The last day of play the 2008 World Series of Poker usually crowns a champion, but when the remaining 27 players arrived at the Amazon Room this afternoon they knew they'd only be playing down to the final table. Poker industry insiders expect today to be a long one as play is scheduled to continue to until the final nine players, whom will then settle in for a long four month wait for the November 9th final table.
Instead of trying to outlast, however, players were quick to put their chips at risk and the first two levels of Day 7 have already taken care of 10 players.
The day began with Halifax-native Owen Crowe semi-bluffing the lone woman in the field, Tiffany Michelle, out of more than 1 million chips. Michelle remains in the tournament, but the first two levels have seen her stack slide from almost 10 million chips to less than half that.
The first elimination of the day came less than 15 minutes in when Michael Carroll flopped top pair against the bottom set of Danish accountant Gert Anderson. The only multiple bracelet winner left in the field, Phi Nguyen, was next to be eliminated, followed by Niklas Flisberg (26th), Aaron Gordon (25th), Tim Loecke (24th), Judet Toni Cristian (23rd) and Paul Sneed (22nd).
After the elimination of Nguyen, Brandon Cantu was the only WSOP bracelet winner left in the field. Cantu had a tough first few levels and was eventually eliminated by Peter Eastgate in a race situation in which Eastgate's pocket pair held up against Cantu's A-K. Cantu was followed to the cage minutes later by Albert Kim (19th) and the remaining 18 players drew new table assignments. All the players who busted from 27th to 18th collected $257,334.
The final two tables played for almost an hour before Jason Riesenberg was eliminated in 18th place by Dean Hamrick in a cold-deck situation in which Riesenberg flopped trip queens on a Q-Q-3 board and Hamrick turned a full house with pocket nines. Riesenberg recieves $334,534.
The 2008 Main Event is down to 17 players after the first two levels of Day 7 and you can keep track of all the action right here at WorldSeriesofPoker.com with live updates and chip counts.
The chip leader going into level 30 is Joe Bishop, a 35-year-old from Cincinnati who won his way into the 2008 Main Event through a series of tournaments with a local poker club.