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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | The Works

Halfway Highlights Of The 2008 WSOP

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We are just over the halfway point at the 2008 World Series of Poker although 38 of the 55 events have been completed, the Main Event takes up over two weeks of the action. What has happened in the first month here? The following are a few of the highlights and lowlights thus far.

The professional poker players are having an excellent WSOP, especially players who have never won a bracelet before. First timers include David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, Nenad Medic, David Singer, Dario Minieri, John Phan, and Kenny Tran. Players adding an additional bracelet to their collection include well known professionals Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Max Pescatori, and Layne Flack.

Outside of a few events, the top Internet pros have struggled. The forums are usually filled with how bad the “top” pro's play but when push comes to shove this year, these pros have handled the Internet kids repeatedly. One of the few exceptions to this would be Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond who topped a star studded final table to win his first bracelet.

Vanessa Selbst is the lone woman to win a bracelet in an open event this year. The soon to be Yale law student took top honors in the $1,500 PLO event. Selbst followed up this impressive victory with a 3rd place finish three days later in the $10,000 Heads Up event.

The top bracelet winners Hellmuth, Chan, and Brunson are all having a very quiet, moderately disappointing Series thus far. Chan has two cashes for 270K, but let go an excellent opportunity to win #11 when he bluffed off over ¾ of his stack against Galfond. Hellmuth has two cashes as well for just over 100K, but anyone, including Hellmuth, would tell you this is far below expectations. Doyle has only one cash for 16K and it looks like Father Time has finally started to catch up with the Godfather of Poker.

Brothers Blair and Grant Hinkle each won bracelets, marking the first time that siblings had won bracelets in the same year at the WSOP.

With her 5th place finish in the Stud 8 event, Annie Duke topped one million dollars in lifetime winnings at the WSOP.

Jacobo Fernandez is leading the Player of the Year standings without winning a bracelet. Three final tables, a total of five cashes, and $648,421 in winnings is enough to put Fernandez at the top of the leaderboard... for now. Plenty of players are within striking distance as we enter the homestretch. The top 15 is a virtual who's who in poker including in order David Benyamine, Barry Greenstein, Erick Lindgren, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Chris Ferguson, David Singer, Mike Matusow, Farzad Rouani, Scott Seiver, Andy Bloch, Theo Tran, Chris Bell, and Ted Forrest

Russian professional Nikolay Evdakov needs only one more cash to equal the record of eight cashes in one year. Two more and he will hold the record all to himself. Alex Jacob is also in striking distance with six and a host of players (14 total) have five.

The most money won without winning a bracelet thus far is Chris Ferguson who has four cashes for nearly 675K.

As we approach the Main Event, the big stories will center around the 50K H.O.R.S.E. event, the $10,000 PLO event, and the Ante Up For Africa charity event that draws in some big time Hollywood stars. It's all anti-climactic though when compared to the madness that is the $10,000 Main Event. This is the event that every poker player dreams of winning. If they tell you differently, they're lying. The first month has been great... I have a feeling the second month is going to be even better.

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