WSOP Main Event: In the money the hard way


"With 648 players remaining you're all in the money!" Jack Effel just made a lot of people very happy and $21,365 richer.

After one hour 50 minutes, 13 hands and a lot of waiting around, Kia Hamadani had the dubious bubble boy honour forced upon him to the delight of the cheering crowds. It's the cruellest role in the poker calendar and it's placed squarely on the shoulder of one man. It's not hard to feel pity for him but it's too big a burden not to provide some level of consolation and Hamadani will be bought into the event next year courtesy of the tournament sponsor.

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The boom men of the Amazon Room

Hamadani "pushed" all-in for his last 500, so perhaps it's more accurate to say he "dropped" it all in. That 500 was a just single ante and he'd been hanging on by his finger nails for a while. Reed Hansel raised to 17,000 and both blinds called for a Q♥6♥Q♦ flop. Hensel made it 20,000 to play, forcing out the blinds. Hensel showed 9♦2♦ to Hamadani's 4♣3♥. Hensel made a pair on the 9♦ turn and trips on the 9♠ river. It was all over.

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Kia Hamadani

Hamadani had almost dodged the bullet. Two hands earlier David Russell had moved in and was called, to the delight of the field. That was until it was revealed he held aces and was up against ace-jack. Almost at once players began chanting "jack, jack, jack..."

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Public enemy number one, for one hand anyway - David Russell

"That's so wrong..." said one Tournament Official with a crazy grin on his face.
Jack-Eight-Five on the flop.

"Ooooh. He's got outs" someone said, but this would have been the cruellest of endings for a man who did nothing to hurt anyone, and the decency gods allowed the double up, Russell getting a "please forgive us" round of applause in the process.

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Now we play on with 39 minutes left on the level after tournament officials adding three minutes to the clock for each of the 13 hands played.

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A heft rail waited nearly two hours to see the bubble boy

Jeff Pollack introduced bubble boy Hamadani to a roar of honourable applause.

"Congratulations" he'd said, before adding that he knew he'd rather be back at the table. But we now know the name of one players guaranteed to be back again in 2010. You've got to love a happy ending.

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While ElkY is still almost certainly the WSOP chip leader, it's nearly impossible to get a decent read on his stack. Our best estimate is somewhere between 1.7 and 1.8 million. He still has his entire table covered, but he does have somebody ready to play back at him. Dutch PokerStars qualifer Bjorn Van Bavel has around 400,000. As our Dutch blogger Steven Smith put it, "Elky is raising 60% of the hands, Bjorn is raising 30% of the hands, and the rest of the table makes up the other 10%."

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Bryan Swift of Vermont, Illinois. He became a fan of Dennis Phillips after last year's World Series. This year, Swift won a home game tournament series to get his buy-in here. He came dressed as a Dennis Phillips clone and, remarkably, got seated with his hero on Day 3. Today, Swift made the money. Goooooooooooo Clones

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Peter Eastgate
Dennis Phillips
Noah Boeken
Joe Hachem
Thierry Van Den Berg
Benjamin Kang

Plus bonus celebrity casher: Lou Diamond Phillips.

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Ron Wiesel