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Barely Legal, Very Rich

No, this is not another April Scott post or about some barely-18 website. You’ll have to wait another day for that. This is about Eric “Efro” Froehlich, who became the youngest world champion in WSOP history when he outlasted a field of 1,049 players to win the $1,500 limit hold’em event at the 2005 WSOP.

Recently turning 21, the legal age for gambling in a casino, Efro finally claimed victory and $361,910 at 4:15 a.m. this morning when he rivered a King-high flush. It was an epic two-and-a-half hour heads-up battle against Jason Steinhorn that set up the winning hand. Efro, who hails from LA and is good friends with last year’s main event runner-up David Williams (they're both Magic: the Gathering pros), originally had a 2-to-1 chip advantage over Steinhorn when it was down to the two and took even more control 30 minutes into heads-up play, outstacking Steinhorn by over a million in chips. Steinhorn charged back however, gaining his first lead over Efro just before 3:00 a.m. after flopping a set of 10s and scooping a pot worth half a million. Maintaining his advantage for the next 30 minutes, Steinhorn then lost steam as Efro rode some nice cards and aggressive betting on flops and turns to take the lead and eventually all of Steinhorn’s chips.

Here's a side note that may be of interest to our college bound readers:

Efro dropped out of college one credit short of graduating to become a pro poker player, and now, he’s a world champion. Does he have any regrets? Probably not. Nothing against Efro but from the look of it, we doubt he was cashing in on the other benefit of going to college: getting laid. So all in all, the kid made a good choice. He’s 300g’s richer, gets to play poker fulltime and his 'implied odds' for getting laid certainly seem better.

Congrats by the way to England’s Peter Costa who finished in 7th. He has won championships abroad but I believe this is his first final table at the WSOP. If I’m wrong, let me know. Peter’s a great pro who’s writing for Poker Player now, and I once tried to bust him out at the final table of a tournament with pocket 10s against his A-9o (he’d been playing A-x all-in all day) but we both lost the hand to a caller with queens. I hit my set on the flop but the other guy’s third bitch came slapping on the river, and he went on to win the day.

Also kudos to Adam Hersh, another youngin’ representing by finishing 4th. Perhaps he’ll pull an Efro and drop out of UNLV now.

And one last shout out to 10th place finisher Zelong Dong, simply for his name. I thought they only had names like that for movie characters in films like Sixteen Candles. Dong actually goes by his nickname Freeman, which I suppose is better than Zelong “Freeball” Dong. Ok…time to dropout now as this post digresses to dorm-like humor.

At last, the final 10 for the $1,500 limit hold'em event:

1. Eric Froehlich (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - $361,910
2. Jason Steinhorn (Cupertino, CA, USA) - $182,040
3. Todd Witteles (Las Vegas, NV, USA) - $115,810
4. Adam Hersh ( Agoura Hills, CA, USA) - $101,335
5. Christian Van Hees (Seattle, WA, USA) - $86,855
6. Devin Armstrong (Toronto, ON) - $72,380
7. Peter Costa (Leicester, United Kingdom) - $57,905
8. Wing Wong (Rowland Heights, CA, USA) - $43,430
9. Brian Mogelefsky (Huntington, NY, USA) - $28,950
10. Zelong "Freeman" Dong - $15,925

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