Hungarian wins World Series of Poker gold bracelet


Peter Traply became the first Hungarian to win a World Series of Poker gold bracelet late yesterday afternoon.

The 22-year-old poker pro from Budapest won the $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em shootout event to capture the $348,755 first prize at the Rio.

“I think I will be a national hero, or something," said Traply, who was drapped in the Hungarian flag after the win.

Nearly a dozen Hungarian supporters chanted songs and slogans during the final table.

Some of the Hungarians were poker players and others were visiting Las Vegas and heard about a Hungarian at the final table and decided to come and watch the finale.

Traply other in-the-money finish was in last year's main event placing 188th.

Las Vegas resident Danny Wong finished fourth in the event.

Official event report from the World Series of Poker
Total Net Prize Pool: $1,316,000
Number of Places Paid: 30
June 21-23, 2009

Tournament Highlights:

Event Headlines –

Young Guns: No-Limit Hold’em Shootout Draws Youngest Final Table Ever – Players’ Ages Range from 21 to 24

The Winner --

Traply earned his college degree in communications. He decided to play poker for a time before deciding on what career he wishes to pursue.

Traply is fluent in Hungarian. He speaks English well.

Prior to this victory, Traply’s biggest successes took place in Europe. He made it to the final table of the European Poker Tour championship at Monte Carlo earlier this year. He finished in eighth place.

Traply’s eighth-place showing at EPT Monte Carlo was a disappointment. He vowed to improve his game and perform better at the next opportunity. That objective was accomplished here, some three months after the frustration in Monte Carlo.

Traply endured a tough WSOP prior to his victory. He played in every No-Limit Hold’em event (except the $40,000 buy-in championship). Tarply did not cash a single time at this year’s World Series, prior to this victory.

Traply becomes the first Hungarian WSOP champion in history. The best previous finish by a Hungarian player was Richard Toth, who finished second in 2006.

Winner Quotes (Peter Traply) –

On the Hungarian poker scene: “In Hungary, the poker is growing very fast. There is a poker boom right now. And, I think it will be bigger after I won my bracelet.”

More on Hungarian poker: “There are a lot of good online players in Hungary.”

On the numbers of Hungarians who come to play in the WSOP: “This year, there are about 30 or so players who have come to play in the World Series. Many of them are my friends and they were cheering for me.”

On winning his first WSOP gold bracelet: “It’s amazing. I am really, really happy. This is one of my poker dreams and it came true.”

On failing to cash several times before winning big: “I played every single No-Limit Hold’em event (except the $40K). I didn’t manage one single cash. I ran really bad. But, I guess I can’t complain now.”

The Final Table --

The final table contained no former WSOP gold bracelet winners. This was the 13th of 41 finales held this year with no former winners -- which guaranteed a first-time champion.

This was the youngest final table composition in the 40-year history of the WSOP. The player ages were – 21, 21, 22, 23, and 24.

There were players from four different nations represented at the final table – including Hungary, Germany, Russia, and the United States.

Interestingly, the birthplaces of the five finalists were even more diverse – with natives of Hong Kong, Hungary, Lebanon, Russia, and the United States.

The runner up was Andrew Lichtenberger, from East Northport, NY. In addition to playing professionally, he produces videos for a poker training website called “Leggopoker.com.” Lichtenberger’s most notable finish was a 13th-place showing in the World Poker Tour championship two months ago.

The third-place finisher was Max Lykov, from Moscow, Russia. His poker nickname is “Decay.” This was his first time to cash at the WSOP.

The fourth-place finisher was Danny Wong, from Las Vegas, NV. This was his third time to make it to a WSOP final table.

The fifth-place finisher was Nasr El Nasr, from Berlin, Germany. He busted out early with pocket aces, on a critical hand which completely altered the course of events at the final table. El Nasr previously finished high in two EPT events – held at Prague and Dortmund. This was his first WSOP in-the-money finish.

In-the-Money Finishers --

Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included – David “Dragon” Pham, Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Davidi Kitai, and Ryan Hughes.

The defending champion was Philip Tom, from Las Vegas, NV. He entered this tournament but did not cash.

Odds and Ends --

A “Shootout” means the objective is to win all the chips at a table in order to advance to the next round. On Day One, the tournament began with 280 players competing in what amounted to a nine- and ten-handed Sit n' Go (tables varied due to the odd number of players). One player from each table (the winner) progressed to play in the second round. On Day Two, those 30 winners were divided into six tables, each playing a five-handed Sit n' Go. The six winners from the second round progressed to Day Three to take seats at the final table -- which was played five-handed. Essentially, the winner of the tournament was required to win three consecutive Sit n' Go rounds.

Players who won the first round were guaranteed prize money. Players who won the first and second round won the top five spots and made it to the final table. The player who won three rounds won the gold bracelet.

Shootouts emphasize short-handed poker skills. This generally requires competitors to play cards out of the standard range of starting-hand requirements. It also makes post-flop skill paramount to victory. In a sense, each round is a “final table” for all the competitors since the objective is to accumulate chips and eliminate opponents.

This is the 28th of 41 tournaments completed thus far at this year’s WSOP, with more than a $1 million prize pool.

Given the international composition of the final table, there were large crowds of supporters of players from various nations. Constant chanting and cheering was reminiscent of a European soccer match, rather than a poker game.

Peter Tarply will have the Hungarian National Anthem played at his WSOP gold bracelet ceremony. Shootout Leaders (WSOP History) --

No player has dominated No-Limit Hold’em Shootout events in the manner other games such as Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud have produced specialists. However, as the WSOP continues to offer this variant, Shootout leaders will certainly emerge in the years to come.

Shootout tournaments made their debut at the 2002 WSOP. Since then, most years have included two Shootouts on the schedule – Limit and No-Limit. In 2008, there were three Shootouts on the schedule, as is the case this year. So far, there have been 15 Shootouts events played at the WSOP from 2002-present.

The Event --

The $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout attracted 280 entries. The total prize pool amounted to $1,316,000. The top 30 finishers collected prize money.

The tournament was played over three consecutive days.

The final table lasted about five hours.

The final hand of the night came when Traply was dealt A-K versus Lichtenberger’s A-J. Both players flopped and ace. But Traply’s king-kicker proved to be the difference and scooped the final pot of the tournament.

The tournament officially began on Sunday, June 21st, at 12 noon. The tournament officially ended on Tuesday, June 23rd, at 7:45 pm. WSOP Statistics –

Through the conclusion of Event #41, the 2009 WSOP has attracted 40,195 entries. $81,916,582 in total prize money has been awarded to winners.

Through Event #41 – the nationalities of WSOP gold bracelet winners reads as follows:

United States – 27
United Kingdom – 2
Canada – 2
Russian Federation – 1
Finland – 1
Australia – 1
Sweden – 1
Mexico – 1
Italy – 1
Holland – 1
Hungary – 1