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26-year-old wins $818,959, WSOP title

11 June 2010

Jason DeWitt won the $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament (Event #17) for $818,959 at the World Series of Poker on Friday morning. It is his first career WSOP gold bracelet victory for DeWitt, an Indiana native now living in the Atlanta area. The 26-year-old poker pro owns a condominium, which he expects to pay off in full now that he has achieved a huge win.

DeWitt has seven WSOP in-the-money finishes on his blossoming resume, including at least one cash in each of the last five years at the WSOP. He has come close to winning a bracelet twice before, finishing third in a pot-limit Hold'em event last year, and second in a no-limit event a few days later.

"When I came into the final table, I was fourth or fifth in chips," said DeWitt. "I lost two flips, and then from that point forward I really play perfect. Out of all the tournaments I've played, I thought I played this one perfect."

He conquered a massive field size of 792 very tough players en route to the title. It was the largest $5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em tournament in WSOP history. Attendance increased by 21 percent over last year, when there were 655 entries.

"I made it to two final tables last year," said DeWitt. "This one was tougher than those other two."

Sam Trickett, from Nottingham, Great Britain, was the runner up. He is a former professional soccer player who suffered an injury that ended his athletic career. He turned to poker and has been playing professionally since then. He collected a consolation prize amounting to $505,725, which now gives him $767,138 in WSOP career earnings. He barely missed becoming the third WSOP gold bracelet winner this year from the U.K. Brits now have two wins, two seconds, and a third-place finish at this year's Series.

Seating was packed to capacity. There were several hundred viewers most of the night. The late-night atmosphere was dominated by a rowdy group of British players, who ringed the final table cheering on their fellow countryman. The British group, numbering between 15-20 players, frequently hummed and whistled the memorable battle march from "The Great Escape." At one point, English spectators grew tired of drinking draft beer and ordered six bottles of Cristal champagne. The bar tab was $4,600.

The third final table was the charm for DeWitt.

The third final table was the charm for DeWitt. (photo by GreasieWheels)

The final hand of the tournament came when Jason DeWitt was ahead by about a 2-to-1 margin. DeWitt had 10-eight, while Trickett had ace-seven. DeWitt hit an eight on the flop and it held up to give him his first WSOP bracelet.

Jeff Williams, a 23-year-old poker pro from Athens, Ga., finished third. His online player name is "YellowSub86." Williams has seven WSOP cashes in just three years, and incredibly has amassed nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in earnings. His best showing was a second-place finish in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em with Re-buys event. Third place in this tournament paid $328,762.

Peter Gilmore, from Kingston, N.H., finished fourth to earn $241,472, while Amit Makhija, from Brookfield, Wis., was fifth for $179,866.

The sixth-place finisher was David "the Raptor" Benefield, from Ft. Worth, Texas, who won $135,718. He played poker seriously for about five years, but is now in college, studying philosophy and classical literature. James Carroll, from Garland, Texas, was seventh, winning $103,594.

Paul Foltyn, a 25-year-old poker pro from Doncaster, England, was eighth, and Manny Minaya, from Tampa, Fla., was ninth.

The top 72 finishers collected prize money. Former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Perry Friedman (10th), Antonio "the Magician" Esfandiari (12th), Josh Arieh (26th), Ted Lawson (39th), Chau Giang (41st), Lisa Hamilton (46th), Phil Hellmuth (50th), Vitaly Lunkin (65th), and Annette Obrestad (72nd).

Hellmuth's cash was his second of the year. He remains in first place as the all-time WSOP cashes leader with 77, 10 cashes ahead of Men 'the Master" Nguyen, who ranks second. Obrestad, who is the youngest WSOP gold bracelet winner in history, cashed for the first time on U.S. soil, finishing 72nd. Obrestad turned 21 (legal age to play in the U.S.) this year. She was 18 years old when she won the inaugural championship at WSOP Europe in 2007.

Modified from notes provided by Nolan Dalla for

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