2008 PCA: Dragon enters Day 4 as chip leader
In any poker tournament, the multitude of styles in the field is bound to run the gamut. There are the people who just want to survive until the money. There are the wide-eyed chip-slingers who play for nothing but first place. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure is the definitive example of the phenomenon.
At the beginning of the day, all eyes in the tournament room were on big-stacked Eric "Rizen" Lynch. He came out of Day 2 as the chip leader with a commanding 526,900 in chips. His nearest competitor was Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier at 435,000. While both players come from a feared subset of the poker tournament circuit, it soon became clear that there were other people who were not prepared to hand over their chips.
Enter the Dragon.
David "The Dragon" Pham is no wild, screaming, fire-breathing pro. To hear him make a noise or even break more than a small smile is an occasion. Today, the well-known pro let his stack do the talking. By day's end, Pham had risen above the two million chip mark and sat with a comfortable chip lead.
Pham's story has been told in many venues over the years. For an untold tale, we had to look to Sweden's Emil Timberg. Not so long ago, Timberg won a freeroll sponsored by PokerStars and a Swedish newspaper. Having never played for real money online and having little to no big poker experience to his name, Timberg has proven to be a player with whom one shouldn't trifle. Late in the day, Timberg made a huge call with two-pair on a three-heart KQJ96 board. Tonight, he finishes fourth in chips.
While not an ongoing story of success tonight, Jeff Neuman is more than happy with how he ended the day. Neuman qualified for the PCA in a PokerStars Steps tournament for $7.50. The athletic club ownder from Maryland finished in 56th place for $16,000.
The members of Team PokerStars Pro spent a good portion of the day beating each other into pieces. Barry Greenstein's kings couldn't outrun Hevad Khan's aces. While Khan got a copy of Greenstein's "Ace on the River," he would not be able to finish the day. ElkY put Khan out toward the end of play. Andre Akkari was also among the players who didn't finish the day. Remaining in the field tonight are ElkY and Victor Ramdin.
PokerStars qualifier Kris Kuykendall finished the day second in chips. He's here with family and a friend and will celebrate his 25th birthday tomorrow. At one point yesterday, the one-time high school wrestling champion was down to 17,000 in chips. He finished the day with 83,000 in chips and managed to work his stack over a million before going to bed tonight. Kuykendall is a VIP Club Supernova who qualified for the PCA in a Steps tournament. While he has a business degree from the University of Cincinnati, he's got his eye on a the $2 million first prize to fund his retirement.
The end of play saw 40 players finish with chips, including a sea of other notables including William Thorson, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Eric Van der Berg, Rhett Butler, and Thierry Van Den Berg. Tomorrow, the field will resume at noon to play down to the final table of eight. Day 4 will also see the start of televised play and broadcast on EPT Live.
Here's a quick look at how the news looked from the camera's eye just before the end of the day.
Many a story played itself out here today. While the main event wound its way through the coolers, bad beats, and big bluffs, the Third Annual PokerStars World Championship of Battleship Poker also started in the Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis today. It was a good day for Imper1um and suckoutqueen. Find the details HERE.
For all the action from the $8,000 main event, see all of the updates from Day 3.
All photos © Neil Stoddart