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WPT Doyle Brunson Classic Starts Tomorrow

Preliminaries End and Two Supersatellites Are Left to Win a Seat at Bellagio

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The two weeks of preliminary tournaments at the Bellagio's Five-Diamond World Poker Classic give a foreshadowing of a huge turnout for the $15,000 main event that begins tomorrow at noon. In all, the preliminaries generated $9.9 million in prize pool money from more than 3,700 entrants.

David PhamIncluded in those entrants were many of the top contenders in the Card Player Player of the Year (POY) race. The only one to secure a significant amount of points, however, was current No. 1 ranked player David Pham. He won event No. 8, a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold'em event, to win almost $280,000 and 1,152 more POY points.

After that win, only the top few ranked players have the chance to surpass Pham. By being 1,287 points ahead of second place Jonathan Little, it will take at least a final-table finish in the main event to take over the lead.

Other pros who competed and cashed deep in prelim events include Jared Hamby (ninth in event No. 7), Layne Flack (sixth in event No. 1, eighth in event No. 6), Amnon Filippi (fifth in event No. 4) and Michael Mizrachi (10th in eventMichael Mizrachi No. 8).

There were also a number of pros who just missed winning a gold Bellagio bracelet and had to settle for a runner-up position, such as Kevin Saul (event No. 9) and Theo Tran (event No. 6).

The last preliminary event, which is a $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event, plays out today at 3 p.m. with 15 players left from the 307 that started. Justin Bonomo will enter the day as chip leader but will have to get through J.C. Tran, David Williams, Shane Schleger, and Adam Levy if he wants to win the more than $523,000 first-place prize.

The Card Player TV team was there during the prelims checking out the action. Click here to find those videos.

Joseph HachemWith prelims over, players are gearing up for the $15,000 buy-in Doyle Brunson Classic Championship, and there are still ways for players to get in for cheaper. Two desperado satellites are taking place tonight at 10 p.m. and tomorrow at 10 p.m. The buy-in is $1,500, and as many seats as the prize pool allows will be awarded. Single-table satellites are also going on around the clock.

Last year, 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joseph Hachem triumphed over a 583-deep field to win the more than $2.1 million first-place prize and the coveted WPT title. Hachem became a member of an elite club of players to win both a WSOP championship title and a WPT title. The final table featured pros Mads Andersen, Daniel Negreanu, and David Redlin, who is looking for a title this time. Redlin has been warming up for main event by competing in the prelims, and he has cashed twice.

As one of the most popular WPT events of the year, the road to crowning the last WPT champion of 2007 is guaranteed to be full of drama. The Card Player reporting team will cover the event and provide the most comprehensive live updates, chip counts, and photos.

Click here to find the results page.