2008 World Series: Level 14 update

With 733 players remaining in the 2008 World Series Main Event, we are less than 100 players from the money. Below is a recap of the previous hour.

The tournament director told us just before the break that play will go hand-for-hand with nine players remaining. So, when 675 players are left in the field, play will slow down to a near stand-still as every one of the tables plays one hand and waits for everybody else to finish. The process could take hours.

  • The words we had all been expecting left the tournament director's mouth at around 8pm Las Vegas time, somewhere in the middle of level 13. To paraphrase: no media can be stationary in the tournament area; sweating individual players is out of the question; be at the sides or on the move. There are few complaints -- these players are closing in either on doubling their $10,000 or going home with nothing -- and no one likes the press pack breathing down their neck.

    What it means is that our view of the tournament is not too dissimilar to yours. We're cast to the sides and can see a sea of baseball caps, headphones and crazy hairstyles, beneath which people are doing something with cards and chips. To use our favourite descriptive headline: "Poker players are playing poker". Much else is a matter for the imagination.

    From one end of the tournament area, I could just about spot the very top of a pink baseball cap with distinctive headphones stretched over it. I could recognise that hat at a 100 yards, which is just as well, because that's how far away Team PokerStars Pro's Vanessa Rousso was sitting when I noticed her.

    Vanessa Rousso

    Dashing past her -- "on the move" of course -- I counted 1 stack of yellow chips (1,000 each), 1x light blue (100), 1x dark blue (500) and only about 1/4 of orange (worth 5,000). That counts up to about 80,000 total.

    At the other end of the spectrum, PokerStars player Alberto Font, from Madrid, Spain, is sitting pretty.

    Alberto Font

    This one took several walk-bys to count, but it looked to me like 2 1/2 towers of orange, 16 yellows, 14 1/2 dark blue and 11 light blue (100). That adds up to a whole lot, somewhere more than 700,000 and the probable chip lead. He's cruising into the money; Vanessa is hoping to squeak in.

  • Looking good to make the money is PokerStars Macau qualifier Steve Chung. He entered the satellite in Macau on the urging of a friend. Having never played live poker before, it was a long bet that he would make the money here. With half of Level 14 left and fewer the 700 players, Chung is about to have one heckuva story to tell.

  • PokerStars-sponsored played Jon Friedberg doubled up and is has nearly 500,000 chips.

  • It’s a different room now, with early frivolity long gone to be replaced by a quieter din, the din of people under pressure. In the middle of it all sits PokerStars qualifier Chris Dyer who, as we reported earlier, was the short stack going into the day. Remarkably, three full levels and a dinner break later he’s still here, albeit with 20K. But with still another 50 souls to go before we reach the hand-for-hand stage it would always be the tallest of orders for the Tennessee man.

    He moved in a half hour after the dinner break, looking over at me for one last salute of the kind brothers in arms might give ahead of a cavalry charge towards certain death.

    It had certainly been heroic stand but at last Chris’s time had come. One last all-in, only delayed by two big stacks further along trying to decide who would isolate whom, before the end of an entertaining footnote to this whole affair. Ace-king for Chris, a fighting chance, king-queen for his opponent Alexander Borteh, who would drain Chris luck by catching a queen on the turn and a king on the river. But hey, Chris had got his chips in ahead.

    He seemed fairly pragmatic, no dramatics, no top of the voice cry for “one time”, oft heard in these parts by the desperate. Instead, just a gracious handshake for his opponent before heading back to the hotel for some well earned rest.

    “I got 25 text messages in about five minutes when my friends saw the blog. Thanks.”

    It was our pleasure.

  • PokerStars sponsored player Kara Scott has had a different kind of day. Earlier I watched as she raised, was then re-raised, before shoving all-in to take an opponent off his hand, good to move her up the chip list by about 100,000.

    Kara Scott

    Now, sitting barefoot, with her legs crossed on the chair, she pushes another player off his hand on a flop of 4s2sJh, another re-raise good for a pot worth 50K. Another one followed, a re-raise only this time there was no action. A shame because this time she had aces. Still good though for a stack of 350,000 for Kara.

    With more on Kara Scott, here's an interview from our video blog team.

    Watch WSOP 08: Kara Scott Top of Day 3 on PokerStars.tv

  • Brad Willis
    @BradWillis in World Series of Poker