22-year-old Hungarian Collects $180,730, WSOP bracelet
4 Jun 2010
"I'm shocked," said Gelencser. "My dream is to win a gold bracelet. This means everything to a poker player. It is the best accomplishment in poker."
Gelencser became the second player from Hungary to win a WSOP gold bracelet. The first to win was Peter Tarply, who was victorious in a no-limit Hold'em shootout last year. Gelencser stated there is a bit of a rivalry between many of the Hungarian players, although they are very close as friends and tend to support each other at major tournaments.
Gelencser first saw the WSOP on television in Hungary. He became fascinated with poker and began playing with friends at the age of 16. He has been playing full time since the age of 18, concentrating mainly on online poker. He has already accumulated more than $500,000 in career tournament winnings. His big breakthrough came two years ago at the Spring Poker Festival, where he won the European Challenge Main Event.
The runner up was Raphael Zimmerman. He is a professional poker player from Missoula, Mont. He made it to the final table of this same event last year, finishing sixth. Zimmerman is something of a renaissance man; outside of poker, he is an avid poet and novelist.
The final hand of the tournament came when Gelencser's 9-7-4-3-2 (a 9-7 low) topped Zimmerman's 8-6-5-3-6. Zimmerman bricked on the last draw, catching a six to make a pair.
Don McNamara from Menlo Park, Calif, finished third, while four-time WSOP gold bracelet winner David Chiu from Las Vegas, Nev., was fouth. The fifth-place finisher was Jameson Painter, from Goodfield, Ill.
Shunjiro "Shun" Uchida, who is originally from Japans but is now living in Las Vegas, finished sixth, while Tad Jurgens from Phoenix, Ariz., was seventh.
The top 30 finishers collected prize money. Aside from those who made the final table, former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Farzad Bonyadi, Eli Elezra, Greg Mueller, Patrick Poels, and David Singer.
Last year's event attracted 257 entries. Entries increased by 13 percent to 291 players. This was the largest Limit Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball tournament in poker history.
(Modified from original notes by Nolan Dalla for www.wsop.com)