2008 World Series: The big, the little, and the doubler

In the first two levels today, the stories of the 150 or so PokerStars players left in the field have run the gamut, from wild success, to desperate clinging, to key double ups.

A New Yorker by birth, resident of L.A. by choice, Alex Outhred has been around poker much longer than he has been big name in it.

When the poker boom hit, Outhred found himself working in production at the World Poker Tour. Behind the scenes, he logged countless hours of poker viewing, watching some of the top pros in the world play tournaments.

“As a byproduct of that job, I learned a lot about playing poker,” he said.

He did more than learn a lot. He turned what he learned into a six-figure payday. A fourth place finish at the WPT event at Mandalay Bay cemented his spot on the poker radar.

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For the past two years, Outhred has been teaching people how to play the World Series as an instructor for the WSOP academy.

Now, Outhred is putting on a clinic of his own.

“Overall, it’s been absolutely fantastic,” he said.

He came into Day 3 as one of the chip leaders, and despite a few ups and downs today, looks good to go deep.

“It’s like a nice pat on the back for all the work from Day 2.”

Known as “bigbadlex” on PokerStars, Outhred jokes he probably holds the world record for number of Sit&Go bubbles. As we creep toward the money here today, there seems little chance of an Outhred bubble.

“You’ve got to be proud, but not cocky,” he said. ““There’s a lot of poker left. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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Across the room, however, sits PokerStars Player Florian Schramm from Germany. With only 50,000 in chips (and sitting under the hot TV lights) Schramm stands a very good chance at bubbling if he doesn’t find a double-up very soon.

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Schramm walked in today to find a note telling him to go to the ESPN feature stage.

“Terrible,” he said. Minutes later, he found himself sitting with Johnny Chan.

He’s not had it easy in the first two days. “My tournament has been tough so far. Now’s let’s go for the cash."

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In other news, Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan has found a key double-up in the early going, getting A7 all in against 22 on a 446 board. The river paired the six and Hevad is still in the running with 900 players remaining.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker