Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship

Event Info

Buy-in $50,000
Prize Pool $6,336,000
Players 132

Level Info

Level 26
Blinds 0 / 0
Ante 0

Seat 5: George Danzer (2,868,000)

George Danzer
George Danzer

George Danzer enters the final table third in chips, and is in search of his first career WSOP gold bracelet. In 2010, the German finished third in the $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw World Championship, and in 2012 he finished in the same position in the same event. In 2012 he also finished runner-up in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event, falling just short in a heads-up match against two-time bracelet winner Oleksii Kovalchuk.

Danzer’s biggest score outside of the WSOP came in 2009, where he finished 24th in the EPT Grand Final for €52,000.

Known for his online handle "trickyscarfy," Danzer has a total of 35 career cashes in the World Championship of Online Poker and 13 in the Spring Championship of Online Poker. Only one player, Jon "PearlJammer" Turner, has more combined cashes in the two online poker series'.

On the actual felt, Danzer has just over $700,000 in career tournament earnings, and he can more than double that number today with a runner-up finish or better.

Tags: George Danzer

Seat 6: Minh Ly (2,307,000)

Minh Ly
Minh Ly

In 2011, Minh Ly was in a familiar situation as he found himself at the final table of that year's $50,000 Poker Players' Championship. Eventually finishing third for $665,763, it was the second largest score of Ly's career in poker.

The first cash on record for Ly dates back to 1993. In 1995, he recorded his first six-figure cash by placing second to Dan Harrington in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the 1995 Four Queens Poker Classic in Las Vegas. For that finish, Ly scored $121,900. Several years then passed before Ly next cashed for over $50,000, but that result was an impressive as it came from a third-place finish in the $3,000 Limit Hold'em event at the 2001 World Series of Poker. Then in 2002, Ly took ninth in the WSOP Main Event for $85,000.

In 2005, Ly had his best year ever on the felt, earning over $1.7 million, which included four WSOP cashes — two for six figures — and one World Poker Tour title worth over $1 million. Ly's two big results from the Series came when he finished runner-up to Doyle Brunson for $203,715 in the $5,000 Short-Handed No-Limit Hold'em event and 19th in the $10,000 Main Event for $304,680. A few months after the summer, in October, Ly went on to best a field of 420 players to win the WPT's 2nd Annual Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship for $1.06 million. In that event, Ly was able to extract revenge on the man who defeated him in the 1995 Four Queens Poker Classic event, Harrington, by beating him in heads-up play.

When Ly came into the fifth and final day of play for this event in 2011, he was the chip leader by a long shot with over 27% of the chips in play with nine remaining, much similar to the type of chip lead Don Nguyen has here today. Ly went on to finish third in that event, and he'll definitely be aiming to better that result this time around. Although the one thing not on Ly's side is a massive chip lead — he enters the day with 2.307 million and is in fifth place out of the eight finalists — the seasoned pro and staple in the world's largest cash games should certainly not be overlooked.

Tags: Minh Ly

Seat 7: John Hennigan (1,412,000)

John Hennigan
John Hennigan

John Hennigan is widely considered to be one of the toughest players in the world by his peers, and one of the most elite performers in the game by all. With over $3.7 million in live tournament earnings, two World Series of Poker gold bracelets and one World Poker Tour title, his record speaks for itself.

A former pool player, Hennigan is nicknamed "Johnny World" because of his willingness to bet on anything and everything in the world. Learning to play pool at a young age, Hennigan played the game professionally and traveled the pool circuit. Gambling is a part of many pool games, and he was a big gambler. When he couldn’t find someone to gamble with in pool, he looked to other avenues, one of which was poker.

Hennigan flew under the radar and stayed out of the big spotlight for some time in the poker world. He ran deep in the WSOP Main Event in 1999, but found his big breakout in 2002. That year, Hennigan won his first gold bracelet in the $2,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the WSOP, earning $117,320.

That same year, he placed fourth in the WPT’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic for over $80,000. To close out the year, he took down the United States Poker Championship Main Event in Atlantic City for $216,000; an event in which he would return to the following year and place fifth in.

With one gold WSOP bracelet wrapped around his wrist, Hennigan was back in 2004 to claim another. He bested a final table that included T.J. Cloutier, An “The Boss” Tran, James McManus and David Chiu to take down the $5,000 Limit Hold’em event. The win was worth an additional $325,360 to his bankroll. Then at the 2005 WSOP, Hennigan placed in the money in three events and earned over $330,000 total.

