2008 World Series: And now, day five
Good afternoon once again from the Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. First the stats and the plans before we list the many inponderables and intangibles about today's play.
This is day five of the $10,000 championship event of the World Series of Poker. It's the eighth day of competition, but the official "day five" of a scheduled nine. Today, we reconvened at noon, with 38 minutes left in level 19, where the blinds are at $5,000-$10,000 ($1,000 ante). Once that's done, we're supposed to be back on track and will play five two-hour levels. With a 90 minute dinner break, plus a couple of mid-level pauses, we're expecting to be here until about 1am.
But all of that could change. The tournament officials have announced the intention to "reassess" the progress of the tournament throughout the day, meaning we could have a much later night, or a much earlier one. No one knows how the cards will fall and, for once, our immediate futures are also in the hand of the poker gods. We can only promise to keep you updated with what we know when we know it.
But we do know this. The field today comprises the 189 players remaining from an original list of 6,844 hopefuls. Any player returning today is already guaranteed a pay day of at least $38,600. There's a fairly steep incline in the prize structure until we get towards the dizzy millions of the final table.
Of the 27 Team PokerStars Pros that entered, Victor Ramdin remains the big hope. The New Yorker returns to action today behind 1,322,000 in chips and one of the most confident demeanours in the room.
Rightly so. Ramdin has been in devastating form, and has every potential to continue this adventure for another few days at least.
PokerStars sponsored player Kara Scott is also returning, with 247,000 in chips. PokerStars player Sarkis Akopyan, from Russia, has unbagged 442,000, Ylon Schwartz has 870,000 and Alex Outhred with 1,377,000.
Among the usual clutch of PokerStars qualifiers high on the leaderboard are some names that are becoming more familiar as the days go by: we have Felix Osterland, from Germany, with 1,491,000; Robert Ford (1,200,000) from the United States; Owen Crowe (110,000), from Canada, and the British duo of Andrew Teng and Bill Purle, who each have a million and change.
Approximately 41 of the 189 remaining players are in some way related to PokerStars. This dominance of the main event is becoming commonplace.
The players are now seated around those few final tables and a chorus of "All in and a call!" has begun to ring out. Fasten your seatbelts, and welcome to day five.
Remember, you can check out the fine work of our video blog team here in Las Vegas over at PokerStars.tv. There's also details of a daily freeroll tournament in celebration of the official launch of that video platform.
Also please e-mail us at email@example.com if you know any of the qualifiers still in the field and want to give us some stories about them or track their progress. We'll do our best to keep in touch.