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WSOP: James Schaaf Wins Event No. 51

Schaaf Takes Home His First Gold WSOP Bracelet


James SchaafWith a final table that featured Phil Hellmuth vying for his record breaking 12th bracelet, James Schaaf was probably not the crowd's favorite to win the tournament.  However, through aggressive play in all games Schaaf was able to accumulate chips and eventually capture his first World Series of Poker title.

Here were the chip counts heading into the final table:

Seat 1 - James Schaaf - 392,000
Seat 2 - Matt Grapenthien - 46,000
Seat 3 - Sam Silverman - 310,000
Seat 4 - Phil Hellmuth - 400,000
Seat 5 - Jason Dollinger - 346,000
Seat 6 - Tommy Hang - 680,000
Seat 7 - Victor Ramdin - 78,000
Seat 8 - Esther Rossi - 166,000

Here are highlights from all of the action, as featured in’s live coverage of the final table:

Edward BrogdonEdward Brogdon Eliminated in 9th Place ($22,031)

Not long after combining into one nine-handed table, Edward Brogdon became the final table bubble boy after being eliminated by current chip leader Tommy Hang.  Brogdon and Hang got it all in pre-flop, with 106 for Hang and 77 for Brogdon.  The final board read KQ432, and Brogdon earned $22,031 for his “unlucky” 9th place finish.

Matt Grapenthien Eliminated in 8th Place($27,511)

The final table saw its first elimination during the Omaha eight-or-better round.  Matt Grapenthien limped in pre-flop and Tommy Hang completed from the small blind.  Victor Ramdin checked his big blind option and the three players saw a flop of AKQ.  The action checked around, and the dealer put down the A on the turn.  Again Hang and Ramdin checked, but this time Grapentien put out a bet.  Hang check-raised, prompting Ramdin to fold.  Grapenthien made the call and turned over AJ63 for trip aces.  Hang flipped over KK82 for a full house, kings full of aces.  Grapenthien failed to fill up on the river, and he was eliminated in 8th place for a cash prize of $27,511.

Victor RamdinLarge Crowd Gathers for Phil Hellmuth

A large crowd of spectators has gathered around the final table in the Amazon Room to watch Phil Hellmuth attempt to win his 12th World Series of Poker title.  A special section has been designated for several members of Hellmuth’s extended family who have joined the crowd to cheer for Hellmuth.

Victor Ramdin Eliminated in 7th Place ($32,992)

Victor Ramdin became the 7th place finisher during the stud round.  James Schaaf finished him off when his two pair, tens and deuces, overtook Ramdin's nines.  Ramdin earned $32,992 for his finish.

Sam Silverman Eliminated in 6th Place ($42,966)

Sam Silverman became the sixth place finisher after getting all his chips in the middle pre-flop during the hold’em round with 33 against Jason Dollinger’s 77.  The final board came down KJ10108.  Silverman earned $42,996 for his sixth place finish and enjoyed a round of applause as he exited the tournament area.

Jason Dollinger Eliminated in 5th Place ($54,804)

In the stud round, Jason Dollinger completed showing the K and was raised by Tommy Hang, the chip leader, showing the 9.  Dollinger reraised and Hang made the call.  The two eventually got it all in on fifth street and at the showdown Dollinger showed one pair, fours, against Hang’s three-of-a-kind, sevens.  Dollinger earned $54,804 for his 5th place finish.

New Chip Leader at Break

After a few hands of stud eight-or-better, the remaining four players took a 20 minute break.  Just before the break, James Schaaf overtook Tommy Hang as the tournament chip leader thanks in part to two pots with the undisputed crowd favorite, Phil Hellmuth.  Hellmuth lost both to Schaaf and went into the break as the short stack with less than 150,000 in chips.

Phil HellmuthPhil Hellmuth Doubles Twice

Phil Hellmuth received a burst of cheers and applause from the teeming masses that have gathered at the rail to sweat him as he battles his way to another World Series of Poker bracelet.  Hellmuth doubled and re-doubled his stack in two key hands, prompting the thunderous outburst.

In the hold’em round, James Schaaf raised from the small blind and Phil Hellmuth reraised from the big blind.  Schaaf reraised to put Hellmuth all in, and Hellmuth called.  Schaaf turned over 94, an underdog to Hellmuth’s 88.  The board ran out KQQQ6, and Phil Hellmuth continued to stay alive.

Several hands later, Hellmuth found his tournament life at stake again.  This time Hellmuth got it all in during the razz round, but his opponent again was James Schaaf.  Despite receiving two double up hands within twenty minutes, Hellmuth remained the tournament short stack.

Esther RossiEsther Rossi Eliminated in 4th Place ($68,505)

After being crippled by Tommy Hang just before the start of the hour, Esther Rossi played her last hand against the fellow struggling stack of Phil Hellmuth.  In the hold’em round, Hellmuth raised from the button and Rossi reraised all in from the big blind.  Hellmuth made the call and turned over K8, the favorite over Rossi’s J9.  The board ran out A10442.  Rossi failed to improve, and was eliminated in 4th place earning $68,505 for her efforts.

Phil Hellmuth Eliminated in 3rd Place ($93,168)

Phil Hellmuth’s hard-fought run for his historic 12th bracelet finally came to an end during the Omaha eight-or-better level.  Hellmuth completed from the small blind and was raised by Tommy Hang in the big blind.  Hellmuth called all in and the two hands were exposed: AK105 for Hellmuth, QQ84 for Hang.  The dealer put down a board of J-8-7-7-5, offering no help to Hellmuth and sending him home in third place with a cash prize of $93,168.

James Schaaf Wins Event No. 51 ($256,412)
Tommy Hang Eliminated in 2nd Place ($158,933)

Although James Schaaf began the heads up match with Tommy Hang at a 2 to 1 chip disadvantage, a few lucky draws and a lot of aggressive play gave him the lead and eventually the title.

The final hand happened during the stud eight-or-better round when Schaaf raised showing the 6 and Hang called showing J.  Schaaf caught the 8 on fourth street and called a bet from Hang's 2.  Fifth street brought the 9 for Schaaf and a bet, which was called by Hang with the 7.  Schaaf again led after catching the 8 on sixth street and Hang raised all in after being dealt the 7.  Schaaf made the call and Hang turned over A7 for three sevens.  Schaaf turned over 108 for three eights, leaving Hang with a desperate  need to fill up on the river and avoid Schaaf doing the same.  All eyes were on Hang as he peeked at his river card and turned it over: 5

Tommy Hang earned $158,933 for his 2nd place finish.