Commentary

Veteran Ken Griffin wins $455,356

Updated: June 30, 2011, 10:55 AM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

For 10 years, Ken Griffin served as a United States Marine and traveled the world in order to serve his country. He left the military for the private sector, where as a defense contractor, he's spent some time in Iraq and Afghanistan. He took a leave of absence from his job for personal reasons and decided to return to the U.S. During his time at home, he wanted to play in Event 45 of the 2011 World Series of Poker. His decision to play in the 2,890-player $1,000 buy-in event turned out to be a great one as he won all the key battles to emerge as the champion and newest WSOP bracelet holder.

[+] EnlargeGriffin
PokerNews/WSOPVeteran Ken Griffin won the $1,000 buy-in Event 45.

This was Griffin's first WSOP-related cash and the 34-year-old Texan earned $455,354 in prize money. That money can be life-changing for some, but in Griffin's case, it could be life-saving. His mother is ill and the money won from the event will be used towards her growing medical bills.

"I'm going to take care of her and be closer to home," Griffin said. "I'm going to be transferring money into her account as soon as I get it. You know, she's a senior, working-class. She's going through some chemotherapy and medicine is expensive. She lives paycheck to paycheck, so I'm really looking forward to helping her out."

Griffin's dedication to his family is clear and in fact, a fondness of poker also runs in the family.

"My little brother taught me to play real poker," he said. "I dabbled with my friends and I came home on leave and my little brother had gotten into poker. I started going to card rooms with him and learning what real poker was …."

This was Griffin's third WSOP event and first time to make the money. On the final hand, he picked up pocket aces and immediately called the all-in of Jean Luc Marais who held K-6. By the turn it was all over and Griffin had become the ninth player this Series to win a bracelet while making the money in the WSOP for the first time.

The $1,000 events at the WSOP continue to drive huge fields, but in 2011 there have been some talented pros who have worked their way through the amateurs who make up the majority of the competition. Sean Getzwiller defeated a field of over 4,000 to win his first bracelet in Event 8, then in Event 20, Jason Somerville won his first bracelet defeating more than 3,000 players. It looked like Antonio Esfandiari would be adding to the trend, but despite being one of the chip leaders during early final table action, he'd finish in seventh. This was Esfandiari's first cash of the 2011 Series.

Other notable finishers include Phil Hellmuth (28th, his 83rd career cash), Andrew Lichtenberger (52nd) and Joe Tehan (103rd).

Below are the complete results of Event 45 at the 2011 World Series of Poker:

Event 45: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $1,000
Entries: 2,890
Prize pool: $ 2,601,000
Players in the money: 297

