Monday, November 10, 2008

And then there were two

The poker world has been waiting for 117 days for the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event to get underway and for the players, I am sure every one of them has had thoughts of taking home the gold bracelet and the huge pot of $9.1m.

So for those that have fallen by the wayside as the ‘November Nine’ has been whittled down to the final two, to speak of their disappointment would be a massive understatement.

Most observers would have expected Kelly Kim to bust out first, given the fact he started play as the short stack by some margin, but it was Craig Marquis who was the first to go, despite flopping a set.

“When you flop a set, you expect to win the hand,” said Marquis afterwards. “That was certainly unfortunate for me, but that’s why we play this game.”
Unfortunately for Marquis, Scott Montgomery hit a runner-runner straight to knock him out with nothing to show for the delay, while Kim managed to hang around long enough to boost his pay-off by a further $388,000 or so.
He had to make his move sooner rather than later but he was next to go when his pocket 4s ran into a pair of 9s, although he received a standing ovation for his perseverance.
David ‘Chino’ Rheem was arguably the most disappointed after dominating Darus Suharto pre-flop. Chino moved all-in with A-K and would have been pleased to see the Canadian turn over A-Q.

However, that joy would prove to be short-lived as a Q landed on the flop and there was no help for Rheem on the turn or river, sending him home in seventh place, with the consolation of $1.7m.

“How do you think I feel right now? Seriously, not to be rude, I put my heart into it,” Rheem said when asked to describe his mood. “My heart is broken right now. I feel like shit. You can quote me on that. I feel like shit.”
The pair of Canadians were the next to be sent to the rail with Montgomery (AQ) knocking out compatriot Suharto (A8) who was sad to depart the arena, saying: “I can’t lie. I feel pretty disappointed.”

Montgomery though was next to go and to a one-outer as well. He hit an ace on the flop to put him ahead of Peter Eastgate’s pocket 6s and after the tournament director announced Dennis Phillips had mucked a six, he must have been devastated to see a 6 come on the river – although he hid his emotions pretty well to be fair.

“I was behind when I got it all-in, so I don’t consider that a bad beat,” Montgomery said. “I certainly wanted to finish better that fifth.”
Ylon Schwartz did not hang around for long after Eastgate’s pocket 5’s beat his A10 – maybe he wanted to get a jump on his tequila binge with his $3.7m winnings – and Dennis Phillips, who had started play as the big stack, was the last man to go, collecting $4.5m, leaving the two Europeans to fight it out for the bracelet – Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate.

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