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World Series of Poker -- James Dempsey Wins Event No. 9

British Pro Wins First Bracelet in Pot-Limit Hold'em


Being punctual is not one of James Dempsey’s strong suits, but the same can’t be said about his pot-limit hold’em game.

When the cards were in the air at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dempsey’s seat at the final table was empty and his stack was being blinded off. However, being 15 minutes late to the final table didn’t stop Dempsey from acquiring all of the chips in play and earning him his first bracelet and first-place prize of $197,470.

Dempsey bested a field of 650 players over three days of play to win event no. 9, a $1,500 tournament. Some notables who cashed in this event included JJ Liu, who came in third, Steve O’Dwyer, Christian Harder, Joe Serock, Scott Montgomery, and Justin Young.

It only took five hours of play to see the final table go from nine players to just two, with Dempsey knocking out JJ Liu to go heads-up with Steve Chanthabouasy. The two of them, however, took another two hours to decide who was going to win the bracelet.

At the beginning of what was easily the loudest heads-up match of the 2010 World Series of Poker, with plenty of noisy supporters for both players, Dempsey held better than a 2-1 chip advantage over Chanthabouasy. Chanthabouasy refused to give up and after his flopped straight held up against Dempsey’s top two pair, he actually took the lead.

Dempsey remained calm and collected even though his chip lead had vanished. He continued to play well and picked off a few ill-timed Chanthabouasy bluffs to get back on top. After his A-10 held up against Chanthabouasy’s A-7, his supporters erupted and engulfed him in a sea of hugs and pats on the back. Dempsey became the second the British player to win a bracelet this year, after Praz Bansi won his a few days earlier.

Here are a look at the official final table results:

1. James Dempsey – $197,470
2. Steve Chanthabouasy – $121,963
3. JJ Liu – $86,512
4. Mark Babekov – $62,232
5. Scott Haraden – $45,393
6. Armen Kara – $33,573
7. Joseph Williams – $25,166
8. Edward Brogdon – $19,120
9. Gregg Wilkerson – $14,715

Here are a look at the elimination hands as reported on’s live updates:

Gregg WilkersonGregg Wilkerson Eliminated in Ninth Place ($14,715)

Steve Chanthabouasy raised to 30,000 from middle position and was called by Gregg Wilkerson on the button and JJ Liu from the big blind. The flop was QSpade SuitJSpade Suit9Heart Suit and Chanthabouasy bet 37,000 after Liu checked and Wilkerson moved all-in for 102,000 more.

After Liu folded, Chanthabouasy went into the tank for nearly five minutes before making the call. Chanthabouasy was not happy with what he saw when Wilkerson showed the AClub SuitAHeart Suit and he held the ASpade SuitQHeart Suit.

The turn was the 4Spade Suit, giving Chanthabouasy a flush draw along with his top pair. The river was the KSpade Suit, completing the flush and sending Wilkerson home in ninth place with a bad beat he won’t soon forget.

Ed Brogdon Eliminated in Eight Place ($19,120)

Steve Chanthabouasy raised to 50,000 and Ed Brogdon moved all-in for 88,000 from the small blind. Chanthabouasy made the call and showed KClub SuitKSpade Suit and held a commanding lead over Brogdon’s 9Heart Suit9Spade Suit.

The board ran out ASpade SuitJClub Suit3Diamond Suit2Heart SuitJSpade Suit to eliminate Brogdon in eighth place.

Joseph WilliamsJoseph Williams Eliminated in Seventh Place ($25,166)

Joseph Williams raised to 70,000 from under-the-gun and Steve Chanthabouasy moved all-in from the big blind. Williams made the call and it was off to the races.

Chanthabouasy showed 7Heart Suit7Club Suit and Williams had the ADiamond Suit10Heart Suit. The board came 6Diamond Suit3Diamond Suit2Club Suit8Heart Suit4Spade Suit and Williams was eliminated in seventh place. With the knockout, Chanthabouasy climbs to 670,000.

Armen KaraArmen Kara Eliminated in Sixth Place ($33,573)

Action folded to Armen Kara in the small blind who raised to 70,000, only leaving himself with 80,000. Mark Bebekov called from the big blind the flop came JClub Suit7Diamond Suit5Heart Suit. Kara then quickly moved all-in and Babekov decided to call.

Kara showed 10Club Suit5Spade Suit, giving him bottom pair and was ahead of Babekov’s KSpade Suit6Spade Suit. The JSpade Suit fell on the turn but the 6Club Suit on the river gave the pot to Babekov, and sent Kara to the rail with over $33,000 in his pocket.

Scott Haraden Eliminated in Fifth Place ($45,393)

Scott Haraden raised to 50,000 under-the-gun and was met with a three-bet to 130,000 from James Dempsey. Haraden called and they saw the flop of QSpade SuitJDiamond Suit5Diamond Suit.

Haraden moved in his last 90,000 and was called by Dempsey. Dempsey showed KHeart SuitJClub Suit and Haraden showed the 7Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit. The turn was the 5Spade Suit and the river was the 2Heart Suit and Dempsey was able to fade the diamond and increase his chip lead, while eliminating Haraden.

Mark Babekov Eliminated in Fourth Place ($62,232)

In a battle of the blinds, Mark Babekov and Steve Chanthabouasy got into a preflop raising war in that resulted in Babekov getting all in and the cards being turned up.

Babekov showed the AClub Suit9Club Suit and Chanthabouasy had the KSpade SuitKClub Suit. After a flop of KClub Suit8Heart Suit4Spade Suit, it was all but over for Babekov. The 4Club Suit on the turn gave Babekov a flush draw, but it gave Chanthabouasy a full house and Babekov was drawing dead when the 10Diamond Suit came on the river. Babekov received a little over $62,000 for his efforts.

JJ LiuJJ Liu Eliminated in Third Place ($86,512)

James Dempsey raised to 60,000 and JJ Liu three-bet to the size of the pot. Dempsey raised enough to put Liu all-in and she called. It was a classic race situation when she held 8Diamond Suit8Club Suit against the ASpade SuitKSpade Suit of Dempsey.

Dempsey hit gin on the flop when it came KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit4Spade Suit, leaving Liu with just one out. The turn was the AClub Suit, which unnecessarily improved Dempsey’s hand to two pair. The 6Spade Suit on the river gave Dempsey a flush and left Dempsey and Chanthabouasy heads-up for the bracelet.

Steve ChanthabouasySteve Chanthabouasy Eliminated in Second Place, James Dempsey Wins Event No.9

Steve Chanthabouasy raised to 150,000 and was met with a three-bet from James Dempsey to 450,000. Chathabouasy moved the rest of his chips in and Dempsey made the call and the cards were put on their backs.

Chanthabouasy showed ASpade Suit7Club Suit and was dominated by Dempsey’s ADiamond Suit10Spade Suit. The fop of 4Spade Suit5Heart Suit6Spade Suit brought some drama though, giving a straight draw to Chanthabouasy. The turn was the QHeart Suit and the 4Diamond Suit bricked off for Chanthabouasy, eliminating him in second place and giving the title to Dempsey. Chanthabouasy takes home $121,963 for his efforts, while Dempsey will take home the bracelet and $197,470.