2008 World Series: Which way will the mountain topple?

It looked for weeks as though it might never end, but now it almost has. The longest Main Event in World Series history--four months in the making--has finally come down to its last two players. Peter Eastgate of Denmark and Ivan Demidov of Russia are less than an hour away from taking the gloves off and going bare-knuckle for this momentous first prize, platinum bracelet, world title, and more than nine million bucks.


And this has gripped Las Vegas like the world heavyweight title fight it has indeed become. The players were introduced to the news media at the official weigh in at around lunchtime. Then as was the case yesterday, the lines outside the entrance to the Penn and Teller Theater grew steadily since mid afternoon, several hours before the scheduled start of play. And when the doors opened within the past 30 minutes, those who had waited patiently to take their part in this slice of history poured into the auditorium, where they found their seat somewhere in view of a small green table on which teetered a mountain of bundles of $100 bills.

Somewhere waiting in the wings are the contenders who will sit either side of that shaky mountain, hoping that it topples in their direction sometime in the coming few hours. Each of Demidov and Eastgate is already guaranteed $5,809,595, the second place prize. But only one can take the title of World Champion back to Europe, and see their name forever in the company of Moss, Brunson, Ungar, Chan, Hellmuth and all others.

With chip counts relatively close--Eastgate has 79,500,000 to Demidov's 57,725,000--and both players clearly deep in the zone, this has the makings of one hell of a heads up battle. Follow it all in words and pictures right here, the official blog of the PokerStars Million Dollar Men.

Watch WSOP Final Table: Chip Count Lvl. 37 HU (0:30) on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in World Series of Poker