Jeff Lisandro became only the fifth player in World Series of Poker history to win three gold bracelets within a single year by winning the $2,500 Razz Event (#44) Wednesday evening. A large crowd assembled in the Amazon Room to watch the Italian collect $188,390 by defeating a field of 315 players to pick up his fourth career bracelet. He has now cashed six times at the 2009 WSOP for a total of $807,486.
All of Lisandro’s wins this year have come in Seven-card events. His victories in Event No. 16 ($1,500 Seven-card Stud), Event No. 37 ($10,000 Seven-card Stud Eight-or-better World Championship), and Wednesday’s Seven-card Razz event give him a bracelet in each Stud format.
The other four players to win three bracelets in one year were Puggy Pearson (1973), Ted Forrest (1993), Phil Hellmuth (1993), and Phil Ivey (2002). Based on field sizes, however, Lisandro’s feat is the most remarkable of the five players who share the record. He defeated a total of 835 players (combined) in his three gold bracelet wins. Phil Ivey defeated 529 players during his run in 2002.
Lisandro wiped out the Razz final table almost single-handedly, knocking out six of the eight players, including the final four. No player ever came within 2 to 1 of his chip lead and it was the shortest final table of any of the 44 events completed so far at this year’s WSOP, taking just two hours and 44 minutes.
The final day of the event began with 13 players, and some big names fell on the way down to the final table, including Ville Wahlbeck, Nikolay Evdakov and Al Barbieri. Wahlbeck had an opportunity to make his fourth final table of this year’s WSOP but entered the day as the short stack and failed to squeeze his way in. Evdakov continues to rack up cashes – this was his fifth at this year’s WSOP. The Moscow native now has 15 cashes since the start of the 2008 WSOP, which is the most of any player. Evdakov broke the record for most cashes within a single year at last year’s WSOP with 10.
Lisandro was the only player at the final table that had previously won a bracelet. It was a table filled with colorful personalities, as Allen Bari, Kenna James, and noted poker author Michael Craig were among the final nine. Bari, who won a WSOP Circuit event held at Caesars Atlantic City last year, spent much of the three days jokingly complaining about the tediousness of Razz, but managed to take home $19,880 for his eighth place finish.
Kenna James finished in sixth. Considered one of the most accomplished players to never win a WSOP bracelet, the animated James earned $29,472 over the three days. He now has more than $3 million in career tournament earnings.
Craig finished runner-up to Lisandro and received $116,405. He is most famous for writing “The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King”, which is a true story about the highest-stakes cash game in poker history. Craig has also proven his competency on the felt by making three WSOP final tables.
Here’s a look at the final results of the $2,500 Razz Event (#44):
1. Jeffrey Lisandro – $188, 390
2. Michael Craig – $116,405
3. Ryan Fisler – $76,260
4. Warwick Mirzikinian – $52,772
5. Eric Rodawig – $38,470
6. Kenna James – $29,472
7. Steven Diano – $23,669
8. Allen Bari – $19,880
Two more champions will be crowned at the Rio on Thursday. The $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em World Championship gets underway at 1:00 p.m. Vegas time with fourteen players preparing to play down to a winner. John Kabbaj takes a commanding lead into the final day but PokerStars Team Pro member J.C. Alvarado and bracelet winners Eric “basebaldy” Baldwin, Davidi Kitai, and Jason Lester are in the mix vying for the $633,335 prize.
The other event concluding Thursday is the $2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo 8-or-better (Event #46). Twenty-four players remain with chip leader Mark Tenner currently in the driver’s seat. Notables still in the field include Mike Matusow, John Monnette, CK Hua, and Mark Gregorich. The winner will collect $229,192
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for continuing coverage of the 2009 World Series of Poker.