2008 World Series: Sleep when you're dead
As unlikely as it seemed more than two weeks ago, we are getting very close to the end. This morning was the final walk for us reporters from the Palms Hotel, where the PokerStars qualifiers and players have stayed for the past weeks, through the neighbouring Gold Coast casino and into the Rio, where all the action has been going down.
It's fair to assume that the 27 players still in the World Series main event travelled in taxis, at least, maybe limousines or helicopters. But when the curtain comes down at the end of play today, all but nine will have returned to their homes for good.
Don't hold your breath. Like a child refusing to go to sleep on their birthday, clinging on to every last minute as the centre of attention, these players are going to try all they can to earn a spot on November's final table. There's not going to be a single chip surrendered without the mother of all battles. Whole stacks are going to need armies to wrestle out of players' grasps.
The chip leader, PokerStars player Dennis Phillips, has close to 12 million in his stack. We'll be starting today with 90 minutes of level 28 still to play, where the blinds are 40,000-80,000 (10,000 ante). So there is still an awful lot of action in this one. A finish time of about 5am has been touted already on media row, and no one is taking the under.
PokerStars player Dennis Phillips
Among those closing in on either the joy of massive success, or the temporary crippling misery of elimination, are PokerStars players Peter Eastgate (9,325,000), David Rheem (8,280,000), Brandon Cantu (4,740,000), Albert Kim (3,675,000), Ylon Schwartz (3,655,000) and Phi Nguyen (1,020,000) as well as PokerStars qualifiers Chris Klodnicki (6,245,000), Darus Suharto (4,510,000), Owen Crowe (3,800,000) and Tim Loeke (2,280,000).
That misery will only be temporary because these players are all already massively successful. There were 6,844 players at the start, so their achievement is spectacular. The next player out gets $257,334 and it increases dramatically as they get fewer and fewer. The three players finishing in 12th-10th will have $591,869 as consolation for missing out on the final table.
Tournament Director Jack Effel has instructed the cards hit the air. They're playing, we're watching, we hope and trust you will remain reading until this is done. Give yourself a nice 17-hour break.
Last night was another late one, and we can't expect everyone to have stayed up until the very end, especially on a Sunday. But why not take a look back at the day six action courtesy of our video blog team.
Watch WSOP 08: Day 6 Update on PokerStars.tv
More video blogs will be appearing on PokerStars.tv today, and you'll also find an archive of previous action, along with details of a daily freeroll tournament celebrating the launch of the new video platform.