The day is finally here! After months off since the tenth place finisher was eliminated, the November Nine have returned to Las Vegas and the Rio to begin play at the 2008 World Series of Poker’s Main Event final table to win the coveted Main Event championship bracelet and the over $9,000,000 first place prize. Play resumes today, Sunday November 9, 2008 at 10 am PST, and you can listen to complete coverage of the Main Event final table with real time stats here thanks to the World Series of Poker and Bluff Magazine.
You know, The Blot was really against this long break when I first heard about it, but I think it’s done wonders for the sport of poker. In fact, the Main Event has gotten more media coverage the past few months than it has the past two years, ESPN’s poker coverage has gotten a significant bump in ratings, and the November Nine (the title ESPN and the WSOP have given the members of the Main Event’s final table) have become household names to poker fans around the world. This last item is the most significant because now fans of poker actually know the participants of the final table, a problem that has plagued the “sport” the past few years.
I’ve been going back and forth on picking a favorite to win the Main Event, and I’m no closer today than I was a few months ago. At first I was for sure going with the ultra aggressive David “Chino” Rheem, the most experienced and well known pro in the group. But, when Russian poker pro Ivan Demidov finished third at the WSOP Europe’s Main Event a few weeks ago I thought I’d be a fool not to choose Demidov. My only concern is that every single hand of the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event was broadcast on ESPN 360 for the world to see, so now I think he might actually be at a disadvantage for doing so well at the WSOPE.
If I wasn’t so sure being the chip leader going into the final table means you won’t win the Main Event I’d pick the oldest remaining player, Dennis Phillips, who has used his newfound celebrity to become quite the philanthropist. But in the end, I’m sticking with my gut and going with my first choice, LA poker pro Chino Rheem.
If you’d like to find out more about the participants who make up the final table at the World Series of Poker’s 2008 Main Event click here or here.
2008 World Series of Poker
Main Event Chip Count
1. Dennis Phillips - 26,295,000
2. Ivan Demidov - 24,400,000
3. Scott Montgomery - 19,690,000
4. Peter Eastgate - 18,375,000
5. Ylon Schwartz - 12,525,000
6. Darus Suharto - 12,520,000
7. David 'Chino' Rheem - 10,230,000
8. Craig Marquis - 10,210,000
9. Kelly Kim - 2,620,000