Day 29 at the 2008 World Series of Poker saw the total prize pool eclipse the $100 million mark. In 2007 that plateau was not reached until Day 1 of the Main Event. The event which helped bring the total prize pool over the threshold was also the only event starting today - Event #48 ($2,000 No Limit Hold ‘em).
The featured event for the third day in a row was Event #45 ($50,000 H.O.R.S.E.). Other action in the Amazon Room included the final table of Event #44 ($1.000 No Limit Hold ‘em w/rebuys) event that saw yet another first-time bracelet winner. Two other events continued Day 2 action in the Brasilia Room, both Event #46 ($5,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold’em) and Event #47 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-better) played late into the evening as each sought to narrow the field down to the final table with a record broken in the process.
Here is how the action from Friday played out:
Event #48 ($2,000 No Limit Hold ‘em)
The largest field ever assembled for a $2,000 event crammed themselves inside of the Amazon, Brasilia, Tropical Rooms and even tables on the main casino floor all in search of the top prize $770,540. With such a large amount of money at stake it was no surprise that many of the top pro’s who were not involved in the H.O.R.S.E. event entered to take a shot. Some of the notables who survived the initial starting field of 2,317 and will play again tomorrow include Erik Cajelais, David Pham and current Player-of-the-Year frontrunner Jacobo Fernandez.
Event #48 Chip Counts and Live Updates.
Event #47 ($1,500 Seven Card Stud Eight-or-Better)
The biggest story heading into the second day of play was centered on John Phan and his quest for the third bracelet in less than two weeks. If this rare feat were to be accomplished it would tie him for the record for most bracelets won in a single WSOP. The only players in history to accomplish this feat were Puggy Pearson (1973), Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forrest (1993) and Phil Ivey (2002). However, shortly after the bubble burst, Phan found himself on the rail but still has a handful of tournaments to attempt to tie those legends.
Speaking of Hellmuth, he also rewrote the history books today by cashing in his 66th WSOP event. After the bubble had burst, someone at Hellmuth’s table asked him about his record he calmly shrugged it off. Later in the evening, Hellmuth’s mood was less jovial as Tim Dalessandro pulled a miracle queen on seventh street to knock Hellmuth out of the tournament. This then sent Hellmuth on another one of his patented tirades. D’Alessandro did however get the last word on Hellmuth as he reminded him and the other 30 players still alive that Hellmuth has never won a bracelet in a WSOP game other than Hold ‘em. The field played down to 13 players who will return Saturday.
Event #47 Chip Counts and Live Updates
Event #46 ($5,000 Six-handed No Limit Hold ‘em)
This tournament featured an abnormally long bubble period that lasted for 75 minutes. When play got down to 79 players, tournament officials paused the clock and went hand for hand. When the bubble finally burst and the smoked cleared, Nikolay Evdakov emerged with a tie for the record for the most cashes in one year at the WSOP. Evdakov joins Hellmuth, Humberto Brenes, Michael Binger, Richard Tatalovich and Chad Brown as the only players in WSOP history with eight cashes in a single year.
Event #46 Chip Counts and Live Updates. Watch the final table live on ESPN360.
Event #45 ($50,000 H.O.R.S.E.)
When day three of play began the H.O.R.S.E. event had 67 players who carried 72 bracelets among them and total WSOP earnings of over $52 million. The one table that captured most fans attention consisted of Barry Greenstien, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Layne Flack and Bill Chen. These five hold a total of 26 bracelets among them. Some of the legends moving on to day four of play include Brunson, Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu and Scotty Nguyen.
Event #45 Chip Counts and Live Updates
Event #44 ($1,000 No Limit Hold ‘em w/rebuys)
The ESPN Main Stage was turned into Animal House for the finals of Event #44 ($1,000 No Limit Hold’em w/rebuys). After the fast and furious action in which the first 22 hands saw five players eliminated, the party atmosphere really started to take center stage. Going into four handed play Canadian Max Greenwood found himself the short stack while Albert Iverson and Rene Mouritsen held a majority of the chips at the table. Greenwood found himself on the ropes needing a two-outer to stay alive in the tournament. He spiked the five he needed and eventually found himself the chip leader. After the departure of Scott Freeman and later Iverson, Greenwood found himself heads-up with Mouritsen.
The match had party atmosphere written all over it. Mouritsen’s rail was decked out with Danes wearing crowns and holding toy axes while Greenwoods supporters were enjoying the libations from the Milwaukee’s Best No Limit Lounge. With both rails getting into nearly every hand, the chants could easily be heard on the other side of the Amazon Room. After 33 hands of heads-up play Greenwood was able to satisfy all his faithful supporters and in turn takes back to Canada with him his first ever WSOP bracelet and a top prize of $693,444.
For a full recap of the final table of Event #44 check out Graduate Grabs Gold