2008 World Series: Hi honey, I'm home!
Wow. There was a chance that the action might have slowed today as dollar signs replaced pupils in the eyes of the remaining players. But it couldn't be further from the truth: we had torn through a quarter of the day's starting field by the time the first break came along. That's 483 down to 350 in two hours. And counting.
One of those to slide to the rail was Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, who got his last chips into the middle pre-flop behind pocket kings. They were no good against ace-queen when the bullet flopped.
Most of the damage to ElkY had actually been done earlier, when a middle set was no good against a rivered straight. Ho hum, such is poker. ElkY's World Series main event is done.
Faring better, much better, are Team PokerStars Pros Victor Ramdin and Hevad Khan, as well as sponsored player Kara Scott. Ramdin admits that he's not exactly in love with his table today and is finding it significantly tougher than those on which he prospered in days one and two. But that's fine. "I have a decent stack," Ramdin said. "Once again, my plan is just to get through the day. I'm taking it one day at a time. It's not a dream table, but I will adjust accordingly."
Hevad Khan, meanwhile, is quietly going about his business, and his business is winning a lot of pots and accumulating a lot of chips.
For three days now, Khan has been like a machine: shift right hand over to chip stack, pick up chips, bet, scoop chips. Repeat. The same process has now earned him more than half a million. That'll work.
PokerStars sponsored player Kara Scott lost a couple of huge pots late last night and was annoyed. But it's a measure of how well she's been playing here that bagging up 170,000 at the end of day three felt like a disappointment.
But Scott is back on the upward surge today and doubled up early in a kings versus jacks all-in pre-flop coup that pushed her over 300,000. This wonderful story continues.
Also hugely prosperous today is PokerStars player Sarkis Akopyan, from Moscow, Russia. He's in seat one on the feature table and has about 1,200,000 in chips. Yep, that's one-point-two-million. You read it correctly. Asked how he got those, he said simply: "It's a long story." No doubt we'll hear it one day.
Akopyan, who owns a soft drinks wholesale company back home, is here simply for fun and is reckons his casual approach to the game is the main reason he's been doing so well. "I don't focus on the money," Akopyan said. "I'm just enjoying myself. That's how come I've come so far."
Fair enough, Sarkis. But please excuse us if we continue to focus on that massive stack and the vast amount of money it might soon be earning.
As we have mentioned, players here are busting at an amazing rate. Unfortunately one of them was PokerStars qualifier Kory Mitchell, whose friend Meg e-mailed to tell us to keep tabs on him. According to Meg, she gave Mitchell a card protector before he came to Vegas that is keeping him from too many bad beats. He was almost the bubble boy last night before a miracle river gave him a full house, but he lived to fight on.
While I'm sorry to report that Mitchell's great run came to an end in 414th place today, good for $28,950, there is some good news for Meg. Our video blog team caught up with him this morning, so here he is in moving pictures:
Watch WSOP 08: Cory Mitchell Qualifier on PokerStars.tv
You can e-mail us at email@example.com if you know any of the PokerStars qualifiers still in the field. We'll do our best to keep up with them. We're fast runners.