Event #54 - WSOP No Limit Hold'em Championship Final Day Results & Report
39th World Series of Poker 2008
|Event #54 - WSOP No Limit Hold'em Championship
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino|
3700 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV, 89103, US Full Schedule
Peter Eastgate Wins the 2008 World Series of Poker
22-Year-Old Danish Poker Pro Becomes the Youngest World Champion in History Longest, Biggest, Richest Poker Tournament...
Profile: Peter Eastgate
Date: November 9, 2008
Game Type: No Limit Hold'em
|5||Canada||Scott Montgomery AKA "r_a_y"||$3,096,768|
|7||USA||David Rheem AKA "Chino"||$1,772,650|
|9||USA||Craig Marquis AKA "craigmarq"||$900,670|
|17||USA||Tiffany Michelle AKA "Hot Chips"||$334,534|
|18||USA||Jason Riesenberg AKA "Jball"||$334,534|
|22||Romania||Judet Toni Cristian||$257,334|
|25||Sweden||Niklas Flisberg AKA "Flisan"||$257,334|
|28||Russia||Nikolay Losev AKA "kolunya"||$193,000|
|30||USA||Mike Matusow AKA "The Mouth"||$193,000|
|41||USA||Thang Pham AKA "Kido"||$154,400|
|42||Canada||Jonathan Plens AKA "The Rookie"||$154,400|
|45||USA||Phil Hellmuth Jr||$154,400|
|46||Australia||Dave Saab AKA "Superman"||$135,100|
|65||USA||Larry Dale Wright II||$96,500|
|70||USA||Terry Steven Lade||$96,500|
|75||UK||Keith Hawkins AKA "The Camel"||$77,200|
|79||USA||Robert Whalen AKA "Poto Bob"||$77,200|
|80||Australia||Mark Vos AKA "pokerbok"||$77,200|
|89||Argentina||Jose Ignacio Barbero||$64,333|
|90||USA||Jeffrey Papola AKA "jpapola"||$64,333|
|93||Austria||Markus Feurle AKA "feurinho"||$51,466|
|97||UK||Dwayne Stacey AKA "Dwayne"||$51,466|
|105||USA||Shahram "Sean" Sheikhan||$41,816|
|108||USA||Nghia Le AKA "3 Putts"||$41,816|
|109||Canada||Greg De Bora||$41,816|
|120||UK||Jeff Kimber AKA "JaffaCake"||$41,816|
|126||UK||Andrew Teng AKA "Golfpro699"||$41,816|
|128||USA||Brad Johnson AKA "Tank"||$41,816|
|130||USA||Jeffrey Anderson AKA "HB_HITMAN"||$41,816|
|131||USA||Anton Nikaj AKA "Texpert"||$41,816|
|133||Canada||Xiao Dong Deng||$41,816|
|149||Greece||Charalampos Tsaoussis AKA "KingGr"||$41,816|
|151||USA||Justin St John||$41,816|
|160||Denmark||Gus Hansen AKA "The Great Dane"||$41,816|
|168||Netherlands||Gerardus Terwisscha van Scheltinga||$38,600|
|193||USA||Virgil Beddingfield AKA "Hit Man"||$38,600|
|199||USA||Steve Billirakis AKA "MrSmokey1"||$38,600|
|207||Puerto Rico||Jose Baeza||$38,600|
|213||USA||Le Kim Banh||$38,600|
|216||USA||Scott Carpenter AKA "King"||$38,600|
|219||USA||Brent Roberts AKA "astrolux85"||$38,600|
|220||USA||Ryan Milisits AKA "dank stax"||$38,600|
|225||USA||Jon Turner AKA "Pearljammer"||$38,600|
|226||USA||Clifton Allen AKA "The Hanger"||$35,383|
|231||Netherlands||Thierry Van den Berg||$35,383|
|232||Sweden||Kristian Obbarius AKA "OBBESLASK, MADAMEROCK"||$35,383|
|238||USA||Evelyn Ng AKA "Evybabee, Evy DailyX"||$35,383|
|240||USA||Hevad "Rainbow" Khan||$35,383|
|250||USA||Van Nguyen AKA "mrs master"||$35,383|
|252||USA||David Baker AKA "Bakes"||$35,383|
|269||USA||Phongthep "Tab" Thiptinnakon||$35,383|
|281||Norway||Dag Martin Mikkelsen AKA "dmmikkel"||$35,383|
|288||Czech Republic||Jiri Hlavaty||$35,383|
