The field included some of the most well known poker bloggers and best players around, including CaptZeebo, Matt Matros, Tao of Poker, Up4Anything, IGGY, FeliciaLee, and PokerWorks' very own Linda Geenen. Linda's day was particularly eventful, as she played extremely tight all day, folding pocket aces twice and kings three times (NOTE: due to an unavoidable conflict, she actually had to miss the tourney, so her stack blinded away as she went out with a whimper in 1006th place).
The ‘Bubble" was 55th place - ‘Presto' - one place out of the prizes, and it went to Joan "AlwaysAware" Hadley. Hadley qualified for last year's Main Event, but this year she lived up to her other nickname of ‘BubbleGirl'.
Early prizes included a Star's letterman's jacket, 4GB iPod's, and seats into the Sunday Million and WSOP 150 seat qualifier. Manero picked up 10th place and with that spot, won the opportunity to compete in a $1,000 heads-up challenge against the patron saint of poker bloggers, Wil Wheaton. Players out in 2nd through 9th received a $1.5k buy-in to the WSOP event of their choice. The final table even saw a few pots taken down with the most famous poker blogger starting hand, ‘The Hammer' (7-2 offsuit).
Final table participants:
Philip had not prepared ideally for the tournament, jetting back from watching the Brazil-Croatia World Cup match in Germany. He thought this would be a particularly tough tournament. "(Poker bloggers) are the type of player that analyzes and tries to improve their game, and (I thought) the tournament would be difficult," Philip said. He quickly found that his assumption was true. "I've never been re-raised so much in my life. I had to stay very patient and disciplined for the most part."
After achieving his initial goal of reaching the prizes in the final 54, he worked hard to maintain his focus. "I didn't think winning was realistic until we were maybe five-handed. Heads up was the first time I've felt so nervous in a game of poker," Philip said. "The difference between first and second place being $10,500 was what got me shaking. I mean, that's a huge difference and a lot of money to me!" Philip beat Oslo's ZbjaffeZ to take the Main Event seat after almost seven hours of play.
Will Dale Philip join Joseph Hachem, Greg Raymer, and Chris Moneymaker as the fourth WSOP Main Event champion qualifying from PokerStars? You'll have to wait until August 10th to find out who this year's champion will be. There is plenty of time to head to PokerStars to qualify for the WSOP. Satellites are running daily, capped by the July 16th tourney where at least 150 seats to the Main Event will be up for grabs. One man who will already have travel plans will be Dale Philip, the newest entry to this year's WSOP Main Event, compliments of PokerStars