The Canadian domination continued today at the World Series of Poker, as Calen McNeil of British Columbia won the sixth bracelet for the country in the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Low event as well as $277,274.
This event went into an unscheduled fourth day of play after a long stretch of final table action on Day 3, then continued for two and a half more hours today. The heads-up battle between McNeil and Can Kim Hua was a tough one, as neither player was willing to go out without a fight.
Fighting is something McNeil is familiar with as he possesses a black belt in karate. Heis also familiar with overcoming adversity. Back in 1994, McNeil suffered an overdose while in the hospital and he went into a coma for five days. He managed to pull through that scary time. Now, almost twenty years later, he fought and won a much happier battle.
The restaurant owner from Victoria, British Columbia is known as Big Wheel McNeil and the name of his restaurant in Victoria is Big Wheel Burgers. This is his eighth WSOP cash and his first-ever final table.
The runner-up, Hua, is a longtime poker pro from California who was making his fourth career WSOP final table appearance.
Event 20 attracted 1,014 entrants (a slight increase over last year’s field of 967) generating a prize pool of $1,368,900. The top 117 players scored a cash of at least $2,600. Notables to finish in the money include James Bord (109th), Barry Greenstein (90th), 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider (84th) and his wife Julie (80th), Scott Fischman (70th), Bill Chen (63rd), Men Nguyen (58th) and John Racener (24th).
Jennifer Harman (22nd) and Maria Ho (21st) made Day 3, but were eliminated short of the final table.
With a 3rd place finish good for $107,349, Todd Brunson became the 260th WSOP-made millionaire.
In addition to Brunson, the final table included three other gold bracelet winners. Of those, Dao Bac finished ninth, while two-time winners John Monnette and Hieu Ma finished seventh and fifh respectively.
Final table results:
1st: Calen McNeil – $277,274
2nd: Can Kim Hua – $171,577
3rd: Todd Brunson – $107,349
4th: Joe Ford – $77,917
5th: Hieu Ma – $57,521
6th: Stephen Chidwick – $43,120
7th: John Monnette – $32,798
8th: Won Goag – $25,283
9th: Dao Bac – $19,753