|306||Mexico||Michelle Sainz AKA "the ghost"||$32,166|
|316||South Africa||Andre Johnstone||$32,166|
|317||USA||John Gordon AKA "Muscles"||$32,166|
|320||USA||Paul Kitsos AKA "Biggie Smalls"||$32,166|
|321||USA||Thayer Rasmussen AKA "JINXY MONKEY"||$32,166|
|333||USA||Bill Blanda AKA "Big Daddy"||$32,166|
|334||USA||Greg "Fisherman" Duros||$32,166|
|339||USA||Mirza M Nagji||$32,166|
|344||USA||Adam Zinn AKA "duck"||$32,166|
|349||USA||Jason Newburger AKA "Chicago Kid"||$32,166|
|355||USA||Denny Lee AKA "Sting Like Bee"||$28,950|
|358||UK||Trevor Reardon AKA "bigTR"||$28,950|
|370||France||Bertrand Grospellier AKA "ElkY"||$28,950|
|372||USA||Eric Kesselman AKA "The Gimp"||$28,950|
|376||South Africa||Ryan Eber||$28,950|
|383||USA||Eric Thompkins AKA "E. Tizzle"||$28,950|
|386||USA||Cliff Josephy AKA "Johnny Bax"||$28,950|
|389||UK||Steve Davis AKA "The Nugget"||$28,950|
|395||USA||Jamie Rosen AKA "The Chronic"||$28,950|
|396||UK||Nicholas Keegan AKA "Kegsy100"||$28,950|
|412||USA||Whitney Blanton AKA "Whit"||$28,950|
|415||Ireland||Pat O Callaghan||$27,020|
|417||USA||William Pilossoph AKA "Pittsburgh Billy"||$27,020|
|423||USA||Craig Goodling AKA "Trapper"||$27,020|
|436||USA||Robert Bright AKA "Bob"||$27,020|
|437||USA||Jeff Bryan AKA "the beast"||$27,020|
|442||USA||Jean Robert Bellande||$27,020|
|444||USA||Jason Young AKA "JBY"||$27,020|
|445||South Africa||Neville Robbeson||$27,020|
|446||Canada||Haysam Chiniara AKA "The Punisher"||$27,020|
|454||Netherlands||Stefan de Vries||$27,020|
|478||USA||Va Shon Watkins||$25,090|
|485||USA||Daniel J. Barlin||$25,090|
|503||Italy||Francesco De Vivo||$25,090|
|508||USA||James Maltz AKA "Ace"||$25,090|
|517||USA||Chris "The Armenian Express" Grigorian||$25,090|
|519||USA||William Douglas Smith||$25,090|
|523||USA||David Sacks AKA "TRK"||$25,090|
|524||USA||Mike Perez AKA "The Prince"||$25,090|
|536||USA||Farzad Rouhani AKA "Freddie"||$25,090|
|552||USA||Steve Austin AKA "THE NATURAL"||$23,160|
|574||USA||Va Shon Watkins||$23,160|
|585||Germany||Jan Heitmann AKA "Erdnase"||$23,160|
|623||Israel||Nadav Benjosef AKA "Benyo"||$21,230|
|625||USA||Vanessa Rousso AKA "Lady Maverick"||$21,230|
|638||USA||Shan Jing AKA "PacMan"||$21,230|
|645||Canada||Pat Pezzin AKA "TorontoToro"||$21,230|
|651||USA||Men "The Master" Nguyen||$21,230|
|656||Argentina||Fernando Gordo AKA "Solvafer"||$21,230|
|666||USA||Joe Conti AKA "Mojo"||$21,230|
Peter Eastgate Wins the 2008 World Series of Poker22-Year-Old Danish Poker Pro Becomes the Youngest World Champion in History
Longest, Biggest, Richest Poker Tournament Series Ends with First-Ever Danish Champion Topping the Famed November Nine'
Tournament Notes from the Final Table:
The previous WSOP gold bracelet winners who were nationals of Denmark include only player, Jesper Hougaard, from Copenhagen. Hougaard currently holds two WSOP gold bracelets - one from earlier this year in Las Vegas and a second won in London at WSOP-Europe last month.
Eastgate's win instantly vaults him up in second place on the WSOP all-time money winners' list. Only 2006 world champion Jamie Gold has won more prize money, at $12,067,092.
