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David Eller Seizes Second JBWPO Victory:
Floridian stages formidable comeback and defeats WSOP multi-winner Scott Fischman in heads-up duel

Skilled poker players have a tendency to gravitate to games like Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split, because there is a common feeling that the player has more control over the outcome.  Unlike poker games like Texas Hold’em, where “any two cards can win,” Stud High-Low tends to reward patience, hand-reading skills, card memory, and selective-aggression.  Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split players don’t tend to tell as many ‘bad beat’ stories.  That’s because ‘bad beats’ aren’t nearly as common.  They happen.  But, in the long run, good starting multi-way high-low hands tend to rake the most pots.

On this night, a 41-year old Florida man usually had the best starting hands, and ended up winning the most pots.  The seventh event of the 2005 Jack Binion World Poker Open, $500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split, was won by David N. Eller, from Port Orange, FL.  Eller topped the largest ‘Eight or Better’ field in JBWPO history, topping 272 players.  Eller joined the exalted ranks of a select few, becoming only one of a dozen players who have won multiple titles as the JBWPO.  In 2001, Eller won the Omaha High-Low Split event.  Since then, Eller has continued to refine his poker game – playing tournaments live and online – which has now paid handsome dividends to the tune of $40,047 in first-place prize money.

Following Day One, during which 264 players were eliminated, the eight finalists took their seats at the final table on Day Two.  Thereafter, players were eliminated in the following order:

8th Place – Eddie Rayl, from Georgia, came in fourth in chips but had just about everything go wrong during his short stay on Day Two.  Twenty-minutes into play, he was eliminated by a flush on his last hand and collected $3,694 for 8th place.

7th Place – Jim Hagan went out next when he lost to Scott Fischman’s scooped pot with both a straight and low.  Hagen, the proud owner of Beef o’ Brady’s Family Spots Pub in Mebourne, FL, was making his first-ever final table.  He invested just $80 in a single-table satellite to get his entry, and waltzed away with $5,145.      

6th Place – Derek Taylor, who plays here at the tournament every year, was low on chips and started his last hand with a pair of Jacks.  They failed to improve.  He lost to Scott Fischman’s full house.  Taylor made $6,270 for his time spent at the poker tables.

5th Place – Jeff Richman came in lowest in chips, a paltry 7,000 and doubled up early with a straight and a made-low.  But just when it looked like Richman might stage an improbable comeback, he went out with two-pair (Ks and 4s) and lost to Fischman’s three-of-a-kind.  Richman, a salesman and poker semi-pro for the last twenty years from Philadelphia, PA took home $7,934. 

4th Place – Tony Seco, aged 60, wasn’t able to generate much momentum during the finale, and lost with Aces up to trip-Fours.  Interestingly, Seco has endured bridesmaid status many times, having made a dozen or so final tables in the last decade, without having won top prize.  He had to settle for $9,597 for 4th place.  Seco is the owner of a poker room on Sun Cruises, which sails twice daily out of Myrtle Beach, SC (see -- www.suncruzcasino.com).  Seco says his poker room has the friendly dealers and staff anywhere -- except for Tunica, of course.

3rd Place –Down to three players, Rick Aberall lost two big hands in a row to Scott Fischman.  Then, David Eller gave Aberall a final kick in the pants when he topped Eller’s pair of Jacks, with two small pair.  Aberall, a semi-retired excavating contractor from Indiana dug up $13,436 in prize money for 3rd place.

The last two players featured Scott Fischman against David Eller.  At the start, Eller enjoyed a 4 to 1 chip lead.  Fischman and Eller were a stark contrast to one another.  Eller much prefers his low-key profile, whereas Fischman has become a poker celebrity by virtue of his two televised wins on ESPN at the 2004 World Series of Poker.  In fact, Fischman has come to represent a new generation of ‘young guns,’ who possess uncanny poker ability, raw nerve, and a ‘let’s take a flamethrower to this place’ approach that has left many more experienced poker veterans annoyed, yet just as green with envy.

The early duel looked like it would end quickly.  Fischman lost the first key pot of the match.  Fischman folded (x-x) A-6-6-3 (x) when he was raised on seventh-street by Eller, with (x-x) 5-J-10-4.  Fischman obviously had no low and only a pair of Sixes for high, so he made the right decision.  Eller later confirmed this by saying that he made a straight on the end. 

