Sunday, June 01, 2008

2008 WSOP, Day 3: First Final Table Delivers

The sun shining brightly on the Rio entrance, from Friday afternoonESPN must be at least somewhat pleased at how the final table of Event No. 1, the World Championship Pot-Limit Hold’em event ($10,000 buy-in), has shaped up. The event is one of only six non-Main Event tourneys for which the final table has been scheduled to be televised.

Of the nine who will be there this afternoon, no less than seven are (more or less) familiar to fans of poker TV. Patrik Antonius, Chris Bell, Andy Bloch, Phil Laak, Kathy Liebert, Nenad Medic, and Mike Sexton have all appeared on the small screen before. Only Amit Makhija and Mike Sowers will be making their TV debuts today (to my knowledge). Since they went so late last night (play didn’t conclude until 5 a.m. or so), the start of today’s FT was pushed back an hour to 3 p.m. local time.

Wouldn’t mind seeing either Sexton or Liebert take this one down. Would be especially neat if Liebert were to score the first bracelet of the Series, which would be her second if she did. Her first was in 2004, also in an open event, the $1,500 LHE Shootout. One of B.J.’s “Eight Questions for the 2008 WSOP” posted on PokerNews yesterday was whether or not a woman would win a bracelet in an open event this year. Might actually get an answer to that question sooner than later.

Meanwhile, they’ll run “Day 1b” of Event No. 2, the first $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event, and everyone will be curious to see just what the final tally of entrants turns out to be. Some want to talk about the large turnout for this first event as possessing some sort of symbolic weight with regard to the overall well-being of the poker industry, but I think Pauly makes a good point when he says it probably doesn’t mean a whole heck of lot. Still, it is good to see, and the fact that registration and the overall functioning of the tournament has run so smoothly this year (especially compared to the start of 2007) should, I would think, encourage players to keep turning out in the coming weeks.

So no new events start today, but as I was discussing with B.J. Nemeth yesterday, that will be the last time for several weeks when we can say that. I’m mostly taking it easy today, resting up for my first day of work reporting tomorrow’s Event No. 4, the Mixed No-Limit/Limit Hold’em event ($5,000 buy-in). This was the first event last year, the one won by youngest-ever bracelet winner Steve “Mr. Smokey” Billirakis. 451 players entered, although since it was Event No. 1, it might have attracted more a few entrants than it might have otherwise. I’m gonna guess around 400 for this one this time around.

It will be interesting to compare pot sizes between the limit levels vs. the no-limit ones. I recall last year talk about how, in fact, the limit hands tended to produce bigger pots, especially with the rapidly-esclating blind structure they then had in place. Haven’t as yet compared this year’s structure to that of last year, but I’ll try to do that before things get underway tomorrow.

Like I say, am mostly just resting up today, although I do think I’ll go over to check out at least some of that Event No. 1 final table. Will check back in later afterwards to report on the scene over there.

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Anonymous gtycoon said...

My WSOP fantasy picks took a hit in event 1 so no points for me from those at the final table.

I would like to see Phil Laak take this one down, although he'll be in tough.

6/01/2008 7:52 PM  

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