'I do not think I have realized yet what a big moment this is. It will come the next days and weeks. I expect I will get emotional about it later. But not as much now.' - Peter Eastgate following his victory Eastgate says he plans to go with his parents on a vacation after his victory. 'I love my parents,' he said. 'I want to treat them as I have always treated them - with love and respect.'
'I like to gamble. The way I have learned to play poker is by putting a lot of hours into it and learning from my mistakes.' - Peter Eastgate following his victory
The 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event began on July 3rd. The official Day Seven was played 11 days later on Monday, July 14th. Once the final nine players were finally determined, there was an unprecedented 117-day recess.
The nine surviving players who made it to the final table were deemed 'The November Nine.' Fittingly, play resumed on November 9th.
Final table play officially started at 11:08 am. The first day ended 13 hours and 27 minutes later, at 12:35 am.
Continuation of the final table resumed at 10:34 pm the following night, and officially ended at 2:36 am. Hence, the combined length of the finale clocked in at 15 hours and 39 minutes. This broke the previous record for the longest WSOP Main Event final table, which took place in 2005 (won by Joe Hachem). The previous record was 14 hours. Note: Dinner breaks are excluded from time official records.
The final table lasted 278 hands. More than a third of the hands were played heads up.
The final table was played onstage at the Penn and Teller Theatre at the Rio in Las Vegas. This was the first time this venue had been used and was the seventh locale in the 39-year history of the WSOP. Previous final table locations included - (Old) Binion's Horseshoe baccarat pit, (Old) Binion's Horseshoe rear casino, (New) Binion's Horseshoe Poker Room, (New) Binion's Horseshoe Benny's Bullpen, Fremont Street Experience, and the Rio Pavilion Amazon Room. Note: 'Old' refers to the older East side of the Horseshoe, while 'new' refers to the West side of the casino, which was expanded with The Mint was acquired in 1988.
Both days/nights attracted capacity crowds. One-time attendance was estimated at 1,065 given the number of seats inside the arena. However, many different spectators rotated through the arena over duration of the two day competition. The actual number of spectators who saw at least some portion of the WSOP final table live this year is estimated at about 3,000. This was the largest crowd ever to watch a poker game of any kind, in a live setting.
For the first time in poker history, a tournament blind reached the 1,000,000 mark. Level 39 was reached, meaning the big blind was 1,000,000 (the small blind was 500,000, along with a 150,000 ante). Interestingly, the 1,000,000 blind level with the mandatory 150,000 ante meant that each hand cost the equivalent in starting chips from 57.5 entrants into the Main Event.
This was the final day of a 62-day span which comprises the totality of 59 gold bracelet events (including WSOP-Europe).
The $10,000 buy-in championship is officially listed as Event #54. Due to the 117-day delay, the event ended after the conclusion of Events 55-59.
The final table (first day) began with WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack addressing the large crowd and the final nine players who were assembled onstage. Pollack thanked the players for being poker ambassadors during the layoff.
Prior to play, each of the nine finalists received a Corum limited-edition W.S.O.P. 'Romvlvs' timepiece. Each watch dial featured the card suit of choice, engraved with the player's name and starting chip count on the reverse. The special presentation was made by President of Corum Watches, Michael Wunderman.
Rio Las Vegas General Manager Gerry Tuthill also took the stage to thank the players and audience for their support of the WSOP. The Rio has been the home of the WSOP since 2005, and has attracted record numbers each of the four years the property has played host to poker's supreme event.
2007 World Series of Poker champion Jerry Yang provided the ceremonial 'Shuffle Up and Deal' announcement. He took a few moments to thank poker fans for all their support and jokingly noted that he was the longest reigning single year WSOP champion in history. Of course, Yang's extended poker sovereignty was made possible by the unprecedented 117-day layoff.
The chip leader at the start of play was Dennis Phillips (St. Louis, MO). Peter Eastgate, the ultimate victor began play ranked fourth.
All players who made it to the final table were guaranteed a payout of $900,670. However, Harrah's added another $98,179 in prize money to the top eight finishers. This was the amount of interest paid on the $24,527,416 which accrued interest during the four-month layoff.
The runner up was Ivan Demidov, from Moscow, Russia. Demidov was vying to become the first Russian poker world champion in history, but came up just short.
It's astonishing to think that the second-place cash prize ($5,809,595) still amounts to a figure larger than any other poker tournament in the world.
