Ralph Perry Wins his First
WSOP Gold Bracelet
Event # 26 wsop results
World Series of Poker
Tournament Results and
Event 26 WSOP Results
Note:  Event #26 was split into two tournaments.  Both are Pot-Limit Omaha
events.  26-A is single-elimination.  26-B is with re-buys.  Both are official
WSOP gold bracelet events.  For reporting purposes, they are listed as 26-A
and 26-B.   

The Butterfly Effect

Ralph Perry Wins His First WSOP
Gold Bracelet

Four years after finishing third in the 2002 championship
event, Perry finally tastes victory
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Ralph Perry
George Abdallah
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Luzhe Zhang
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Frank Henderson
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The Butterfly Effect

Ralph Perry Wins His First WSOP
Gold Bracelet

Four years after finishing third in the 2002 championship event, Perry
finally tastes victory

Las Vegas, NV – “The Butterfly Effect” is common expression which explains
the unbreakable connection between all earthly things.  It was first coined
several years ago as a scientific concept.  The question posed was, “Does a
butterfly flapping its wings in Kansas create a typhoon in the South Pacific?”  
Since even a tiny butterfly affects the air current with the flapping of its
wings, it then follows that a storm cycle months later and thousands of miles
away is a distant by-product of the butterfly’s initial motion.
“The Butterfly Effect” also applies to poker.  Unfortunately, many fail to grasp
its nuances.  For instance, even the most subtle actions affect the outcome of
a poker tournament.  Consider the fact that any motion whatsoever – a
laugh, a sneeze, or even the most ordinary of common distractions – will
cause a poker dealer to shuffle a deck of cards in a slightly different way.  
Just one card out of place at any time, by consequence, changes the entire
sequence of cards which follow the rest of the tournament.  Since the actions
of one table very likely are seen and heard by players at adjoining tables,
those secondary tables too, are affected by the initial motion.  Then, the next
tables are affected also, and so on.  Sure, poker is a game of skill.  But it’s
also quite possible that an innocuous chuckle by the player in Seat Five on
Day One at Table 164 at the 2005 World Series of Poker influenced the
outcome of the biggest poker tournament in history.  Joe Hachem’s victory
was a combination of billions of figurative butterfly wings flapping, combined
with the talent to make a win possible.
Rafael “Ralph” Perry was born in Russia.  During his childhood, Perry’s family
immigrated to Israel.  At the age of 17, Perry arrived in the United States.  
Perry’s butterfly effect took place 15 years ago in Brooklyn, New York.  The 25-
year-old was invited into a pool hall one night and discovered a poker game
going on in the back room.  Perry decided to sit down in the game, and his
life was never the same after that.
“The game was Seven-Card Stud,” Perry remembered fondly.  “I decided to
play.  I played for an hour.  I ended up winning like twenty dollars.  I played
every single hand I loved the game so much.”  
After his win, Perry was invited by friends to go to a local card club in
Brooklyn, where he quickly became a regular player.  When poker was
legalized in Atlantic City, Perry started playing there.  Then, he heard about a
place where there were even more poker games – Las Vegas.  
“When I first came to Las Vegas, my intention was to get a job as a blackjack
dealer.  But, I never had to go out and get a job,” Perry said.  “I started
playing in low-limit stud games.  It was all I knew how to play.  From that day
forward, I started playing stud.”
One afternoon, Perry was sitting down inside a local cardroom where the
action was slow.  “I looked over at the next table and saw massive piles of
chips in the center of the table.  The pots were monsters,” Perry said.  “I
asked the floorman, ‘what game is that?’  He said, ‘Texas Hold’em.’  I asked,
‘How do you play it?’  They told me and I learned how to play.”   
Sure enough, that second butterfly effect created a typhoon a few years
later.  Perry won his way into the 2002 World Series of Poker’s championship
event and ended up finishing third.  “I had a horrible WSOP up until the main