1. Kenneth Griffin ($455,356)
2. Jean Luc Marais ($282,676)
3. Philip Hammerling ($199,366)
4. Eric Baudry ($143,991)
5. Andrew Teng ($105,262)
6. Jonathan Lane ($77,873)
7. Antonio Esfandiari ($58,288)
8. Aaron Massey ($44,138)
9. Jeremiah Siegmund ($33,813)
10. David Haiman ($26,192)
11. Jonathan Driscoll ($26,192)
12. Tamas Lendvai ($26,192)
13. David Baker ($20,521)
14. Jelger Wiegersma ($20,521)
15. Paulo Gomes ($20,521)
16. Nicolo Calia ($16,256)
17. Stuart Fischbein ($16,256)
18. Kent Novick ($16,256)
19. Michael Marks ($13,031)
20. Manuel Davidian ($13,031)
21. Manuel Labandeira ($13,031)
22. John Schwartz ($13,031)
23. Kunimaro Kojo ($13,031)
24. Glenn Mccaffrey ($13,031)
25. Brandon Riha ($13,031)
26. Dominick Fosco ($13,031)
27. Milad Jorshari ($13,031)
28. Phil Hellmuth ($10,560)
29. Radu Junc ($10,560)
30. Clayton Hamm ($10,560)
31. William Perpich ($10,560)
32. Matthew Bodnar ($10,560)
33. Georgios Kapalas ($10,560)
34. Mark Herm ($10,560)
35. David Meland ($10,560)
36. Lorenzo Sabato ($10,560)
37. Kyle Frey ($8,635)
38. Daniel Chamberlain ($8,635)
39. Olivier Chassot ($8,635)
40. Tom Christopher ($8,635)
41. Michael Layton ($8,635)
42. John Kim ($8,635)
43. Sonny Lee ($8,635)
44. Joe Colaianni ($8,635)
45. Jeremy Ausmus ($8,635)
46. Bastian Blum ($7,152)
47. Thomas Wirth ($7,152)
48. Etienne Archambeaud ($7,152)
49. Ramin Hajiyev ($7,152)
50. Jeffrey Sims ($7,152)
51. Ricardo Padilla ($7,152)
52. Andrew Lichtenberger ($7,152)
53. Clyde Gaskins ($7,152)
54. Reinhold Lutz ($7,152)
55. Alex Luxenburg ($5,982)
56. Jonathan Zaczek ($5,982)
57. Sture Skoglundlynne ($5,982)
58. Lior Barlev ($5,982)
59. Charles Woody Moore ($5,982)
60. Justin Cohen ($5,982)
61. Kyle White ($5,982)
62. Joonhee Yea ($5,982)
63. James Goldstein ($5,982)
64. Aaron Frei ($5,045)
65. Timothy Bannigan ($5,045)
66. Troy Higgins ($5,045)
67. T.J. Bull-Welch ($5,045)
68. Syed Ali ($5,045)
69. Michael Berkman ($5,045)
70. Nathan Jessen ($5,045)
71. Janne Salmela ($5,045)
72. John John Iv ($5,045)
73. Michael Hopkins ($4,317)
74. John Farmer ($4,317)
75. Pieter Vangils ($4,317)
76. Justin Farbstein ($4,317)
77. Michael Bena ($4,317)
78. Lucas Sherer ($4,317)
79. Andrew Higgins ($4,317)
80. John Armbrust ($4,317)
81. Steven Black ($4,317)
82. Balazs Farago ($3,719)
83. Brandon Steven ($3,719)
84. Gould Christopher ($3,719)
85. Karl Pirkopf ($3,719)
86. Eric Tipton ($3,719)
87. Glen Eastman ($3,719)
88. Dallas Wottlin ($3,719)
89. Michael Green ($3,719)
90. George Austin ($3,719)
91. Joel Dodds ($3,251)
92. Derek Geise ($3,251)
93. Jacque Lavadour ($3,251)
94. Farhan Madhani ($3,251)
95. Yoon Kim ($3,251)
96. Bryan Leskowitz ($3,251)
97. Peter Rho ($3,251)
98. Daniel Couzens ($3,251)
99. Laury Vanlerberghe ($3,251)
100. Henri Bisson ($2,861)
101. Markus Faller ($2,861)
102. Christopher Biewer ($2,861)
103. Joe Tehan ($2,861)
104. Kyle Loman ($2,861)
105. Mauricio Solano ($2,861)
106. Daniel Makowsky ($2,861)
107. Shaun Hartlin ($2,861)
108. Mikko Hirvonene ($2,861)
109. Paul Lieu ($2,861)
110. Richard Wetherarld ($2,861)
111. Julian Parmann ($2,861)
112. Georgene Farmer ($2,861)
113. Mike Carson ($2,861)
114. Ryan Karp ($2,861)
115. Albert Hoffman ($2,861)
116. Jeremy Burleson ($2,861)
117. Raymond Flavin Ii ($2,861)
118. Shankar Pillai ($2,861)
119. Tingjian Li ($2,861)
120. Walter Harris ($2,861)
121. Richard Marting ($2,861)
122. Richard Stclair ($2,861)
123. Lukas Volman ($2,861)
124. Kevin Kalis ($2,861)
125. Shane Goldsmith ($2,861)
126. Neil Tran ($2,861)
127. John Deters ($2,861)
128. Timothy Reedy ($2,861)
129. Cesar Flores ($2,861)
130. Lee Childs ($2,861)
131. Jerome Kline, Jr. ($2,861)
132. Adam Geyer ($2,861)
133. Florence Creekmore ($2,861)
134. Michael Campbell ($2,861)
135. Jason Compton ($2,861)
136. Rodney Shows ($2,548)
137. Eoghan Odea ($2,548)
138. Blair Hinkle ($2,548)
139. John Dunning ($2,548)
140. Christopher Zurawski ($2,548)
141. Cy Jassinowsky ($2,548)
142. Trevor Savage ($2,548)
143. Dane Lomas ($2,548)
144. Sandeep Pulusani ($2,548)
145. Hanny Kiroloss ($2,548)
146. Jeppe Bisgaard ($2,548)
147. David Belaich ($2,548)
148. Bruno Politano ($2,548)
149. Kristofer Dinusson ($2,548)
150. Michael Niederer ($2,548)
151. Schuyler Davis ($2,548)
