Event 54, Main Event No-Limit Hold'em

Timeline

Main Event - Day Five in the Books!

Mark it an eight, dude.
Mark it an eight, dude.

The clock has run out on Level 23 and that means we are done for the night. It looks like 79 have made it through to Day 6. Play is slated to get back underway at noon tomorrow.

Vos Lost (80th)

On the very last hand of the night Mark Vos got in a raising war against Dennis Phillips and ended up with all his chips in the middle. A-K for Vos was in terrible shape against Phillips' pocket aces.

The board changed nothing and Vos is gone in 80th place for $77,200.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Straight

Jeremy Joseph just picked up a big pot, turning a straight and getting paid off in the process. The hand started with Joseph opening and David Saab repopping. Joseph made the call and they both checked the K K T flop.

They checked again on the Q turn, but when the 4 hit the river Joseph fired out $400,000. Saab thought for what seemed an eternity, standing up from the table and taking a few quizzical steps around his chair.

He eventually opted to make the call, and Joseph tabled J 9 for the king-high straight. Saab taps the table and takes his seat as the pot is pushed.

Cedric Not So Entertained

We were on hand for the elimination of Cedric Kolstad but it wasn’t until they announced his bustification that we learned he goes by the name Cedric “The Realtor” Kolstad. He may be a bit more boring than Cedric the Entertainer, but if you’re looking for a house he’s a lot more helpful.

We arrived on the flop and it looked like Peter Neff had raised his button and Kolstad had flatted from the small blind. The flop had come 9 7 3 and the rest of the money found its way into the middle. Kolstad was short when he started the hand, which makes us wonder why he would just call before the flop.

At any rate Kolstad was all-in and at risk with A-K against Neff’s 8 9. Kolstad saw he was in terrible shape, and things went from bad to worse when the 9 hit the turn. The 7 on the river made it official and Kolstad is gone.

We think he was busted in 84th place, which would give him $64,333 for his trouble.

Tommy Le
Where's Pam?

Tommy Le Doesn’t Bet

Tommy Le, not the Motley Crue one but rather the younger brother of California superstar Nam Le, just made a monster but opted to check in hopes of inducing some action. Unfortunately for him it didn’t work out too well.

It started with action folding to Le in the small blind. He opened to the tune of $80,000 and Matt Matros called in the big blind. The flop came down J 7 4 and they both checked. The turn was the 7 and they checked again. The river was the J and two more checks followed.

Le turned up J 9 for top boat and Matros asks, “You ever think of betting that at any point?” Le responded with, “Well, I thought you’d bet the flop with a pair and the turn with a set. I didn’t think I’d get paid off.”

The pot goes to Le and they move on to the next hand.

Main Squeeze

Just as much as the suck-resuck is a theme of the day, so is the use of the squeeze play - or at the very least, picking up a monster hand after. On multiple tables in the last few minutes we saw cases of big reraises taking down pots after a raise and a fold in front.

On one table, Alexander Kostritsyn opened under the gun for $72,000 and David Benefield almost folded before making the call on the button. Justin Sadauskas then bumped the bet up to a hefty $330,000 from the small blind. Kostritsyn saved face by waiting a moment before folding his cards, while Benefield automucked.

On another table, Peter Eastgate opened in middle position for $80,000 and got a call from Alan Gould in the cut-off. Brandon Cantu then flexed the muscle afforded to him by his big stack, popping it to $290,000 total and watching the action go muck-muck faster than you can say “pay jump.”

With this much money on the line, aggression is paying off big-time right now.

Kostritsyn Klocked!

It looks like Aussie Millions champion Alexander Kostritsyn will have to wait for next year to get a shot at his first WSOP bracelet.

The Russian was down to under half a million in chips when he opened for $65,000 and got called by Garrett Beckman on the button. The flop came down T 6 4, Kostritsyn checked, and Beckman led out for $90,000. Kostritsyn check-raised for a total of $395,000 and Beckman made the call.

Kostritsyn: A K
Beckman: 7 7

The board ran out with the 2 on the turn and the J on the river to send Kostritsyn home.

Chop Chop

We got to Niklas Flisberg’s table with the flop reading Q 8 6. Flisberg fired off $275,000 and was check-called by Larry Wright. Both men checked the 9 turn and the 3 river, and after Flisberg turned up his A Q, Wright showed A Q for the chopped pot. Both men tapped the table and waited for the dealer to ship them their respective halves.

Positively Double-Through Street

We missed the first bits of action but when those were over Chris Klodnicki was all-in for his tournament life and just over $1 million in chips with J J against James “Don’t Call Me Jim” McManus and his Q T. Two different camera crews ran over to the table to catch the action. The flop came A 6 4, the turn the 5, and the river the A to give Klodnicki a serious boost at an opportune moment.

Victor-y!

Victor Ramdin was down to his last $350,000 and got it all-in before the flop with pocket kings, putting him well in front of Aaron Gordon’s A 8. A 9 9 6 3 7 board helped the cowboys hold up and boost Ramdin to over $700,000 just before the end of the night’s action.

You Ever Read Kill Phil?

