Few players can claim to be as masterful at a single discipline of poker as Jeffery Lisandro can at 7-Card Stud. His victory in Event #44, the $2,500 Razz, completes a rare Triple Crown of World Series stud events. It also propels him into the exclusive group of players who have won three bracelets in a single WSOP.
The illustrious crowd Jeff joins with his 3-bracelet berth are Puggy Pearson, who won 3 of the 6 events in the 1973 WSOP; Ted Forrest and Phil Hellmuth, who both picked up 3 each in 1993; and Phil Ivey, who was the last player to achieve this extraordinary feat, in 2002. No player has ever gone on to win four bracelets in the same year, but with around 10 events remaining (including another stud tournament) Lisandro does have a chance of pulling ahead.
The Stud Triple Crown involves winning three different stud events in three different variations of the game. Lisandro’s 7-card assault began with Event #16 – the $1,500 Seven Card Stud – where he fought off 359 entrants to win $124,975. His most impressive result came in the $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 8-or-better tournament. His victory against 164 of the world’s finest stud players all but confirmed his status as the finest 7-card player in the world today. His place at the top of the game was cemented when just four days later he romped to victory in Event #44.
By winning the Triple Crown Lisandro joins an even smaller group. Only Doyle Brunson, Paul “Eskimo” Clark, and Gary “Bones” Berland have ever accomplished it before. Jeff is an Australian now based in Salerno in Italy. He made waves at this year’s series for his striking choice of clothing, something akin to a glam-rock Godfather. However, his achievements at the table have all but extinguished any mutterings over fashion faux pas.
To win this event Lisandro had to negotiate top pros like David Sklansky, Justin Bonomo, Annie Duke, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Kenna James, and Nikolay Evdakov. He was a dominant force throughout the whole tournament, but his stack really began to climb when he tangled twice with “Cowboy” Kenna James shortly before the final table. By the end of their exchanges Jeff had built his stack to a little over 600,000.
The chip stacks going into the final table were:
Seat 1 – Michael Craig, 343,000
Seat 2 – Warwick Mirzikinian, 271,000
Seat 3 – Steve Diano, 96,000
Seat 4 – Allen Bari, 55,000
Seat 5 – Ryan Fisler, 412,000
Seat 6 – Jeff Lisandro, 814,000
Seat 7 – Kenna James, 210,000
Seat 8 – Eric Rodawig, 171,000
Lisandro continued to exert his dominance by expanding his chip stack to over a million in the early stages of the final table. The eliminations began when Allen Bari could only find a Queen-low against the 8-low of Ryan Fisler. Steve Diano was to follow shortly at the hands of Warwick Mirzikinian. Both players were all-in on 4th street, with Diano drawing to a 7 in an attempt to beat his opponents 8-low. In the end it came a Jack and he exited the tournament in 7th.
Former chip leader Kenna James was now dwindling, and tossed his final few chips in against author and blogger Michael Craig. The writer is most well known for his book The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King, chronicling the story of Andy Beal – who challenged a syndicate of poker pros to a series mega-high stakes heads-up battles. Craig managed to outdraw James on the river, catching a 7 to complete his hand and edge ahead of the Cowboy’s 8-low.
From this point on it looked like only one man was going to win the bracelet. First Lisandro knocked out Erick Rodawig in 5th, pushing his stack to around 1,300,000. He then moved on to Warwick Mirzikinian, taking all of his chips after his 10-8 low squeaked through against Mirzikinian’s 10-9 low. Michael Craig then donated a few more chips to the Lisandro fund, enough to push him over the 2 million mark.
Ryan Fisler was sitting with a board of 4-6-3-7 versus the Q-9-5-2 of Lisandro, but was bullied out of the pot by a river bet. With little more than a chip and a chair remaining he was shortly eliminated by Michael Craig.
Jeffery Lisandro started the heads-up “contest” with a 10-1 chip advantage. In this final hand Craig moved all in on fifth street with 6-8-A-A-8 and Lisandro called with 10-8-4-4-9. Sixth street brought a 10-low for Jeff, leaving Michael drawing completely dead. For his win Lisandro scored $188,390, the 4th bracelet of his career, and a place among the greatest stud players in history.
Final table payouts were:
1. Jeffrey Lisandro – $188, 390
2. Michael Craig – $116,405
3. Ryan Fisler – $76,260
4. Warwick Mirzikinian – $52,772
5. Eric Rodawig – $38,470
6. Kenna James – $29,472
7. Steven Diano – $23,669
8. Allen Bari – $19,880