Throughout his time on the tournament circuit, Hennigan continued to play cash games on the side. He sat in on some of the largest games around with the best players. He has often been referred to as one of the best, all-around cash players, and he's earned a lot of respect from his peers as being an extremely tough opponent to face.

In 2007, Hennigan traveled back to Atlantic City for the Borgata Winter Open. He came out on top of the Championship Event and earned over $1.6 million. In 2008, Johnny World won the Ante Up for Africa charity event at the WSOP.

Last year, Hennigan took 12th in this very event for $120,994.

With 1.412 million in chips entering Day 5 of Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, Hennigan is the second shortest stack returning. Given his acknowledged skill and experience, he will surely be a player that his opponents don't want to see climb up the ladder and get ahold of some chips.

Tags: An TranDavid ChiuJames McManusJohn HenniganTJ Cloutier

Seat 8: David Benyamine (2,709,000)

David Benyamine
David Benyamine

David Benyamine is a very well known poker player with numerous first-place finishes, including a World Poker Tour title from 2003 and a World Series of Poker bracelet from 2008, and over $6.55 million in live tournament earnings. What many may not know is that Benyamine was formerly a professional tennis player, but was forced to retire from the game due to a shoulder injury.

The first 15 cashes on Benyamine's record all came from Paris, France between the years of 1999 and 2003, but it wasn't until July of 2003 that he really put himself on the poker map when he won the €10,000 WPT Grand Prix de Paris for €357,200. Early the following year, Benyamine added a second WPT final table by finishing sixth in the L.A. Poker Classic for $132,355.

When it comes to the WSOP, Benyamine's first recorded in-the-money result was in 2007 in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud 8-or-Better event. He took sixth in that event for $29,708. He also cashed in the $5,000 H.O.R.S.E. that summer at the Series.

In 2008, Benyamine added four more WSOP cashes en route to snatching his first gold bracelet in the $10,000 World Championship Omaha 8-or-Better event for $535,687. He also finished seventh in the $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw for $58,990, third in the $5,000 Pot-Limit OMaha for $316,307 and 10th in the $5,000 World Championship Seven-Card Stud 8-or-Better for $30,667 that same year.

As if Benyamine's 2008 WSOP wasn't enough success for him that year, he went on to add a second-place finish in the $15,000 WPT Bellagio Cup IV for $840,295, a couple deep runs at the European Poker Tour London, and a 25th-place finish in the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic. All told, Benyamine earned over $2.2 million that year — his best year ever.

The largest score of Benyamine's career came in 2011 down in Melbourne, Australia at the Aussie Millions. There Benyamine took third in the AU$250,000 Super High Roller for a hefty AU$1.1 million, finishing behind top pros Erik Seidel and Sam Trickett.

Benyamine has never cashed in the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, but has proven over the years that he is very capable in all forms of poker. Couple that with the 2.709 million in chips to put him right in the middle of the pack, Benyamine will be an extremely tough opponent to defeat.

Tags: David BenyamineErik SeidelSam Trickett

A Poker Players' Champion Shall Be Crowned

Six of the eight $50,000 Poker Players' Championship finalist.
Six of the eight $50,000 Poker Players' Championship finalist.

Today the 2013 World Series of Poker Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship will come to an end after five days of play. Just eight players from a 132-player field remain in contention for one of poker's most prestigious titles and the accompanying $1,774,089 first-place prize.

They include chip leader Don Nguyen, who begins today with 5,680,000; Matthew Ashton, who is at his fourth final table of the summer (2,996,000); German sensation George Danzer (2,868,000); high-stakes pro David Benyamine (2,709,000), Minh Ly, who is making his second Poker Players' Championship final table in three years (2,307,000), 2010 WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel (1,627,000), long-time veteran John Hennigan (1,412,000) and the ever-consistent Mike Wattel (810,000).

The final eight players will play out the finale at the ESPN Main Stage.

Here's a look at how the final table stacks up:

1Matthew AshtonUK2,996,000
2Jonathan DuhamelCanada1,627,000
3Don NguyenUSA5,068,000
4Mike WattelUSA810,000
5George DanzerGermany2,868,000
6Minh LyUSA2,307,000
7John HenniganUSA1,412,000
8David BenyamineFrance2,709,000

The fifth and final day is schedule for 2 p.m. PDT, which is about an hour from now. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team is on hand at the ESPN Main Stage to bring you all the action on the way to determining a new $50,000 Poker Players' Champion, so stay tuned!

Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship
Day 5 Started