Student Wins WSOP Satellite Tournament - Monday 24th of April 2006

NEW YORK – When John Theisen entered his first major satellite tournament last week, he noticed that only 80 players had registered for the qualifier, an event which offered a first place prize worth $27,900. In the end, 110 other players entered the satellite, and John Theisen defeated them all.

"When I saw the prize pool I knew I couldn't miss it because I would have a great chance of making the money. My expectations were to make the top 5 so that I could make at least a couple hundred dollars," said John.

John got a great start in the tournament and was able to build up a large chip stack rather quickly. The end of the tournament was significantly more dramatic and nerve-racking.

"The player I was heads-up with gave me three or four horrible bad beats to take a commanding chip lead on me. Then, I had to go all-in almost immediately because the blinds were so high, and I gave him three bad beats in a row to take back the chip lead. I was very unlucky and then very lucky in the last 10 minutes of the tournament."

Things turned out well for John in his first major qualifier. According to Steven Williams, senior editor at, which hosted the event together with, more players should take advantage of these top value satellites.

"Our special tournaments generally offer a really good chance to win a great prize. In this case, 111 players registered, but on some occasions there have been no more than 20 participants. What poker player would want to miss out on an opportunity like that?" said Mr. Williams.

John Theisen didn't hesitate to try his luck, and his boldness was certainly greatly rewarded. Now the full-time student hopes to repeat his success on the European Poker Tour. In total, he will be playing in three EPT tournaments.

"My hopes for the first EPT tournament are to play a little tighter than normal until I hopefully make the money. If I cash in the first tourney, then I will be trying to win the next events from day one."

Because John is under the legal gambling age in the United States, he did not qualify for the original first place prize: a $27,900 package to the World Poke Tour (WPT) World Championship currently underway at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Instead, he has been awarded the opportunity to compete in several different European Poker Tour events. He himself will be tasked with choosing the events he wants to participate in, while his buy-in costs and travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the $27,900 prize he received.

In addition to the $27,900 prize package, the $31,900 freeroll awarded $4,000 in cash prizes to those players who finished in spots 2-30.

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