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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 | Francis Lee


Event 28 at the World Series of Poker 2008 was the $5,000 pot limit Omaha with rebuys tournament. 152 players entered this event, made up of some of the biggest stars on the poker circuit. One table had Robert Williamson III, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth seated together. There were 483 rebuys in total boosting the total prize pool to well over $3 million. 18 players was set to make the money with the first place prize set at $817,781.

The first day’s plays finished with Emmanuel Sebag leading this tough field with just 54 players remaining. David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, John Juanda, Eli Elezra and Phil Hellmuth, all were placed in the top 10 chip count leader board at the end of the day.

The second days play would decide the final nine players to fight out the final table. It took a while for the bubble to burst and the unlucky player not to cash was Birinder Nijran, eliminated by Phil Galfond who cracked his pocket Aces. As the play drew to a close with ten players left Daniel Negreanu was leading the field, until Phil Galfond doubled up against Negreanu to take the lead himself. Chris Ferguson was the last player to head for the rail in the early hours of the morning and the final table was set.

This final table was probably one of the best line ups we have had at the World Series of Poker for a long while. First there was Phil Hullmuth looking to extend on his record breaking 11 WSOP bracelet wins, Johnny Chan on 10 WSOP bracelets was looking to equal Hellmuths record. Daniel Negreanu winner of his fourth WSOP bracelet in last weeks $2,000 Limit Hold’em event, was looking for his second bracelet in the same number of weeks. Not to mention John Juanda looking to add to his collection after a five year barren spell.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Phil Galford $1,393,000
  • 2nd Brian Rast $1,176,000
  • 3rd David Benyamie $1,041,000
  • 4th John Juanda $694,000
  • 5th Johnny Chan $624,000
  • 6th Kirill Gerasimov $558,000
  • 7th Daniel Negreanu $460,000
  • 8th Adam Hourani $300,000
  • 9th Phil Hellmuth $119,000

Phil Hellmuth started the final table on the short stack and had a great start doubling up against David Benyamine and Brian Rast. Johnny Chan also has a good start doubling up against Rast who was now starting to get short stacked. Rast was looking good to re coup a large amount of what was lost, when all the chips went in after the Flop had come down :jc :4d :3d His opponent Johnny Chan had :ad :9s :7d :7s looking for a diamond flush and Rast had :jd :10d :7c :6c having top pair and a gun shot straight draw. No diamond came for Chan but the :ah on the River gave him a higher pair to eliminate Rast.

Phil Hellmuth then ran into Benyamine with pocket Aces, ending his search for the 12th WSOP bracelet. Hellmuth collected $100,292 for finishing in 8th place. Shortly after this Daniel Neagreanu lost the large majority of his chip stack to Adam Hourani who was holding pocket Aces. Negreanu’s tournament came to an end loosing the rest of his chip stack to Phil Galfond again holding pocket Aces, when Neagreanu only had pocket Kings. The bullets held up sending Negreanu to the rail in 7th place.

John Juanda promptly followed Negreanu to the rail just a few hands later. Johnny Chan moved All In on the Flop of :9s :8s :2c with :10h :9h :8h :2s having two pair and Juanda made the call holding :10s :7s :9c :kd having top pair and a straight flush draw. Juanda behind in the hand was favourite to win with the amount of outs he had, but none of them came down for him. Juanda collected $154,296 going out in 6th place, Chan on the other hand had caught Galfond in the chip rankings on around $2 million in chips.

This is where Johnny Chan’s luck was to end as he saw his chip stack demolished down to just $350,000 in chips. He lost over $1.5 million in a hand against David Benyamine when hitting a nut straight on the flop when Benyamine had a set. The board paired up for Benyamine completing his full house leaving Chan almost crippled. Chan got out the way and avoided going out in 5th place when Kirill Gerasminov was beaten by the chip leader Galfond with the narrowest of margins. Galfond’s :as :js beat Gerasminov with :ad :10c with the best of the board being trip Sixes. The last hand was worth over $50,000 to Johnny Chan as he was eliminated in 4th place. Benyamine hit a higher two pair to finish off the 10 time WSOP bracelet winner.

Phil Galfond entered three handed play in the chip lead with $3.1 million in chips compared to Benyamine on $2.1 million and Adam Hourani on just over $1 million. Adam Hourani won some big pots off both players leveling his chip count with Benyamine, before eliminating him out of the event. The end came for Benyamine when he was up against Hourani’s set of Queens with his only hope being a chopped pot if the straight appeared.

Heads up play lasted for over two hours between Hourani and Galfond. Galfond held the chip lead and didn’t seem to be under threat throughout the two hours of play. In the first hour he almost had Hourani beat, only to see his opponent double up. Galfond carried on chipping away at Hourani’s chip stack and finally finished him off. The end came for Hourani when Galfond put in a bet after the Flop of :as :qd :8s enough to put Hourani All In. Hourani found his hand of :ad :kd :jc :10d in the lead when calling against Galfond’s :ac :7c :6s :5h Galfond then took the lead after the :6h fell on the turn giving him two pair. No help came for Hourani on the River handing Phil Galfond the $817,781 first place prize and the covereted WSOP bracelet

WSOP 2008 Event 28 Final Standings

  • 1st Phil Galfond $817,781
  • 2nd Adam Hourani $493,748
  • 3rd David Benyamie $316,307
  • 4th Johnny Chan $246,874
  • 5th Kirill Gerasimov $192,870
  • 6th John Juanda $154,296
  • 7th Daniel Negreanu $123,437
  • 8th Phil Helmut $100,292
  • 9th Brian Rast $84,863



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