Demidov's victory would have meant that two of the top titles in poker would have been held by natives of Russia. Five months ago, Svetlana Gromenkova (from Moscow) won the 2008 Ladies World Poker Championship.
Demidov became the first player to ever make it to the final table of the WSOP Main Event and the WSOP-Europe Main Event. Incredibly, Demidov accomplished this feat within the same year.
Demidov had the chip lead a significant part of the first day of the final table. However, Eastgate proved to be a formidable foe, as Demidov was unable to establish any momentum during the final few hours which might have catapulted him to victory.
The final hand of the 2008 WSOP came when Eastgate was dealt Ad-5s against Demidov's 4h-2h. The final board showed K-3-2-4-7 (suits were insignificant). Demidov called Eastgate's all-in move and tabled two pair - fours and twos. Eastgate showed A-5, good for the straight, five-high.
'I was lucky on the last hand. Ivan had two pair, and I had a wheel. When that happens heads-up, all the money is (going to go into the pot).' - Peter Eastgate explaining the winning final hand
Just because I won the heads-up does not make me a better player than (Demidov). It goes to show that it is sometimes good to be lucky.' -- Peter Eastgate explaining the winning final hand
Demidov was profoundly disappointed, but was also gracious in defeat. He congratulated the new champion and remained onstage afterward for multiple media interviews.
'I think I played really well at the start. But I did not play as well towards the end. It is really tough to say what went wrong. Every time I tried to bluff he called, and had a hand.' - Ivan Demidov moments after being eliminated in second place
'It has been a great year for me.... - Ivan Demidov moments after being eliminated in second place
The third-place finisher was Dennis Phillips, from St. Louis, MO.
Phillips was accompanied by the largest cheering section in poker history. More than 300 friends and co-workers came to Las Vegas to support Phillips. Adorned in white shirts and logos, Phillips' army of supporters was one of the final table's most memorable highlights.
The fourth-place finisher was Ylon Schwartz. The enigmatic former chess pro from Brooklyn, NY was cheered by a dozen or so supporters. Schwartz was the final table's most unorthodox player. He vowed to run away and disappear if he won the world championship. Yet, Ylon was gracious even in defeat. He returned to the final table on day two and watched Eastgate's victory.
Former WSOP Main Event winners who made a ceremonial appearance at this final table included Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson, Chris Moneymaker, Jamie Gold, and Jerry Yang.
None of the top four finishers wore glasses at the final table. However, all nine players wore caps adorned with various logos.
The fifth-place finisher was Canadian player Scott Montgomery, from Perth, Ontario.
The sixth-place finisher was another Canadian player, Darus Suharto - from Toronto, Ontario.
Suharto says he plans to return to his job as an accountant, despite his big win. I made a commitment and I want to stick with it (regardless of poker),' he said.
The seventh-place finisher was David 'Chino' Rheem, from Los Angeles, CA.
Rheem was the only player at the final table who showed any political allegiances. Rheem sported an 'Obama '08' button on his shirt.
The eighth-place finisher was Kelly Kim, from Whittier, CA.
Kim's patience paid off, as his leap from an expected ninth-place finish (according to chance) up to eighth place paid and extra $380,547 in prize money.
Kim was ecstatic following Marguis' elimination. The unanticipated bust out inched him one spot higher in the prize money, worth an extra $388,000 in prize money.
The ninth-place finisher was Craig Marquis, from Arlington, TX. Marquis was bidding to become the first Texan to win the WSOP in 23 years, when Bill Smith (from Dallas) was the 1985 Main Event.
'Everyone has a big hand where they take the worst of it at some point, and they hit a hand just to get here. I had a few of those. Now, it was Scott (Montgomery's) turn. That's the way poker is.' - Craig Marquis, moments after being eliminated
'It feels bad to be knocked out ninth. But I was playing to win, all the way. I was not trying to just move up to seventh or eighth place.' - Craig Marquis, moments after being eliminated
'It's sad to be over. But on the other hand, it will really be nice to get back to my real life again.' -- Craig Marquis, moments after being eliminated
The first elimination took two hours and ten minutes, which is believed to be a WSOP record (Note: Early years at the WSOP were not well documented).
The first flop was not seen until 39 minutes into play.
Ylon Schwartz made the first all-in move of the finale. Scott Montgomery folded to his raise.