Then, Fischman went on a rush and it looked like the match might go deep into the night.  The crucial hand was when Eller made two pair -- 10s and 6s when he showed (A-K) 10-10-6-8 (6), which was cracked by Fischman when he spiked a life-saving Seven on the final card, good for a full house.  Fischman’s hand showed (7-7) x-x-3-3 (7).  But just as Fischman drew about even with Eller, he then lost several pots, and was down again by 4 to 1 in chips.  During the decline, Fischman repeatedly caught ‘bricks’ on 4th and 5th Streets, which forced him into a ‘fold and wait’ posture.

Fischman’s big opportunity to get back into the match came on his final hand, when he started with three baby hearts – (5-3) 7.  Normally, that would be a very strong Eight-or-Better hand.  But Eller was dealt pocket Kings, and this looked to be the perfect opportunity to lock up the win.  The final hand came down as follows:

Fischman:    (5-3) 7-J-9-4 (3)

Eller:            (K-K) 10-4-7-9 (6)   

The lone pair of Kings was the winner.

Afterward, Scott Fischman was visibly disappointed, as any poker champion would be – but also complimented and congratulated Eller.  Fischman, age 24, the winner of two gold bracelets at last year’s WSOP ($1500 No_limit Hold’em and $2000 HORSE) collected $22,393 for second place.

David Eller, age 41, is an electrical contractor by profession, but is also a serious poker semi-pro.  He has a refreshing, carefree attitude towards poker and his accomplishments at the tables:  “I’m not intimidated by anyone,” Eller said.  “For me, it’s not about the money – I just come here to play my best, and if I win, I win, and if I don’t I just try to play the best I can.  I’m not interested in playing like many of the pros do – traveling all over the world and being on TV.  I am content to be who I am and try to make a nice win at a tournament when I can.”

He added, “I like high-low games.  I usually know where I stand.  In Hold’em, a guy might show you A-A or 7-2 – you never really know.  But in Stud High-Low, I usually know right where I am at.”

Eller certainly knows where he is – he’s at the top of the list of all Stud Eight-or-Better players at the Jack Binion World Poker Open. 


2005 Jack Binion World Poker Open Event #7 Results

Horseshoe Casino Hotel and

Gold Strike Casino-Resort, Tunica, MS

Daily Report

January 13, 2005

Event #7

Limit Texas Hold’em

Buy-In: $500

Number of Entries: 272 

Prize Money: $128,836

Official Results:

1.  David N. Eller                  
 Port Orange, FL           $$40,047  

2.  Scott Fischman                
Las Vegas, NV             $22,393

3.  Rick Abrell                        Terre Haute, IN            $13,436 

4.  Tony Seco                         Myrtle Beach, SC         $9,597 

5.  Jeff Richman                     Philadelphia, PA           $7,934

6.  Derk Taylor                       Eastmond, GA              $6,270

7.  Jim Hagan                         Melbourne, FL             $5,145

8.  Eddie Rayl                         Fitzgerald, GA             $ 3,694 

9.   Larry Evans                      Yellville, AR                $2,375

10. Andrew ‘AJ’ Kelsall       
Lutz, FL                        $2,375

11. Larry Dingler                   Sycamore, IL                 $1,847

12. Steve Hohn                      Overland Park, KS       $1,847

13. Brent Carter                     Oak Park, IL                 $1,583

14. Bill Shipley                      Thorntown, IN              $1,583

15. Reno Williamson            Mooresville, IN            $1,187

16. Victor Sirna                     Kansas City, MO 1,187

17. R. Larry Armstrong        
San Antonio, TX         $792

18. Charles D. Dant              
New Hope KY              $792

19. Ray Babb                          Soldiers Grove, WI      $792

20. Dr. Max Stern                 
San Jose, Costa Rica    $792

21. Kip Williams                   Carrolton, A                 $792

22. Brent L. Carter                
St. Petersburg, FL        $792

23. Dick Cahill                      Bement, IL          $792

24.-T          Bryan Jenkins      Chattanooga, IN           $396

24.-T          Steve Pasier         Conway, AR                 $396









Final Table Started at: 4:00 pm CST

Final Table Ended at: 8:45 pm CST


Report by Nolan Dalla – JBWPO Media Director


Tournament Director – David Eglseder

Co-Tournament Director (Horseshoe) – Ken Lambert, Jr.

Co-Tournament Director (Gold Strike) – Robert McGovern


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