WSOP Main Event: Moneymaker II?

wsop2009_thn.gifWhen a PokerStars qualifier at the World Series Main Event tells you that he is an accountancy student, it is only to be expected that images begin appearing in your mind of that qualifier's face photoshopped onto Chris Moneymaker's body; specifically the moment when the qualified accountant from Tennessee won this title in 2003 and lit the torch-paper beneath the modern game.

Grayson Ramage, from Red Hook, NY, is today's PokerStars qualifier going great guns in the World Series. He only turned 21 in May this year, but sat himself down in a $650 online satellite on PokerStars, won one of 25 guaranteed seats, and took the trip to Vegas to play his first World Series in July. With fewer than 60 players now remaining in the Main Event, Ramage is still one of them. This story already sounds a lot like Moneymaker's, and here's hoping it can continue for some time yet.

Main Event_Day 7_IJG_8532_IMPDI.jpg

Grayson Ramage

"It's been fine," Ramage said during the recent 20-minute break, the first of day seven. He was referring specifically to his appearance on the secondary feature table, where he is playing for the television audience for the first time. His tournament so far has been a familiar up-and-down affair, particularly late last night, Ramage explained. He got involved in three big pots, losing two and winning one. He also confessed to one major suck-out so far, where he made his 8-6 beat an opponent's A-K all in pre-flop.

But Ramage seems entirely unruffled by the attention, the money and the excitement of the biggest tournament in the game. He casually strolled the halls of the Rio during his time away from the table, texting friends and grabbing a quick snack. He's already guaranteed more than $100,000 and a lot of attention when he returns to Bucknell University in the fall. There would be no accounting for how much that would be inflated if he could snag himself a berth among the New November Nine.

* * * * *

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THE HOUR

"My aces did not get cracked." -- Dennis Phillips, after a bizarre hand requiring a five-minute tournament pause and an official ruling from Jack Effel, and which could have cost Phillips a sizeable pot. After some mistaken out-of-turn action and a degree of confusion, Phillips limped and Jeff Duvall raised to 150,000, forcing both blinds to fold. Duvall had not seen Phillips' limp and mucked his hand, but the Team PokerStars Pro rightly made it known that he was still in the pot.

Main Event_Day 7_IJ3_1242_IMPDI.jpg

Jack Effel, left, rules on the disputed hand between Dennis Phillips (red hat) and Jeff Duvall (not pictured)


Effel ended up ruling that Phillips was owed Duvall's 150,000, the blinds and the antes, but Phillips might have wanted more. He was sitting with pocket aces.

* * * * *

EAVESDROP OF THE HOUR

"Do you have his contract ready?" -- Poker agent in hallway

* * * * *

HAND OF THE HOUR

And what a hand it is.

Looking at flop of A♣6♣2♣ flop, Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips got it all in. His opponent, Steve Sanders, took a good long while to call with...a set of aces. Trouble then for Phillips who held Q♣[Q].  Trouble, that is, until the river came the J♣. Sanders was eliminated on the next hand. Phillips, meanwhile, is near the 4 million mark in chips.

* * * * *

STATISTIC OF THE HOUR

Number of security guards being cautioned against any mistakes by a TV guy: 2

* * * * *

ENGLISHMAN ABROAD OF THE HOUR

Jeff Duvall, easy to spot in his Panama hat.

* * * * *

THREAT OF THE HOUR

"Step across that barrier and you're history." - TV crew member to media rep.

* * * * *

JOE GIRON'S PHOTO HOUR

Main Event_Day 7_IJG_8556_IMPDI.jpg

The media use any props they can get to catch sight of the action