Thousands of players, many of them highly experienced and professional, have seen their 39th World Series of Poker Main Event hopes dashed this week as the process of elimination moved through Days 1A through D, on to Days 2A and 2B and now into Day 3, where for the first time the combined survivors from previous heats all come together at the Rio in Las Vegas.
We left Day 2B as the event neared its final denouement, and this event has now been completed, with the remaining 842 players headed by chip leader Peter Biebel on 531 000 with his closest rival, Alex Outhred, on 486 800. These players will join with those surviving Day 2A to become Day 3 competitors.
With the end of Day 2B, former WSOP champions Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth were still in the running, along with Mike Matusow, Victor Ramdin, Nemad Medic, Cliff Josephy, Evelyn Ng, Kirill Gerasimov, Jennifer Harman, Scott Clements, Tiffany Michelle, Chris Grigorian, Jeff Madsen, John D'Agostino, Phil Gordon, Shawn Sheikhan, Gus Hansen, Hevad Khan, Thayer Rasmussen, Brandon Cantu, Tracy Nguyen, and Jean-Robert Bellande.
Day 3 saw 1 308 players, still with a liberal sprinkling of poker pros, taking their seats with the chance to at least make the money bubble, which will extend down to the 666th player, with a minimum payment of over $21 000 each. But ambitions will undoubtedly be on the more than $9 million main prize available this year, or the major six and seven-figure payouts that the final tablers of the Main Event can win.
The Day 3 action has been fast and furious, and as InfoPowa went to press the field was down to 700 players with the money bubble in sight.
Notable Main Event eliminations so far have been Patrik Antonius, Amanda Baker, Erik Seidel, Scott Clements, Barney Boatman, Darrell Dicken, Chris Moneymaker and Noah Boeken. Also departing were Matt Savage, Shannon Elizabeth, Howard Lederer, Phil Laak, 2005 world champion Joe Hachem, 2001 world champion Carlos Mortensen, Internet hotshots Sorel Mizzi and Brian Townsend, Eric Lynch, John Juanda, Danny Wong, Clonie Gowen, Jordan Rich, Brad Booth, Bill Chen, Michael and Nick Binger.
Mel Judah, Erik Cajelais, Isabelle Mercier, Steve Wong, Lee Childs, Irv Gotti, Antonio Esfandiari, Bernard Lee, Andrew Robl, John Racener, Dan and Beth Shak, Ryan Hughes, David Sklansky, David Oppenheim, David Daneshgar, Padraig Parkinson and Mark Teltscher have also left the building.
On the more positive side, the players still in with a chance as we went to press included Thor Hansen, Chris Bell, Jonathan Turner, Brandon Adams, Mark Vos, Alex Borteh, Matt Matros, Robert Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth, Brandon Adams, Alexander Kostritsyn, Kido Pham, Cliff Josephy, Hoyt Corkins, Brandon Cantu, Chip Jett, Steve Billirakis, Gus Hansen, Jean-Robert Bellande, Johnny Chan, Jeff Madsen, Men ‘The Master' Nguyen, EPT hostess Kara Scott and Allen Cunningham.
Harrah's Entertainment, the owners and organisers of the World Series of Poker released figures as the week closed showing that this year's (2008) WSOP is the largest and richest in its 39 years of existence.
Company spokesmen said that a record 58 720 entries – an 8 percent increase from 2007 – were taken for the entire event, generating a total prize pool of $180.7 million, which was $20.8 million or 13 percent more than last year.
"We've accomplished what we set out to do, and we're not taking anything for granted," said Jeffrey Pollack, a Harrah's vice president who serves as commissioner of the World Series of Poker. "We're going to be even better in 2009."
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