WSOP Main Event: Dmitri Nobles--Chip Leader
by C.J. Hoyt
End of Day 2B Update: $549,200. It's hard to imagine someone having that many chips after two days of play, but that's exactly where Dmitri "DinoDaPro" Nobles finds himself. In fact, had his pocket Tens held up against pocket 8s, he'd still have about $600,000.
"I do better when I'm behind!" he told me after the hand, "I should have had the 8s!"
When the day ended, it was a fist bump and a bear hug from Dmitri, he was clearly the happiest guy in the room. The 2nd happiest was anyone who wouldn't be at his table Friday.
While his massive stack was being counted by the floor (they required two bags, and black tape), ESPN grabbed him for a quick interview.
"Look at me," he said after the camera was off, "I look all rough. But I'll look good tomorrow." That's when ESPN will get a sit down interview in the same chair where superstars like Daniel Negreanu and Joe Hachem will sit.
Friday, Dmitri will start his day at Table 146, Seat 6. No one at his table has more than $135,000. It's just the kind of table he likes. Of course, the way the cards have been falling for him, it doesn't really matter who's sitting across from him.
He came into the day with $86,000 and wanted to chip up early. Dmitri "DinoDaPro" Nobles has done that, and then some. Halfway through the day he was up over $300,000 and the massive chip leader. With just an hour to play, Dmitri now has a remarkable $606,000. My crack commando research staff (we've assigned it to Wil now) will find out if he's anywhere near a record.
At 34-years old, Dmitri has been playing poker for more than a decade. He's got a regular crew back home in Houston, TX.
"My friends saw I had $80,000 in chips and said 'we beat Dmitri every day!'" he told me. "But I don't think anyone in this room is better than me."
Dmitri isn't trying to be cocky. He just knows that in a tournament like this, it's a matter of playing good cards, making good reads, and getting lucky. And he's gotten VERY lucky so far.
On the very last hand before the last break, Dmitri decided his pocket T's were good after a flop of J-9-x. His opponent, however, was holding AJ. Dmitri wasn't worried. The turn was a 7, giving him a gutshot straight draw. That meant any 8 or 10 would be a winner. Dmitri called out for an 8, figuring there were four of them in the deck. Of course, there were only 2, since the player in the 1 Seat folded pocket 8's. It didn't seem to matter much, because the dealer peeled the 8 off the deck anyway.
Right before that hand, 10-time bracelet Phil Hellmuth stopped by to check up on the PokerStars qualifier. One of the two is currently out of the WSOP Main Event, the other is holding more chips than anyone.
"There are a lot of jealous people in the room right now," Phil told me.
Dmitri's strategy is pretty simple from here on out. He's going to keep pushing hard, but avoiding big stacks. More than anything, he's going to enjoy it.
"I'm on cloud 9 right now..." he paused, "No... I'm on cloud 11!! I'm two clouds above cloud 9!"
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