Gentleman John Gale Wins
WSOP Gold Bracelet
Event # 29 WSOP Results
Final Event 29 wsop results
World Series of Poker
Tournament Results and
When Good Things Happen to Nice People

Gentleman John Gale Wins a
WSOP Gold Bracelet

After losing Pot-Limit championship in 2005, gracious Englishman
comes back and earns hard-fought victory
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Las Vegas, NV – The real test of character is not watching someone during a time of
celebration.  Rather, it is watching someone in a time of despair.  Anyone can
behave politely when things are going good.  But what about during the bad times?  
What do they do?  How do they act?  This notion brings about the old saying,
“adversity introduces a man to himself.”
The 2006 Pot-Limit Hold’em championship concluded on July 21, 2006.  But the story
of John Gale and his inspiring gold bracelet-winning victory started more than a year
At last year’s World Series of Poker, Gale had his last opponent down to the felt and
drawing slim.  ESPN cameras and the entire poker world were watching as Gale, one
of poker’s most gracious gentlemen, was about to win the $5,000 buy-in Pot Limit
Hold’em championship.  But poker is all about the unpredictable.  Gale not only lost
the key hand that would have won him a WSOP title, he proceeded to lose several
more vicious hands (usually as the favorite).  Brian Wilson ended up making a
stunning comeback in heads-up play, eventually seized the chip lead, and ended up
as the winner.  Instead of acting bewildered or angry, Gale extended his hand and
then warmly embraced the winner.  He smiled and moved off of the stage to allow
Wilson his moment of glory.     
In what has been a year of retribution at the 2006 World Series of Poker, presented
by Milwaukee’s Best Light, John Gale added his name to the illustrious list of
tournament winners who had previously been shunned by the poker gods in years
past.  Sammy Farha and David Williams, who were runners up in the championship
event in 2003 and 2004 respectively, each captured a gold bracelet.  After decades
of unofficially being tagged as “the world’s best all-around poker player,” Chip Reese
won the biggest buy-in event in WSOP history and finally validated the designation.  
Then, there was poker ambassador Mike Sexton, who started this year’s
tournament off with a resounding victory in the Tournament of Champions.
John Gale’s victory was all the more pleasing to watch because he so genuinely
wanted the gold bracelet – far more than the monetary value of the $374,849 in
prize money.  It’s often a cliché to mention that a WSOP gold bracelet means more
than the money.  But in Gale’s case, it’s truthful.
“It’s every poker player’s dream,” Gale said.  “It means so much more now because
I came so close (last year).  I really do feel bad for anyone that gets close and does
not win.  But, to now come back and enjoy this moment makes it all the sweeter.”
After 553 players had been eliminated over two long days, nine players took the
final table on the Rio poker stage.  The nine finalists comprised a very tough lineup,
most notably Joe Hachem the reigning world poker champion.  When play began,
John Gale was a distant third in the chip count, trailing by more than 3 to 1 to the
chip leader, Alex Jacob.
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Greg Alston was the first player to go out.  On his final hand, Alston tried to steal the
pot with a pre-flop re-raise holding king-four.  But the initial raiser, Kevin Ho, had
more than enough chips to make the call, and did so holding king-seven.  Ho made
two pair to a board of K-10-6-7-9, and Alston was eliminated.  Alston, who had been
playing tournament poker for nearly a decade, including the last six years at the
WSOP, collected $25,852 for ninth place.  
Lee Markholt went out next.  Once again, Kevin Ho was the hatchet man.  The
Washington State-based poker player went all-in with ace-seven against Ho’s king-
deuce.  When the final board showed Q-3-2-8-9, a lowly pair of deuces had
eliminated Markholt.  Eighth place paid $38,778.
Jeffrey Roberson finished in seventh place when he was severely short-stacked and
moved all-in under the gun holding queen-three.  Kevin Ho eliminated his third
consecutive opponent when he called the raise with pocket aces, which crushed the
weaker hand.  Roberson, a home builder from Missouri, received $51,704.
Lee Grove was down to his last 20,000 when he moved in with ace-seven.  Joe
Hachem called the small raise and flipped over king-five.  The final board showed J-J-
6-K-3, giving Hachem a pair of kings.  Grove collected sixth-place prize money
totaling $64,630.
Many thought this was Alex Jacob’s tournament to lose.  He arrived with a sizable
chip lead at this, his second final table this year, but suffered through a horrific final
hour which knocked him out a disappointing fifth.  After losing most of his chips on a
number of crippling hands, Jacob went out with a pair of nines against Joe Hachem’s
pocket queens.  Jacob, a graduate of Yale University, received $77,556.
Down to four players, there was a hand that was as enlightening as it was
dramatic.  World champ Hachem was all-in against Kevin Ho and was in serious
trouble.  He was down to a single card.  With his tournament life on the line, the
entire room standing and holding their collective breaths, a queen spiked on the
river and saved Hachem -- at least temporarily.  As the crowd roared, Hachem made
what unfortunately an all-too rare revelation of overt sportsmanship.  As he heard
the cheers around him, Hachem saw his opponent looking down and dejected.  With
the wave of his arm, Hachem asked for stillness from the crowd.  It was a respectful
and dignified gesture that reveals more about Hachem as a champion and as a
person than any million dollar prize or gold bracelet.   
Sadly, Hachem’s good graces did not translate into what could have been his second
WSOP victory.  He went out a short time later on a horrible beat.  On the key hand,
Hachem moved all-in holding king-nine after the flop came K-4-3.  John Gale had ace-
three and called with the small pair.  The turn brought a blank, but an ace on the
river stunned the crowd, knocked out the champ, and rocketed Gale up into the chip
“Sorry Joe,” John Gale would say later in a post-tournament interview.  “I knew I did
not have the best of it when I called.  But I decided to gamble to have the chance to
knock out a great player.”  For Hachem, fourth place paid $90,482.
Kevin Ho went out in third place when he was all-in with an outside straight draw
holding jack-nine to the flop -- which came A-10-8.  John Gale had ace-jack, for top
pair.  Two blanks sealed Ho’s fate – which paid $103,408.
Heads-up play between John Gale and Maros Lechman lasted 89 hands.  The chip
lead changed four times.  Both players had decisive chip advantages at various
points, up 5 to 1 at times.  But neither player could hold the lead for long.  Finally
after three hours and 45 minutes of intense play, Gale caught a rush of cards and
had his stubborn opponent down to the felt.
The final hand of the tournament came when Lechman’s ace-six lost to Gale’s king-
nine.  The final board showed 10-9-7-5-2.  Gale’s pair of nines won the pot.  Maros
Lechman finished the tournament in second place and earned $197,768.
Had he won, Maros “Premier” Lechman would have been the youngest player ever
to win at the WSOP.  At 21 years and three weeks of age, Lechman would have
eclipsed Jeff Madsen’s record (set earlier this week) by 20 days.  
Gale was tearful after his well-deserved, crowd-pleasing victory.  He hugged many
well-wishers in the stands and it took several minutes for Gale to compose himself
for the post-tournament festivities.  True to his genial nature, Gale complimented his
opponents -- especially Lechman in heads-up play.
Poker is a game of peaks and valleys.  Many valleys, in fact.  Only one player in each
tournament can see the winner’s view from the summit.  As Gentleman John Gale
discovered, wallowing in the World Series valley for a while makes the summit’s view
all the more magnificent when it finally comes. Oh, and how magnificent the view is.

