The 2008 World Series of Poker is making history this year by playing down to the final table and breaking for 117 days. According to worldseriesofpoker.com the final nine players have been nicknamed the “November Nine” signifying the month that the final table will resume and the 2008 World Series of Poker champion will be decided. The field started with 6,844 players and they played for twelve days. It will be interesting to see how it plays out and if this year’s winner is a legitimate poker player. Time will only tell but either way it is always fun to see the emotions at the World Series of Poker as players get knocked out and become millionaires one by one. This year the main event prize pool is over $64 million. The final nine will play for the top prize of $9.1 million and a total of $32,633,446. The payouts for the final nine are as follows:
1st Place: $9,119,517
2nd Place: $5,790,024
3rd Place: $4,503,352
4th Place: $3,763,515
5th Place: $3,088,012
6th Place: $2,412,510
7th Place: $1,769,174
8th Place: $1,286,672
9th Place: $900,670
Here is a list of the “November Nine” with their chip counts and some past tournament statistics found on worldseriesofpoker.com and bluffmagazine.com.
Dennis Phillips-St. Louis, Missouri-26,295,000
This is his third World Series of Poker final table, however, his best finish was 7th place where he won $2,192 in last years $550 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Event #14. He also cashed last year in the $550 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Event #11 by finishing in 9th place and taking home $2,386. According to the worldseriesofpoker.com player database his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking is 8,359. He has clearly surpassed expectations by making the final table with the chip lead and will look to win his first major tournament.
Ivan Demidov-Moscow, Russia-24,400,000
This is his first World Series of Poker final table but he only started playing poker in 2006. He has previously cashed this year by finishing in 11th place in the $1,000 buy-in Event #44-No Limit Hold ’em w/ Rebuys. He took home $39,854 and most likely parlayed that win to this final table appearance in the $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event. According to the worldseriesofpoker.com player database his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking is 5,641 and will climb after they record this final table appearance.
Scott Montgomery-Perth Ontario, Canada-19,690,000
He is one of only two Canadians who made the final table. This will be his fourth cash at the World Series of Poker this year. His best finish was 16th place in the $10,000 buy-in World Championship Heads Up No Limit Hold ’em Event #25. He took home over $36.000 in that event. His total WSOP earnings are $73,700 earning him his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking of 206 according to the worldseriesofpoker.com Web site. By making his first final table appearance currently in third place he should be a tough player to deal with come November.
Peter Eastgate-Odense, Denmark-18,375,000
This is his first World Series of Poker final table appearance. He did cash in a European Poker Tour Event during Season 4 earlier this year in February. He finished in 32nd place, which gave him his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking of 8,216 according to the worldseriesofpoker.com Web site.
Ylon Schwartz-Brooklyn, New York-12,525,000
Of all the final players he has the most cashes. He has cashed in the World Series of Poker Circuit eleven times. His best finish was an 8th place finish in 2005 in a $500 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em event. His largest payout was when he finished in 17th in the $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Event #13 at the 2006 World Series of Poker. He took home over $28,000 in that event. According to worldseriesofpoker.com his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking is 940 and will jump up significantly after the result of the main event.
Darus Suharto-Toronto Ontario, Canada-12,520,000
The second of the two Canadians who made this years final table and one of only two players to have previously cashed in the main event. He did so in 2006 when he finished in the money in 448th place. He took home $26,389 and it is the only time that he has cashed at the WSOP until now. He currently holds a Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking of 7,846 according to worldseriesofpoker.com and after this showing it will only improve.
David “Chino” Rheem-Los Angeles, California-10,230,000
Before this tournament began he is probably the most notable name at this years final table. He has the largest cash of all nine players when he finished 2nd at the 2006 World Series of Poker in the $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Event #14. He lost the heads up match to Allen Cunningham and took home $327,981. His career earnings almost tops the one half million mark. His most recent cash was this year at the WSOP in the $2,500 buy-in Mixed Hold ’em Event #4 where he finished in 5th place taking home $93,624. He has cashed five times in all in the WSOP Circuit earning him a Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking of 571 according to the worldseriesofpoker.com Web site. Clearly you can see that this year he is proving he is underrated.
Craig Marquis-Arlington, Texas-10,210,000
He was never made a final table at the World Series of Poker until this year’s main event. He has previously cashed in the WSOP Circuit three times. His best finish was this year in the $1,500 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Shootout Event #17 where he finished in 18th place taking home $5,596. That tournament brought his current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking to 4,982 according to the worldseriesofpoker.com Web site.
Kelly Kim-Whittier, California-2,620,000
He is the short stack at this year’s final table and has cashed in three events previously. His best finish and largest cash was at the 2007 World Series of Poker. He finished in 28th place in the $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold ’em Event #19. He took home $12,348 for his finish and has a current Bluff-ESPN Power Ranking of 1,412 according to the worldseriesofpoker.com Web site. It will be tough for him to win it all this year, however, it will not be impossible.
As you can see, the final nine players are not the most recognizable names in the poker world, however, when November comes around and the action starts they will become household names. Of all nine players David Rheem and Scott Montgomery look like the best players on paper, however, once the cards start coming out it could be a humbling experience for both of them. When the tournament resumes on November 9, 2008 the final table will play down to the final two and the heads up match with begin on November 10, 2008. Don’t be surprised if David and Scott are facing off against each other. Stay tuned to ESPN to see who will be the 2008 World Series of Poker winner and good luck to the “November Nine.”