Ellis outlasts Drache for WSOP seven-card stud crown

Freddie Ellis, a 74-year-old real estate broker from Brooklyn, N.Y., won the 2009 World Series of Poker’s $10,000 buy-in Seven-Card Stud championship Wednesday night.

But the runner-up, Eric Drache, is a name well known among the Las Vegas gaming community.

Drache (shown left), 66, served as the World Series of Poker’s Tournament Director from the mid-1970s until 1987. He also managed operations at several poker rooms on the Strip and downtown over the years.

Drache was the first poker manager to create satellites, which allowed more players to qualify to major poker tournaments. He introduced satellite tournaments at the 1982 World Series of Poker.
The four-hour-long heads-up match between Ellis and the popular Drache attracted a parade of who’s who in poker with numerous players watching the action. Drache was playing for his first gold champion’s bracelet.

Ellis collected $373,751 for first place and was also awarded his first champions gold bracelet. Drache took home $231,013 for second place.

Ellis also became the became the fifth African-American in World Series of Poker history to win a gold bracelet, joining Walter Smiley, Carolyn Gardener, Phil Ivey, and David Williams.