2008 World Series: Short-stacked and smiling, but gone

Kelly Kim eliminated in 8th place

There were people--smart people--who believed Kelly Kim and his stack of 2 million starting chips wouldn't last ten hands today. Those people--those smart people--were wrong. Kim's day lasted five hours. What's more, he outlasted one more player than expected. Finally, though, in the wake of Craig Marquis' exit, Kim barely had enough chips to survive the day. He got all his chips in against three players, a good enough spot by any form of accounting. He held pocket fours.

The last thing he wanted to see was people betting into the dry side pot. It happened, though, On a flop of 9h-6s-2s, Ivan Demidov bet out and got called by Darus Suharto. Demidov and Suharto checked down the rest of the board, Ah and Qd.

Suharto ended up showing down 9c-Tc for the win and the side pot. Kim was elminated in eighth place earning $1,288,217, $300,000 more than he would've made for busting out in ninth. Suharto, meanwhile, quietly padded his growing stack - although he wouldn't be padding it for too long.

Some massive action took place late in the hour, with Suharto and Demidov again getting heavily involved, with the Russian's strong arm taking this one and costing Suharto 12 million of his 16 million stack. It went like this: Suharto raised from the cut off and Demidov re-raised to 3.3 million from the small blind. Suharto called and they saw a flop of 9s-7c-Kc. Demidov bet 3.125 million and Suharto tanked for ages before re-raising another 5 million. That seemed to anger the Russian and he moved all in, which asked Suharto the question for his tournament life. It didn't seem as though he could fold, but fold he did and that was that.

Just moments ago, short-stacked Suharto moved all-in from the blinds for a little more than one million chips. He had Ac-Kh. Ylon Schwartz, in an attempt to moved the event to a six-handed affair made the call. it was Ac-Kh for Suharto and Qc-8s for Schwartz. The flop, 2h-6s-Qh, made it look grim for Suharto, but a running ace and king doubled him up right before the break.

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Earlier we showed you part one of a Suharto interview with our video blog team. Here's Part 2.


Watch WSOP Final Table: Darus Suharto Player Profile P2 on PokerStars.tv


David "Chino" Rheem, who managed to double up through the chipped up Russian. They got it all in pre-flop, with Rheem holding Ac-Kh and Demidov finding 9s-9h. The flop was favorable only to Demidov - 7h-8s-5d. But the turn was the Kd and then Demidov missed all his redraw outs on the river.

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J.C Tran celebrates with Rheem


Rheem had been left short because of the early-level action, where after the quick-fire departures of Marquis and Kim, the remaining seven took stock and slowed down, realizing that really only Rheem was in any danger--and even he was not that low at that time. He certainly had enough to raise 1 million from under the gun, then lay it down when Suharto defended his big blind in the most emphatic way possible, with an all in move, which comfortably covered Rheem. Rheem didn't look like he wanted to fold--he had committed a quarter of his stack--but possibly had nothing better than a small pair, or even suited connectors, and figured Suharto had much more.

In other action from the hour, Dennis Phillips' cheering section found their voice as their man took two pots pre-flop, pinching the blinds and antes. They're now at a sizeable 200,000-400,000 with a 50,000 ante and so are well worth pilfering. Looking at the blinds is always an interesting way to gague a tournament's progression. If you remember that at the start of this tournament, when there were still 6,700 hopefuls, each player got a starting stack of 20,000 in chips for their $10,000 real money. So the small blind now represents 10 of those original starters, the big blind is the equivalent of 20 plucky competitors, and even the ante accounts for a couple of them. That's progress.

Players are now on a 20-minute break.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker