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World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Begins Tomorrow

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Day 1A of the of the 2008 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker will begin tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. in Bell Gardens, California, at the Bicycle Casino. Many of the top players in the world are expected to play at the first $10,000 buy-in tournament since July. The event will feature two day-one flights and the eventual champion will be crowned Thursday, Aug. 28. Players will begin with starting stacks of 30,000 and levels will be 90 minutes long. Here is a look at the schedule for the event:

Saturday, Aug. 23: Day 1A -- Five levels (2 p.m. start time for all preliminary days)
Sunday, Aug. 24: Day 1B -- Five levels
Monday, Aug. 25: Day 2 -- Five levels
Tuesday, Aug. 26: Day 3 -- Five levels or down to 18 players
Wednesday, Aug. 27: Day 4 -- Play down to six players
Thursday, Aug. 28: WPT final table (5 p.m.)

The Legends of Poker tournament series began on July 30 and featured 26 preliminary events. Here is a look at the highlights:

Men NguyenEvent 5 ($300 LIPS no-limit hold’em): This ladies tournament was won by Poker Hall of Fame member Barbara Enright, who defeated a field of 100 other players (including poker author, and male, John Vorhaus, who made the final table) and took home $10,971, to give her $1,274,251 in career winnings.

Event 13 ($300 no-limit hold’em): Won by Men “The Master” Nguyen, who took home $65,700 and 300 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. He defeated a field of 251 other players. (Note: November Nine finalist Kelly Kim finished n fourth place in this event, winning $10,650 and picking up 150 POY points.)

Event 15 ($500 Omaha eight-or-better): Won by Nguyen, giving him two preliminary victories at the Legends of Poker just two days apart. His second victory gave him $20,535 in prize money and 132 POY points when he defeated a field of 111 other players. The two victories helped Nguyen climb from 21st place to ninth place on the POY leader board.

Event 16 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em): Runner-up finish for Eric Hershler, the 2007 L.A. Poker Classic champion. He received $35,875 for second place in a field of 201 total entrants. This was Hershler’s second final table of the preliminary events at the Bike; he also finished in fifth place in event No. 9 ($500 no-limit hold’em).

Event 22 ($500 limit hold’em): Runner-up finish for Chris Grigorian, who won $13,460 and 150 POY points. “Miami” John Cernuto (seventh) and Vince Burgio (eighth) also made the final table.

Doyle BrunsonPast Champions

Many top professional players are expected to be in Southern California for the event, and one of them hopes to join the past legends of the game who have won this event, which always kicks off the home stretch of the year in tournament poker. Here are the past winners of the event:

Season I: Chris Karagulleyan
Season II: Mel Judah
Season III: Doyle Brunson
Season IV: Alex Kahaner
Season V: Joe Pelton
Season VI: Dan Harrington

Last year, the event truly lived up to its name as David “The Dragon” Pham battled Dan Harrington heads-up for the bracelet, with Harrington eventually emerging as the victor. Here is a look at the final table from last year, as well as the number of participants and size of the prize pool:

Dan Harrington and David Pham at thte 2007 Legends final table2007 Legends of Poker

Number of entrants: 485
Prize pool: $4,642,500
First-place prize: $1,634,685

2007 Final Table Results

1st — Dan Harrington
2nd — David “The Dragon” Pham
3rd — Thu Nguyen
4th — Tom Schneider
5th — Michael McClain
6th — Shi Jia “Jack” Liu

Card Player will be at the Bicycle Casino all week beginning tomorrow at 2 p.m., when live action begins at the 2008 Legends of Poker. Check out CardPlayer.com for live updates, chips counts, photos, player interviews, and videos from Southern California until the champion is crowned on Thursday, August 28.