2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Recap

Posted at 21:31 2008-07-23
The 39th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event began on July 3rd to the fanfare of Wayne Newton and the UNLV Marching Band as Newton announced those famous words of “Shuffle up and deal!” With players being spread over five different poker rooms around the halls of the Rio and play being reduced to five levels instead of six like previous years, the play was expected to be slower than in recent times.
However only twenty minutes into day 1a we had our first casualty with aces being cracked by a rivered set of jacks, and it was then that everyone realised it was going to be a tough and challenging battle to survive the second biggest Main Event field in poker history.
By the end of the four day 1’s the field of 6,844 players would be reduced down to 3,630 with Norway’s Henning Granstad on top with over 240,000 in chips heading into day 2. However many notables wouldn’t be joining Granstad as Dwan, Deeb, Rahme, Harrington, Negreanu, Gold, Brenes, Morrison, Lisandro, Chiu, Guoga, Duke, Ivey, Ferguson and the great Doyle Brunson had all been eliminated on their first day of play.
With two day 2’s being played there was a notable difference between both, as day 2a came back with 1,251 players and fought down to 466 with Brian Schaedlich the clear chip-leader with 801,000 in chips. Day 2b on the other hand returned with a substantial 2,379 players and it would be Jeff Kimber emerging on top of the 842 remaining players with 650,000 in chips. With day 3 on the cards Brandon Adams (353,550), Victor Ramdin (307,600) and Robert Mizrachi (270,000) would not be joined by their fellow pros Wroblewski, Varkonyi, Mueller, Argyros, Greenstein, Aliota, Yang, Lederer, Mercier, Singer and 2005 champion Joe Hachem as they all fell victim to day 2 battles.
1,308 players returned on day 3 knowing that 666 was the magic mark as some wanted to sneak into the cash, while others wanted to push for the $9,119,517 first prize and treasured bracelet. The honours of this year’s ‘bubble boy’ would go to Steve Chung after he pushed pre-flop with pocket 8’s but couldn’t out-draw Jesse McEuen’s pocket kings. With kings holding everyone celebrated as they made the money; however Chung can’t be too disappointed as he has been rewarded with a seat in next year’s Main Event thanks to Milwaukee’s Best Light.
As all-ins were called, players eliminated, and celebratory drinks being delivered it would be Jeremy Joseph who would stand above the 474 day 3 survivors with 1,458,000 in chips. Joseph would have some competition in the form of Dag Martin Mikkelsen (931,000), who would be trying to go improve on his 42nd place in last year’s Main Event, and Alexander Kostritsyn (887,000), recent winner of the 2008 Aussie Millions who would be looking to put a stop to the young New Yorker.
Day 4 began with Joseph on top and it finished that way when he ended the day with 2,187,000 in chips, however hot on his tail were with Nikolay Losev (2,110,000), Brandon Cantu (1,981,000) and David ‘Chino’ Rheem (1,851,000). During the day we saw 285 players eliminated from the tournament with notables including Robert Mizrachi (458th), Johnny Chan (329th), Tino Lechich (272nd), Hevad Khan (240th) and Jon Turner (225th). With the previous day lasting 14 hours day 4 was cut short after dinner, and the remaining players including 11-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth would be looking to make use of this valuable time; especially after his many laps of the feature table and constant berating of his opponents. Hellmuth finished the day with 581,000 in chips and would need to do some work if he wanted to add a 12th bracelet to his collection.
189 players returned on day 5 already guaranteed a near $40,000 pay day, and by the end of the day they would be guaranteed nearly double at $77,200. Phil Hellmuth had a reason for arriving late as he was awarded an orbit penalty on the final hand of the previous night. However he turned the day round and eventually finished on 1,600,000 in chips after moving to the ESPN feature table to join Mike ‘the Mouth’ Matusow who also finished the day in good position with 1,169,000 in chips. Today saw the elimination of 110 players to finish with 79 players. Included in these eliminations were Hoyt Corkins, Chip Jett, Gus Hansen, Allen Cunningham, Jeff Madsen, Kara Scott, Shawn Sheikhan, Alexander Kostritsyn and Mark Vos. Vos was eliminated on the last hand of the night when he ran his A-K into the pocket aces of Dennis Phillips which helped propel Phillips into the top counts with 4,100,000, but would still be trailing Matt Ketteringham who had an impressive 4,860,000 in chips.
