Commentary

Somerville completes the journey

Updated: June 15, 2011, 12:29 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

He had come close before, but this time around, Jason Somerville wouldn't let a bracelet slip out of his grasp. The 24-year-old professional poker player from New York had finished second, third, fourth and fifth in previous WSOP events and early Wednesday morning, he won he largest one-day entry event in WSOP history, the $1,000 buy-in Event 20, for his first WSOP bracelet.

[+] EnlargeSomerville
WSOP Daniel Negreanu celebrates with Jason Somerville after his victory in Event 20 at the 2011 WSOP.

Somerville's reaction on Twitter: "Weeeeeeeeee".

That sounds about right.

The dedicated student of Daniel Negreanu's small-ball style of poker, Somerville focused on not getting too heavily invested in many pots. That strategy enabled him to outlast the field of 3,175 players and win the first-place prize of $493,091. It was the largest cash of his career.

Supported by friends at the final table, Somerville needed just one hand of heads-up play against Yashar Darian to win the tournament. After the two had prepared themselves for the battle for the bracelet, Somerville opened from the button and was three-bet by Darian. Somerville followed through with a four-bet and Darian moved all-in. In a dream scenario, Somerville instantly called with pocket aces and caught Darian with K-4. After years of falling short, it was the perfect ending for Somerville's journey into the WSOP bracelet club.

Before finally breaking through, Somerville had come very close in some of the largest and toughest events at the WSOP. In 2010, his two close calls came in the $25,000 six-handed event (fourth) and the $10,000 heads-up event (tied for third). In 2009, he finished second in the 999-player $1,500 shootout and fifth in the 854-player "Triple Chance" event. Negreanu watched the final table to support his friend and believes Somerville's game is something special.

"When I met him, he mocked small-ball so much," said Negreanu. "He said, 'It's laughable, the bet sizing and all.' Then, he finally became a believer. And then, he was like, 'I love it. It's so easy. It makes the game so easy.' He small-balled the hell out of this final table. I am so for happy for him. He's come second, third, fourth, fifth -- even in these 3,000-player fields. He has the best record ever in events like that."

Through the conclusion of the first 20 events, there have been 19 first-time WSOP champions. More significantly, according to the WSOP, attendance has been up double-digits, percentage-wise.

Other notable finishers included Lex Velduis (11th), Tim West (15th) and Amnon Filippi (48th).

Below are the complete results of Event 20 at the 2011 World Series of Poker:

Event 20: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $1,000
Entries: 3,175
Prize pool: $2,857,500
Players in the money: 324

