World Poker Finals
|Dates||Nov 13 - 18, 2005|
|Final Table Date||Nov 18, 2005|
|Buy-In||$10,000 + $200|
|Number of Entrants||783|
The WPT's annual pilgrimage to the Mecca of New England poker, for the Foxwoods World Poker Finals, produced an event that was positively bursting with historical milestones. You couldn't turn around without hitting a highlight of some kind. Even the familiar voice of the WPT, Mike Sexton, shares a piece of Foxwoods history, as the winner of the very first World Poker Finals in 1992.
A record-busting field of 780 players converged here, at the birthplace of poker superstars, for the biggest tournament in the history of the east coast. This is, after all, the tournament that first brought WPT fame and fortune to the three previous winners: Howard "Professor" Lederman, Hoyt "Alabama Cowboy" Corkins, and reigning WPT world champion, Tuan Le. And this season, Foxwoods promised an even greater reward. Every inch of the largest casino in the world was needed to contain the biggest prize pool in WPT regular season history, a gargantuan $7,800,000, with a top prize of $2,142,000.
The final table featured the youngest player ever to make the final felt, 21 year-old satellite qualifier, New York pro, Nick Schulman, who came in as chip leader, trying to be the first ever wire-to-wire winner. Battling him for the title, the millions, and the guaranteed $25,000 seat at the WPT Championship, was yet another formidable table of pros and battle-tested amateurs. Led by poker legend and hall-of-famer Lyle Berman, whose shrewd instincts and investment gave birth to the WPT in the first place, were New Jersey mattress magnate and poker amateur "All-In" Tony Licastro, retired Navy seaman and fellow part-timer Lenny Cortellino of Lewiston, ME, and two pros, 28 year-old maestro Allen Cunningham, and 38 year-old ace journeyman Bill Gazes, both at their second WPT final table. In the woods of New England, the hunt is on for the largest regular season payout in WPT history, be there to see it all this week on the Travel Channel.