The omnipresent Phil Hellmuth just clashed with Aaron Keay, and by the end of the hand he was missing a large chunk of his stack.

In the hand Keay bet but Hellmuth raised to $220,000 from the small blind. Keay called and the flop came A J 5. Hellmuth bet $140,000 but Keay moved all-in instantly. Apparently Hellmuth didn’t feel entirely comfortable with his hand because he threw it into the muck.

The Poker Brat dips below the $1 million chip mark for the first time in a while.

Tiffany Michelle
Ice cold, baby!

Cold Chips! Tiffany Michelle Loses Race

Poker reporter/player Tiffany “Hot Chips” Michelle just doubled a player up. She got the player to commit his entire stack with Q-J against her 9-9 but there was a queen on the flop and Michelle couldn’t recover.

Initially the large crowd of Michelle supporters cheered when the queen hit on the flop, as the dealer had the hands reversed, but they were in for a cruel surprise when they realized who really held the Q-J.

Level
23
Blinds
12000/24000
Ante
3000
Players Left
79
Tables Left
9

Main Event - Level 23 - Break Yo' Self Fool!

We're halfway through the last level of the day and the action is hot and heavy here at the Rio. Like a saxophone player who's never done a certain something, these players are going for the gusto and giving it everything they've got.

Read on for our take on the proceedings.

New Payout Level

We’ve reached the final 90 players and have therefore reached the next rung on the payout ladder. Everyone who is eliminated between places 90 and 82 will receive $64,333.

Year of the Pro Gets Pro-ier

Everyone knows it’s the year of the pro. “What year is it?” we continually hear people ask. “The Year of the pro!” we reply enthusiastically. PL.com cares not for trademarks so we’ll continue to use the phrase regardless of fellow media retaliation.

Phil Hellmuth has just taken his rightful seat at the ESPN feature table and is now sitting directly beside fellow year of the pro representative Mike Matusow. In the last few hands Hellmuth has been the most aggressive player at the table and is reaping the benefits with most players folding to his pre-flop bets.

Only time will tell the final outcome but one thing is for sure. It’s the year of the pro. 

Barbero Barbarized! (89th)

Suck-resuck seems to be one of tonight’s big themes, and Jose Barbero just felt the sting of raised expectations.

Mark Ketteringham opened the pot for $80,000 in early position and was called in middle position. When the action reached Jose Barbero he announced a raise and made it an additional $460,000 to go. The action folded back to Ketteringham, who said, “You’re making a move.” No reaction from Barbero, but Ketteringham moves all-in anyway. The MP player quickly mucks and Barbero makes the call.

The field
Things are getting serious.

Barbero: A Q

Ketteringham: 9 9

The ESPN crew and media crowd around the table and watch the flop come down A K 4, drawing a curse from Ketteringham. The 5 hits the turn, and things are looking good for Barbero. Then the air suddenly changed as the 9 hit the felt, ending Barbero’s tournament life and giving Ketteringham a very healthy pot of about $1,300,000.

 

Ein Monsterpotten

We just arrived at Adam Levy’s table to see a mountain of chips sitting in the middle of the table and two players with cards still in front of them. We managed to piece the action together with help from Niklas Flisberg who’s also at the table.

A player in late position opened the pot and Andrew Brooks raised from the small blind. His opponent made the call and the flop came down K T 3. We’re not sure on the flop action but we think it was a check-raise from Brooks that got called.

The turn was the J and Brooks checked again. His opponent fired again and Brooks moved all-in. After a lot of thought the other player mucked his hand and Brooks raked in the massive pile.

Papola Pummeled (90th)

We have another elimination and it is Jeffrey Papola headed to the exit in 90th place. The hand started with Jamal Kunbuz opening the pot to $75,000 and Papola re-popping to $229,000 total. Kunbuz made the call. Papola only had about $180,000 behind so it seemed inevitable it would go in on the flop.

K Q 3 hit the felt and Kunbuz checked. Papola pushed in his remaining chips and got a quick call from Kunbuz. Papola tabled J J which was in a world of hurt against Q Q. He got a bit of help from the A on the turn but the river was the 4, a brick.

Jeff Papola is gone, taking $64,333.

There’s some serious carnage on the floor right now - come along and smell the blood.

Playing the Part

Andrew Rosskamm is almost impenetrable today, reminiscent of an early-day Phil Laak with mirror shades and a hoodie pulled up over his mouth.

Jonathan Plens raises to $65,000 and gets a call in middle position from Aaron Gordon. Rosskamm then unzips his hoodie enough to ask Plens how much he has left.

“A million?” asks Rosskamm.

“About one-point-three,” says Plens.

Rosskamm then zips his hoodie back up and cuts out a total bet of $275,000. That puts Plens in the tank for about a minute and a half before he folds, followed quickly by Gordon to ship the pot Rosskamm’s way.

Clint Schafer
Clint Schafer

Runnin’ Down a Chop

The action folded to Clint Schafer on the button and he made it $67,000 to go. Suresh Prabhu called from the small blind and Jeremy Joseph also called in the big blind. The flop came down J 8 2 and the action went check, check, check.

The 9 came on the turn and after Prabhu checked, Joseph led out for $80,000. Schafer called but Prabhu declined, bringing out the 7d on the river. Joseph checked again and Schafer cut out a bet of $112,000. Joseph looked a little exasperated and announced a call.

“I’ve got a ten,” said Schafer, turning up A 10. Joseph then showed his own 10 9 for a chopped pot.

“You know you got kind of lucky there,” said Joseph good-naturedly.

“You realize,” said Schafer with a grin, “that when we started the hand I had ace-ten and you had ten-nine, right?”

Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top ten making a run at this year's Main Event final table, courtesy of www.worldseriesofpoker.com.

Mark Ketteringham $5.1 million
Jamal Kunbuz
$3,636,000
Nikolay Losev
$3.5 million
Tiffany Michelle
$3.3 million
Alfredo Fernandez$3,230,000
Brandon Cantu
$3.2 million
Aaron Gordon
$3.2 million
Judet Cristian
$2,960,000
Peter Eastgate
$2,870,000
Criatian Dragomir
$2,850,000
Level
23
Blinds
12000/24000
Ante
3000
Players Left
86
Tables Left
10

Main Event - Shuffle up and Deal, One Time!

Players have returned from their dinner break with the goal of either busting 11 more players or going one more level, whichever comes first

Chips for After Dinner

Here's a look at the chip counts as of the dinner break courtesy of www.worldseriesofpoker.com:

1. Jeremy Joseph $2.8 million
2. Brandon Cantu
$1.8 million
3. Keoni Schwartz
$1.67 million
4. David Saab
$1.65 million
5. Nikolay Losev
$1.6 million
6. Phi Nguyen
$1.6 million
7. Alex Outhred
$1.58 million
8. Andrew Rosskamm
$1.52 million
9. Darus Suharto
$1.5 million
10. Suresh Prabhu
$1.47 million

 

Level
22
Blinds
10000/20000
Ante
3000
Players Left
92
Tables Left
11

Main Event - Time For Dinner

I'm still in this baby!
I'm still in this baby!

Players are now on a 90 minute dinner break. Only one more level will be played tonight and then play will be finished for the day.

Chop Chop

Greg Byard and Chris Crilly manage to commit their whole stacks on a K 8 3. Both show A-K but Byard was holding A K and was freerolling the backdoor flush draw. The board made more interesting when the turn was the 5 and someone asked Byard, "How nice is your life right now?" but the river was the 9 and they split the pot.

Probably, But Not.

Keith Hawkins raises to $56,000 from middle position, the button makes it $200,000 and then, more interestingly, the big blind flat-calls this bet. Hawkins folds and the remaining two players see a J 3 2 flop. The big blind checks, and the button immediately bets $300,000, the big blind sighs and says, "We've probably got the same hand" mucking A K face up. The button shows K K and is probably lamenting the lack of the case king appearing on the flop.

Schwartz For The Nguyen

Nguyen is a name associated with glory, especially after the Scotty version of the poker Nguyen factory picked up the illustrious $50k H.O.R.S.E event. There will no bracelet for Phi Nguyen however, even though his exit had more to do with luck than bad play. Holding A J he got all his chips in preflop versus the A 5 of Ylon Shwartz.

Nguyen held till the river, but the board had a two and a three on it, and a four on the river was cruelly as the wheels of justice dealt a wheel straight to Shwartz, sending Nguyen crashin out around the 100 mark. This hand propelled the fortunate Shwartz up to $500,000 in chips.

Oh, The Agony!

Marc Podell raises to $60,000 from under the gun and Tiffany Michelle re-raises to $227,000 in middle position. Action fold back around to Podell and he ships it for $433,000 total. Michelle goes into the tank but ultimately makes the call, turning up A 2 to Podell's T T.

Podell already looks close to tears as he pleads with the dealer to keep it clean, but the flop comes A K 7 and Michelle flops top pair to send Podell close to hysterics. The turn, however, is the T and Podell hits the two-outer to retake the lead in the hand.

Michelle, however, still has the diamond draw and the crowd tenses in anticipation of the river card while Podell waits with his tournament life on the line looking almost sure of his impending defeat. Sure enough, the river card is the 3 and Michelle spikes the nut flush to complete the re-re-suck and eliminate Podell in heart-wrenching fashion.

Chip Counts Courtesy of www.worldseriesofpoker.com

Nikolay Losev
$3,500,000
Mark Ketteringham
$3,450,000
Jamal Kunbuz
$3,250,000
Brandon Cantu
$3,200,000
Aaron Gordon
$3,200,000
James McManus
$3,200,000
Tiffany Michelle
$3,000,000
Peter Eastgate $2,870,000
Cristian Dragomir $2,850,000
Justin Scott
$2,800,000
Level
22
Blinds
10000/20000
Ante
3000
Players Left
93
Tables Left
11

Main Event - Level 22 - And The Beast Goes On!

Turned off!
Turned off!

We're down to twelve tables in the Main Event and the action continues unabated from the now rather empty tournament floor in the Amazon Room. We've got an hour before the dinner break and from what we can tell the plan is to play down to 81 finalists this evening before breaking for the night.

What that means is our counterparts on the late shift will have another early night (grumble) while the hardworking guys on the early squad put in another full shift. What it means for you is you'll have your Saturday night to re-read our coverage and catch up on the back issues of our blogs.

Here's how the last hour played out in the Amazon Room:

Disaster!

The Kara Scott show is over, y'all, and that sound you hear is a million fanboys wailing in abject and utter dismay. The EPT presenter got it all-in with K Q on an A K 4 flop and was called by heads-up opponent Phi Nguyen, who turned up A T in retaliation.

The turn was the 5 and Ms. Scott needed a king or a queen to stay alive, but Fifth Street brought the 6 and the fan favorite was eliminated. Scott is out in 104th place and takes $41,816 for her time.

Montgomery on the Swong

Perth, Ontario's Scott Montgomery was sitting pretty but has turned Carnegie on his table with a couple of ill-timed double-ups. First, the Canadian doubled-up Nghia Le to the tune of $200,000 when his Q-10 couldn't suck out against Le's A-Q, and almost immediately after that doubled up Cort Kibler-Melby when his Q-9 couldn't improve against CKM's acey-deucy.

That last one cost him about $200,000 as well, but don't worry about ya boy - Montgomery is still on $2.6 million and could take a few more $200k hits before they start to sting.

Here Comes The Check-Raiser

Alex Kostritsyn and another player see a flop come T 7 4 and 2008 Aussie Millions champ checks to his rival, who bets out $150,000. Kostritsyn makes the call and both players check the 2 turn. The river is the A and Kostritsyn checks a third time. His rival bets out $300,000 and Kostritsyn announces a raise. His opponent insta-mucks and the Russian takes the pot to bring his stack over the $2 million mark.

Allen Cunningham
Allen noticed Tiffany Michelle has been moved to his table.

Allen All-in And All-out

Allen Cunningham, many people's tip for just about any event he's playing in, has been knocked out the tournament. He pushed from the cut-off with Q J and was called from the small blind by Tim Loecke's A A. The board never offered any hope to the multiple bracelet winner coming 7 6 3 8 8, he goes out in 117th place winning just over $40,000.

Madsen-t Home

Another of the bigger names is also out, Jeff Madsen had got short-stacked and made a move with K-T, only to run into the last remaining Team Pokerstars Pro, Victor Ramdin, who made the call and caught an ace to eliminate the former Player of the Year, when the board ran out A-9-4-4-T.

Keith Hawkins
The Camel: Thirsty for chips

Camel Charge

Keith Hawkins has been raising liberally from late position, in particular the cut-off spot. The big blind appeared to be getting increasingly irritated by The Camel's constant harrassment of his blind and eventually called the raise to $55,000.

The flop fell down 5 4 T. Both players checked.

The turn fell the 8, Keith quickly checked his cards and the big blind led for $75,000. With no hesitation, Keith instantly picked up three $25,000 chips and made the call.

The river was the 5 and after the big blind checked, Keith also elected to check behind.

"Two pair!" said the big blind, more in hope than expectation that it would be good on this four flush board. Keith flipped two black Jacks, including of course the J, making a jack high flush which was more than good enough to take the pot down and raked in his newly won chips.

Vos Iz Zis?

Mark Vos just took on the shortstacked, Adam York, taking him on holding a pair of Sevens to York's A-K. The classic flip ended in disaster for York who blanked out on a board devoid of any form of helpful paint.

Vos' enormous stack grows ever larger as he becomes an increasing threat to take down the competition.

Chip Leaders!

Here are the current chip leaders, if you believe www.worldseriesofpoker.com:

Steve Lade $4,100,000
James McManus
$3,360,000
Jamal Kunbuz
$3,200,000
Brandon Cantu
$2,810,000
Ivan Demidov
$2,690,000
Aaron Gordon
$2,600,000
Mark Vos
$2,600,000
Mark Ketteringham
$2,550,000
Suresh Prabhu
$2,500,000
Tiffany Michelle
$2,500,000

 

 

 

Level
22
Blinds
10000/20000
Ante
3000
Players Left
106
Tables Left
12

Main Event - Level 22 - The Big Show!

I want twelve!
I want twelve!

The players are currently on a short 20 minute break but we move ever onward and upward. In the last level some players gained chips, some players lost them. There were full houses, flushes, straights, all-ins, showdowns, rail cries, cameras and action!

Every element you might expect of the biggest poker show in town was there for the viewing and view it we did.

Here's the word from the felt.

The Fallen Few

As we move toward the final 100 players remaining, the tension is ratcheting up. Banter at the table has decreased as brows furrow, smiles tighten to frowns and in some cases grimaces of pain.

Here are those players who have had the shine taken off their day by being sent first class on the train to busto-ville in recent times.

Doug Ashmore, Brandon Becker, Keith Ferrera, Raja Kattamuri, Andrew Teng, Brad Johnson, Dale Hoy, Dan Assor Jeffrey Anderson and Jason Su are the latest players to bite the big one.

Resuck 1-Outer Much?

Niklas Flisberg
Shirt pwnage

Andrew Teng has just gone out in a horrible, yet classic, suck/resuck for a monster $1,800,000 pot after he got it all-in preflop with A K against Niklas Flisberg's K K. The flop came out A 5 3 and Shawn Sheikhan mentioned he'd folded threes. The turn was the 7 Flisberg had just one out in the whole deck and somehow it turned up with the K river.

The whole table was in uproar while those on the rail also went equally mad. Another player claimed he'd folded the A preflop while Sheikhan kept pointing out he had threes. Teng looked stung but shook hands with Flisberg and headed to the rail.

When Squeezes Go Wrong

Aaron Gordon has managed to double up through Victor Ramdin after the Pokerstars Pro made a squeeze play. Gordon had raised to $43,000 and the button called with Ramdin making it $186,000 from the small blind.

Gordon moved in and the button folded, Ramdin was left to contemplate making the call for another $316,000 which he eventually did, his A 4 in bad shape against the A K of his opponent. The board ran out A J 6 5 3 and Gordon doubled up to almost $1,000,000 while Ramdin took a small hit to his stack.

Cantu Runs Good

Brandon Cantu raises to $50,000 from the cut-off and Brandon Becker re-raises to $200,000 from the small blind. The big blind gets out of the way and Cantu puts Becker all-in for his last $1.1 million. Becker insta-calls, tabling A-K while Cantu is behind with 8-5 off.

No worries for the Can Do Kid, however, as the flop comes 8-7-5 and the boy hits two pair. The turn is an ace but that's as close as Becker can come. The river is a three sending Becks to the rail.

Kimber Sliced

Jeffrey Kimber
No Kimber delight

Brit Jeff Kimber gets all-in preflop against Jamal Kunbuz and turns up a pocket pair of kings to the Bunny's pocket nines. The situation looks good for Kimber to double, but the flop comes 10-10-9 and his adversary flops a boat. The turn is a queen and the river a four and Kimber is kancelled.

Flisberg Loses A Bigun


Niklas Flisberg and another opponent see a flop come Q 6 4 and Player 2 checks from the big blind. Flisberg bets out and his opponent makes it $200,000 to go. Flisberg thinks for only a minute before making it $700,000 to go and it takes his opponent only a few more minutes before moving all-in over the top for his last $250,000.

This gives Flisberg major pause and he tanks, giving the matter some serious thought as it appears he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Eventually, however, he decides he has to call and turns up Q 8, finding himself behind as expected to his opponent's A A.

The turn is the 9 and the river the 7 and Flisberg doubles up his opponent while taking a substantial hit. He's down to around $1.4 million as we go into the break.

Ship The Chips

Here are the current chip leaders as we home inevitably in on the final, counts courtesy of worldseriesofpoker.com.

Steve Lade
$4,100,000
James McManus
$3,275,000
Brandon Cantu
$3,200,000
Ivan Demidov
$2,875,000
Scott Montgomery
$2,780,000
Victor Ramdin
$2,700,000
Andrew Rosskamm
$2,600,000
Mark Ketteringham
$2,550,000
Christian Dragomir
$2,470,000
Nikolay Losev
$2,400,000
Level
22
Blinds
10000/20000
Ante
3000
Players Left
119
Tables Left
15

Main Event Day 5 - 'Til Death Do Us

Ladies and gents, we have a winner!
Ladies and gents, we have a winner!

The 21st level of play continues in the Main Event of the 2008 World Series of Poker and we're down to the last fifteen tables as the play grinds steadily towards an eventual final nine players.

Phil Hellmuth continues as the final former World Champion still surviving and we're down to the final four women in contention, with Kara Scott and Tiffany Michelle still above the board, although the latter has to contend with newcomer Kido Pham on Feature Table 2, a table that already boasted Allen Cunningham and Alex Outhred amongst its competitors.

Here's how the last hour has played out in the Amazon Room:

Dong-tastic

Deng Dong has managed a crucial quadruple up, after Victor Ramdin raised to $42,000 and received two callers. Dong under-raised all-in for $50,000 total and was obviously called in all spots and the board came out with a A K 6 flop that was checked around. On the J turn, Ramdin and Nikolay Losev checked to Sylvain Coeur who moved all-in for about $300,000, the other two folded, Ramdin with a dwell.

Couer showed K J but his two pair was behind Dong's 9 8. The river was the T and Ramdin groaned saying he'd passed queens with the Q. Dong is back in with a shout after coming back from the brink.

Freeroll!

Final Swede left standing Niklas Flisberg gets a short-stacked opponent all-in preflop while holding A-K to his rival's...A-K. It looks like we're headed for the chopper, but the flop changes everything, coming 5 4 2 to give Player 2 (who holds the A) the flush draw.

"One time, dealer, give me a heart," P2 pleads. "He [Flisberg] can afford it."

The dealer, however, does not oblige and the board bricks out. It's a chopped pot.

Niklas Flisberg
Note the shirt!

Kostritsyn Busts One

Brent Sheirborn open-shoves for his last $175,000 and Alex Kostritsyn makes the call, tabling A K to Sheirborn's J 9. The board comes T 3 2 4 K and Kostritsyn takes the pot with a pair of kings. Sheirborn is out and earns $41,816 for his time.

Chick Whipped

We have lost one of our remaining female contingent, Minna Ritakopi losing out in unfortunate fashion.

With all her chips in with 7 8 on the turn of a J 9 6 5 board, she looked in great shape to double through versus Michael Carroll, with the nut straight and flush re-draw. Carroll was not dead though, holding pocket fives for a set, and when he filled up with a six on the river, his boat took down the pot, meaning the ladies lose one of their remaining players.

Chip Leaders!

Here are the current chip leaders, courtesy of www.wsop.com:

James McManus $3,150,000
David "Raptor" Benefield
$2,750,000
Victor Ramdin
$2,500,000
Alex Outhred
$2,400,000
Judet Cristian
$2,160,000
Cristian Dragomir
$2,150,000
Mark Vos
$2,100,000
Suresh Prabhu
$2,090,000
Scott Montgomery
$2,050,000
Ivan Demidov
$2,040,000
Level
21
Blinds
8000/16000
Ante
2000
Players Left
130
Tables Left
15

Main Event - It's Getting Hot In Here!

Two pictures of Kara is better than one picture of Kara!
Two pictures of Kara is better than one picture of Kara!

Well we have only played one and a half levels, but already the red-hot poker has seen off 47 combatants, the players facing off against each other with some remarkable results.

We are currently on a short 20 minute break for the players to re-group and grab themselves a Nutrageous candy bar (or for those players who don't like having nuts in their mouths, a smoke) to relieve the pressure perhaps.

Here's the lay of the land as seen by our eagle-eyed crew.

Crilly Carnage

With $130,000 chips in the pot, Justin St John moved all-in for $250,000 on a K Q 2 flop and was called by Chris Crilly.

Crilly could only table pocket Tens but amazingly it proved a great call as St John had A J for a gutshot and overcards.

The Q on the turn raised the possible ugly prospect of a double paired counterfeit, but though an Ace, Jack, King or Ten were now good, the river 6 was none of these, meaning Justin St John joins the ever growing throng on the rail.

Fried-berg!

Jon Friedberg
Iced Berg!

Keith "The Camel" Hawkins popped it up to $32,000, only to find Jon Friedberg moving in behind him for $170,000 or so. The Camel wasn't about to desert his hand though, and he didn't have the hump when he showed down A-Q to Friedberg's dominated A-J. A 70% favourite preflop, and this advantage held sway all through the hand as Keith dodged any Jacks and picked up the pot to move well over a million chips.

Mullet Down!

Barry Leventhal has been knocked out of the tournament after he raised all-in on a A Q 2 board against Brandon Cantu. Sadly, the owner of the last, and therefore, best mullet in the tournament was drawing very thin when Cantu turned over A Q for top two pair. Leventhal needed running jacks or king and ten to make a straight to win the pot. Neither came and the boy from Brooklyn was eliminated.

Smith Smacked Down!

Jeremiah Smith
And tha looord said - Jeremiah, You're busto!

The erstwhile chip leader Jeremiah Smith has managed to set fire to his stack although he lost his final few chips in somewhat unfortunate circumstances. With only $128,000 chips left, he shoved over the top of a $40,000 raise from Geert Jans.

Jans called with A Q, only to be shown Smith's superior pocket Kings. Praying for a non-ace flop, Smith's prayers fell on stony ground as a painful bullet appeared - the board being dealt A Q J.

Not done for yet he still had 6 outs to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but the Q on the turn filled up Jans and meant his straight draw was no longer good. Ironically then the T on the river to make his straight was no good and we lose Jeremiah.

Chips Off The Old Block

Here are the latest stacked up players, according to worldseriesofpoker.com.

James McManus
$3,400,000
David Benefield
$2,700,000
Victor Ramdin
$2,500,000
Mark Ketteringham
$2,280,000
Nikolay Losev
$2,270,000
Ivan Demidov
$2,250,000
Christian Dragomir
$2,150,000
Alexander Kostritsyn
$2,100,000
Mark Vos
$2,005,000
Chris Crilly
$1,950,000

 

 

 

Level
21
Blinds
8000/16000
Ante
2000
Players Left
142
Tables Left
18

Main Event - Level 20 - A Very Loud Rail

Close But No Cigar
Close But No Cigar

Play is much slower today, players are not busting out quite as fast as they did yesterday, but there's still a steady flow of exits coming. Of course, the rail are delighted that Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow are still in...

Scraping The Barrile

Chris Barrile is a recent elimination. With a shortstack of less than $200,000 chips, he saw eights and piled his chips into the middle, picking up a call from Marc Podell.

Chris was presumably hoping for a coin flip, but when Podell flipped the ever so slightly better, but dominating pocket nines, Barrile knew he was over one.

"one time, ONE TIME!" yelled Podell and the dealer obliged with an eight-less board of 3 2 T Q K.

He didn't take the opportunity to cruelly rub his opponent's nose in it though, shaking his hand and wishing him well, continuing the good spirit that we have seen so far throughout the World Series.

Phil Hellmuth
I can fold big draws baby!

Hellmuth Antics

Phil Hellmuth was just involved in a fiery situation with Barry Leventhal, the impressively mullet-ed New Yorker.

Seeing a flop of 6 5 4, Phil checked and Barry shoved for $399,000 and stood on his feet...

"If I lose this I'm going to the buffet!" said the imposing figure of Barry. At this point someone on the rail made a comment, possibly about his large size, which riled Barry up.

"Good advice....jackass!"

"Ignore him Barry, that's why he's on the rail!" bellowed one of his supporters from the rail.

Eventually Hellmuth, after much deliberation and after telling Barry "I know you have something" - folded Q 7 - an open ended straight draw AND flush draw - face up, much to the surprise of the rail and his fellow players.

Barry collected his chips and mucked his hand without showing.

Soon after though he was back in action.

Facing off against his earlier nemesis Brandon Cantu, he called Cantu's cut-off raise from the small blind.

On the A Q 2 flop, Cantu bet $40,000 and Hellmuth made the call. The turn came the J and this time Hellmuth check called $100,000.

The river was the flush completing 2 and again Hellmuth checked, only for Cantu to set him in. He had walked into Phil's trap though, as Phil instantly called with J 8 for the rivered flush!

"That's why i throw it away boys!" he said in reference to his big fold earlier, sweeping up the chips with a massive smile on his face, feeling his previous decision was justified.

Charles (Chip) Jett
Q-3 for reals?

Corkins Popped!

Hoyt Corkins and Ivan Demidov see a flop come T 5 4 and Corkins ships it for his last $275,000. Demidov is more than happy to call, turning up a pair of red aces to spank Corkins' Q Q. The board finishes out 5 J and Corkins is eliminated.

Jett Planed!

Chip Jett gets his last $200,000 all-in preflop after Kellen Hunter raises from the cut-off. Hunter makes the call with a pocket pair of kings and Jett is way behind with Q 3. The board comes A A 7 Q T and Jett is eliminated in 161st place.

Gus Hansen
Cannot hit it, must quit it.


Great Dane Put Down!

Gus Hansen and Jeremy Joseph see a flop come 8 6 5 and Hansen bets out $189,000. Joseph moves all-in over the top for $520,000 and Hansen looks miserable. The Great Dane tanks for a good ten minutes as a crowd gathers around the table and the cameras whirr to life.

Eventually, the Full Tilt Pro makes the call, leaving himself with only $100,000 behind and showing Q 7 for the up-and-down straight draw. Joseph has only A J but remarkably is better off that he must have thought he was. The turn is the 6 and the river the T and the board bricks out, crippling Hansen and doubling Joseph up.

On the next hand, Hansen gets all-in with Q-9 on a 9-7-5 board and finds himself ahead against an opponent with A-6. The turn is a three, giving his opponent the double gutshot and the river is an eight to give Player 2 the straight. It's game over for the Great Dane and he's out in 160th.

Jeff Madsen
Maaatttt Damon.

Madsen Is Caughtsen

Jeff Madsen has been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar. He fired a bet on the turn of the Q Q 6 3 board and was check called, then tried another $75,000 on the river 8 after the small blind had checked there too. After 10 seconds thought the small blind called there too, and the two time bracelet winner could only show 9 5. His opponent showed Q 9 picking off the bluff.

The Russian Yo-Yo

Aussie Millions winner, Alexander Kostritsyn is having a topsy turvy day. He lost a big chunk of his stack on a J-J-4 board with queens against the aces of Pontus Khosravi, this knocked up all the way down to about $400,000. But since then, he's managed to double up, having got all-in with kings against Brent Sheirbon's jacks on a six-high board. Now he's back up to almost $800,000.

Ye Olde Chippe Counts from yonder www.worldseriesofpoker.com 

 Cristian Dragomir
 $2,800,000
 James McManus
 $2,700,000
 David Benefield
 $2,690,000
 Nikolay Losev
 $2,270,000
 Mark Ketteringham
 $2,160,000
 Jeremy Joseph
 $2,100,000
 Andrew Rosskamm $2,080,000
 Mark Vos
 $1,980,000
 Judet Cristian
 $1,810,000
 Albert Kimb
 $1,680,000
Level
20
Blinds
6000/12000
Ante
2000
Players Left
158
Tables Left
18

Main Event - Level 19 - Back For Good!

You can't even spell poker!
You can't even spell poker!

The 189 players still nursing hopes of winning this year's Main Event are back at the felt, groomed and ready to cross swords as the battle to reach this year's final continues apace.

The rail is packed with adoring fans, the middle arena is filled with cameras, reporters, mikes and of course players and the tension is mounting as we grow ever closer to reaching our final table. 

Here's the gripping action from the felt.

Pump Up The Mike

It was a probably a coin toss for the organisers, deciding whether Phil Hellmuth or Mike Matusow would be put on the feature table and it is 'The Mouth' who won the flip.

That's not the only race he's won though: after raising to $27,000 from the cut-off, Phi Nguyen was waiting to drop a bomb from the small blind, banging it up to $72,000. Action back on Mike Matusow and he announced he was all-in!

Nguyen paused momentarily to think about his options before making the call, flipping up a brave call with pocket nines and being vindicated as he was shown A-Q by Matusow.

Matusow was pretty animated at this point, bouncing up and down as he shouted confidently to the crowd, "We got this!"

The flop blanked out, but a Queen on the turn was met with massive whooping and hollering and with a baby card popping out on the river, Mike had doubled to $750,000 or so. The loud cheers accompanying Mike's double through attested to his immense popularity.

Honey, He Called!

Hellmuth saw a board of 8 5 5 and called chip leader Brandon Cantu's bet of $55,000. The turn came the T, prompting Hellmuth to now bet out $40,000 which Cantu called.

The river was the 7 and there was no more action.

Hellmuth flipped pocket sixes and Cantu J-8 for 2nd pair which was good. Hellmuth was NOT happy at this! He knocked over a tower of chips and began pacing back and forth rapidly, momentarily kicking the assorted shopping bags next to his table can calling out "Honey" to his wife as he looked for sympathy.

Chill Phil!

Phamtastic River

Kido Pham has caught a good river to add a decent chunk to his stack. On the board of  4 T 5 J Q his opponent checked to him and Pham bet $150,000 which was most of his stack. His opponent counted out $100,000 in stacks of twenty 1k chips and slammed another $50,000 of orange 5k chips on top in an angry manner before making the call.

Pham flipped A K for the rivered nut straight and began to rake in the pot as his opponent slammed down his cards in total frustration.

Kido Pham
Cry me a river!

The Camel Isn't Spitting

Keith Hawkins lost a huge $1,000,000 pot last night with aces vs sixes, but he's doubled up early today getting all-in with K K against A Q of Jeff Kimber, the board ran out K 9 5 7 9 for a pretty conclusive victory for 'The Camel'. He's now back up to around $700,000.

Zomg!

The UTG player limps, and behind him Allen Carter raises to $35,000 with Reagan Silber re-raising to $105,000. Alexander Kostritsyn re-raised out of the blinds to $285,000, with the limper folding and Carter moving all-in for $311,000. Silber then re-raised all-in, having Kostritsyn covered and somehow Kostritsyn folded his kings face up!

Carter flipped A K while Silber showed A A making the young Russian correct in folding kings preflop, which seems pretty incredible at this late stage of the tournament.

Count Me In

Here are the current chip leaders, courtesy of worldseriesofpoker.com

Brandon Cantu
$2,160,000
Nikolay Losev
 $2,105,000
Christian Dragomir
$2,065,000
David Benefield
$2,000,000
Davor Lanini
$1,958,000
David Rheem
$1,851,000
Chris Crilly
$1,800,000
Reagan Silber
$1,800,000
Albert Kim
$1,780,000
Andrew Rosskam
 $1,764,000

 

 

Level
19
Blinds
5000/10000
Ante
1000
Players Left
173
Tables Left
18
Event Name Event 54, Main Event No-Limit Hold'em
Venue Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
Date 3 July 2008
Final Day 10 November 2008
Buy In $10,000
Entrants 6844
Prize Pool $64,431,779
First Prize $9,152,416
Level Ante Blinds
Level 1 0 50/100
Level 2 0 100/200
Level 3 0 150/300
Level 4 25 150/300
Level 5 50 200/400
Level 6 50 250/500
Level 7 75 300/600
Level 8 100 400/800
Level 9 100 500/1000
Level 10 200 600/1200
Level 11 200 800/1600
Level 12 300 1000/2000
Level 13 300 1200/2400
Level 14 400 1500/3000
Level 15 500 2000/4000
Level 16 500 2500/5000
Level 17 1000 3000/6000
Level 18 1000 4000/8000
Level 19 1000 5000/10000
Level 20 2000 6000/12000
Level 21 2000 8000/16000
Level 22 3000 10000/20000
Level 23 3000 12000/24000
Level 24 4000 15000/30000
Level 25 5000 20000/40000
Level 26 5000 25000/50000
Level 27 10000 30000/60000
Level 28 10000 40000/80000
Level 29 10000 50000/100000
Level 30 15000 60000/120000
Level 31 20000 80000/160000
Level 32 30000 100000/200000
Level 33 30000 120000/240000
Level 34 40000 150000/300000
Level 35 50000 200000/400000
Level 36 50000 250000/500000
Level 37 75000 300000/600000
Level 38 100000 400000/800000
Level 39 150000 500000/1000000
Level 40 200000 600000/1200000
Level 41 200000 800000/1600000
Level 42 300000 1000000/2000000
Level 43 300000 1200000/2400000
Level 44 400000 1500000/3000000
Level 45 500000 2000000/4000000
Level 46 500000 2500000/5000000
Level 47 1000000 3000000/6000000

Peter Eastgate
wins
$9,152,416

Event 54, Main Event No-Limit Hold'em

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Peter Eastgate $9,152,416
2. Ivan Demidov $5,809,595
3. Dennis Phillips $4,517,773
4. Ylon Schwartz $3,774,974
5. Scott Montgomery $3,096,768
6. Darus Suharto $2,418,562
7. David "Chino" Rheem $1,772,650
8. Kelly Kim $1,288,217
9. Craig Marquis $900,670
10. Dean Hamrick $591,869
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