1. Jason Somerville ($493,091)
2. Yashar Darian ($305,009)
3. Travis Atkins ($215,855)
4. Richard Fridvalszki ($156,248)
5. Alex Martin ($114,414)
6. Gian Carlos Oliveri ($84,753)
7. Diana Allen ($63,493)
8. Shane Rose ($48,091)
9. James Schaaf ($36,833)
10. Brett Shaffer ($28,517)
11. Lex Veldhuis ($28,517)
12. Thomas Conway ($28,517)
13. Dejuante Alexander ($22,317)
14. Maximilian Lehmanski ($22,317)
15. Tim West ($22,317)
16. Michael Blocksidge ($17,659)
17. Steven Miller ($17,659)
18. Michael Clark ($17,659)
19. Chancellor Strickland ($14,116)
20. Zachary Urton ($14,116)
21. Jason Hallee ($14,116)
22. Sybe Smit ($14,116)
23. Valdemar Kwaysser ($14,116)
24. Jeffrey Norman ($14,116)
25. James Oh ($14,116)
26. Joshua Smith ($14,116)
27. Stephen Kats ($14,116)
28. Michael Glasser ($11,401)
29. Evins Cherfils ($11,401)
30. Phillip Sears ($11,401)
31. Jerry Tolefson ($11,401)
32. David Peters ($11,401)
33. Eric Afriat ($11,401)
34. Thung Huynh ($11,401)
35. Mark French ($11,401)
36. Alain Confino ($11,401)
37. Donald Markwardt ($9,315)
38. Douglas Lang ($9,315)
39. Blake Barousse ($9,315)
40. Chris Dombrowski ($9,315)
41. Rostislav Tsodikov ($9,315)
42. Dave Orvis ($9,315)
43. Michael Erdle ($9,315)
44. Kien Lam ($9,315)
45. Ryan Allgire ($9,315)
46. Joel Bullock ($7,686)
47. Leslie Spear ($7,686)
48. Amnon Filippi ($7,686)
49. James Whittet ($7,686)
50. Jose Lasso ($7,686)
51. Jeremy Ausmus ($7,686)
52. Daniel Dizenzo ($7,686)
53. Oliver Pohl ($7,686)
54. Steven Loney ($7,686)
55. Clifton Ward ($6,400)
56. Markus Herbel ($6,400)
57. Dong Tao ($6,400)
58. John Torres ($6,400)
59. Austin Held ($6,400)
60. Scott Hainey ($6,400)
61. Mihai Manole ($6,400)
62. Jack Rosenfeldt ($6,400)
63. Rosario Aloe ($6,400)
64. Adam Heger ($5,372)
65. Casey Miller ($5,372)
66. David Shirt ($5,372)
67. Ryan Hansen ($5,372)
68. Jonathan Holske ($5,372)
69. Richard Rosales ($5,372)
70. Bradley Craig ($5,372)
71. Bryan Oliver ($5,372)
72. Jacob Schindler ($5,372)
73. Gonzalez Navarro ($4,572)
74. Joey Weissman ($4,572)
75. Daniel Loughmiller ($4,572)
76. William Angelos ($4,572)
77. Joseph Couden ($4,572)
78. Jonathan Driscoll ($4,572)
79. Bret Hinshaw ($4,572)
80. Robert Schoppler ($4,572)
81. Andrew Devito ($4,572)
82. Michael Vekselman ($3,914)
83. Pierre Neuville ($3,914)
84. Allin Collins ($3,914)
85. Liam Stuart ($3,914)
86. Jeffrey Gibralter ($3,914)
87. Dennis Seagle ($3,914)
88. Cherish Andrews ($3,914)
89. Maxwell Greenwood ($3,914)
90. Jonathan Baker ($3,914)
91. James Manning ($3,400)
92. Vincent Lam ($3,400)
93. Haralambos Tsivicos ($3,400)
94. John Phan ($3,400)
95. John Hice ($3,400)
96. James Schaeffer ($3,400)
97. Wesley Van Meurs ($3,400)
98. Jamie Roberts ($3,400)
99. Ryan Kosecki ($3,400)
100. Mark Rose ($2,971)
101. Joshua Field ($2,971)
102. James Townsend ($2,971)
103. Kevin Warren ($2,971)
104. Saul Frank ($2,971)
105. Eyal Elter ($2,971)
106. Alfred Collins ($2,971)
107. Javier Montano ($2,971)
108. Matthew Bloch ($2,971)
109. Aaron Lambert ($2,971)
110. Kazuhito Oshima ($2,971)
