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

WSOP Day 30 – All NLHE, All the Time

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As the lengthier portion of the 2008 World Series of Poker begins to wind down amidst the craziness of the $50K H.O.R.S.E., players are gearing up for the $10K buy-in main event with all of the no-limit hold’em they can play. It is NLHE madness!

For the poker mixed game aficionados, there will be other games thrown in over the coming days, like a $1500 HORSE and the PLO world championship, but it’s NLHE that draws the masses. That is the game that catapulted Moneymaker to his success, along with the millions of others who have tried to follow in his footsteps by playing online poker and live tournaments. It brings tens of thousands of players to the WSOP each year now, and it is one of the keys to the ongoing success of the game.

So, bring on the no-limit hold’em and everyone who wants to play it. The staff and the media may poke fun at the tournaments a bit and how fast the majority of the players are eliminated, but we can handle it all. It is a huge part of what makes the WSOP what it is.

Let’s take a closer look at the two NLHE tournaments playing out today:

12noon – Event #49 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 1)

This particular $1500 NLHE event began with 2,718 players, though the event was supposed to be capped at 2,700. It seemed that a few squirrely poker players squeaked by. Last year, the same event took on 3,151 people, but that was when alternates were accepted and before this year’s decision to nix that.

With a predominantly amateur field, it was guaranteed to shrink quickly, as is typical for the $1500 NLHE events, but the best indication was that a player went out on the very first hand of the day with Kings being busted by a set of sixes. Ahhh, there’s a reason it’s called the donkament.

Even so, there were some big names in the crowd, including Kenna James, Kevin Saul, J.J. Liu, Phil Hellmuth, Juha Helppi, Shannon Shorr, Jennifer Tilly, Bill Chen, Alex Kravchenko, Allen Kessler, Beth Shak, Young Phan, Kristy Gazes, Alex Jacob, Hevad Khan, J.C. Tran, Mark Seif, Men Nguyen, Antonio Esfandiari, Amarillo Slim, Justin Bonomo, Jordan Morgan, Gavin Smith, Amnon Filippi, and Victor Ramdin. Sadly, many of them were eliminated on Day 1.

As most of the field left the building, the money bubble approached near the end of the evening, and when they reached the 270-player mark, cheers erupted as everyone knew that they would not have to leave empty handed. Just before 1am, play wrapped for the night with Micah Raskin in the chip lead. Poker pro Young Phan was in the second spot, and fellow tournament pros Greg Mueller and J.C. Tran helped round out the top ten. The remaining 215 players were set to return for Day 2 at 2pm on Sunday in an attempt to play down to the final table.

2pm – Event #48 - $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 2)

Similar to Event 49, this one started the previous day with 2,317 players, a few over the cap of 2,300. By the end of Day 1, the players were in the money and 198 returned for the second day of play, which was bound to be a long one. And it was.

The play down was slow, and the goal of finding the final nine participants to sit at the Day 3 final table was not looking promising. As the day wore on, it was evident that a long night was in store. By 2:30 in the morning, there were still 16 players in the tournament. Things sped up after a late-night break as it seemed that the long day was finally prompting the last of the potential final tablists to move it or lose it. But it wasn’t until after 5am that Sergey Rybachenko was eliminated in 10th place, and play stopped for the morning.

The remaining nine players were then scheduled to gather back at the Rio in just over nine hours to play for the bracelet. With online pro Marco Johnson in the chip lead, the final table set-up was as follows:

Seat 1 Dan Rome 650,000
Seat 2 Ryan D'Angelo 520,000
Seat 3 Marco Johnson 2,135,000
Seat 4 Kirill Gerasimov 1,145,000
Seat 5 Robert Brewer 1,050,000
Seat 6 Gabe Costner 1,475,000
Seat 7 Alan Cutter 535,000
Seat 8 Alexandre Gomes 1,075,000
Seat 9 Sverre Sundbo 685,000

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