event that year,” Perry recalled.  “Then, I finished third and won half-a-million
dollars.  That was the most money I ever had.”  
Four long years have since passed since Perry was thrust in the spotlight.  
He has made more than his share of cashes and final tables in tournaments,
but for all his financial success, Perry had yet to earn a breakthrough
tournament victory.  That would all change on July 18, 2006.
Ralph Perry was one 525 players who entered the Pot-Limit Omaha
championship at this year’s World Series of Poker, presented by Milwaukee’
Best Light.  After an initial 516 players were eliminated, that left nine players
to compete at the final table.  Players were eliminated, as follows:
Russ Salzer, a.k.a. “The Muscle,” finished in ninth place.  Salzer, who enjoyed
a marvelous WSOP last year, continues to demonstrate his rock-solid
tournament skills.  Salzer, from New York City, received $14,333.
Jason Newburger was the next player to exit.  The 22-year-old student-
athlete who is currently attending Bradley University, was playing Pot-Limit
Omaha for the first time.  Remarkably, he finished eighth and collected
Frank Henderson was the only former WSOP gold bracelet winner at the final
table.  “Hollywood” Henderson won his poker title back in 1989.  His bid for
bracelet number two came up well short.  Henderson earned $28,665 for
seventh place.
Next, Spiro Mitrokostas, a graduate of Tufts University (near Boston) and
ardent Red Sox fan, struck out and finished sixth.  Mitrokostas collected
Ray “Rooster” Lynn did not have much to crow about.  Lynn was the next
player eliminated.  The landscaper who now lives in the Washington, DC area
received $42,998 in prize money.
A short time later Zhang Luzhe, from Vienna, Austria, waltzed away from the
table in fourth place.  Luzhe, who regularly plays in big cash games in
Europe, added $50,164 to his poker bankroll.
Down to just three players, Brian Kocur lost his final pot of the tournament to
Ralph Perry.  Kocur, who is in the mortgage and real estate business, cashed
out for $57,330.
George Abdallah has been playing poker for nearly a decade.  The Houston
restaurant owner has enjoyed several cashes and major tournament wins,
including first place in a WSOP Circuit Pot-Limit Omaha event this year, in
addition to a fourth-place finish at the WSOP Circuit championship held in
New Orleans in May.  Abdallah wanted this gold bracelet in the worst way, in
order to join his mentors Sammy Farha and John Bonetti – two Houston-
based champion poker players who have coached Abdallah.  But Abdallah
was at a sizable chip disadvantage from the start of heads-up play and was
never able to seize control of the table away from his rival.
The final hand of the tournament was dealt out when Ralph Perry started
with K-J-10-2 against Abdallah’s Q-10-4-3.  The flop came 10-7-3 giving
Abdallah two-pair.  He moved all-in and was in the lead as Perry called.  A
nine on the turn gave Perry a straight draw.  Then, an eight on the river
completed Perry’s jack-high straight.  Abdallah was forced to settle for
second place, which paid $109,644.  Despite one of his biggest cashes ever,
there was no satisfaction on Abdallah’s face.    
With the well-earned victory, Ralph Perry won his first WSOP gold bracelet.  
He received $207,817 in prize money.  As Perry posed for photographers in
front of a massive pile of chips and was interviewed by the press, several
poker players who were playing in another poker tournament across the
room glanced over at the newest WSOP champion.  Dozens of conversations
ensued.  Shuffles were altered.  All of poker history changed.  

by Nolan Dalla

Overall Tournament Statistics (through end of Event #26-A):

Total Entries to Date:                          22,966

Total Prize Money Distributed:                $ 48,121,217

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End of Day One Results
2006 WSOP Tournament
Play Freeplay No Limit Holdem Poker
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2006 World Series of Poker        
Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas
Official Results and Report
End of Day One Results
Event #26 (A)
Pot-Limit Omaha
Buy-In:  $1,500
Number of Entries:  525
Total Prize Money:  $716,625

2006 wsop tournament results
Official Results: