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

Crunch Time – Day Five Of The WSOP Main Event

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1:45 p.m.

Media access for peons such as myself is extremely limited today. We are essentially being given railbird access plus 3 feet as there is an area between the rail and the tables that we can walk through. This area is a good ten feet behind any table, so the amount of information I can get or conversation I can hear is minimal. It's ESPN's world, I'm just living in it.

Phil Hellmuth's wife and I think sister (not sure on that) are sitting in chairs at the rail directly adjacent to Hellmuth's table. Hellmuth was involved in a big hand with a big and loud New Yorker, Barry Leventhal that got the crowd stirring. Leventhal moved all in for a huge overbet on a 6-5-4 two diamond flop. Leventhal stood up and yelled to his one railbird, “I'm all in, we're going to go to the buffet.”

Leventhal was talking it up with Felix Osterland, the other player in the hand, and Osterland asked him to shut up. “No, I'm not going to shut up. Now I'm going to talk more,” Leventhal said.

Osterland folded and now the decision was on Hellmuth.

Some railbirds yelled for Hellmuth to take Leventhal out so he would have more leg room. Leventhal turned around and said, “I'm gonna come find you and you'll be in a trunk in 20 minutes.”

The sad thing is, I think he was almost serious.

Hellmuth said to Leventhal, “I think you have something.” Leventhal told Hellmuth he was bluffing but The Ego still made the fold, flipping Q-7 of diamonds face up on the table. Hellmuth had folded an open ended straight and flush draw. Wow. The rest of the table went nuts.

“How can you not call,” asked David Saab. “Give me your bracelet,” Saab added.

Leventhal yelled to his railbird, “Should I show?” The railbird said no, and Leventhal tossed his cards into the muck.

There are 164 players left, meaning we have lost 25 players in about an hour and a half of play.

2:13 p.m.

Gus Hansen was eliminated in 160th place and was making the quiet walk out of the Amazon Room with the ESPN cameras following him when a fan asked him to sign a shirt. Gus was gracious and obliged and a swarm of fans and media engulfed him. Gus handled it well though and took care of all the requests before heading off to collect his payday.

4:10 p.m.

I was able to get behind the ropes for about twenty minutes which was enough time to grab a few interesting highlights.

Jeff Madsen was all in for his tournament life with pocket aces against K-Q. Mark Vos came over and asked Madsen which hand was his. When he found out it was the aces, Vos asked the dealer to put up J-10-x with three clubs (Madsen's opponent had a club while Vos did not). Madsen looks at Vos and says, “It's official. I hate you more than anyone in poker.”

The aces held up though and Madsen doubled up.

At a different table, Jason Glass was all in with pocket aces and faced pocket sixes. The flop came 7-5-3 and Glass shook his head. His friend who was standing next to him said, “It's just a sweat.” The turn was a 9 giving the guy with sixes even more outs. Glass didn't want to look, but the river was a harmless 5 and he doubled up.

After Alex Tinsley doubled up, his buddy on the rail started whooping it up as if he had just won the pot himself. The players at the table laughed and asked Tinsley, “Who is more excited, you or your buddy?”

I'd go with his buddy. I wonder how much of Tinsley he has?

Thomas Keller was asking Phil Hellmuth if he could get one of Hellmuth's hats. I couldn't quite catch what Hellmuth said but I believe he said he would. Hellmuth said they sell the hats online without the 11 etched on the side. I think if I am ever at the same table as Hellmuth, I am going to order one of those hats and get the number 12 with a big slash through it put on the side. That would be good fun.

David Saab is one fearless dude. Jeremy Joseph opened a pot for 40K from the cutoff and Saab re-raised to 120K. Joseph made it 275K to go but Saab was having none of it as he moved all in for over 800K. Joseph mucked his hand and Saab showed the crowd A-10. Joseph grimaced, and looked at Saab and said, “I don't know why you guys keep thinking you have to bluff me.”

The room is very quiet but about every five minutes there will be a loud yes or a small round of applause. They are announcing the players as they bust out now and that leads to the rail and players applauding the eliminated player's efforts. 136 players remain with one hour left in level 21. The average stack has eclipsed one million and the chip leader is James McManus (not the poker author) with over three million in chips. David Benefield isn't far behind with 2.75 million.

Still a lot of poker left to be played today, I'll be back later with more from day 5 of the WSOP Main Event.

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