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  • 2008 WSOP – Day 3

    By Anthony Holden

    A terrific dinner last night at the Wynn’s superb SW Steakhouse with Vicky Coren and our generous host, EPT boss John Duthie. Our wide-ranging conversation was, of course, way off the record, but I think it’s safe to reveal that we broke all usual Vegas rules with an in-depth discussion of current US politics – specifically, the riveting recent revelation that Republican presidential nominee John McCain is a manic craps player, prone to 14-hour, six-figure sessions in the pit.

    That his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, is a hot-shot poker player we first learned from his friend (and mine) James McManus in a short piece in a February issue of the New Yorker. With more riveting input from Jim than I’m able to pass on, I anglicised this in May, when Obama sewed up the candidacy, in the Observer, then here  on this site. This was recently followed up by Time  magazine, who added the first mention of McCain’s craps obsession. Enter, last weekend, London’s Sunday Telegraph, whose Tim Shipman tracked me down here in Vegas last week while chasing both stories. Tim’s piece got picked up by the influential Huffington Post. And now pictures of ‘Manic’ McCain at the Bellagio craps table have been posted online by The Jed Report.

    It’s becoming quite an election issue. So I ask you : would you rather have a skilful, calculating poker-player as leader of the free world, or a manic craps obsessive? Well, quite. I rest my case.

    All this was of course the perfect preparation for Duthie’s Day 3 in the main event of the 2008 World Series of Poker. The day started with 1,307 survivors from the 6,844 who started the 2008 main event, 666 of whom would get in the money, It ended with 474 – not including, I am grieved to report, Mr. D.

    Leading the field at the start of play was a school-teacher from Cleveland, Ohio named Brian Schaedlich, on his summer vacation in Vegas, with 801,000 in chips. The rest of the Top Ten as Day 3 began were mostly un- or little-known players, all North Americans: Peter Biebel on 531,000, 
Alex Outhred 486,800
, Raja Kattamuri 411,100, 
Hunter Frey 397,000, 
Jeremiah Smith 386,000, 
Steven Goosen 362,100
, Patrick Fortin 355,900, 
Reagan Silber 355,500 
and Kellen Hunter 354,100.

    Nearly 300 players were eliminated in the first two-hour level, led by 2003 champ Chris Moneymaker, followed by such (known in Europe) names as Noah Boeken, Patrick Antonius, Jennifer Harman, Tony Hachem (brother of Joe), Barny Boatman and British poker babe Liv Boeree. Level 2 departees included Phil Gordon, Matt Glantz and fomer women’s soccer player Laurie Hilton (no relation to Paris). By the second break, 407 players had gone in just under 220 minutes, or roughly one every 33 seconds. As the long day wore on, the dust was also bitten by Toto Leonidas, Paul Jackson, Alex Kravchenko, and Australian cricketer Shane Warne.

    Tables went hand-for-hand around 10.30pm, when the field reached 675, nine short of the bubble. It took all of 80 minutes to reach the huge yell that denoted the elimination of the 667th player just before midnight. His name was Steve Chung, and his consolation prize for surviving 36 hours of play and going home empty-handed was a free seat for next year’s $10,000 Main Event.

    The only former champions still alive as the dough kicked in were 1987-8’s Johnny Chan and 1989’s Phil Hellmuth. Other bracelet winners still in action were Gus Hansen, Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen, Victor Ramdin, 
Allen Cunningham, 
Chau Giang, 
Mike Matusow, 
Hoyt Corkins, 
Jeff Madsen, 
Phi Nguyen, 
Patrick Poels and 
Chris Bjorin.

    Nearly 200 more players were eliminated before play concluded at 2.30 a.m. Among the first wave to go, winning $21,230, were Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen, Vanessa Rousso, Brandon Adams, Bill Gazes and 2006 EPT London runner-up (to Vicky Coren) Emad Tahtouh.

    Just before 1am, the money jumped to 23,160. Fallers at this level included : Thor Hansen, Brett Houghton (no relation to Roy), Rickey Welch (no relation to Raquel) and a lot more people you’ve never heard of.

    Winners of $25,090 included Chau Giang and Dan Glimne. George Wedemeyer and Rolf Slotboom also fell before the day finally ended. Chip leader as it began, Ohio school-teacher Brian Schaedlich, finished with just 22,000.

    Chip leader going into Day 4 is Jeremy Joseph on 1,458,000, followed by 
Jeremiah Smith on 1,079,500
, Mark Ketteringham 950,000, 
Kyle Carlston 932,500, 
Dag Martin Mikkelsen 931,000, 
Alan Jaffray 908,500, 
Owen Crowe 900,000, 
Alexander Kostritsyn 887,000, Irishman 
James (NOT the writer) McManus 875,000
 and Chris Barrile 873,500.

    Phil Hellmuth is still there with 475,000, Victor Ramdin with 471,000, Hoyt Corkins 439,500, Mike Matusow 438,500 Evelyn Ng 414,500, Allen Cunningham 386,500, Gus Hansen 355,000, Jeff Madsen 349,000, Chip Jett 318,500, Lou Esposito 302,000, Thomas Keller 294,000, Bertrand Grospellier 181,500, Dave Colclough 140,000, Robert Mizrachi 138,000, Steve Davis 117,500, George McKeever 92,500, Iwan Jones 67,500 and Chris Bjorin 40,500, Well played, Dave, Steve, George, Iwan and Chris! If you’re looking for anyone else in particular, you’ll find a complete list here

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    Comment from Tim Shipman
    Time: July 13, 2008, 3:20 pm

    Many thanks for your comments, your wisdom and for linking to my article.
    Predictably, it has been more widely read by my friends than almost anything else I have written about the presidential election.
    Hope to see you and JSS at the table sometime soon.

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