by Nolan Dalla

Overall Tournament Statistics (through end of Event #29):

Total Entries to Date:                          25,994

Total Prize Money Distributed:                $ 54,079,307
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2006 wsop results:
John Gale
Maros Lechman
Kevin Ho
Joe Hachem
Alex Jacob
Lee Grove
Jeffrey Roberson
Lee Markholt
Greg Alston
Aaron Bartley
Theo Tran
David John
Emanual Santiago
Nick Guagenti
Joshua Van Duyn
John Hansmeyer
Iwan Jones
Thomas Smith
Alex Brenes
Zachary Stewart
Ernesto Celedon
Gregg Turk
Craig Gray
Chris Howard
Jonathan Turner
Gary Parsons
Carlo Citrone
Efrain Lopez
Richard Redmond
Lee Watkinson
Ariel Schneller
Thomas Fuller
Randel Brown
Matthew Matros
Michael Dueloth
McLadan Ivin
Scott Auerback
Daniel Negreanu
Spiro Mitrokostas
Robert Neary
Gary Rabin
Eric Tomberlin
Ralph Porter
Jonathan Hewston
John Shipley
Kathy Liebert
Mke Sexton
Karl Mahrenholz
Laura Fink
Thieu Phan
Jeffrey Aebischen
Jean-Robert Bellande
Steven Powsner
Adam Nilsson
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Event #29
Pot-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In:  $2,500
Number of Entries:  562
Total Prize Money:  $1,292,600

2006 World Series of Poker        
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