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Chicago poker pro banks $441,692 and WSOP shootout title

3 Jun 2010

Joshua Tieman won $441,692 and poker's most coveted prize — a WSOP gold bracelet — with a win in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout (Event #6) on Thursday. Tieman overcame a field of 358 players to claim his first career WSOP title.

Tieman is a 27-year-old poker pro from Chicago, Ill. This was his 10th cash in the WSOP. His best previous showing was a third-place finish in a No-Limit Hold'em event in 2006. Tieman also made the final table of the $1,500 buy-in shootout last year, finishing ninth.

"I feel like I've been playing really good poker since the first time I came out to the World Series in 2005," said Tieman. "I've had some success but have never really had that breakthrough cash. I didn't want to leave (this year) a loser, and now I can say I'm a winner in Vegas."

The shootout format required that players defeat all players at their respective table to advance to the next round. Tieman, the tournament champion, won three consecutive matches — the first at a table with 10 players, and the next two at six-handed tables — en route to the victory.

"I lost about a third of my stack in the first two rounds before I ever won a hand," said Tieman. "The first round, I was short stacked most of the way but just hung around. Then, when it got three-handed I started picking up some hands. In the second round, that was the longest and most grueling. I could not get a read on one of the players and I was not picking up hands….but I won a big hand and then gained some momentum and then won after a few more hours."

The smile says it all - Tieman claims his first WSOP bracelet.

The smile says it all - Tieman claims his first WSOP bracelet. (photo by GreasieWheels)

A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Tieman earned his degree in Business Administration with a minor in economics in 2005. He has been playing poker professionally full time since 2006. Tieman lives on Chicago's north side, near Wrigley Field. He spends more time playing online poker than playing in live tournaments.

The final table was truly an international poker competition, pitting the United States against Great Britain. Three of the six finalists were Americans. Three were British.
Tieman and Joseph Elpayaa are both from the Chicago area, while two of the players, Neil Channing and Nicolas Levi, are from London.

Channing — a player who is routinely mentioned as "one of the best to have never won a WSOP bracelet" — was the runner up.

"When it comes to poker, I'm down in the trenches," said Channing. "I play with 2,500 or 3,000 people every day. Last year, I played 25 events and I made 11 Day Twos. And that was the events with like 1,500 players or more. For 36 straight days I came to the Rio each day thinking this is going to be a long day. It's hard work."

The final hand of the tournament came when Channing moved all in pre-flop with ace-seven. He was snap-called by Tieman, who showed ace-jack. When the board ran out, Tieman had made a Broadway straight to win all the chips and his first WSOP bracelet.

"I set the goal to win a bracelet at this year's WSOP. I would have been happy to make a final table," said Tieman. "I like to set my goals high. Maybe after today, I should now set my goals a little higher."

Stuart Rutter, from Birmingham, England, was third. He previously won Grosvenor Poker Tour Main Event, earlier this year. Elpayaa, a 21-year old from Forest Park, Ill, was fourth. Levi was fifth, and Brent Hanks, a former teacher-turned Las Vegas poker pro, was sixth.

The top 36 finishers collected prize money. To cash, players were required to win their first table. Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Blair Hinkle, Keven Stammen, Dario Minieri, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Max Pescatori. With his cash in this tournament, Ferguson now has 61 in-the-money finishes. This currently ranks third on the all-time list, five finishes behind Men "the Master" Nguyen and 14 behind Phil Hellmuth.

(Modified from original notes by Nolan Dalla for
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