The most anticipated final table in poker history began today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, when cards got into the air at the World Series of Poker main event. The November Nine finally returned to play the final stages of the $10,000 no-limit hold’em world championship and decide who will eventually walk away with $9,152,416 in prize money tomorrow night.
Here were how things looked when play began just after 11 a.m. today:
Seat 1: Dennis Phillips — 26,295,000 — Account manager (St. Louis, Missouri)
Seat 2: Craig Marquis — 10,210,000 — College student (Arlington, Texas)
Seat 3: Ylon Schwartz — 12,525,000 — Professional poker player (Brooklyn, New York)
Seat 4: Scott Montgomery — 19,690,000 — Professional poker player (Perth, Ontario, Canada)
Seat 5: Darus Suharto — 12,520,000 — Accountant (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Seat 6: David "Chino" Rheem — 10,230,000 — Professional poker player (Los Angeles, California)
Seat 7: Ivan Demidov — 24,400,000 — Professional poker player (Moscow, Russia)
Seat 8: Kelly Kim — 2,620,000 — Professional poker player (Whittier, California)
Seat 9: Peter Eastgate — 18,375,000 — Professional poker player (Odense, Denmark)
It took a little while for the final nine players to shake off the rust of 117 days away from WSOP action, as major action was slow to occur. Ivan Demidov took the lead early in the day, while many of the short stacks were busy doubling up. Dennis Phillips began the day with the chip lead, and at one point he was all in for his tournament life, along with the short stacks. He rallied back after that by picking up a huge pot with a full house, and he was further fueled by the cheers and chants of the 359 "Phillipians" he brought from St. Louis to support him. They were all dressed in the trademark button-up long-sleeve white shirt that Phillips wore throughout the main event, and it gave the crowd the eerie feeling of a one-man army.
Craig Marquis led the way to the rail in ninth place after four hours of play, and short-stacked Kelly Kim was knocked out on the very next hand in eighth place. After that, the eliminations came at a more balanced pace on the way to the end of the night at 12:40 a.m. Listed below is every bustout hand and some of the hands that changed the power complexion of the table at different points during part I. Phillips was eliminated on the final hand of the evening, and he received a standing ovation. The departure of Phillips meant two things. One, there will be a lot fewer people in the Penn and Teller theater tomorrow night for the heads-up match, and two, that a foreign national player will be crowned the 2008 world champion of poker. Will it be Peter Eastgate from Denmark? Or will it be the Russian Ivan Demidov? Tune in tomorrow to find out.
Here are the chip counts for tomorrow when heads-up play will begin at 10 p.m. in the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio:
Peter Eastgate: 79,500,000
Ivan Demidov: 57,725,000
There are 8 minutes and 48 seconds left in level 37 with blinds at 300,000-600,000 with a 75,000 ante, and after that blinds will jump up to 400,000-800,000 with a 100,000 ante for level 38.
Tune into CardPlayer.com to catch all of the action in live updates, chips counts, and photos from Las Vegas. The next world champion will be crowned tomorrow, and he will take home $9,152,416.
1st: ?? — $9,152,416
2nd: ?? — $5,809,595
3rd: Dennis Phillips — $4,517,773
4th: Ylon Schwartz — $3,774,974
5th: Scott Montgomery — $3,096,768
6th: Darus Suharto — $2,418,562
7th: Chino Rheem — $1,772,650
8th: Kelly Kim — $1,288,217
9th: Craig Marquis — $900,670
Here were the highlights from the day, as featured in CardPlayer.com’s live updates:
Demidov Takes the Chip Lead
Dennis Phillips raised to 900,000 from middle position, and Ylon Schwartz made the call from the hijack seat. The flop was dealt 7 4 2, and Phillips bet 2.35 million. Schwartz raised to 6 million, and Phillips mucked. As a result of this hand, Ivan Demidov took the chip lead at the final table.
Ivan Demidov Takes a Huge Lead
Ivan Demidov raised to 1.025 million preflop from the button after Dennis Phillips limped under the gun, and then Phillips reraised to 3.525 million. Demidov reraised to 8.225 million, and Phillips made the call after about 30 seconds of deliberation. The flop was dealt J 10 8, and Phillips bet 4.5 million. Demidov decided to move all in, and Phillips went into the tank. He eventually mucked and now holds around 9 million after starting the final table with the chip lead. Demidov now has an impressive chip lead with 35,875,000.
Dennis Phillips Doubles Up
Dennis Phillips moved all in preflop, and Chino Rheem made the call. Their cards:
Rheem: J J
Board: K 5 3 9 6
Phillips doubled up to survive, and his section of the crowd burst into thunderous applause.
Craig Marquis Eliminated in Ninth Place ($900,670)
Craig Marquis moved all in preflop, and Scott Montgomery made the call. Their cards:
Marquis: 7 7
Montgomery: A Q
Board: A 10 7 J K
The hand provided a roller-coaster fluctuation of cheering from the crowd, as Marquis jumped out to a bigger lead on the flop with a set of sevens, only to get knocked out of the tournament by a runner-runner draw to a Broadway straight for Montgomery. Marquis was eliminated in ninth place, and he took home $900,670 in prize money.
Kelly Kim Eliminated in Eighth Place ($1,288,217)
Kelly Kim moved all in preflop, and Ylon Schwartz, Ivan Demidov, and Darus Suharto each called the additional 150,000. The flop was dealt 9 6 2, and Demidov bet 600,000. Schwartz mucked, and Suharto made the call. The A fell on the turn, and both players checked. The river brought the Q, and both live players checked again. Everyone then turned up their cards:
Suharto: 10 9
Demidov: 9 5
Suharto won the hand, and Kim was eliminated in eighth place. He will take home $1,288,217 in prize money after starting the day on a short-stack.
Chino Rheem Eliminated in Seventh Place ($1,772,650)
Chino Rheem moved all in preflop, and Peter Eastgate called him down. Their cards:
Rheem: A K
Eastgate: A Q
Board: Q 7 5 9 4
Rheem was eliminated on the hand in seventh place, and he will take home $1,772,650 in prize money.
Dennis Phillips Wins a Big Pot
Dennis Phillips raised to 1.3 million preflop, and Ivan Demidov made the call. The flop was dealt K 3 3, and Demidov checked. Phillips bet 2.55 million, and Demidov made the call. The turn fell 7, and both players checked. The river fell K, and Demidov checked. Phillips bet 5 million, and Demidov went into the tank for several minutes before he decided to make the call. Phillips flipped up K Q, and he took down the large pot to jump into the top three … and the 300+ Phillip fans went nuts, as has become the custom.
Darus Suharto Eliminated in Sixth Place ($2,418,562)
Darus Suharto moved all in preflop for 8,550,000, and Scott Montgomery thought for a minute before he made the call on the cutoff. Their cards:
Suharto: A 8
Montgomery: A Q
Board: K J 2 4 4
Montgomery made an ace-high spade flush on the turn and knocked Suharto out of the tournament in sixth place. Suharto will take home $2,418,562 in prize money.
Scott Montgomery vs. Ivan Demidov
Scott Montgomery raised to 1.5 million preflop from the small blind, and Ivan Demidov reaised to 4.25 million from the big blind. Montgomery thought for a moment and then reraised all in for a massive total worth 24.375 million. Demidov made the all-in call, and they flipped up their hands:
Demidov: K K
Montgomery: A 9
Board: 6 4 6 10 3
Demidov sweated the two toughest cards of his life and doubled up to win the largest hand of the tournament so far. After the hand, his stack grew to 51 million, while Montgomery was crippled with a just a little more than 7 million left to his name.
Scott Montgomery Eliminated in Fifth Place ($3,096,678)
After moving all in once and receiving no calls, Montogmery pushed all of his chips into the middle again and received a call from Peter Eastgate. Their cards:
Montgomery: A 3
Eastgate: 6 6
Board: A Q 4 A
Dennis Phillips revealed to Tournament Director Jack Effel that he had mucked a six when he folded preflop, and Effel announced this to the crowd in the Penn and Teller Theater. This left Eastgate with one final out in the deck.
The crowd broke into a loud mixture of cheers and groans in a confusion of excitement and agony when the 6 rolled off the deck, and Montgomery’s tournament run came to an end in fifth place. He took home $3,096,678 in prize money.
Ylon Schwartz Eliminated in Fourth Place ($3,794,974)
Peter Eastgate raised to 1.5 million preflop under the gun, and Dennis Phillip mucked on the button. Ylon Schwartz made the call in the small blind, and Ivan Demidov got out of the way in the big blind. The flop was dealt K 8 2, and both players checked. The K fell on the turn, and Schwartz checked. Eastgate bet 1.75 million, and Schwartz made the call. The river brought the 5, and Schwartz checked again. Eastgate bet 4.6 million, and Schwartz check-raised all in. Eastgate made the call, and Schwartz flipped over A 10. Eastgate flipped over pocket fives, and he won the hand with a full house to take the chip lead and eliminate Schwartz in fourth place. Schwartz took home $3,794,974 in prize money, which makes him the leading money winner in tournament poker for 2008 until the third-place player busts out of the tournament.
Part I Ends — Dennis Phillips Eliminated in Third Place ($4,517,773)
Peter Eastgate opened the action for 1.5 million from the small blind after Ivan Demidov mucked on the button, and Dennis Phillips made the call. The flop was dealt J 4 3, and Eastgate bet 1.5 million. Phillips raised all in for his final 14.55 million, and Eastgate couldn’t be happier to make the call with a pocket pair. Their cards:
Eastgate: 3 3
Phillips: 10 9
Turn and River: A 9
Phillips was drawing dead when the turn fell, and he was eliminated in third place. Phillips received a warm standing ovation from his faithful supporters, and he will also take home $4,517,773 in prize money back to St. Louis. For just one day, he is the leading tournament poker money winner in 2008. That is, until $5,809,595 and $9,152,416 are awarded to the runner-up and new world champion tomorrow night.