2007 World Series: Three PokerStars Players at Final Table
By the members of Team Blog
When the final table of the 2007 World Series kicks off on Tuesday, three PokerStars players will be vying for the gold championship bracelet. Among them are a PokerStars VIP Club Supernova, a high-limit cash game specialist, and a sexagenarian from South Africa.
Here's what the final table looks like (with PokerStars players in bold).
Philip Hilm 22,070,000
Tuan Lam 21,315,000
Jon Kalmar 20,320,000
Raymond Rahme 16,320,000
Lee Childs 13,240,000
Lee Watkinson 9,925,000
Hevad Khan 9,205,000
Jerry Yang 8,450,000
Alex Kravchenko 6,570,000
Here's a bit more about the PokerStars players at the final table.
Tuan Lam is a 40-year-old former poker dealer from Ontario, Canada. Known as BABYHAN on PokerStars, you'll find him regularly playing the high-limit cash games to a lot of success. Lam finished runner-up in the 2005 World Championship of Online Poker $200 short-handed no-limit hold'em event. He has played a few big live tournaments, but this is by far his biggest tournament cash so far.
Sixty-two year-old Raymond Rahme only started playing no-limit hold'em two years ago. This life-long seven card stud player is a semi-retired entrepreneur from South Africa and is part of a television program that has followed him here to Vegas. Rahme has a large contingent of South Africans here with him in Las Vegas and was responsible for breaking the final table bubble by busting the tenth place player after flopping a set of queens.
Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan
Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan is an imposing and excitable figure who is a PokerStars VIP Club Supernova. Once accused of being a poker bot, RaiNKhaN is famous for being able to play dozens of SNGs at the same time on a single 17" monitor. RaiNKhaN has developed quite a following here after proving to be the most animated character left in the event. This is RaiNKhaN's second trip to the World Series main event. He now stands to make more money than he ever has before.
The game will resume on Tuesday at noon. The final nine players will be competing for these prizes.
Final table play will last for hours and hours (some have predicted anywhere between 18 and 22). It will be a marathon. Still, getting there wasn't easy either.
The Amazon Room is a 39,000 square foot ballroom, used for conventions and trade shows. Two months out of the year, it becomes a poker room for the WSOP. Down to eleven players, only a twentieth of the space is used to hold the final two tables. The ESPN Feature Table is down to five players: Tuan Lam, Scotty Nguyen, Philip Hilm, Raymond Rahme, and Lee Childs.
Short-handed play at the Main Event can be difficult to adjust to for some players. Those experienced with this part of a tournament can grab crucial chips needed at a Final Table while others stay tight and hope to wait out the next guy to bust. The money starts jumping after the tenth player busts, and no one wants to be the Final Table bubble boy. Play was not weak/tight, but it certainly was deliberate. Each hand was unpredictable. One would be a quick raise met by universal folds and resulted in a pot only as big as the blinds and antes. The next would be an excruciatingly long hand that lasted longer than some Turbo SNG's. Screams came from sweaters as one player or another took down a big pot. For the most part, it was a long process of sitting and waiting, for the players as well as the spectators. Short-handed play ended there with the unexpected elimination of The Poker Prince Scotty Nguyen. That left PokerStars players Raymond Rahme and Tuan Lam.
On what PokerNews dubbed "The Outer Table," play was not much different. However, it did feature the most animated player left in the field. After a card-dead opening to the day, PokerStars qualifier Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan built up a head of steam, and then got together a decent stack that gives him plenty of ammunition for the final table. Two big pots after the dinner break against first Jerry Yang and then Jon Kalmar pushed him over the 12,000,000 mark. And although he slipped back a bit, he is in far better shape than he could have hoped for just hours earlier.
He spent most of the day on the outer table, and ended his stay there in typically aggressive fashion in the big blind, re-raising Lee Watkinson's 500,000 bet from the cut-off to 1,170,000 to take the pot without further bloodshed. Finally when Nguyen busted off the feature table, the final ten players got together to knock off one more player.
That process took a couple of hours and only ended when Steven Garfinkle moved all-in pre-flop with A3. Rahme woke up in the small blind with pocket queens, made the call, and flopped a set. A couple of cards later, Garfinkle was out and the final table was set.
Here's a look back at the rest of the day's coverage:
Scott Freeman's Magic
Patience is a virtue
John Armbrust from the felt
Big han's for BABYHAN
Strong Rain forecast
John Armbrust's finish
Almost Everybody Loves Raymond Rahme
RaiNKhaN storms up leaderboard