2008 World Series of Poker Final Table Recap – Part I of III

2008 World Series of Poker Final Table Recap- Part I
by Chad Holloway of Predictem.com

On November 9, 2008, the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event got under way, over three months after the 6,844-player field was whittled down to the final nine players. The revolutionary idea to hold the final table months after the roster was set was implemented in order to promote the game. Instead of the public knowing who had won and waiting to see how they did it on the television broadcast, as has been the case in the past, poker fans would now be able to speculate on who would win, watch as the players battle, and be a part of poker history. This was accomplished by allowing the nine remaining players to play down to the final two, allowing those two players to return the following day to determine a champion, and then editing the action within a 24-hour period and airing it on ESPN for millions of viewers to watch.

The final nine players returned after months of waiting, studying, and improving their game to try and become the next poker champion. They included:

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, NY)
Seat 4: Scott Montgomery – 19,690,000 – Professional Poker Player (Perth, Ontario)
Seat 5: Darus Suharto – 12,520,000 – Accountant (Toronto, Ontario)
Seat 6: David “Chino” Rheem – 10,230,000 – Professional Poker Player ( L.A., 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)

Each player was guaranteed a huge return on their initial $10,000 buy-in, with the lion’s share going to the winner. The final-table payouts were:

1st: $9,152,416
2nd: $5,809,595
3rd: $4,517,773
4th: $3,774,974
5th: $3,096,768
6th: $2,418,562
7th: $1,772,650
8th: $1,288,217
9th: $900,670

The action started on level 34, with the blinds at 150,000-300,000 and a 40,000 ante, and it didn’t take long for the chip lead to change. Phillips raised to 900,000 from middle position while Schwartz called. The flop came 7c 4s 2c and Phillips bet 2.35 million, and was raised to 6 million by Schwartz. Phillips mucked and as a result, Demidov became the chip leader. Demidov dramatically increased his chip lead after he raised to 1.025 million on the button after Phillips had limped under the gun. Phillips reraised to 3.525 million, only to have Demidov make it 8.225 million to go. Phillips made the call and the flop came Js 10c 8d. Phillips bet 4.5 million, but Demidov moved all in, forcing Phillips into the tank. He eventually mucked and dropped to around 9 million in chips, while Demidov increased his chip lead to an imposing 35,875,000.

Phillips didn’t stay down long as he doubled-up when his pocket queens held up against Rheem’s pocket jacks on a Kc 5d 3s 9d 6h board. The double-ups continued when action was folded to Demidov, who moved all in with the Ks 10d, in the small blind. The big blind, the short-stacked Kim, made a blind all-in call with a pocket pair of kings and doubled-up when the board failed to help Demidov. The next huge hand occurred when Demidov raised to 775,000 from middle position, only to be called by Schwartz in the big blind.

The flop came Kh 10h 2d and Schwartz lead out with a 1.15 million bet and Demidov called. After the 3d on the turn, Schwartz led out for 2.45 million, and again he was called. The river was the 6h, Schwartz checked and Demidov bet 3.7 million. Schwartz made the call with the Kc 10c, and his two pair was good enough to beat Demidov’s Ad Kd for the 16.5 million pot. After the hand the chips counts were as follows:

Ylon Schwartz: 40,020,000
Ivan Demidov: 27,880,000
Peter Eastgate: 21,370,000
Darus Suharto: 11,790,000
Scott Montgomery: 11,505,000
Dennis Phillips: 9,830,000
David Rheem: 6,655,000
Craig Marquis: 6,080,000
Kelly Kim: 1,735,000

Continued in 2008 World Series of Poker Final Table Recap- Part II.