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2008 WSOP Main Event winner crowned tonight
And then there were two. After waiting 117 days poker fans are going to have to wait one more day until there is a 2008 WSOP Main Event winner.
Surprisingly, short stack Kelly Kim was not the first player eliminated. Instead, that dubious honor goes to Arlington, Texas resident Craig Marquis. Kim was not far behind, however. Despite an early double-up, the chip stacks of the other players proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for Kim.
Perhaps bigger news than the two early eliminations was the play of Russian Demidov early. Demidov won a monster pot off Dennis Phillips to assume the chip lead. It was a frightening situation for the other eight players at the table, who knew how close Demidov had come to winning a main event in Europe.
There were plenty of bad beats at the final table and one of the first ones would knock the last remaining pro, David "Chino" Rheem, right out of the tournament. Rheem got all-in with big slick only to be rebuffed by Eastgate's A-Q.
Montgomery wouldn't be laughing that long, however, as several hands later he got it all-in with 6-6 against Eastgate's A-3.
New Yorker and chess Jedi Ylon Schwartz would be eliminated next when he got all-in with ace-high against Eastgate's full house.
It took 14 hours to do it, but the final elimination of the night came in the wee hours of the morning when Dennis Phillips, the chip leader to start the day, finally succumbed to a lack of chips. Phillips shoved with a draw and got looked up by Eastgate with a set.
Demidov and Eastgate are the two remaining players, which means we will have a European winner at the WSOP this year, and Eastgate even has a shot at breaking Hellmuth's record as the youngest WSOP winner.
Although it's probably too early to give the 2008 WSOP Main Event final-table delay its final grade, it can be said that the final-table spectacle will be considered a great success for Harrah's. Hundreds of fans, including several well-known poker celebrities, crowded the Penn and Teller Auditorium to cheer on their heroes.
To learn more about the final table check out tournament reporter Owen Laukkanen's extensive recap blog, and be sure to hit up the live tournament section for all the updates from heads-up, which begins at 10 p.m. PST.