The first chip lead change took place when Ivan Demidov seized a sizable number of chips from Dennis Phillips' stack. Next, Ylon Schwartz took the chip lead. Then, Demidov regained the lead. Peter Eastgate took the chip lead late on the first day of the finale.
First-place prize money totaling $9,152,416 was brought to the main stage immediately following a 75-minute dinner break. The colossal display of banknotes weighed an estimated 500 pounds. Two years ago, WSOP organizers placed a similar amount of prize money onto a large table, causing it to buckle from the massive weight. This year, organizers learned their lesson and the numerous stacks of one-hundred dollars bills were placed upon a reinforced table.
The Poker Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place during a break. The Hall of Fame was launched in 1979 and now includes 39 members. The 'Class of 2008' included two new inductees - Dewey Tomko and Henry Orenstein.
Nations represented at the final table included: United States (5 players), Canada (2 players), Denmark (1 player), and Russia (1 player).
A Russian poker player has now made it to the final table in each of the last two years. Ivan Demidov followed in the footsteps of Alex Kravchenko, who finished in fourth place last year.
A Canadian poker player has now made it to the final table in each of the last two years. Two Canadians, Darus Suharto and Scott Montgomery follow in the footsteps of Tuan Lam, who finished in second place last year.
This was one of the younger final table averages in WSOP history. The youngest player (Eastgate) was 22. The oldest player (Phillips) was 53. The average age of the surviving players was 31.8 years. Five of the final nine were in their 20s.
Late on Day Seven (played July 14th), although ten players actually sat at a single table, only the nine surviving players constitute the official 'final table,' in standard poker reporting and official WSOP records.
The tenth-place money spot is now referred to as the 'TV bubble.' This is because the player did not partake in the three-month publicity build-up to the final table, nor the actual play of the November Nine,' which will be shown on ESPN. Dean Hamrick ended up as the tenth-place finisher.
The nine finalists were each paid 9th-place prize money ($900,670) when play was suspended on July 15th. The remainder of the prize money (the difference) was paid out at the Rio as players were eliminated.
ESPN will broadcast the final table on Tuesday, November 11th, just hours after play ended on the previous days/nights. The show will air at 6 pm PST and runs for two hours.
The final table was played just five days after the conclusion of the U.S. presidential election and Barack Obama's historic victory.
Peter Eastgate played a total of 80.9 tournament hours to win his victory, not counting breaks or end of day recesses.
When the tournament ended, all 136,900,000 chips were in Peter Eastgate's stack. He began the tournament like everyone else, with just 20,000 in chips.
In the 39-year history of the WSOP, champions were citizens of the following nations at the time of victory: United States (35), England (1), Ireland (1), Australia (1), Spain (1), and Denmark (1).
WSOP champions have now been born in the following nations: United States (31), Iran (2), Ireland (1), Lebanon (1), Ecuador (1), Laos (1), Vietnam (1), China (1), and Denmark (1).
This was the largest overall World Series of Poker in history. A grand total of 58,720 players entered into 55 gold bracelet events surpassed last year's number of entries, which was 54,288. These figures represent an 8 percent increase over 2007.
This ranks as the second-largest live poker tournament in history. This year's turnout surpassed 2007 attendance (6,358) by 7.4 percent. Only the 2006 WSOP Main Event was larger than this tournament -- with 8,773 entrants.
This is the second-largest tournament prize pool in history. The total prize pool amounted to $64,431,779. The top 666 finishers collected prize money.
There were 124 different nations and territories represented by all players who entered the 2008 Main Event. By contrast, there were 87 different countries present last year. This represents a 36 percent increase in international participation.
YOUNG DANISH PRO TAKES HOME $9.1 MILLION IN THE 2008 WORLD SERIES OF POKER
Becomes the Youngest Player Ever to Win WSOP Main Event
2008 WORLD SERIES OF POKER, LAS VEGAS, NOVEMBER 11, 2008 - PokerStars player Peter Eastgate has became the youngest main event champion after winning the 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) earning him $9,152,416 million. The 22-year-old professional poker player from Odense, Denmark broke Phil Helmuth's 19 year record for youngest main event champion that he set in 1989 at the age of 24. Eastgate also made history by playing in the first ever all European heads up WSOP main event showdown.
'It's an honour to hold the record as youngest World Series of Poker main event champion,' said Eastgate. 'I played really solidly throughout this tournament and I'm proud of that. This gives a new level of credibility for young online players. Thanks to sites like PokerStars, we have become a force to face on the felt.'
