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Monday, June 23, 2008 | Francis Lee


605 players entered the 38th Event at the World Series of Poker 2008 which was the $2,000 pot limit hold’em tournament. The first place prize money was set at $244,546 as the prize pool reached just over $1.1 million. The rest of the prize pool was paid down to 63rd place.

The first day ended as the bubble burst with 63 players coming back to contest the second day. They played an hour of hand for hand before Peter Tran was the unlucky 64th place finisher. The second day wasn’t nearly as long with every body having made the money and was concentrating on trying to make the final table. Jan Von Halle had an excellent second day ending up as chip leader with $485,000, the rest of the field was quite bunched up with just a couple of short stacked players needing to make a good start.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Jan Von Halle $485,000
  • 2nd Lee Watkinson $357,000
  • 3rd Robert Cheung $352,000
  • 4th Ayaz Mahmood $314,000
  • 5th David Kitai $274,000
  • 6th Chris Bell $260,000
  • 7th Keith Greer $238,000
  • 8th Michael Greco $120,000
  • 9th Ben Roberts $82,000

The two Brits on the final table Michael Greco and Ben Roberts were the first two eliminated with both of them on the short stacks. Greco was unfortunate enough to run into Chris Bell with pocket Aces when holding pocket Kings. The Aces held up sending Greco out in 9th place. Roberts entered his elimination hand the favourite with pocket Sevens against Robert Cheung with :kd :jd Cheung took the lead after the :jc fell on the Turn to which Roberts didn’t improve on.

Ayaz Mahmood was the next player out shortly after Roberts when he got his chip in on a Flop showing :3c :jh :qd having middle pair. His opponent Chris Bell had top pair tabling :qc :4s scooping the pot as Mahmood failed to improve. Bell then went on to eliminate Cheung out of the tournament with :ac :ks against pocket Nines. He managed to hit a runner runner straight on the final board showing :5d :qh :7d :10h :js sending Cheung to the rail in 6th place winning $50,100.

Lee Watkinson had a good tournament ending day one as the chip leader and starting out on this final table in 3rd place. He could only manage a 5th place finish as he lost a big pot against David Kitai on a straight draw. Kitai called his All In raise with top pair and ended up winning hitting a straight himself. Watkinson then pushed his short stack in with :ad :4c and was up against Bell with :ah :6h Bell ended up hitting a flush on the River when a chopped pot was looking likely.

Fourth place was decided in two big pots between the chip leaders David Kitai and Jan Von Halle. Kitai drew first blood hitting a nut flush on the River. Just a few hands later both players clashed again which led to Van Halle’s exit. This time Kitai had Flopped top pair and led all the way down the cards beating Van Halle holding middle pair. Van Halle collected $77,077 in prize money for his 4th place finish.

Three handed play lasted just for one hand as Bell picked up another elimination to take the chip lead. Keith Greer pushed All In pre flop with pocket Jacks only to see Bell call with pocket Queens. Bells ladies held as the final board came down :8s :9d :ks :3s :3h

The heads up showdown turned into a marathon battle lasting for 190 hands in total. Kitai took control towards the end, winning a big pot crippling Bell down to just $250,000. Kitai managed to finally finish Bell off dominating with :ad :qs against :as :js The all low board confirmed Bells exit meaning David Katai picked up the $244,546 first placed prize and his very first WSOP bracelet.

WSOP 2008 Event 38 Final Standings

  • 1st David Kitai $244,546
  • 2nd Chris Bell $155,806
  • 3rd Keith Greer $94,695
  • 4th Jan Von Halle $77,077
  • 5th Lee Watkinson $63,313
  • 6th Robert Cheung $50,100
  • 7th Ayaz Mahmood $39,089
  • 8th Ben Roberts $30,831
  • 9th Michael Greco $22,573



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