And in a sudden flurry of activity, we are down to our two players who will contest tomorrow’s heads-up dual for the 2008 World Series of Poker. First things first, let’s name them. They are Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov; Denmark versus Russia for the big, big bucks in Vegas.


How it happened will take a little longer. We lost two players–Ylon Schwartz and Dennis Phillips–in less than an hour. We were writing as we went, so here’s what was on the notebooks about those two bust-outs, starting with Schwartz, who went in third.

It went like this: In an ideal world, there would have been a post on this blog sometime tomorrow night entitled “I played $3-$6 limit poker with the World Champion”. It would be referring to this story from the early days of this year’s World Series Main Event, where I remembered my first meeting with Ylon Schwartz, killing time before his day one by playing some gentle hold ’em in the Golden Nugget.

The ideal post won’t be written, because Schwartz is out of this tournament, the latest casualty to fall victim to Peter Eastgate. The Danish player had Schwartz well covered at the start of a hand that played out like this: Eastgate raised pre-flop to the now-standard 1.5 million. Schwartz called from the small blind. Both players checked a flop of 2s-Kh-8h and after the Kd came on the turn, Schwartz checked but Eastgate bet another 1.75 million. Schwartz called.

The river was the 5d and again Schwartz checked, Eastgate bet 4.6 million and Schwartz moved all in, for 12.5 million more. Eastgate called and tabled pocket fives, hitting his full house on the river and beating Schwartz’s A-10, for ace high.


In his post-game interview, Schwartz was remarkably upbeat about his World Series experience, looking at close to four million dollars and a huge party with his friends in South America. He made reference to the hand much earlier today, when Dennis Phillips’ A-Q beat Schwartz’s Q-Q, and he also said that his elimination hand was pretty unlucky too. He reckoned, not unreasonably, that Eastgate would have had to let his small pocket pair go had he not rivered the full boat.

But there was soon a beer in his hand; there was instantly a smile on his face; and there was one happy man heading back to Brooklyn. Whenever he gets there.

We then found ourselves writing about the “three players remaining” a number including Phillips, the hero from St Louis, Missouri, who has kitted out half the Rio in his trademark red hat and white shirt. But Phillips couldn’t quite bring it home and he was vanquished by Eastgate again, setting our final, final table.

After Demidov folded his button, Eastgate raised from the small blind, called in the big by Phillips. The flop came Jc-4d-3s and Eastgate led out for 1.5 million. Phillips um-ed and er-ed for a while before moving all in over the top, his entire stack worth 15,275,000 sliding into the middle. But it didn’t even get there before Eastgate called and flipped pocket threes for the flopped set. Phillips showed 10-9 off-suit. “I couldn’t keep on folding!” he declared.


He was dead to two running straight cards, but this time there were no miracles. Phillips was as gracious in defeat as he had been on his charge to the final table chip lead. He has played his heart out over all those days to get here, and there won’t be a sinlge disappointed fan among his many hundreds. That’ll be another spectacular party. “Now I can golf tomorrow,” he said.

While we put together all the admin at the end of the day, not least a full wrap up from the final table, which will appear here shortly, why not take a look at some of our peerless video blogs. Here Peter Eastgate discusses Ylon Schwartz, the player he recently defeated. And below, there’s some more about Dennis Phillips, our third placed finisher.

Watch WSOP Final Table: Peter on Ylon on

Watch WSOP Final Table: Dennis Phillips Player Profile on


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