Eastgate is one of the top cash poker players in Denmark, and has already made a name for himself in several tournaments across Europe and online. Earlier this year, he finished in the top 30 at PokerStars EPT Copenhagen and made the final table of the Irish Poker Open in 2007. During the three month break, Eastgate has been playing $200-400 No Limit Hold' Em on PokerStars to sharpen up for the final table.
'Peter is the kind of player who is not afraid to put you under the gun,' said Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken. 'I'm impressed by the way he played this tournament. He is a great testament to the young, up-and-coming European players in the poker field.'
The soft spoken and stone cold Eastgate is known for his ultra-aggressive playing style, which was evident in this year's final table. He headed into with the final table in fourth place with a stack of more than 18 million in chips. Entering heads up play, Eastgate was ahead in chips, $79.5 million to $57.7 million, and never looked back. The deciding and historic hand for Eastgate came when Demidov's two pair, fours and deuces ran into Eastgate's straight, Ace to the five.
More than 1,000 PokerStars qualifiers competed in this year's World Series main event and 123 of these PokerStars players have cashed at this year's event - winning more than $9 million between them and leaving another $32.6 million up for grabs at the final table event. The PokerStars Million Dollar Men have walked away with just under $27.5 bringing the total cash winnings for PokerStars players at the 2008 WSOP main event to more than $36 million.
Among Team PokerStars Pro, Daniel Kid Poker' Negreanu won his 4th WSOP bracelet in the Limit Hold'em Event, cashing $204,874. Poker legend Barry Greenstein won his 3rd WSOP bracelet in the Seven Card Razz Event and Italian poker pro Dario Minieri recorded his first WSOP bracelet in the No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed event pocketing $528,418.
Final Table Set for Historic 2008 World Series of Pokerฎ Main Event
'November Nine' Top Total Field of 6,844 to Compete for Lion's Share of $64 Million and WSOP Champion's Bracelet on Poker's Biggest Night
LAS VEGAS (July 15, 2008) - After 12 days of grueling Main Event competition at the record-setting 39th annual World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee's Best Light, the stage is finally set for the most prestigious night in poker history.
For the first time ever, play at a World Series of Poker tournament has been suspended prior to a champion being crowned. The unique event structure calls for the final nine of 6,844 competitors in the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship to return to the Rioฎ All-Suite Hotel and Casino on November 9 to begin the battle for the Main Event title and the top prize of $9.1 million.
Dubbed 'The November Nine,' the participants will have 117 days before they return to Las Vegas, where they will vie for the title on what is literally poker's largest stage - inside the Rio's state-of-the-art, 1,500-seat Penn & Teller Theater.
In descending order of chip count, The November Nine are:
The nine will play down to two on Nov. 9; the final two competitors will then go heads up beginning at 10 p.m. PDT on Nov. 10, with the winner expected to be crowned in the early morning hours of November 11. In a World Series of Poker first, ESPN will carry same-day coverage of the victory beginning at 9 p.m. EST on Nov. 11.
The November Nine outlasted a massive field of 6,844 who entered the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship. This year's total Main Event prize pool is $64,333,600. A total of 666 players will cash in the event; payout for 666th place was $21,230.
The final nine will play for a total of $32,633,446, with the following pay schedule:
1st Place: $9,119,517 4th Place: $3,763,515 7th Place: $1,769,174 2nd Place: $5,790,024 5th Place: $3,088,012 8th Place: $1,286,672 3rd Place: $4,503,352 6th Place: $2,412,510 9th Place: $900,670'The winner of the World Series of Poker Main Event has always become an instant celebrity,' said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. 'This year, all nine players who make the final table will become household names - and are guaranteed life-changing prize money to go with their fame and place in poker history.'
ESPN will air a one-hour special on the final nine participants Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 9 p.m. EST. The network's high-definition coverage of the Main Event begins Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 9 p.m. EST; two-hour episodes will run each Tuesday until the Nov. 11 finale.
The 39th annual World Series of Poker was the largest and richest in history, attracting 58,720 competitors in its 55 events - an increase of 4,432, or 8 percent, over the previous record established in 2007. The total prize pool at this year's World Series of Poker was $180,676,248, an increase of $20,880,030 over the previous record, also established last year. Players from a record 118 countries participated in this year's tournaments, more than in the most recent Winter Olympics. That number is up 36 percent from the previous record of 87 countries set in 2007.
