Tuesday, 21 July 2009 04:47
PokerStars Sponsored Player Kevin Schaffel Reaches for $8.5 Million and 2009 WSOP Championship Title
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 20, 2009 – Just over two weeks ago, 6,494 people entered the 2009 WSOP Main Event, creating a prize pool of over $61 million; now only nine remain. PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, is proud to have sponsored player Kevin Schaffel still going strong at the final table. Each player at the final table is guaranteed a $1.2 million pay day when they return to The Rio Casino in November to complete the tournament. The winner will collect an $8.5 million grand prize, a coveted World Series of Poker bracelet and a place in poker history as the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.
Over 1,826 players won their seats to the 2009 WSOP on PokerStars, with close to 1,000 of those players accepting the challenge of playing in the $10k No-Limit Hold'em World Championship. PokerStars also sponsored a number of celebrities, athletes and professional poker players, bringing the total number of PokerStars players to 1,100 - roughly around one fifth of the total field of players. Some 113 PokerStars players cashed in the Main Event, earning well over $7 million. 3 of those players were from Finland.
“This has been a dream for a long time and hard to believe; having my son here has made it even more special” said final tablist Kevin Schaffel. “Even though I didn’t have the cards I needed, it was just in the stars, in the Poker Stars actually!” See Kevin’s full interview on http://www.pokerstars.com (TV)
Schaffel has been playing poker with his family and friends for 40 years. Originally from Miami, Florida, Schaffel now lives in Coral Springs with his two children. Last year, Schaffel closed down his printing business that he owned for 30 years with the hope of retiring. He started playing poker more seriously and found his way to the main event for the third time in his life. Schaffel came in 42nd in 2004 and 324th in 2008.
For the second time in the history of the WSOP, the Main Event will stop play for almost four months. Schaffel will be returning to the Rio on November 7, 2009 to battle for the remaining $27 million prize pool. During the break he plans to play a lot of golf and hopes to put the majority of his winnings towards his retirement.
“The break makes for a different dynamic at the final table,” said 2008 WSOP Main Event Champion and Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate. “It makes it more exciting for the sport and allows the public to better understand the players. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better and helping PokerStars earn another World Series championship.”
This year PokerStars sponsored a host of outstanding celebrity players in the World Series of Poker Main Event and the Ante Up for Africa Charity Poker Tournament. The celebrities included hip hop artist Nelly, Jason Alexander, Sarah Silverman, Marlon Wayans, Lou Diamond Phillips, and athletes Jason Farmar, Orel Hershiser, Torrie Wilson, Brad Garrett and John “Spike” Salley. Lou Diamond Phillips faired the best in the Main Event, winning $36,626 for his 186th place finish.
PokerStars hosted the biggest WSOP party in Vegas with more than 1000 guests attending Rain Nightclub in the Palms Hotel, with an exclusive concert by two-time Grammy award winning hip hop artist Nelly, an avid poker player who played in several bracelet events at the WSOP including the Main Event. For a full recap of PokerStars at the 2009 World Series of Poker, go to www.pokerstars.com (blogs)