When the final nine players return for the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event on November 9th, they won’t be headed to the Amazon Room at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. Instead, the action will move to the Penn and Teller Theater inside the hotel, where the final table participants will quite literally take center stage to determine a winner.
Play begins at 10:00am local time on Sunday, November 9th and continues until two players remain. Blinds will be 120,000-240,000 with a 30,000 chip ante. Heads-up play will kick off at 10:00pm on Monday, November 10th and continue until a champion is crowned. ESPN will then feverishly edit the video recorded over the previous two days and then air it on the marquee cable station on Tuesday, November 11th. It’s the network’s attempt to air the show as close to “live” as possible.
Here are the chip stacks when play resumes. The low stack in the room, Kelly Kim, still has 11 big blinds remaining:
Dennis Phillips – 26,295,000
Ivan Demidov – 24,400,000
Scott Montgomery – 19,690,000
Peter Eastgate – 18,375,000
Ylon Schwartz – 12,525,000
Darus Suharto – 12,520,000
David ‘Chino’ Rheem – 10,230,000
Craig Marquis – 10,210,000
Kelly Kim – 2,620,000
Seating assignments for the final table have not yet been announced. Officials will redraw for seats and then notify each player at the same time of the order.
Spectators are expected to flock to the Penn and Teller Theater in droves to witness the second largest first place prize ever given away in WSOP history. Viewing of the Main Event will be completely free and is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There are only a finite number of seats in the theater and Harrah’s officials told Poker News Daily that each of the nine players is also planning to bring a contingent of friends and family.
Those in attendance will see the November Nine battle it out for a $9.1 million first place payday. Here is a look at the pay schedule. Each participant is guaranteed at least $900,670 for their efforts:
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
Attitudes towards the delay of the Main Event from July until November, a span of 117 days, have been mixed. Perhaps the most scathing opinion came from Ylon Schwartz, who commented to Poker News Daily, “It ruins the integrity of the tournament. The purity of old-time Las Vegas is gone. The antiquity and purity of the tournament have been liquidated into pure greed and capitalism.” ESPN has aired two hour installments of the WSOP Main Event every Tuesday. Next week, a final table preview show is slated to air on the same night as general elections in the United States.
The tournament began with 6,844 players spread out over four starting days, the first of which occurred on July 3rd. The $10,000 buy-in tournament generated a prize pool of just over $64 million, meaning that the winner will receive the second largest prize ever given to a WSOP Main Event winner, trailing only the $12 million collected by 2006 WSOP Main Event champ Jamie Gold.