With the elimination of Dennis Phillips in 3rd place, we have reached another suspension in play -- the last of the 2008 World Series of Poker. Phillips got a standing ovation from the 300-strong army of identically clad supporters, but he will not be coming back tomorrow to play for the bracelet. That honor belongs to two men: the Russian Ivan Demidov, and the Dane Peter Eastgate. If Eastgate wins, he will break Phil Hellmuth's record as the youngest Main Event winner ever.
The action started slowly today. Everyone had predicted that short-stacked Kelly Kim would be the first player out, some time during the first orbit of play. Instead he held on long enough to see Craig Marquis eliminated in 9th place, and in brutal fashion, when his pocket sevens fell to Montgomery's ace-queen on a 10-A-7-J-K board.
Kim went out on the very next hand, as he was practically all in for the 400,000-chip big blind before the cards were even dealt.
The 7th place finisher was David "Chino" Rheem, who never seemed to get much going at today's final table. He got his chips in good with ace-king against Eastgate's ace-queen, but was unable to overcome a queen on the flop.
Darus Suharto was another player who got all of his money in preflop with an ace, but in his case he was the dominated player, tabling ace-eight against Montgomery's ace-queen. Montgomery wound up making the nut flush by the turn to send Suharto to the rail in 6th place.
The most brutal elimination of all was that of Montgomery hiimself in 5th place. His ace-three was taken out by Eastgate's pocket sixes on a board of A-Q-4-A-6, with Phillips telling the table prior to the river that he had folded a six.
Eastgate was also responsible for eliminating Ylon Schwartz in 4th place by making fives full of kings on the river against Schwartz's unimproved ace-ten. Schwartz tried to bluff-raise Eastgate off of his hand on the river, but Eastgate correctly made the call.
The final elimination, of course, was Dennis Phillips in third place. His bluff-raise on the flop was picked off by Eastgate, who had flopped bottom set. Phillips was unable to improve from there.
The unofficial day-end chip counts are:
Peter Eastgate - 79,500,000
Ivan Demidov - 57,725,000
Eastgate should have the button when we re-convene at 10pm local time tomorrow for Hand #170 of the final table. Join us then!
Ivan Demidov has the button in Seat 7. He folds to Peter Eastgate, who puts in a raise to 1,500,000. Dennis Phillips makes the call from the big blind.
The flop comes down . Eastgate leads out for 1.5 million, and Phillips begins counting out a raise, ultimately deciding to move all in. Eastgate snap-calls.
Eastgate flopped a set of threes and Phillips is drawing nearly dead.
"Oh well!" he said with a shrug, standing up from his seat.
The lands on the turn and Phillips is officially drawing dead. The river is the meaningless and the Phillipians give their man a roaring ovation as he exits the stage in third place. Phillips will take $4,517,773 back to St. Louis.
We've now reached our final two, so what does that mean? Another round of the "Ooba Ooba" song from the Danes, of course!
Dennis Phillips has the button in Seat 1. Ivan Demidov completes the small blind and Peter Eastgate checks his option.
The flop is . Demidov checks, Eastgate bets 850,000 and Demidov calls. The lands on the turn and Demidov checks his action to Eastgate, who bets 1,500,000. Demidov calls. The river is the . Demidov checks again and this time Eastgate checks behind.