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The Bernard Lee Poker Show 11-15: Dennis Phillips Recalls 2008 WSOP

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In this episode of The Bernard Lee Poker Show on the PokerNews Podcast Network, Bernard Lee interviews Dennis Phillips, who entered the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event final table as the chip leader. Ultimately, Dennis finished in third place, taking home over $4.5 million. With this year being the 10th anniversary of the original November Nine, Dennis recalls his experience during the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table.

Show Time Stamps

0:00Welcome to The Bernard Lee Poker Show as this week’s guest will be poker pro Dennis Phillips, who finished in 3rd place during the 2008 WSOP Main Event.
0:12Before beginning his interview with Dennis Phillips, Bernard Lee discusses this week’s news in the world of poker including the WSOP Circuit and Five Diamond WPT event.
2:26RunGood Gear Ad
3:09Bernard welcomes Dennis Phillips to the show.
4:30Dennis Phillips joins the show. “I love reminiscing about what happened back then…It was a unique type of opportunity.”
5:21Dennis recalls a crucial moment for him in the 2008 WSOP Main Event which was the last hand of Day 5 when Dennis had AA versus Mark Vos’ AK.
8:30Dennis describes pressure playing down to the inaugural November Nine. “It was very, very intense. People don’t realize the pressure when it gets down to 13, 12, 11...to get to that final elimination.”
10:15Dennis remembers reaching the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table and then taking a 117-day hiatus. “The realization didn’t hit until the next day that we’re not going to be dealing cards today. We’re taking a 117-day break. What are we going to do? How are we going to handle this?”
10:44Dennis recalls all the people that Caesars gave the first November Nine access to, including attorneys, accountants and media people. “They had all the resources there if any of the November Nine wanted to utilize them.”
11:11Dennis remembers the discussion revolving around reserving seats for the players’ family and friends. “I’ll have 200 people here by my back if you want them.”
13:56Dennis discusses how many interviews he did during the 177-day break, which he estimated at over 300. “I don’t know exactly ‘cause I ended up losing track. I kept track of it until I hit about 250.”
14:49Dennis recalls the crazy questions and his fun answers during the multitude of interviews.
16:52Dennis explains what he did during his break before the final table and his opinion of what players should have done. “You were given a unique opportunity and a lot of people did not take advantage of it. During the different nine years that they had a November Nine, some people took advantage. Most people did not in my opinion. (As for me), I hired a couple of coaches…and we ran simulations, they put us under the camera…to see if I had any tells…We literally had a three-ring binder playbook.”
18:57Dennis discusses his goal going into the final table. “Anything not in the top five would have been a huge, huge disappointment. My goal was the top three. ‘No lower than three’ was a phrase that we used.”
19:57Dennis remembers playing against his fellow November Niners in other tournaments prior to the WSOP Main Event, such as the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event.
21:34Dennis discusses the bonds that he formed with his fellow November Niners, especially with the champion, Peter Eastgate.
24:43Share My Pair Ad
25:15 Cabot Cheese/Creamery Ad
25:45Bernard continues his interview with Dennis and asks him how not knowing his opponents’ cards (like they do today) affected the play.
29:08Dennis recalls a hand that he played versus the sixth-place finisher, Darus Suharto.
34:26Dennis discusses a pivotal hand, which was Hand #18, with runner-up Ivan Demidov and his mental state after the hand. “Going into that, one of the items that we had on our playbook was if anyone is liable to try to make a move, try to do something, that it would probably be Ivan.”
41:49Dennis describes how they assessed specific players at the final table including Ylon Schwartz, Ivan Demidov, Scott Montgomery and Chino Rheem.
40:56Dennis fondly remembers how his “uniform” of the white collared shirt and St. Louis Cardinals’ hat was organized for him and his entire crew. He also describes how the outfits were distributed at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino to all of his family and friends, which totaled 352 people. “I think ESPN loved it. We had a lot of fun putting it together.”
49:29Dennis admits there was some relief after he was eliminated in third place during the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table.
51:07Dennis recalls the private showing of the ESPN show, which aired the next day, with some of the November Niners.

Let us know what you think of the show - tweet about the podcast using #BernardLeePokerShow, and be sure to follow @BernardLeePoker on Twitter or Instagram.

You can follow Dennis Phillips on Twitter @dennis_phillips.

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  • LISTEN: Bernard Lee interviews Dennis Phillips, who finished 3rd in 2008 WSOP Main Event.

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