WSOP Main Event: Where dreams die and dreams are made
We were 64 and we dreamed of being 27. And true to its billing as the city where dreams are made, Las Vegas brought us to our target in record-quick time, with nary a nip nor tuck nor surgeon's scalpel in sight.
The field of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker was trimmed today from 64 hopefuls to the final 27. It took a little less than four levels of play, and as ever the departed will be sorely missed.
Dennis Phillips was arguably the highest-profile casualty of the savagery. A week ago, few would have given the man from St Louis any chance of repeating his spectacular run to last year's final table. But when he departed today, the victim of an ace-king versus ace-king accident (flushed), a bubble of genuine expectation burst. It really had seemed as though Phillips would pull off that miracle back-to-back final tables, and 45th place for $180,000 seemed like a disappointment.
Phillips proved this week, more emphatically even that last year's performance, that he is a man with real talent. There'll be plenty more of him to come -- and not just in the form of the army of clones that trails him across the globe.
We also bade farewell to the PokerStars qualifiers Grayson Ramage, Adam York, Manuel Labandeira, Mark Ader and George Saca, as well as the former World Series Player of the Year Tom Schneider.
Each took more than $100,000, some closer to a quarter of a million bucks. That's a good deal of consolation from six days of poker, but it's going to take some time for them to see it that way. Leave them be for now.
Whoop it up, though, for the following: Ben Lamb, Nick Maimone, Jonathan Tamayo, James Akenhead and Andrew Lichtenberger, all of whom have followed the well-trodden path from the PokerStars online tables to the deep, deep stages of the World Series Main Event.
Tomorrow, we will follow them all as they attempt to book their spot in the New November Nine. It's the final push to the final table in the Amazon Room tomorrow. Join us again.
In the meantime, take a look back at all today's coverage with any of the following links.
If you'd like to take a look back at how the deep-running PokerStars players fared today, please feel free to check out our 2009 WSOP winners page.
Unlike most of the foreign media who have abandoned their post upon the elimination of the last person from their country, our odd-speaking PokerStars bloggers are staying until the bitter, bitter end. Expand your horizons and read some WSOP coverage in Swedish, Spanish, German and Dutch.
Of course, we always tip our hats to our friends at PokerStars.tv who work with precision and tirelessly (until they get tired) on the best video blogs at the WSOP.
All photos © Joe Giron/IMPDI Worldwide