5 Best Moments from the 2011 World Series of Poker
The 2011 World Series of Poker provided some great memories and crowned an incredible new batch of champions.
Narrowing the highlights down was almost an impossible task, but if we had to pick just five, these are them.
1. Maria Ho Takes Second-Largest Female Cash Ever in $5k NL Hold'em
Maria Ho became the first woman of the 2011 WSOP to make a final table when she made the final of Event #4, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em.
She ultimately made it to heads-up play against Allen Bari but had a huge chip disadvantage to overcome as she started down 11.1 million cips to 1.8 million chips.
Ho managed a quick double-up to 4 million, but never got any closer. She'd ultimately fall to Bari to give him his first bracelet, but she still took away $540,020.
This was the second-largest cash ever for a woman in an open WSOP event.
2. Jason Mercier Wins Second Career Bracelet
Jason Mercier is clearly one of the most dominant tournament players in the world.
However, Mercier had only three career WSOP final-table appearances and two were at the WSOP Europe.
That changed this year when Mercier made three final tables at the 2011 WSOP including the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed Event.
This was the first year that the WSOP spread six-handed PLO and the final table didn't disappoint as Mercier and David Chiu started the final table as the chip leaders.
Mercier ultimately made it heads-up with Hans Winzeler. Winzeler put up quite a fight, but the experience of Mercier proved too much.
Mercier took his second career bracelet, and second in Omaha. His first bracelet in 2009 was in the $1,500 PLO Event.
Mercier also took home $619,575 for his win.
3. Bertrand Grospellier Finally Breaks Through for First Bracelet
Bertrand Grospellier was one of the best players in the game today without a bracelet heading into the 2011 WSOP.
With over $8 million in career earnings as well as a WPT and EPT title, the bracelet was the one thing missing from his resume.
That all changed in the $10k Stud World Championship.
Against a stacked final table that included Maxwell Troy, Chad Brown, Chris Tryba, Alexander Kostritsyn and John Hennigan, ElkY came out on top for his first bracelet.
One of the more amazing facts about his win is this was his first-ever Stud tournament.
Suffice it to say that the game has quickly grown on him.
4. Cancer Survivor David Diaz Wins $1,500 Triple Chance Event
For many, a WSOP bracelet victory would be the biggest win of their life.
For David Diaz, it is all a part of a lifetime freeroll.
Diaz was born in Honduras and was diagnosed with cancer when he was four years old. For most, that would be a death sentence.
Diaz hit the equivalent of a one outer when his aunt and uncle brought him to the United States and sent him to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis.
At that time, St. Jude's was the only hospital that treated childhood cancer. Diaz responded to treatment and put his own bad beat on cancer.
Diaz's victory in the $1,500 Triple Chance NL event was easily the largest of his five-year professional career.
He took home over $352,000 along with the bracelet.
5. Ben Lamb Makes the 2011 WSOP November Nine
Ben Lamb had already had a career year at the 2011 WSOP heading into the Main Event.
He had cashed four times with three final tables, including his first bracelet win in the $10k PLO Championship.
Lamb held the chip lead or was in the top ten in chips every day except one during the eight days of play.
Ultimately, Lamb made the final table of the 2011 WSOP Main Event and will start the final table 5th in chips.
Lamb already has overtaken Hellmuth for the Player of the Year lead, meaning Hellmuth must make a final table in Europe to even have a shot at Player of the Year.
Check out the 5 Worst Moments from the 2011 WSOP.