As these vast tournament fields thin to the elite few dozen, fewer and fewer players remain unknown. We’ve been in the same room with all these folk for the best part of two weeks and putting names to faces becomes easier by the day.

Some faces, however, have always been recognisable. They belong to the handful of bone fide poker stars still in contention. Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin, for example, needs no introduction. As a winner on the WPT in 2006, Ramdin has had his fair share of television time.

PokerStars player Brandon Cantu is also in the WPT title winners’ club. And he also has a World Series bracelet for good measure. The latter of these he won back in June 2006 as a 25-year-old, taking $757,839 for first place in what was then the largest non main event field in WSOP history, a $1,000 buy-in hold ’em tournament. More recently, his WPT crown at the Bay 101 Shooting Stars in March of this year swelled his bankroll to the tune of $1 million.

Brandon Cantu.jpg
Brandon Cantu

Cantu’s poker resume shows four other World Series cashes, and another couple on the WPT, for the player from Vancouver, Washington. Nice going. No more introductions necessary.

As day five wound to a close, Cantu was sitting with more than three million in chips and in the top five players on the official leaderboard. As we will continue to repeat, there’s still a long way to go, but Cantu has both the chips and the class to outlast a great many more of the 85 players still in this thing.

The tournament staff have announced that we’ll again be finishing a level early tonight. Players continued to fall at an alarming rate and we got below the target of 90 players just 45 minutes into level 23. Tomorrow the target is to play down to 27, however long it takes, and then on Monday we’ll get it down to nine.

Cantu can do it, can’t he?

PokerStars player Alex Outhred spare five minutes of his valuable break time to talk to our video bloggers. Outhred is still in contention late in day five.

Watch WSOP 08: Alex Outhred Day 5 on


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