2008 WSOP Event #33 $5,000 Stud Hi/Low Day 2: Final Table Reached in Marathon Session
In what may be the longest day of the 2008 World Series of Poker, the final table of Event #33, $5,000 Stud Hi/Low World Championship was set when Sebastian Ruthenberg eliminated Howard Lederer in ninth place. The final elimination took place after 7am Las Vegas time, after more than 16 hours of play, and Ruthenberg took over the chip lead going into yet another star-heavy final table.
120 players returned to begin Day 2, with the limit structure and the split-pot format promising a long day for the players lucky enough to reach the final table. Some players were not as lucky, since their Day 2 ended very quickly, like Dutch Boyd, who busted in the first few levels of the day. Boyd led through sixth street with aces up, showing  to Robert Beveridge's two pair,  . Boyd picked up the on seventh street for no help, while Beveridge caught the to make a full house and send Boyd home early. Other early eliminations included Max Pescatori, Ali Eslami, Blair Rodman, John Juanda and Daniel Negreanu.
Shawn Sheikhan busted shortly after the dinner break, followed in short order by his frequent sparring partner Mike "The Mouth" Matusow. Matusow made aces up against Thang Duc Nguyen, but his high was no good against Nguyen's straight and 6-5-4-3-A low. Nguyen scooped, as the Mouth was silenced.
Jeff Burdsall was the final elimination before the money, earning himself the unfortunate distinction of bubble boy. He got all his money in the middle early in a hand with David Benyamine, and the boards ran out:
Burdsall – [A-6]-5-K-7-2-
Benyamine – [A-4]-8-2-3-5-[K]
Benyamine made his wheel straight on sixth street, locking up the low and leaving Burdsall drawing dead for the high. The remaining field was stacked with top pros, from 2008 bracelet winner Barry Greenstein to the tough sibling tandem of Annie Duke and Howard Lederer.
Hasan Habib became the first player to head to the payout line when he was eliminated in 24th place ($11,040). He got all his money in the pot on third street in a three-way pot with Chau Giang and Sebastian Ruthenberg. Giang and Ruthenberg checked the hand down to seventh street, where Giang made two pair for a high and Ruthenberg took the low with a 7-5. Habib was the odd man out, and headed to the rail.
Other eliminations in the post-bubble period were Cyndy Violette, Doug Ganger, Thang Duc Nguyen and Kirill Gerasimov. Day 1 chip leader Matt Grapenthein headed to the rail in 15th place ($12,267) when he and Robert Beveridge got it all in on fifth street. Grapenthein made three pair on seventh, with 7-7-8-10-4-8-10, but his tens up were no good against Beveridge's k-5-4-6-K-5-J. Grapenthein picked up $12,267 for his strong showing.
Barry Greenstein picked up a bracelet in razz at the 2008 WSOP, but missed his shot at another stud bracelet when he busted in 14th ($18,401); he was eliminated by Steve Sung. At the final break of the night, players took a vote to extend play to the final table, no matter how long it took. They likely had no idea exactly what they had voted themselves into.
It took another four hours before the final table was set, with Allen Cunningham (13th), Farzad Rouhani (12th), Chau Giang (11th) and David Benyamine (10th) all heading to the rail in the early morning hours of Day 2.
After spending nearly two hours on the final-table bubble, Howard Lederer was eliminated in ninth place to set that final and send the remaining eight weary players to bed long after sunrise in Las Vegas. Chris Ferguson had the bring-in, and Steve Sung raised on third street. Lederer three-bet, and both Ferguson and Sung called. Lederer led out when he picked up the on fourth street, and both opponents called again. Lederer caught the on fifth street and bet out again. Ferguson raised, and Sung folded, leaving Ferguson to face Lederer on his own. Lederer revealed 5-6 in the hole for a hand of [5-6] to Ferguson's [A-8] . Ferguson led with a pair of aces, and neither player improved on sixth or seventh street, as Lederer missed his low draw and finished with [5-6] 10- for a pair of tens. Ferguson's aces held up and Lederer went to the rail in ninth place ($30,668).
After the endurance test that was Day 2, the final table chip stacks looked like this as eight weary players and a host of tournament reporters sought their beds:
Sebastian Ruthenberg: 663,000
Chris Ferguson: 434,000
Alessio Isaia: 398,000
Marcel Luske: 308,000
Robert Beveridge: 308,000
Annie Duke: 277,000
Steve Sung: 207,000
Bob Lauria: 40,400
Join PokerNews at 5PM PDT for the final table of Event #34, where Sebastian Ruthenberg tries to fend off some of the toughest players in the world to earn his first WSOP bracelet.