2008 World Series: The Denmark Syndicate
Sixteen players remain in the 2008 World Series. Those players represent four countries: The United States, Canada, Russia, and Denmark. Of the final players, two are Danes, and both are flying the PokerStars banner.
Gert Andersen of Herning, Denmark is a finance controller and seeing the the big money of a major tournament.
"It's very exciting," he said. "It's the first time I've gone this deep in such a big event. Many people are following me now. It's reallly funny."
Andersen is of the opinion that poker has plateued in his home country, but he thinks there's a good chance all of that could change.
"If we get a huge finish, it will boom again," he said during a break today.
You'll notice Andersen used the word "we." That's because just feet away from him sits Peter Eastgate, the other remaining Dane in the Series.
Eastgate has been playing poker for about three years. In his first year, he broke even.
"Then I went on a heater," he said. Since then, he has been playing as a pro cash game player.
Eastgate doesn't doubt poker's potential at home, saying, "Poker is huge in Denmark."
He is not ready, however, to talk about what a win might mean for him or the game in his country.
"I'm pretty calm about it," he said. "I'm not thinking of the final table until I make it."
He now has a better chance. A few minutes ago, Eastgate knocked out Tiffany Michelle, his set of aces besting her top-pair jack-kicker. He sits third in chips in the final level before the dinner break.
PokerStars player Jason Riesenberg was eliminated in 18th place, flopping three queens with his queen-eight, but finding himself trapped in the hand when Dean Hamrick turned a full house with his pocket nines. "I was trying to mix it up a little bit," Riesenberg explained, referring to his speculative pre-flop raise. "I flopped two queens and I didn't know what he had but still thought he was behind. The turn was a nine and he had pocket nines."
Hamrick shoved on the river, by which point Riesenberg was pot committed. "I'll replay it over tonight, but I'm pretty sure I had to call," Riesenberg said.
As a poker professional for just more than a year, Riesenberg intends to add his $333,534 to his bankroll and carry on playing, adding: "If there's anything my family needs, I'll take care of them."
And he admitted that although he's disappointed to be out, he'll look back fondly on his main event run. "I'm happy. Truthfully, I'll never get this far again in the main event. You have to take the opportunities when you get them."
In other news, moments ago PokerStars player David "Chino" Rheem got all-in with AQ versus Chris Klodnicki's pocket sixes. Rheem flopped his queen to double up.