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November Nine Countdown -- Craig Marquis Speaks

Craig Marquis Talks About His Journey to the Final Table at the WSOP Main Event


Craig Marquis of Arlington, Texas, is a 23-year-old college student who has been playing poker for only about a year and a half. In that time, he has cashed in three preliminary tournaments at the World Series of Poker, two last year and one this year. He is also one of the final nine competitors remaining in the 2008 WSOP main event. He is patiently waiting for play to reconvene in November and is already guaranteed at least $900,670. Marquis already has plans to buy his family a swimming pool with some of the winnings. Here he tells CardPlayer about how he got to the final table.

"Day 1 was actually pretty good. I ended up, I believe, with 60,000 chips or so, which when you start with 20,000 isn’t too bad. Day 1 was actually a pretty soft field, but I had a couple of players on my table which were decent. All the days after day 1 are kinda blurry like ... I remember day 4, 5, and 6, and 7 obviously, but day 1 and 2 are like blurs, so I’m not really sure exactly who was at my table or who I played with.

Craig MarquisGoing into day 4, I had 147,000 chips which wasn’t very many at all. I think I was pretty far below average, maybe like half-average or so. So, pretty much every day I went into the tournament, I went in with the goal of making the next day. I was like, ‘Cool, I made day 3, I’m pretty happy about that. It would be pretty sweet to make day 4.’ I didn’t really concern myself with thinking about winning the tournament when it was still only day 2 or day 3 or day 4 or whatever. I took it one day at a time. I didn’t think on day 4 that I was really going to last very long because I didn’t have very many chips, but I ended up doing alright.

Twenty-seven to 9 was a really fun time. I started the day second in chips so that was great, I was really happy with that. But I didn’t really pick up that many hands early on, and my table — the way my seating was set up — wasn’t that great to get a bunch of chips. ‘Chino’ Rheem got moved to my left when we moved down to 18, and literally when we were breaking tables, I told the dealer the only thing I don’t want is Chino to my left, because he likes to play a lot of pots, and he’s hard to play out of position against, and he’s a pretty decent player, and that was the only thing I didn’t want when we moved down to 18 players. And then we redraw and ‘Chino’ sits down to my left, and I was like ... really? ... It was kind of irritating.

It ended up getting a lot tighter when we got below 18 players, all the way down to like 12 or 11. There were some people who were just not playing very many pots at all. So, I was trying to take advantage of that, and you know, pick up a little bit more chips than I had.

Unfortunately, anybody who made the final table seems like they have a clue as to what’s going on. There really aren’t any bad players on the table surprisingly enough. Chino’s good, Scott Montgomery is good. They are all really good players ... Ivan’s good, Peter’s good ... They are all pretty solid players. Dennis Phillip is the only player I haven’t really played any poker with, so he’s the only one I don’t really know about yet, but everyone seems like they’re pretty decent, and kind of ... has a clue."

Each day from Nov. 1 to Nov. 9 presents the 2008 World Series of Poker main event finalists — the November Nine — in their own words.

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