111. Norbert Heiss ($2,971)
112. Oscar Valencia ($2,971)
113. Vincent Lucardie ($2,971)
114. Juuso Matikainen ($2,971)
115. Bryan Schlieper ($2,971)
116. Mike Ngo ($2,971)
117. Bruce Guinn ($2,971)
118. Brandan Zaucha ($2,971)
119. Christopher Price ($2,971)
120. Samer Khuri ($2,971)
121. David Hoote ($2,971)
122. Jesus Gastelum ($2,971)
123. Mark Yarbrough ($2,971)
124. Rod Fani ($2,971)
125. Mark Scott ($2,971)
126. Zachariah Ripps ($2,971)
127. Luke Nettles ($2,971)
128. Dylan Wilkerson ($2,971)
129. Michael Pesek ($2,971)
130. David Browning ($2,971)
131. John Honeycutt ($2,971)
132. John Myung ($2,971)
133. Henry Gompf ($2,971)
134. Dennis Mcglynn ($2,971)
135. Jessica Mendoza ($2,971)
136. Jonathan Dries ($2,971)
137. Scott Montgomery ($2,971)
138. Ryan Miller ($2,971)
139. Mark Schluter ($2,971)
140. Patricio Delgarza ($2,971)
141. Andrew Weisner ($2,971)
142. Matthew Rosen ($2,971)
143. Chad Wheeler ($2,971)
144. Daniel Thomas ($2,971)
145. Guillaume Chantal ($2,628)
146. Christophe Benzimra ($2,628)
147. Hoyt Corkins ($2,628)
148. Daniel Foster ($2,628)
149. Lori Smith ($2,628)
150. Bobby Pham ($2,628)
151. Melodi Green ($2,628)
152. Peter Cook ($2,628)
153. Brandon Livengood ($2,628)
154. Victor Shuchleis ($2,628)
155. Michael Benvenuti ($2,628)
156. Dwight Derringer ($2,628)
157. Roman Valerstein ($2,628)
158. Jeffrey Gross ($2,628)
159. Hiren Patel ($2,628)
160. Russel Morse ($2,628)
161. Antonio Traniello ($2,628)
162. Alex Hollenstein ($2,628)
163. Larry Wilder ($2,628)
164. Alexandru Masek ($2,628)
165. Fabien Perrot ($2,628)
166. Roberto Begni ($2,628)
167. Adam Bruster ($2,628)
168. Richard Hyde ($2,628)
169. Stephen Cinderella ($2,628)
170. Michael Leah ($2,628)
171. Torrey Reily ($2,628)
172. Jonathan Stamm ($2,628)
173. Jeffrey Larsen ($2,628)
174. Hakeem Mashal ($2,628)
175. Yuval Bronshtein ($2,628)
176. Au Dang ($2,628)
177. Tom McEvoy ($2,628)
178. Randall Cohen ($2,628)
179. Ronald Howald ($2,628)
180. Kyle Weir ($2,628)
181. Raphael Doromal ($2,628)
182. Scott Stewart ($2,628)
183. Chulsoo Park ($2,628)
184. Sachin Modi ($2,628)
185. Thomas Fuller ($2,628)
186. Ahmed Ayub ($2,628)
187. Gregory Connor ($2,628)
188. Kimberly Yeaton ($2,628)
189. Ryan Hasler ($2,628)
190. Justin Sloan ($2,343)
191. Dean Schultz ($2,343)
192. Ramon Salinasgarcia ($2,343)
193. Victor Staelens ($2,343)
194. Michael Kucinski ($2,343)
195. Scott Lapoint ($2,343)
196. Lisa Costello ($2,343)
197. Bret Hruby ($2,343)
198. Shaun Deeb ($2,343)
199. Donald Henzlik ($2,343)
200. Jonathan Graf ($2,343)
201. Tom West ($2,343)
202. Eduardo Mendoza ($2,343)
203. Richard Yien ($2,343)
204. Luke Staudenmaier ($2,343)
205. George Lima ($2,343)
206. Mackenna Kay ($2,343)
207. Preston Lee ($2,343)
208. Robert Marshall ($2,343)
209. Lea Nehme ($2,343)
210. Kenneth Shei ($2,343)
211. James Ferguson ($2,343)
212. Justin Friedman ($2,343)
213. Zoran Andric ($2,343)
214. James Sander ($2,343)
215. Paul Lieu ($2,343)
216. Cesar Garrigo ($2,343)
217. George Palomarez ($2,343)
218. Dennis Armstrong ($2,343)
219. Linnie Heimowitz ($2,343)