Day 6 was due to play down to the final 27 and with some big names still in the field; one was on the way to breaking a record. After Lisa Parsons was eliminated in 76th place it was Poker News’ own Tiffany Michelle who stood alone as the only remaining female chasing Barbara Enright’s record of the only female to ever make the Main Event final table. Starting the day sixth in chips with 3,438,000 and a rail that included Maria Ho, Greg Mueller, Jeff Madsen and ‘Hollywood’ Dave, Michelle would end the day in third chip position with 9,755,000 in chips and only trail Dennis Phillips (11,910,000) and Craig Marquis (11,460,000) by the slightest of margins.
However today would not be the day for the remaining pros in the field as Victor Ramdin was eliminated in 64th spot, and would be soon followed by Phil Hellmuth in 45th position. Hellmuth moved all-in under-the-gun with AhQd and was called Andrew Rosskamm who tabled JcJh. With a board reading Kd4h3h10h the river was going to be a sweat to Hellmuth, Rosskamm, Hellmuth’s wife and a crowd that was firmly on the side of the ‘Poker Brat’. However when the 2s landed on the river Hellmuth was sent to the rail to a round of applause that echoed through the entire Amazon room. This would be Hellmuth’s 5th cash for the series for $154,400 and take his WSOP cashes to a record 68and place him 6th on the all time WSOP money list behind Jamie Gold, Jerry Yang, Joe Hachem, Allen Cunningham and Paul Wasicka.
Mike Matusow copped a bad one to end his deep run in the Main Event to eventually finish 30th at the hands of Paul Snead. Facing a raise from Snead of 200,000, Matusow bumped it up to a total of 660,000 out of the big blind, and both players checked the flop of AdAs5h. When the 9h landed on the turn Matusow made it 500,000 to go before Snead moved all-in and was called by Matusow tabling AhJs but was going to need some help against Snead’s Ac9c. However when the Kc came on the river Matusow was sent to the rail with $193,000 in his pocket. This was a very successful World Series for Matusow as he cashed four times, made two final tables, won a bracelet in Event #18 - $5,000 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw and cashed for a total of $871,883 including this deep run in the Main Event.
The final day of play at this year’s World Series until November began with 27 hopefuls eyeing a final table and a first prize of over $9,000,000. We lost Brandon Cantu in 20th after moving all-in over a raise from Peter Eastgate with pocket 9’s but was called by Eastgate holding A-Q. Eastgate made a rivered flush to send Cantu to the rail $257,344 richer for his Main Event result. Tiffany Michelle would be on her way soon after calling a raise and a call out of the big blind with AcJd. The flop came down Ad10h9c and Michelle check-raised all-in for 4.8 million over Dennis Phillips 1 million bet and Eastgate’s call. Once Phillips folded Eastgate snap-called and tabled AsAh to leave Michelle in terrible trouble. With the 5h and 6d landing on the turn and river, Michelle was sent to the rail in 17th position for $334,534 and was the fourth longest-lasting female behind Barbara Enright (1995 – 5th), Annie Duke (2000 – 10th) and Tiffany Williamson (2005 – 15th).
A mammoth 15 hours after the start of play it would be Dean Hamrick who would be eliminated in 10th position for $591,869 when his {As}{Jc} were no match for Craig Marquis’ {Qh}{Qc} when the board ran out {Kc}{Th}{3d}{Td}{3s}. With Hamrick’s elimination the final table would be set with the following nine players all playing in November for their shot at the $9,119,517 first prize and the coveted WSOP Main Event gold bracelet.
Dennis Phillips – 26,295,000 chips
Ivan Demidov – 24,400,000
Scott Montgomery – 19,690,000
Peter Eastgate – 18,375,000
Ylon Schwartz – 12,525,000
Darus Suharto – 12,520,000
David Rheem – 10,230,000
Craig Marquis – 10,210,000
Kelly Kim – 2,620,000


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2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Recap 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Recap

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