The latest first time bracelet winner at the 2011 World Series of Poker is Leonard Martin, who took down Event #49, the $2,500 2-7 Triple-Draw Lowball Championship. This is the 55-year-old Martin’s fifth WSOP cash, including three final tables in the past four years at 2-7 Triple Draw events. Martin outlasted a 310-strong field to face a final table that included Jason Mercier (who finished sixth) and ultimate runner-up Justin Bonomo (his fourth final table, but still no bracelet). Martin collected just shy of $190k while Bonomo settled for $117k. Having spent the first three decades of his life in the Ukraine, Martin is now the fourth player of Ukrainian heritage to claim a bracelet in 2011, and one of them, Oleksi Kovalchuk, was on hand to help celebrate Martin’s success.
Not long after Joe Ebanks set the current 2011 record for biggest prize at $1.158m, Athanasios Polychronopoulos has broken the record for longest name ever by a bracelet holder (26 letters). Take that, previous record holder Chandrasekhar Billavara (21). Of course, Polychronopoulos will also go down in history as the champion of Event #48, a $1,500 NLHE, earning his first ever bracelet and a cool $650k. it took four days, but Polychronopoulos outlasted 2,712 other entrants, including runner-up Simon Charette, who earned $404k, which is not bad for a guy with a mere 13 letters in his name.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t spotlight the dozen or so men who had the balls (or lack thereof) to take their seats for Event #54, the $1k NLHE Ladies Championship. WSOP Media Director Seth Palansky disputed this testicle tally, saying “We didn’t count any men in the field today. If they played today, they are not men.” Ouch. Each male sent to the rail earned a round of applause from onlookers, and at last count (early Saturday morning) only about three ‘chicks with dicks’ remained. This year’s event attracted 1,055 players, essentially the same as 2010.