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Day 3: Let the record breaking begin
It's official - the second event of the 2008 World Series of Poker has broken attendance records as 3,929 players joined the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event this year. That's not all Day 3 of the WSOP has to offer as the first event of the season makes its way to a winner today as well.
At 3 p.m. PT, nine players entered the 2008 World Series of Poker's very first final table of the season. Not to be taken lightly, this table included Andy Bloch, Nenad Medic, Mike Sexton, Mike Sowers, Amit Makhija, Chris Bell, Phil Laak, Kathy Liebert and Patrik Antonius.
It didn't take long for the table to find its first casualty. On the first hand of the final table, Laak opened for $90,000 and Antonius, with a newfound sponsor in Full Tilt Poker, moved all-in over the top for $230,000.
The action folded back to Laak, who made the call and turned up pocket jacks while Antonius looked down at pocket kings. Things weren't looking good for Laak, but then a flop of A-J-2 gave him the lead.
However, a ten on the turn gave Antonius a few more outs, but it was the king on the river that gave him the win to double up and cripple The Unabomber.
It was pocket jacks again that did Laak in as well. Sowers had raised to $85,000, and Laak moved all-in over him for $185,000 from the small blind. In the big blind, Medic made it $350,000 to go and Laak was the only one to call, putting himself all-in.
Laak turned up pocket jacks once again only to see Medic reveal pocket aces. After a board of K-Q-2-9-5, Medic's aces held and Laak hit the rail in ninth place.
Next out was Sowers in eighth place after he laid his tournament life on the line with 9-4 and Sexton looked him up with pocket queens. The queens held up and Sowers was out.
Antonius had looked like he was going to start rebuilding from the short stack after doubling up through Laak early and then tripling up in a hand with Liebert and Medic. His final-table sojourn ended, however, when he ran into Andy Bloch.
Antonius had raised to $120,000 in the small blind and Bloch made it $360,000 to go from the big blind. Antonius, holding K♥ T♥, reraised all-in and Bloch called with A♣ 4♣. The board came 9♣ 9♦ 5♥ 7♠ 5♣, giving Bloch the win with just ace-high and giving Antonius the boot in seventh place.
Medic ended up axing the next player from the final table. No amount of CPR could save Bell's A♥ 3♣ when the hand ran into J♥ J♦.
The flop came Q♦ 6♣ 5♠, and when an A♠ dropped on the turn, there was almost a beat of hope for Bell. A J♠ fell on the river, however, giving Medic the reverse suck-out to send Bell to the ropes with a sixth-place finish to brag about.
Makhija was the next to fall, removing the final newcomer from the final table to leave Bloch, Medic, Sexton and Liebert to battle for the bracelet.
Bloch and Medic are both looking for their first WSOP bracelet wins, while Sexton and Liebert are looking to add a second piece of WSOP jewelry to their collections.
Stay tuned to the WSOP Live Updates right here at PokerListings to find out who will become 2008's first WSOP bracelet winner.
Day 1b of Event 2, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, didn't disappoint those who were predicting record numbers for the event. As more than 1,800 players registered by the time the 2 p.m. deadline was up, the field just missed hitting the 4,000 mark by a mere 71 players.
That was still more than enough to eclipse the record playing field of 3,151 set during the 2007 WSOP. There were still plenty of poker pros left who didn't take on Day 1a who were willing to put up their $1,500 for Day 1b. Among those are Scotty Nguyen, Carlos Mortensen, Erick Lindgren, Jamie Gold, Mekhi Phifer, Barry Greenstein, Jeremy Roenick and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson.
They're vying for a record-breaking $5,363,085 prize pool, and 378 people will get paid in the event. The winner will walk away with more than $830,000 in cash.
For more details of the events and to check out all the action, visit the Live Tournaments section.