Poker World Series Won by New Yorker
By Paul
The 10 of clubs produced a flush for a young Englishman but a full house for a computer systems analyst from New York — and a $2 million victory in the 33rd World Series of Poker.

Robert Varkonyi of New York emerged the victor from a record field of 631 players Friday in the Texas Hold 'em game. His full house on the 161st hand of the day trounced his final opponent, Julian Gardner, 23, of Manchester, England.

In the game, each player is dealt two cards face down, then the dealer exposes five common cards in the middle. A player makes the best five-card hand using any combination of his own two and the middle five.

Gardner had been dealt the jack and eight of clubs, while Varkonyi held the 10 of spades and queen of diamonds.

The first four shared cards had been two fours, including the club four, the queen of clubs, and the 10 of diamonds. Varkonyi and Gardner both said afterward they had to pause a moment when the dealer at Binion's Horseshoe hotel-casino revealed the final card — the 10 of clubs. A crowd of about 200 inside the room gasped.

'He caught his flush at the same time I caught the full house,' said Varkonyi, 40. 'It looked like he won, but when it cleared, it turned out I got my call.'

Varkonyi's three 10s and two queens ruined Gardner's bid. The Englishman, who would have been the youngest champion to win the event, took home $1.1 million in second-prize money.

Ralph Perry of Las Vegas took third place and $550,000 in winnings. Scott Gray of Dublin, Ireland, claimed fourth and $281,000. Harley Hall of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., won fifth place and $195,000.

 
 
 
 
 
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