2007 World Series: Steve Paul-Ambrose starts it right (Updated)

Updated below

This was the Steve Paul-Ambrose I met in January of 2006.

He was quiet, unassuming, and decidedly unlike most of the other folks of his poker generation. At the time, he was also $1.3 million richer after winning the 2006 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

A lot of people in Steve's position would've ended up turning into high-rolling, fast-talking, self-important twenty-somethings. Steve, instead, went back to college and signed on with Team PokerStars. The next year, Steve went on to go really deep in the 2007 PCA and had a real chance at repeating his performance in 2007.

And now? Well, now Steve sits with the second-biggest chip stack at the final table of the first event of the 2007 World Series.

1. Fred Berger 942,000
2. Steve Paul-Ambrose 771,000
3. Greg Mueller 687,000
4. Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis (PokerStars Supernova) 562,000
5. Tony George 546,000
6. Kirk Morrison 512,000
7. Roger McDow 320,000
8. John Younger 94,000
9. Jon Turner 88,000

Steve's story from yesterday is about as good as it gets.

He said, "Yesterday was pretty crazy. The highlight of the day was losing almost all my chips with 77 vs QQ on a QQ7 flop. I started the hand at ~75k and raised to 8k(2k/4k blinds limit) in early position. Guy to my left 3 bets and I call. Flop comes
QQ7 two hearts. I check, he bets, I raise, he calls. Turn's an A. I bet he calls. River's the T of hearts. I bet, he raises, I reraise, he reraises, I tank and just call. That left me with one big bet. I tripled up the next hand with AQ and won the next two hands to get up to 90k. So in the space of 4 hands I went from 75k to 8k to 90k. After that there was nothing too crazy, I won a pretty big flip with two tables left but that was about it for big hands. Hopefully today goes well, I'm super excited to have a shot at a bracelet (and $530,000 too)."

You might have also noticed that PokerStars Supernova "MrSmokey1" is sitting at the final table as well. MrSmokey1 is just one of a whole bunch of Supernovas who have descended on the World Series this year.

Here are the payouts the guys will be fighting for tonight:

1. $536,287
2. $328,554
3. $218,329
4. $146,259
5. $108,105
6. $84,788
7. $63,591
8. $46,633
9. $33,915

Good luck, guys.

Event #3 $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

All the while Event #1 was winding down to the final table, a couple of familiar names started climbing up the leader board of the first $1,500 no-limit hold'em event. Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker are both still alive and sitting on impressive stacks.

Greg Raymer sits in the massive field
Photo Courtesy: Imagemasters Photography

Also impressive--and a little scary--is the fact that this event set a whole new record for the number of players in a preliminary event. At the final count, 2,998 players sat down for their chance at World Series glory.

All of this is a clear reminder that I need to be on the floor in Las Vegas. Just like the past two years--the action is just too hot to not be in the middle of it. So, full coverage begins tomorrow.

Tonight, we root for Steve, MrSmokey1, Greg, and Chris.

Update: Steve played a tough game tonight, but ran into some tough spots. He finished in fourth place for a whopping $146,259!

Nice job, Steve.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in