2008 World Series: PLO running and HORSE about to bolt

It may be Sunday morning, but for a good number of people I’m not sure their Saturday night is over. It’s early in the Amazon Room but it’s a hive of activity, with cash games and satellites in full flow. The main features of the day haven’t even started yet.

But as far as days go at the World Series, this one should be electric. Two final tables, both featuring players known well to the PokerStars family, and the start of another of the prestige events of the Series – the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha.

Before that it’s worth recapping on what happened on a remarkable day yesterday, and topping that list must be the exploits of a certain Barry Greenstein.

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Barry Greenstein

After four days of $50,000 HORSE action, five different poker variatiosn again and again until 148 players became nine, the Team PokerStars Pro reached the hard fought final table for the second year in a row. In addition, as Brad Willis reported late last night, he now becomes the only player to have cashed in each of the three years it’s been played.

Last year it was seventh for Greenstein, then worth $259,296. Today he starts third in chips in a final that will eclipse anything that's happened already at this year's World Series and possibly any to come. Third time lucky for Barry?

It was close to being a similar story for fellow Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu. Kid Poker had survived the slings and arrows of fortunes and outrage on day one, clawing back into contention after a rough start, before sitting among the leaders for much of the week.

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Daniel Negreanu

But yesterday the momentum couldn't quite take him far enough. “I’m not worried” he said after a pot gone bad, “I’m just annoyed."

The HORSE adventure ended for him in the early hours of this morning, a 13th place finish and $142,000. To a player of Daniel’s calibre this may be 12 short of success, but it was clear to anyone else’s standards that there was little fault his performance in perhaps the toughest poker game in the world.

Spare a world of congratulation also for Supernova Elite Joe “bigjoe2003” Michael who finished one place behind Daniel. Joe was he of FPP buy-in fame, spinning his 1.9 million points (that's a lot of hats) into a $142,000 payday.

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So to the final, due to begin at 3pm, which will look like this...

Seat 1: Matt Glantz -- 1,445,000
Seat 2: Huck Seed -- 1,200,000
Seat 3: Patrick Bueno -- 695,000
Seat 4: Lyle Berman -- 1,430,000
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen -- 3,535,000
Seat 6: Barry Greenstein -- 1,955,000
Seat 7: Michael DeMichele -- 905,000
Seat 8: Erick Lindgren -- 3,680,000

I’ve lost count of how many times the Kirill ‘Deauville story’ has been referenced this week – or any week that the Russian PokerStars sponsored player has been in action. It's a great story but, retold, it neglected to mention that this was not a one off and that Kirill holds an enviable tournament record.

Well perhaps now a new page can be turned over, a new chapter to follow that short- stacked master class in France. I suggest we call this chapter the “Kirill $2k Hold’em story”.

Stuck as he was with a doomed looking 12,500 stack with 70 players left yesterday evening, Kirill looked likely to record another well-earned WSOP cash and call it a night. But by midnight though he was sat with close to half a million, having doubled up three times, tripled up once, and got in with the best of it when required.

A few hours later, as media row packed up to steal a few hours sleep, Kiril was one of 15 players remaining. Could he really pull it off? We’d have to wait until morning to find out.

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Kirill Gerasimov

Now, after watching him perform this magic show for a few hours last night, I’m hardly surprised to report that Kirill will line up in that $2K No Limit Hold’em final today, third in chips. It almost doesn't matter how it turns out. Third place is certainly a good footing, but by my reckoning it’ll take Kiril a few lost pots to really take over as favourite.

All that doesn’t even touch upon the gem the Series schedulers have conjured up for us today. The $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event is likely to attract a field studded with the game’s elite, being another tournament created a few years ago, designed to put the wow-factor, and pain, back into the buy-in.

PLO was typically the game dominated by British players (it being the game of choice in the UK) but is now as worldly as the Series itself. It all kicks off at noon and we’re sure to have an indication of the runners and riders shortly. From my vantage point right now there are crowds of players matched two-to-one by railbirds happy to find a gap, dig in, spot a few TV faces and watch some world class poker.

In fact, world class poker is all we can offer today.

Last night as he bagged up chips, Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein joked that the PLO “would be a good tournament to multi-table.” I haven’t seen him yet. But if all goes to plan his story will be written in another part of the room later tonight.

Good luck to Barry, Kirill and all of Team PokerStars Pro ahead of another big day.

Stop Press: Well I assumed it was a joke. Showing the kind of thirst for action that would put most others to shame, not only is Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein playing in the Pot Limit Omaha event but so too is Kirill Gerasimov. Both are obligated to pop over to their respective final tables later this afternoon which gives Barry three hours to ramp up a stack and Kirill just two.