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2005 WSOP Tournament of Champions

, 2005-11-10, by TwoGun

Submitted by: Ozone

Last year, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions was an invite-only event that featured just ten players. Many remember Annie Duke defeating a frustrated Phil Hellmuth to win the $2 million dollar first place prize.

This year, Harrah's Entertainment changed the format of the Tournament of Champions. Before last year's WSOP Circuit Events began, Harrah's announced that the Top 20 finishers in each of the 5 Circuit Events would join the nine final table participants from the WSOP Main Event to play in the Tournament of Champions freeroll. However, three players, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan were invited to play in the tournament even though the failed to qualify per the rules of the tournament.

While these unforeseen invitations lowered the tournament equity for the other players, the one million dollar first place prize brought out the A-game in everyone.

Rather than a winner-take-all tournament (which was the structure in 2004), the final 9 players received a payday in this freeroll.

Mike the 'Mouth' Matusow proved his 2005 Main Event final table appearance was no fluke by beating out 113 of the world's best players en route to the one million dollar first place prize.

Phil Hellmuth could taste the victory for the second year in a row, but was forced to settle for the $250,000 3rd place prize.

Hoyt Corkins won $325,000 for second. Main Event second-place finisher Steve Dannenmann finished 5th to earn $100,000.

With Mike 'the Mouth' and Phil Hellmuth finishing so deep, the televised event should be quite entertaining. It airs this Christmas Eve on ESPN.

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