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College student wins WSOP title, $559K

15 June 2012

Cliff Goldkind, a 24-year-old student from Potomac, Md., won the most recent $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event at the World Series of Poker to collect a whopping $559,514 in prize money and his first WSOP gold bracelet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Goldkind, was born in Tampa, Fla. He lived in Israel for a number of years and served in the Israeli Army. In fact, he was honorably discharged just four months ago, back in February. Remarkably, this marked the first time Goldkind has ever cashed in a WSOP tournament. He did manage to final table a
WSOP Circuit event held two months ago, but nothing compared to the astounding breakout victory achieved by a WSOP first-timer.

Goldkind beat a field of 2,302 players, the biggest non-re-entry tournament of the WSOP thus far. This is his first summer to play at the WSOP and his fourth event overall. This tournament marked the first time he made it past the dinner break on Day 1.

The runner-up was Kennii Nguyen, playing the role of poker's court jester. The incessantly talkative Nguyen wore a colorful joker hat during most of the
tournament. He earned a very respectable $347,036 in prize money, his biggest score ever.

Other final table finishers included: Adria Balaguer of Malta, who was third for $245,197, Patrick Smith from Montgomery Ala., who finished fourth for $176,299, Gregg Wilkinson of Sacramento, Calif., whose fifth-place showing earned him $128,441, and Justin Mcgill (sixth), David Peters (seventh), two-time gold bracelet winner Barry Shulman (eighth), and Gary Burks (ninth).

The top 243 players finished in the money. Other notable players who cashed included: John Dolan (35th), Sam Stein (55th), Cliff Josephy (122nd), Randy Lew (196th), Victor Ramdin (215th), and Isaac Haxton (241st).

Modified from tournament notes provided by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla.

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