2008 World Series: Noah's arc and Alexander's aces

"This is the slowest structure in the history of the World Series of Poker," said Tournament Director Jack Effel. While certainly true (the WSOP added three levels in the early going), you wouldn't know it as fact by watching the carnage in the Amazon Room. Dealer cries of "All in and a call!" bounce off the rafters and dejected players limp for the door.

Who have we seen go? Ray Rahme had a horrible start to his day and saw it end early. Ben Kang looked dazed as he pushed on the exit door. Jan von Halle gave his wife, Katja Thater, a sweet kiss and walked away. He'd been getting a massage. His masseuse found his empty seat and stuck out her lower lip. "I've been here for three hours. I'm sad."

She is no sadder, however, than Jason Alexander. The short version of the story is this: The Summer of George is over. The longer version is a little less funny.

We pick up the action on the turn where the small blind bets out on a 4s3d9c5h board. A player in middle position pushed all in for a couple thousand more. Alexander, after much deliberation, called. The small blind then pushed all in for more than 20,000 more. Alexander, in agony, called. The small blind stood and sighed. "Man..." he said. He flipped up Ac2c for the wheel.

"You mother--" Alexander started, then stopped himself as he flipped up his aces. No deuce on the river and Alexander headed for the door, pausing only to tell his bad beat story to Ray Ramano and pay off his $1,000 last-longer.


Alexander, left, with his nemesis, right

Who else? None other than Team PokerStars Pro Katja Thater. Jacks fell to T7 when the board gave her opponent trip sevens. Thater shrugged and headed off to find her husband.


With all the bad news, we owe you a bit of good. Witness Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken. He has worked his stack up to more than 58,000. "The table is playing slow and I'm getting a lot of good hands," he explained.


Finally, meet Jay Columbo. He used to run card rooms in New York where many famous names came through. He qualified in the mega 226-seat satellite on PokerStars. In this video blog, he talks about the new breed of player, people willing to go broke on any hand when they think they have the best of it.

Watch WSOP 08: Jay Columbo on PokerStars.tv

Qualifier on PokerStars.tv