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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

WSOP Day 22 – PLHE, NLHE, and Omaha O8

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As the 2008 WSOP launched into its second half of tournaments, there has been a noticeable change in the players. There was more focus and less chatter. There were fewer players in general, and even the list of events was lighter to accommodate the inevitable burnout that takes place at this point in the difficult seven-week series.

This was one of those lighter days. Only one event – a $2K PLHE tournament – got underway, while two events played their second days with the aim of reaching their respective final tables. While the cash game section was typically filled, and the satellite room was buzzing with people trying to win their ways into various upcoming events, the Amazon Room was noticeably quieter than most.

Let’s take a look at the events that played out on this Friday in Las Vegas:

12noon – Event #38 - $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em (Day 1)


The number of entrants to this tournament inched past the 599 number from the 2007 WSOP, and the field was a spattering of pros and amateurs. Some of the names recognized by the media and the fans on the rail were Gavin Griffin, David Pham, Justin Bonomo, Bill Chen, Andy Black, John Hennigan, Vanessa Rousso, Jeff Lisandro, and Humberto Brenes.

A few players chose to register late and come in when they were well-rested and ready, among them David Singer, Dario Minieri, Nenad Medic, and Allen Cunningham. At the same time, there were some very early bust-outs that seemed to be a result of pros in a small buy-in event who wanted to surge early or get on with the day away from the Rio. Pham was one of them, along with Mark Seif, Sarah Bilney, Allen Kessler, Joe Sebok, Tom Schneider, Marcel Luske, David Williams, and Nam Le.

Well after midnight and the time that play would normally have stopped for the day, it continued as hand-for-hand was in process, and players would continue until the money bubble burst. Numerous big hands were played during that time, but it wasn’t until Derek Dempsey took out Peter Tran that the last 63 players could wrap it up and go home. They were set to return for Day 2 with Michael Binger with a very sizable chip lead, and others like Ayaz Mahmood, Ben Roberts, Chris Bell, Shane Schleger, and Lee Watkinson in hot pursuit.

2pm – Event #36 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

One of the many $1500 NLHE events in the line-up of the 2008 WSOP began in typical fashion with an enormous crowd of 2,447 players. And as is customary for these types of low buy-in events, the field dwindled so fast that it again amazed the staff. By the end of Day 1, only 187 players of the original field remained.

The chip leader coming into Day 2 appeared to be a player by the name of Owen Crowe, and other reasonably stacked players were Dag Martin Mikkelsen, Duncan Bell, and Danny Wong. But it would be a long day as the goal was to play down to the final nine competitors who would sit at the coveted WSOP final table the following day.

Late into the night, there were ten players until Jeremy Schofer was eliminated to allow for the final nine to wrap for the day. The players would return for the final table on Day 3 of the tournament with the following chip counts:

Jesper Hougaard 1,582,000
Cody Slaubaugh 1,419,000
Danny Wong 1,105,000
Rick Solis 900,000
Justin Wald 873,000
Owen Crowe 674,000
Doug Middleton 356,000
John Shipley 269,000
Aaron Kanter 165,000

3pm – Event #37 - $10,000 World Championship Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better (Day 2)

This event began with a small but elite field of specialty poker players – 235 of them to be exact. But the high price of poker in this case made for a prize pool of more than $2.2 million, and everyone was prepared to fight to the finish for their piece of it, not to mention the title and bracelet. After Day 1, about half the field was left. Some of the big names on the leader board were Erick Lindgren, Annie Duke, Bruno Fitoussi, Brad Booth, and Tony Ma.

Day 2 was bound to be a rough one. With 123 players, most of them experienced and determined to make the most of this championship event, playing down to the final table would be a challenge. And in the end, it didn’t happen. Just before 3am, it was decided that with the elimination of Patrick Rao in 19th place, the final 18 would return on Day 3 to play to the final table and then to one winner of the tournament.

Ram Vaswani was the clear chip leader at the end of Day 2, but numerous other pros were still in contention – David Benyamine, Chau Giang, Toto Leonidas, Stuart Paterson, Mike Matusow, Tony Ma, and David Chiu. The world championship event was set for an exciting Day 3 as the title and bracelet were at stake.

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