152. Alexander Buyano ($2,548)
153. Mattie Porter ($2,548)
154. Crystle Vance ($2,548)
155. Erik Alps ($2,548)
156. Morgan Gies ($2,548)
157. Jean-Robert Bellande ($2,548)
158. Terry Breeden ($2,548)
159. Michael Mccoy ($2,548)
160. Joseph Davis ($2,548)
161. Aaron Girvin ($2,548)
162. Paul Clatney ($2,548)
163. Gregory Morrissey ($2,548)
164. Mikael Narveson ($2,548)
165. Allison Whalen ($2,548)
166. Jonathan Collins ($2,548)
167. Brent Carter ($2,548)
168. Sandy Reeser ($2,548)
169. Shayne Khanna ($2,548)
170. Robert Firestone ($2,548)
171. Jeffery Renaud ($2,548)
172. David Roseberry ($2,288)
173. Ali Eslami ($2,288)
174. Luis Ghelman ($2,288)
175. James Gill ($2,288)
176. Matthew Holliday ($2,288)
177. Robert Roseberry ($2,288)
178. Dylan Mich ($2,288)
179. Patrick Halter ($2,288)
180. Mike Tran ($2,288)
181. Robert Pasquantonio ($2,288)
182. Casey Yontz ($2,288)
183. Jeffrey Tomlinson ($2,288)
184. Mark Radoja ($2,288)
185. Moises Natanel ($2,288)
186. Peter Kim ($2,288)
187. Ryan Hartmann ($2,288)
188. Mark Epstein ($2,288)
189. Mikhail Yakovlev ($2,288)
190. Benjamin Wiggins ($2,288)
191. Richard Tsai ($2,288)
192. Allan Siegel ($2,288)
193. Tricia Lentz ($2,288)
194. Benjamin Barton ($2,288)
195. Marwan Nassif ($2,288)
196. Saar Wilf ($2,288)
197. Jennette Tan ($2,288)
198. Jonathan Neckar ($2,288)
199. Colin Heppner ($2,288)
200. Jonathan McMichael ($2,288)
201. Jay Hong ($2,288)
202. Hana Soljan ($2,288)
203. Ly Le ($2,288)
204. Gregory Beville-Cox ($2,288)
205. Steven Hofer ($2,288)
206. Robin Millette ($2,288)
207. Keith Gould ($2,288)
208. Francois Binette ($2,080)
209. Douglas Collins ($2,080)
210. Lisa Beardsley ($2,080)
211. Thomas Doran ($2,080)
212. Nicholas Stowell ($2,080)
213. Ryan Schenkel ($2,080)
214. Robert Gaoing ($2,080)
215. Lenox Baza ($2,080)
216. Alex Jacob ($2,080)
217. Hunter Frey ($2,080)
218. Justin Becker ($2,080)
219. Samm Distasio ($2,080)
220. Thi Bui ($2,080)
221. John Sleeman ($2,080)
222. Pui Yung ($2,080)
223. Gregory Smith ($2,080)
224. John Hatchell ($2,080)
225. David Oconner ($2,080)
226. Markie Garner ($2,080)
227. Sergey Pomerantsev ($2,080)
228. Brian Wyatt ($2,080)
229. Matt Graham ($2,080)
230. Jeffrey Lager ($2,080)
231. Jeff Kennedy ($2,080)
232. Steven Silva ($2,080)
233. Robert Bennett ($2,080)
234. Fredrick Herlacher ($2,080)
235. Russell Broadway ($2,080)
236. James Marlow ($2,080)
237. Devin Porter ($2,080)
238. Jorge Ufano ($2,080)
239. Kevin Tacket ($2,080)
240. Timothy Koester ($2,080)
241. Michael Michinik ($2,080)
242. Jonathan Mccann ($2,080)
243. Rodolphe Hirsch ($2,080)
244. Richard Liotta ($2,080)
245. Said Elsanafiri ($2,080)
246. Southisak Seunsom ($2,080)
247. Peter Ippolito ($2,080)
248. James Whalen ($2,080)
249. Stephen Austin ($2,080)
250. Russell Pittman ($2,080)
251. Todd Hayes ($2,080)
252. Justin Conley ($2,080)
253. Edward Pietrzak ($1,898)
254. John Radcliff ($1,898)
255. Michel Morin ($1,898)
256. Eric Tetreault ($1,898)
257. Ronald Lindig ($1,898)
258. Brandon Stocks ($1,898)
259. Robert Sauer ($1,898)
260. Harry Kearns ($1,898)
261. Ryan Pochedly ($1,898)
262. Marilynn Mckinney ($1,898)
263. Andrew Foster ($1,898)
264. Matthew Pershey ($1,898)
265. Kumar Hate ($1,898)
266. Johannes Oudejans ($1,898)
267. Judah Allen ($1,898)
268. Gabriel Benabraham ($1,898)
269. Douglas Ruegsegger ($1,898)
270. Courtney Gee ($1,898)
271. Jason Deutsch ($1,898)
272. Brien Currier ($1,898)
273. Bradley Kemnitz ($1,898)
274. David Hatfield ($1,898)
275. Brian Mckinnon ($1,898)
276. Viacheslav Fentisov ($1,898)
277. Ross Mcleod ($1,898)
278. Frank Ewald ($1,898)
279. Javier Etayo ($1,898)
280. Khoa Nguyen ($1,898)
281. Ali Aljenabi ($1,898)
282. Michael Stuart ($1,898)
283. Xavier Kyablue ($1,898)
284. Francois Bernier ($1,898)
285. Veronica Dabul ($1,898)
286. Tyler Pendleton ($1,898)
287. Richard Carlson ($1,898)
288. Bruce Chang ($1,898)
289. Mihails Morozovs ($1,898)
290. Robert Voigt ($1,898)
291. Erik Gamans ($1,898)
292. Laird Mckeen ($1,898)
293. Sarvesh Pershad ($1,898)
294. Charles Thompson ($1,898)
295. Brandon Hall ($1,898)
296. Todd Guy ($1,898)
297. Crisoldo Bautista ($1,898)

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.

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