The 39th annual World Series of Poker, a compilation of 55 tournaments covering all of the game's major variations, began May 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Main Event, with four start dates to accommodate its large playing field, began on July 3.
WORLD SERIES OF POKER FINAL TO AIR TUESDAY, NOV 11th
The most-anticipated final table in poker history will be in action on Tuesday, Nov. 11, as the champion's bracelet and a top prize of $9.1 million will be awarded in the 2008 World Series of Poker, presented by Milwaukee's Best Light. ESPN will provide same day coverage -- kicking off with an encore presentation of the one-hour preview special at 8 p.m. ET -- followed by two action-packed hours from the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Below are the November Nine in order of chip count, and comments on each player from Norman Chad, co-host of the World Series of Poker with Lon McEachern.
1. Dennis Phillips, 53 St. Louis, Missouri 26,295,000
"Perhaps no player could be more negatively affected by the 117-day final-table delay. When play was halted in July, Phillips was in a zone. He was running hot and reading well, getting all the right cards and pushing all the right buttons. Poker is a streaky game, and he was on a week-long streak. Heck, 3 ฝ months later, he might not even be able to find his St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap."
2. Ivan Demidov, 27 Moscow, Russia 24,400,000
"Here's a calendar-year feat for you: Making the WSOP Main Event final table and the WSOP Europe Main Event final table. That's a stunning double. In recent years, Russians are making a bigger impact in poker. Demidov is seldom recklessly aggressive like other twenty-somethings; rather, he's smart and measured and overcomes his lack of live tournament experience with a steady countenance and solid reads."
3. Scott Montgomery, 26 Perth, Ontario, Canada 19,690,000
"Another improbable product of the now-famed University of Waterloo poker factory in Canada - if it's such a good engineering school, how come everyone there is playing cards? Montgomery describes his playing style as "psychotically insane,” and that might be an understatement. He doesn't play position, he plays preposterously. He can't help getting all his money in with the worst of it, and he's forever good-natured about it."
4. Peter Eastgate, 22 Odense, Denmark 18,375,000
"Ah, to be young, fearless and playing for $9.1 million. In Europe, the poker community talks about uber-aggressive Scandinavian players like Eastgate. He is calm and icy at the table as he continues to shove big bets into the middle. Like many online young guns, his modus operandi is to keep putting opponents to tough decisions for most of their chips. Pressure, pressure, pressure. It seems to work."
5. Ylon Schwartz, 38 Brooklyn, New York 12,525,000
"He once was a top-flight chess player. I give him a point for that. He says if he wins the Main Event, he wants to go somewhere no one will find him "like Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption" He gets another point there. He's smart and strange - you've got to fear the smart, strange ones - and he'll wait for others to make mistakes at the table."
6. Darus Suharto, 39 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 12,520,000
"At 39, the second-oldest player left in the field, which speaks to the youthful state of no-limit tournament hold em in 2008. He's quiet, respectful and a big fan of fellow Canadian Daniel Negreanu. Plus, he's a CPA - the last time an unknown accountant won the Main Event, it set off a poker boom; nobody would mind a second boom, or at least a boomlet."
7. David Rheem, 28 Los Angeles, California 10,230,000
"He could go out first or he could end up first. He's not afraid to mix it up, he goes with his reads and he'll risk it all early if the spot feels right. Even when he bluffs off most of his stack, he has a great ability to not let the moment destroy him - he'll brush it off and move on. And, of course, most of the established pros are rooting for him."
8. Craig Marquis, 23 Arlington, Texas 10,210,000
"He played smart, small-pot poker to get here. I like him because he stood up to Tiffany Michelle late in the Main Event. And I like him because he started playing in January 2007 after going to a New Year's Eve party and realizing how much money Tom Dwan and David Benefield were making at cards - on New Year's Eve, most people just get silly and make stupid resolutions."
9. Kelly Kim, 31 Whittier, California 2,620,000
"Has to feel like he's on a free roll - he was the short stack when they got down to 10 players - but that doesn't mean he'll play recklessly. In fact, with a big gallery of friends and family on hand, he'll probably play it snug - you don't wait 117 days and bring all your supporters into town to go bust in 15 minutes."
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Thomas Preston, Jr., better known as Amarillo Slim, was born on December 31, 1928, in Johnson, Arkansas but spend most of his youth in Amarillo, Texas. One of the most famous...