2008 World Series: Phillips finds a reason to be cheerful, Rheem not so much

Rheem eliminated, Phillips doubles

There are a lot of trite phrases that come to mind when watching somebody lose with A-K vs A-Q. They are trite because it happens often enough to inspire such phrases. It doesn't happen so often, however, to take the sting away.

That's what's just happened to David "Chino" Rheem.

Rheem open-shoved with As-Kc and got a call from Peter Eastgate in the small blind. Eastgate held Ah-Qd. As always, everything looked fine until the flop: Qs-5s-7d. Rheem bricked twice and was eliminated in seventh place $1,7772,650.


This is what Rheem had to say about today's event before it began.

Watch WSOP Final Table: Chino's Feelings on PokerStars.tv

Meanwhile, Dennis Phillips is trucking again. In earlier action, he doubled up in a huge hand and, let's be honest, a huge outdraw against Ylon Schwartz. The hand played out like this: David Rheem raised to 1 million. Phillips called out of the small blind. Schwartz, sitting in the big blind, made it more than 4 million additional to play.

Rheem looked pained, but folded after thinking for a good minute. Action moved back to Phillips in the small blind. Maybe he put Schwartz on a squeeze play. Maybe he was frustrated by Schwartz's earlier big moves. He moved all-in and got a snap-call from Schwartz for more than 5 million more. Phillips tabled Ac-Qh. Schwartz flipped up two black queens.

The flop came down 4d-As-Jc and the crowd, heavily peppered with Phillips supporters, nearly brought down the Penn and Teller Theater roof. The 6s turn left Schwartz with one out, the Qd. Sicker things had happened today. This time, however, fate would not be so cruel. A red three fell and Phillips' fans screamed so loud, one man was seen plugging his ears to prevent hearing loss.

For the first time in many hours, Dennis Phillips smiled.


Phillips celebrates with his crowd while Schwartz takes in the beat

This has been a long run for the oldest man at this year's final table. He told us earlier how to survive.

Watch WSOP Final Table: Dennis's Top Tips On Stamina on PokerStars.tv

It's easy to forget when you're eyeing a $9 million first prize that all of the players who sat down today are already huge winners. Craig Marquis took close to a million for busting first; a disappointment for him on the one hand, but there were more than 6,700 players who would happily have swapped places. Kelly Kim, who busted next, doesn't seem to have forgotten though. During the recent break, he was out in the Rio meeting his public, wrapping his arms around the shoulders of spectators and posing in front of the World Series backdrops for photographs. And the biggest smile is without question on Kim's face.

It's a slightly different state of affairs for the seven still around the table, where game faces are most definitely in place. Every now and again, even before that double up, Phillips had been obliging his huge number of fans with a wave and a smile, prompting that horn to sound. And as you might expect, the place just erupted when he hit the ace against Schwartz.

For the big stacks--Ivan Demidov and Schwartz in particular--there's been no real time yet to let the guard down.

Both of those two Million Dollar Men are exceptionally friendly both on and off the table: Demidov belies the ice-cold Russian stereotype and is one of the most open guys you'll meet. Schwartz is always impeccably composed and relaxed, and even during that massive pot, which cut him right down to the pack, he merely allowed himself a slight grimace and counted out the chips.


No question, though, that was a massive hand for the dynamics of this final table. Schwartz will need all that composure, while Phillips will try to ride the wave. This is really hotting up.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in World Series of Poker