Heart Suit 6Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit 3Heart Suit 6Spade Suit 10Spade Suit
Benyamine: ADiamond Suit QClub Suit 3Spade Suit ASpade Suit 9Club Suit 5Club Suit QDiamond Suit

Benyamine was ahead on fifth street with a pair of aces when the money went in. Savinov double-paired sixes to take the lead on sixth street but Benyamine rivered a better two pair and Mikhail Savinov was eliminated in 6th place ($77,222).

David Benyamine Eliminated in 5th Place ($96,836)
David Benyamine

Ted Forrest brought it it with the 4Diamond Suit, David Benyamine called with the 10Spade Suit, Hellmuth completed the bet, Forrest folded and Benyamine called the raise.

Benyamine: 10Spade Suit 6Club Suit JHeart Suit KDiamond Suit
Hellmuth: ASpade Suit 9Heart Suit KClub Suit 7Club Suit

Benyamine was all in on seventh street and Hellmuth turned over AClub Suit 8Spade Suit 8Diamond Suit for two pair (aces and eights). Benyamine threw his hand away and Phil Hellmuth raked the pot. David Benyamine was eliminated in 5th place ($96,836).

Ted Forrest Eliminated in 4th Place ($123,904)

Phil Hellmuth brought in the 3Spade Suit, Ted Forrest called with the 6Heart Suit, John Racener completed the bet with the 7Club Suit and both players called.

Forrest: 8Club Suit 4Diamond Suit 6Heart Suit 3Diamond Suit QHeart Suit 7Diamond Suit 10Spade Suit
Hellmuth: 8Heart Suit 4Heart Suit 3Spade Suit KHeart Suit JHeart Suit KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit
Racener: AClub Suit 4Club Suit 7Club Suit QSpade Suit 2Heart Suit KClub Suit 5Heart Suit

Forrest was all in on sixth street and both Hellmuth and Racener checked the river. Hellmuth won the high half with a pair of kings while Racener took the low half. Ted Forrest bricked and was eliminated in 4th place ($123,904).

John RacenerJohn Racener Eliminated in 3rd Place ($171,122)

Eric Rodawig had previously scooped a big pot off John Racener with a flush and an 8 – 6 low. This hand left Racener crippled and with less than one big bet left. In his final hand of the night, John Racener was all in on third street and both Phil Hellmuth and Eric Rodawig checked the side pot to the river. Hellmuth bet on seventh street and Rodawig folded.

Hellmuth: ADiamond Suit 2Club Suit 2Spade Suit 8Heart Suit QHeart Suit QClub Suit 5Diamond Suit
Racener: 10Club Suit 3Diamond Suit 2Diamond Suit 6Spade Suit 7Club Suit 7 Diamond Suit KClub Suit

Hellmuth made two pair ( queens and twos) and Racener was unable to catch up. He was eliminated in 3rd place ($171,122).

Phil Hellmuth Eliminated in 2nd Place ($272,233)Eric Rodawig

Although it was Phil Hellmuth that eliminated John Racener in 3rd place, it was Eric Rodawig that crippled him the hand before and took most of the chips into heads-up play. Hellmuth started the final match at almost a 3:1 deficit with just 1.3 million to Rodawig’s 3.7 million, and just a few hands into the match and Rodawig was able to quickly extend his lead to more than 7:1.

Hellmuth fought back and began to chip up a bit before scoring a double up and putting himself right back in the running with 1.3 million to 3.7 million again. Hellmuth then lost a huge pot to Eric Rodawig’s trip threes and found himself down to just 300,000.

He quickly doubled up with a scoop after making a pair of aces and an eight-low and then doubled again with queens-up to crack Rodawig’s aces. Hellmuth’s luck would soon run out and on the final hand of the night, Hellmuth three-bet all in for 280,000 on third street and Eric Rodawig called.

Rodawig: AHeart Suit 8Diamond Suit 3Club Suit 2Spade Suit 2Club Suit 3Diamond Suit KDiamond Suit
Hellmuth: JClub Suit 10Club Suit 9Heart Suit 5Club Suit 4Heart Suit 7Spade Suit JHeart Suit

Rodawig made two pair on sixth street and Hellmuth missed on the the river. Phil Hellmuth was eliminated in 2nd place ($272,233) while Eric Rodawig joins John Juanda as the second person this summer to deny Phil Hellmuth what would have been his record-breaking 12th WSOP gold bracelet. In addition, Eric Rodawig wins the gold bracelet in Event #33 and the $442,183 grand prize.