220. Jim Benchakul ($2,343)
221. Kenneth Blaine ($2,343)
222. Adam Croffut ($2,343)
223. Yorane Kerignard ($2,343)
224. Christian Marquardt ($2,343)
225. Jeffrey Rosenberger ($2,343)
226. Aliaksei Kastsiushyn ($2,343)
227. Mark Aramaki ($2,343)
228. Fredrik Tanum ($2,343)
229. Anthony Harb ($2,343)
230. Daniel Morgan ($2,343)
231. Ronald Ruiz ($2,343)
232. Mohsen Tayfeh ($2,343)
233. David Zeitlin ($2,343)
234. Charles Nitchman ($2,343)
235. Andrew Vanwyhe ($2,114)
236. Ernesto Valdez ($2,114)
237. George Miller ($2,114)
238. Warren Friedman ($2,114)
239. Dallas Kawai ($2,114)
240. Adrian Flores ($2,114)
241. Norberto Padua ($2,114)
242. Mark Alves ($2,114)
243. Michael Spilkin ($2,114)
244. James Roberts ($2,114)
245. Christopher Witt ($2,114)
246. David Patterson ($2,114)
247. Mickey Petersen ($2,114)
248. Brian Wan ($2,114)
249. Daniel Noseworthy ($2,114)
250. James Kierzkowski ($2,114)
251. Gregory Gokey ($2,114)
252. Daniel Illingworth ($2,114)
253. Jonathan Rosen ($2,114)
254. Gary Meade ($2,114)
255. Chadwick Whitacre ($2,114)
256. Thomas Lubeskie ($2,114)
257. Melanie Weisner ($2,114)
258. James Viglizzo ($2,114)
259. Conrad Monica ($2,114)
260. Carl Johnson ($2,114)
261. Lyle Schmitt ($2,114)
262. Robert Ward ($2,114)
263. Nathan Weed ($2,114)
264. Morgan Machina ($2,114)
265. Sirous Jamshidi ($2,114)
266. James Kable ($2,114)
267. Curt Raines ($2,114)
268. Ravi Raghavan ($2,114)
269. Andres Velez ($2,114)
270. Alex Watts ($2,114)
271. Jeff Eaton ($2,114)
272. David Kob ($2,114)
273. Tomer Berda ($2,114)
274. Paul Koks ($2,114)
275. Ricardo Franco ($2,114)
276. Lorrie Corvin ($2,114)
277. James Dougla Rigler ($2,114)
278. Raul Paez ($2,114)
279. Cy Jassinowsky ($2,114)
280. Joseph Purcell ($1,914)
281. Kevin Dooley ($1,914)
282. Cesar Flores ($1,914)
283. Joseph Caja ($1,914)
284. Scott Desveaux ($1,914)
285. Timothy Armstrong ($1,914)
286. Shawn Van Asdale ($1,914)
287. Fabian Holling ($1,914)
288. David Raygoza ($1,914)
289. Gavin Smith ($1,914)
290. Taylor Paur ($1,914)
291. Sol Hessell ($1,914)
292. Sherman Ibarra ($1,914)
293. Ronald May ($1,914)
294. Stephen Schornstein ($1,914)
295. Gary Pham ($1,914)
296. Raymond Chan ($1,914)
297. Dmitrii Valouev ($1,914)
298. Michael Bear ($1,914)
299. Roy Montoya ($1,914)
300. Jean-Francoi Dion ($1,914)
301. Douglas Lamson ($1,914)
302. Drew Woodke ($1,914)
303. Eduardo Mendoza ($1,914)
304. Patrick Fenton ($1,914)
305. Keith Snead ($1,914)
306. Brady Neukam ($1,914)
307. Micah Raskin ($1,914)
308. Guy Bowles ($1,914)
309. Clive Martin ($1,914)
310. Suzannse Erickson ($1,914)
311. Marc Dimond ($1,914)
312. Gerome Touchard ($1,914)
313. Matthew Kleckner ($1,914)
314. Keven Stammen ($1,914)
315. Vladimir Kochelaevskiy ($1,914)
316. Andrew Campbell ($1,914)
317. Andrew Buechner ($1,914)
318. James Morrill ($1,914)
319. Ryan Rodrigue ($1,914)
320. John Knipfer ($1,914)
321. Matt Keikoan ($1,914)
322. Michael Merichko ($1,914)
323. Ronnell Martin ($1,914)
324. Florian Manz ($1,914)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE