After 11 grueling days of deep-stacked tournament poker, a near-record field of 6,844 hopefuls has been reduced to just nine players. As was first reported on or about May 1st, the final table will be played in early November in an effort to, "Add a new element to a very successful and popular event."
Each player takes home the $900,670 that he is guaranteed, and the rest will be awarded this fall at the final table.
The unprecedented decision to postpone the final table was a joint one, made by the WSOP, ESPN, and the WSOP Players Advisory Council who, "Look forward to documenting all of the exciting stories that make the Main Event the seminal competition in all of poker."
WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack, who has had a constant presence at this year's events, added, "Our intent is to provide an even stronger tournament for all poker players and the entire poker industry. Now fans will ask 'who will win' our coveted championship bracelet and millions of dollars instead of 'Who won?' The excitement and interest that will surround our final nine players will be unprecedented."
With that said, and after 55 events in a span of 46 days, the 2008 World Series of Poker has, the Main Event final table notwithstanding, drawn to a close. Some 54 gold bracelets (with the Main Event bracelet still to be decided) and over 180 million dollars were awarded in the last few weeks and it’s hard to believe that it’s finally come to an end.
When all the lights, tables, banners, and other props are finally carried out of the Amazon Room in the upcoming days, there will be nothing left but a frigid open space, some dirty carpet, and the faint memory of what thousands of poker players live for – the World Series of Poker.
For some, it was “business as usual.” For others it was a lifelong dream realized, or perhaps one cut painfully short. Literally thousands of players, media, and fans called the Rio their home over the last six weeks. The atmosphere here on any given day cannot be accurately described, even by the most colorful of illustrators -- it must be experienced. A simple photograph of the enormous Amazon Room and the hundreds of tables it shelters cannot do it justice. One must enter, and experience with their own eyes, the sheer magnitude of this series of tournaments.
We thank you for following our coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker. While it may not have been evident from an occasional glance at a computer monitor, dozens of PokerNews team members ate, slept, and breathed tournament poker for the last six weeks, literally making this work their livelihood in an effort to provide the best coverage in World Series of Poker history.
We hope you’ll join us on November 9th and 10th when the final nine players duke it out for the over 9.1 million dollar top prize, a coveted WSOP Main Event gold bracelet, and a place in the history books. Until then…good night, and good luck.
Dennis Phillips. Craig Marquis. Ylon Schwartz. Scott Montgomery. Darus Suharto. David "Chino" Rheem. Ivan Demidov. Kelly Kim. Peter Eastgate. These nine men will make up the final table of the 2008 WSOP Main Event, which will resume play on November 9th -- about 16 weeks from now.
There's still a whole lot of commotion around the stage. Stay tuned for official chip counts and information.
Dean Hamrick moved all in for 3,420,000, Craig Marquis moved all in over the top and the action folded around the table. The cards were turned up.
The flop was . Marquis still led, but Hamrick picked up a straight draw. The turn was the , no help for Hamrick, who now needed only an ace to survive. The crowd shouted for various cards in the deck as the fell on the river, eliminating Hamrick in tenth place. He'll take home $591,869 for his finish.
Peter Eastgate raised to 700,000, Dennis Phillips called, Ylon Schwartz called and Ivan Demidov called from the small blind. The flop was . Demidov checked, Eastgate bet 1.5 million, Phillips folded, Schwartz called, and Demidov folded. The turn was the . Eastgate checked and Schwartz checked behind. The river was the . Eastgate bet 2 million and Schwartz quickly called.
Eastgate showed and Schwartz mucked. Eastgate was up to a bit over 19,000,000 after the hand.
Dennis Phillips limped in, Chino Rheem called from the small blind and Ivan Demidov checked his option. The flop was . The action was checked to Phillips, who bet 600,000. Rheem mucked his hand and Demidov called. The turn was the . Demidov checked, Phillips bet 1.1 million, Demidov folded and Phillips picked up the pot.
Dean Hamrick opened for 650,000 and Chino Rheem called from the big blind. The flop was and both players checked. The turn was the and they checked it again. The river was the . Rheem bet 1.5 million and Hamrick called.
Rheem showed and Hamrick mucked. Rheem is now up to 11,000,000 while Hamrick is down to only 2.2 million.
Peter Eastgate opened for 700,000 and Dennis Phillips called from the cutoff. The flop was and both players checked. The turn was the . Eastgate checked, Phillips bet 700,000 and Eastgate called. The river was the and they checked it down.
Eastgate showed , Phillips showed and Eastgate's ace high took it down.