And should we care?
I’ve been a fan of this new proposed ‘final table’ structure for the WSOP Main Event, mainly because I think it presents an opportunity for casual fans to become more interested in the game. Which at the end of the day, is the main reason poker is a viable occupation for some people. New blood feeds this economy and anyone that tells you different is lying. Not to mention, the ‘rake’ being taken out of the economy by online sites, harrah’s, wsop, wpt, vegas, espn, etc needs to be replaced…you could argue some of these properties bring endorsement money value in as well, but it is such a small percentage of the total community that it is most certainly an overall net loss. Sorry, I digress…
Originally, I was hoping the final table people would have some interesting stories (and perhaps there still are a few diamonds in the rough) but overall, there are not any super star tv personalities. I wanted to see some 24/7 style De La Hoya type reality show…but I’m not convinced these guys have enough fire power to fuel that type of show.
So we have this cast of characters about to tee-off for the biggest single table sng of their lives…who are they:
Chip leader: Dennis Phillips – chip count: 27M – seat 1 – he’s an account manager for a trucking company. Says that regardless of what happens in November, he isn’t going to quit his job. We’ll see. This is his first major poker tournament cash, and got into the WSOP ME through a satellite at his local casino. While his chip count (and bookies) would say he has the best chance of winning…I wouldn’t bet on it.
Ivan Demidov – chip count: 24.4M – seat 7 – A fairly close second to Phillips this will be Demidov’s second cash of the 2008 WSOP as he took 11th place in Event 44 NL w Rebuys for $39,854. Demidov hails from Moscow, Russia. He started playing poker two years ago.
Scott Montgomery – chip count: 20M – seat 4: . Montgomery has a good combination of chips and experience coming into the WSOP final table. He has over $400,000 in live tournament winnings the most notable of which is from the 2008 LA Poker Classic where he finished fifth for $296,860. Montgomery is Canuck hailing from Perth, Ontario. Known screen names: r_a_y_sm (stars), r_a_y (UB), ScottMontgomery (Tilt).
Peter Eastgate – chip count: 18.3M – seat 9 – Eastgate has seen a bit of live tournament success with over $63,000 in winnings. He is the only European at the WSOP final table and is from Odense, Denmark. He’s only 22…weeeeeeeee.
Ylon Schwartz – chip count: 12.5M – seat 3 – Schwartz is a veteran from Brooklyn, NY. He has over $300,000 USD in live tournament winnings. Brooklyn in tha house!
Darus Suharto – chip count: 12.5M – seat 5- Another Canadian, Suharto hails from Toronoto, Ontario and has had limited live tournament experience with one small WSOP cash from 2006.
David ‘Chino’ Rheem – chip count 10.3M – seat 6 – What Rheem lacks in chips he makes up for in experience with over $600,000 in live tournament winnings this resident of Los Angeles, CA already has nine final tables under his belt. Word on the street is he owes some people at the bellagio money, let’s hope he wins so he can get solvent.
Craig Marquis – chip count 10M – seat 2 – Another young ‘gun’ internet kid..this native of Arlington, TX has had a few small previous WSOP cashes. He’s got respect from the table, and if he can get an early double up could be a favorite to win.
Kelly Kim – chip count 2.6M – Seat 8 – Even though Kim is limping into the final table severly short-stacked, he has cashed in 30 tournaments in the last five years. Don’t count Kim out yet. He’s a vegas/la pro – who has been around. With about 10bb’s left or so, he’s gonna need some help with a double up or three.