2008 World Series: Bubble pops on Day 3
No matter how many poker tournaments we cover, no matter how many hands we watch, no matter how many bad beat stories we hear, there is no denying the pure energy on the bubble of a tournament. Fueled by a week of anxiety and hope, the 667-player mark of the 2008 World Series main event had enough mainline adrenaline to wake the dead several times over. While some people may have a zombie's eyes tonight, one thing is clear: 666 people (a dubious money line if there ever was one) are at least $21,230 richer tonight.
The PokerStars family, a varied and intense mix of Team PokerStars Pros and qualifiers, numbered around 200 of the 1,300 players who started the day. Some prospered, some fell, but few got the recognition of PokerStars Macau qualifer Steve Chung.
As the ESPN cameras flocked and still-living players crushed, Steve Chung got pocket eights in against pocket kings, falling victim to both the odds and the title of Bubble Boy.
Chung qualified recently at the PokerStars Macau cardroom, a random and spontaneous flier encouraged by a friend. Though he looked good for the money earlier, he finished tonight in the only spot that wouldn't guarantee him a big payout. He will not walk away empty-handed, though. As has become a recent tradition, he will be given a $10,000 seat for next year.
Though today was largely focused on the people who would not walk away with money, there are still four more days to play before we seat the final table. That means it's time to look ahead to the PokerStars players who remain in the field.
The biggest name looking best to go deep at this hour is Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin. With nearly half a million chips at our last count, he is the deepest-stacked Team Pro member still alive. He is not the only one still in, however. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, and Hevad Khan all made it into the money and will be playing on Day 4. Vanessa Rousso made it to the money, but then made it to the rail a half hour into the next level.
In similar shape to the Pros and still doing their PokerStars-sponsorship proud are EPT presenter Kara Scott and Russian Pro Kirill Gerasimov (146,000). Kara spent the day impressing both us and the collected media and is leaving the day in good position to go much deeper. Both Kara and Kirill are coming back tomorrow at 1pm (a late start due to tonight's late hour).
Kara Scott (180,000)
The biggest movers of the day, by far, were the array of PokerStars players and qualifiers in the field. Though we won't have the exact number until we see the official list tomorrow, it looks like we will see around 100 PokerStars players in the day four field. Among them are some of the people you will see at the top of the chip leaderboard.
A young PokerStars player from Madrid, Spain. We met Font late yesterday when he wise-cracked: "If you're talking to me, then it must be going well, right?" It was. He was well chipped up. And now he has even more, so we'll soon be talking to him again.
A huge, hugely friendly Norwegian player who has had a chip stack to match his stature all day and tore up the feature table late on. There will be plenty more to hear from Eskeland.
Andrew Brokos -- One of the first players to be captured by our video blog team, HERE were Brokos's thoughts before this whole thing began. Now he's chipped up and surely in line for another interview.
For all the coverage from Bubble Day, see the links below.
Keeping everyone in sight
Moneymaker grinding after hours, no more today
Some things change, some things stay the same
From zero to hero?
The big, the little and the doubler
Math, money and then back to school
Bed, web and beyond
Level 14 update
Main Event goes hand-for-hand
Throughout the day PokerStars Video Blog team has been posting video blogs from the World Series on the brand new PokerStars.tv. Be sure to check out the latest videos to get the password for the PokerStars.tvfreeroll.
Here is the update from Day 3.
Watch WSOP 08: Update July 10th on PokerStars.tv
Selected chip counts from Day 3 can be found on our 2008 World Series Chip Counts page. When the tourney staff sends out the final list for Day 4, we'll post it on the same page.
For coverage from all the previous days, we've posted summaries below.
Photos (c) 2008 by Joe Giron & Stephen Beyer/IMPDI