WSOP Main Event: Keep moving... on and off the tables

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It's not a bad way to start you're day, knowing you already made nearly $30,000 before you got out of bed, and if you managed to avoid spending that much last night after the early finish, you're still in a good place mentally, if not physically.

Team PokerStars Pro Joe Hachem arrived just as play was about to start. He passed Antonio Esfandiari for a quick hug, nodding hello to press guy and then greeted Kara Scott with a quick "good luck" peck on the cheek before taking his seat.

"It was a good day," said Hachem at the close yesterday "I had my ups and downs, I finished with double with what I started with and I'm glad to have an early night."

He looked relaxed then and looks relaxed now nearly a level in despite an early move to Thierry van den Berg's table. Within minutes of the start the all-ins were popping up everywhere with seven gone, according to the clock, within 20 minutes; each player's result radio'd in to a central desk before they were personally escorted away for processing and the pay out desk.

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Dennis Phillips,

But that's the last place you want to see today. Among those intending to keep as far away from that place as possible are Dennis Phillips and Benjamin Kang. The two Team PokerStars Pros share a table but the prognosis for each couldn't have been more different. While both arrived looking to build on their starting stacks only Phillips has pulled it off so far while Kang has toiled to avoid elimination.

"I've doubled up" said Phillips, wrapping up his first level. "It came over three or four different hands, one for about 200,000 against the guy in seat three (Joseph Cada). We both had heart flushes and caught on the river. Mine was bigger."

Main Event_Day 5_IJG_7696_IMPDI.jpgBen Kang

Phillips' stack is now up to 825,000, a figure Team PokerStars Germany's Kang would do a lot for right now. Shorts on, sitting on his hands to keep warm against the air conditioning and sitting forward in his chair, he has the look of a man waiting for an opportunity and convinced it's about to come.

But having arrived with 250,000 he'd run face first into a full house which had taken him down to a meagre looking 80,000 almost from the start. But then suddenly things looked up, and then down again, for a single hand anyway...

All-in with K♣J♦ against the pocket tens of Dennis Phillips, Kang caught a jack on the river, doubling him up to keep him alive. He immediately celebrated this first bit of luck with a pal on the rail, only to be given a penalty for excessive celebration.

"What am I supposed to do?" asked Kang, arguing that it was hard to sit still when he just hit a jack for his tournament life. No dice from the stone faced official, so Kang endured a one hand penalty, bouncing from one foot to another a few feet away waiting to get back in. He's back up to 170,000. It remains a big ask for the German but he's still alive.


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DOUBLE-UPS OF THE HOUR
GOOD LOSERS OF THE HOUR
OUTDRAWS OF THE HOUR
PHILLIPS OF THE HOUR

Almost simultaneously on neighbouring tables, Scott Bausmstein and Benjamin Kang (as described above) were all in, against Lou Diamond Phillips and Dennis Phillips respectively. Both all in players were in pretty poor shape: Bausmstein had A♥5♥ against LDP's A♣K♦, while Kang had K♣J♦ against Dennis Phillips' [10h][10d]. On the first table, the board ran out 3♥2♦[10d]6♦4♠ making a straight on the river for the dominated hand. Kang spiked a jack for his outdraw. Lou Diamond Phillips muttered, "Hell of a catch, brother. Hell of a catch," and then hammed it up for the cameras, mimicking a man who had been shot. Dennis Phillips said, with tongue firmly in cheek: "By the way, he won," as Kang went bounding away from the table.

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QUOTE OF THE HOUR

"Can we get this over with?" -- a player holding ace-jack all-in pre-flop versus ace-queen while waiting for ESPN cameras to get ready to record his bust-out.

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STATISTICS OF THE HOUR

Massage therapists at massage therapist stand: 5
Customers at massage therapist stand: 0
Massage therapists receiving massage from other massage therapists: 1

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ELKY OF THE HOUR

At the break after the first level, ElkY is down to about 650,000.

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AFFLECK OF THE HOUR

How do make sure your chip lead doesn't dwindle on a day when chip stacks are disappearing faster than the beef jerky. You do what PokerStars qualifier Matt Affleck just did.

In a four-way pot for 18,000 apiece, the flop came down 9♣6♠4♦ and a player with a little more than 100,000 in his stack pushed all-in . One player folded and Affleck raised it to 500,000 total, forcing Fabian Ortiz out of the pot.

The all-in player showed Q♦4♥, no good against Affleck's 6♦7♦. That's another stack in Affleck's tower.

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TOURNAMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE HOUR

"The players who just busted on table 18 seat four... you forgot your shoes."

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JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR

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Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken catching up on some light reading

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VIDEO BLOG OF THE HOUR


Watch WSOP 2009: Day 4 Wrap on PokerStars.tv