In one of the shortest heads-up matches in the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), Southern California-based poker professional Allen Cunningham won the third WSOP bracelet of his career by defeating Scott Fischman of Las Vegas after just two hands of heads-up play in the $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event.
Besides winning the coveted gold bracelet, Cunningham collected the first prize of $725,405, which was the largest first prize ever for a WSOP preliminary event.
On Hand 140 with blinds at 15000-30000, Fischman limped in from the button and Cunningham checked from the big blind. On a flop of Th 6c 3s, Fischman bet 40000, Cunningham raised to 120000, and Fischman called.
"I thought (Fischman) either had top pair or an open-ended straight draw, both of which I could beat," said Cunningham to ESPN poker commentator Norman Chad after the tournament.
Fischman checked the turn card of 4d, Cunningham bet 250000, Fischman moved all-in for over 1 million chips. Cunningham thought for about two minutes before calling.
Cunningham turned over 6h 3h for two-pair, while Fischman turned over 5c 4h for one pair with an open-ended straight draw. Fischman was eliminated when the Ac hit the board on the river.
Fischman, who won two WSOP preliminary events in 2004 including a $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event, earned $352,152 for his second place finish. His second place prize in 2005 was greater than the $300,000 he earned by winning the same event in 2004.
The event, which drew the second largest field in the history of the WSOP with 2305 players starting play on June 3, had to be extended to 3 days. The prize pool of over $3.18 million was the largest ever for a WSOP preliminary event.
Jewelry shop owner and poker professional David "Devilfish" Ulliott of Hull, England finished 3rd when he failed to connect on his semi-bluff attempt. On Hand 138 with a flop of 6h 3d 4h, Ulliott moved all-in holding Jh Th and Cunningham called instantly with pocket Eights. Despite being a slight statistical favorite, Ulliott missed on the turn with the Ad and the river with the Kc. Ulliott earned $232,500 for his 3rd place finish.
Can Kim Hua, another Southern California-based poker professional, finish in 4th place when he was eliminated by Cunningham on Hand 115. With blinds at 15000-30000, Hua raised to 105000 under-the-gun and Cunningham called from the big blind. On a flop of Qd Js 9c, Cunningham checked, Hua moved all-in, and Cunningham called instantly. Cunningham turned over Qc Tc for top pair with an open-ended straight draw, while Hua turned over Kd Jd for middle pair with an inside straight draw. Cunningham's top pair survived the 2d on the turn and the 9d on the river to send Hua to the rail with a prize of $200,395.
Los Angeles-based high limit cash game player Liz Lieu was crippled on Hand 111. With blinds at 15000-30000, Liu opened for 80000, Hua moved all-in for 265000, and Lieu called. Hua's pocket Jacks stood up against Lieu's As 9c on a board of 5c Ts 3h 6h 4d.
Lieu was eliminated in 5th place on Hand 113. Lieu moved all in from the small blind with 9s 6c and Fischman called from the big blind with Ks 6h. Lieu, being a 3-to-1 underdog before the flop, got no help from the board of 5c 2s 3h Qd 7d and left the tournament with a prize of $168,590.
Construction worker Charlie Huff of Geneva, Ohio overplayed pocket Fours on Hand 40 to lose more than half of his chips. With blinds at 10000-20000, Lieu opened for 65000, Las Vegas based poker professional An Tran called, and Huff moved all-in. Lieu thought for about a minute before calling with pocket Jacks. Lieu doubled up on a board of 7d Kd Ac 7c 5d.
Huff was eliminated in 6th place by Fischman on Hand 100. Playing only his second hand in over an hour, Huff raised to open, Fischman moved all-in, and Huff called. Fischman's Ad Kc dominated Huff's As 5s, which missed on a board of Qc 7s 2d 4d Tc. The last non-professional to depart from the tournament, Huff earned $136,780.
Tran was eliminated by Cunningham on Hand 76. With blinds at 12000-24000, Tran opened for 100000, Cunningham moved all-in, and Tran called. Cunningham turned over pocket Jacks and Tran could only produce pocket eights. Cunningham's Jacks held up on a board of Kh 2d Ad 2h 9h.and Tran exited with $104,970.
High school teacher and football coach Randy Edmonson of Columbus, Mississippi was eliminated in 8th place on Hand 61. With blinds at 10000-20000, Cunningham opened for 55000 with Ad Th and Edmonson moved all-in with pocket nines. Cunningham outflopped Edmonson with As Qc Js. The Tc on the turn gave Edmonson 4 additional outs to avoid elimination, but the 2h fell on the river to send Edmonson home with $73160.
Computer programmer Richard Boutwell of Duluth, Georgia lost half of his chips on Hand 5. With blinds at 8000-16000, Boutwell opened from the cutoff seat for 50000 and Fischman called from the button. On a flop of Qh 5d 4c, Boutwell bet 50000, Fischman moved all-in, and Boutwell folded.
Boutwell was eliminated in 9th place by Edmonson on Hand 13. Edmonson raised to 75000 with pocket Jacks and Boutwell called off his remaining chips from the button holding Ah Qs. Boutwell received no help from a board of 7c 3h Ks 3d 9h and departed with $54,075.
(Note: The start of the TV final table was delayed because the logos worn by Scott Fischman exceeded the 3-inch by 1-inch maximum size allowed by ESPN and Harrah's Entertainment. Fischman had to change his shirt and the TV crew had to use black tape to cover up part of the logo on Fischman's baseball cap.)
2005 WSOP Event 2 $1500 buy-in No Limit Hold'em Final Table Results
Place Player Hometown Prize
1 Allen Cunningham Marina Del Rey, California $725,405
2 Scott Fischman Las Vegas, Nevada $352,125
3 David "Devilfish" Ulliott Hull, England $232,205
4 Can Kim Hua Rosemead, California $200,395
5 Liz Lieu Los Angeles, California $168,590
6 Charlie Huff Geneva, Ohio $136,780
7 An Tran Las Vegas, Nevada $104,970
8 Randy Edmonson Columbus, Mississippi $73,160
9 Richard Boutwell Duluth, Georgia $54,075