2008 World Series: Final table set to begin

It's a special kind of day in Las Vegas.

Ignore the fact is rained in the desert this morning, the two Madonna concerts, the Professional Bull Riding tournament in town, and the giant air show that flew over Las Vegas last night. Those kinds of things happen, if irregularly, at least often enough that one doesn't consider the end of the world when it all happens.

No, there are several other things that make today something special and they are all taking the stage at the final table of the World Series as we speak.

Consider there are three hundred people in the Rio who are dressed exactly like World Series chip leader and PokerStars player Dennis Phillips. They wear the same shirt and St. Louis Cardinals cap. Many of them carry hand fans bearing the face of their fearless leader. They have made the Penn and Teller Theater look like a game at Busch Stadium.


Phillips, if the man with the most fan support, is not the only one here. PokerStars players Darus Suharto, Peter Eastgate, Ivan Demidov, and Ylon Schwartz are heere to battle it out for the $9 million first prize and World Series of Poker bracelet.


This arena is set up like a major sporting event if it were held in a Broadway theater. Giant monitors hang on either side of the room, media sit in three different press boxes, and the final table sits on a stage at the front of the room. It is unlike any World Series of Poker final table ever before. Today we will play from nine players down to the final two. Those players will return tomorrow night to crown a champion.

The only thing that won't be different is the poker. The cards, the chips, and the odds are the same.The poker will play out here as it would at Binion's or any back room poker game.

We are going to witness something special today. That much is sure.

For a look at the PokerStars players among the final nine, check out any of the links below.

Dennis Phillips
Darus Suharto
Ylon Schwartz
Peter Eastgate
Ivan Demidov

If reading isn't your thing, check out the introductions from Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan.

Watch WSOP Final Table: Hevad Introduces The PokerStars 6 P1 on PokerStars.tv

Watch WSOP Final Table: Hevad Introduces The PokerStars 6 P2 on PokerStars.tv

Due to the vagaries of the media rules here, we are limited to one post per hour. You will find each post posted here on the quarter hour from now until we reach heads up play tonight.

Cards go in the air in mere minutes. 2007 champion Jerry Yang is greeting the crowd.

"Hello, poker players!" he yelled. "Today is a great day!"

We'll be back in one hour with the first action of the final table.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker