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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Francis Lee


Event 39 at the World Series of Poker 2008 attracted a huge field of 2,720 players. This was a $1,500 no limit hold’em event. The prize pool created by this field rose to $3.7 million and the first place prize everybody was gunning for was set at $631,656. This large field filled the Amazon card room and the overspill played in the Rio.

The eliminations came at a fast pace as only 218 players made it to the second days play. Over three quarters of the field had been eliminated after just a few rounds. The bubble burst toward the end of the day with the top 270 players cashing in. Once this point had been reached there was another rush of eliminations until the close of play.

The second days play would decide who featured on the final table playing down to just Nine players. Thom Werthmann had the best day storming into the chip lead at the end of the day with $1.6 million in chips, his next three opponents had amassed over $1 million in chips. No body was seriously short stacked with Matthew Wood having $675,000 in 5th place and Mark Glasser on $495,000 in 9th place. The official chip rankings was as follows at the final table stage of the event.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Thom Werthmann $1,600,000
  • 2nd Curtis Early $1,225,000
  • 3rd Thanh Dat Tran $1,225,000
  • 4th David Woo $1,090,000
  • 5th Matthew Wood $675,000
  • 6th Habib Khanis $645,000
  • 7th Eric Beren $640,000
  • 8th James Paras $535,000
  • 9th Mark Glasser $495,000

The first elimination on the final table came within the first orbit of the table. James Paras moved All In after the Flop had brought :js :5c :2h with :ah :jh having top pair. His opponent David Woo had hit a set of Deuces having :2c :2d and made the call. Paras picked up a couple of outs as the :jc fell on the Turn but the :9s ended these coming down on the River.

Mark Glasser didn’t make much of an impression in the early exchanges and saw his short stack reduced to $305,000. He moved All In from the button when picking up pocket Nines and Matthew Wood made the call from the big blind with :as :qc It was looking good for Glasser after he was still in the lead going into the River, but the :ad paired Wood’s hand sending Glasser to the rail in 8th place.

David Woo continued his good start by taking the chip lead and eliminating three players in the process, with two of them on the same hand. First of all Thanh Dat Tran found his :ah :qd dominated by Woo’s big slick :ac :kc Neither player hit the board sending Tran out of the tournament in 7th place.

Then on the 73rd hand of play Woo eliminated Curtis Early and the early chip leader Thom Werthmann. Woo with :ac :kd again out gunned Early with :kc :qh and Werthmann with :qc :js as the final board came down :10c :qd :jc :3c :8s Early collected $150,368 finishing in 6th place and Werthmann scooped $191,209 finishing in 5th.

Four handed play lasted for just one hand as Habib Khanis was knocked out of the event by Eric Beren. Khanis found his :qd :jh dominated by Beren’s :kd :qs The final board ran out :9s :9d :7d :7c :8c confirming Khanis exit leaving him to pick up $233,906 in 4th place.

This win didn’t help Beren much as he was the next player to head for the rail. Beren moved All In pre Flop with :ah :10h but was dominated by Wood calling with :ac :qd The all low final board showing :8d :4d :2s :7d :5h missed both players and Wood’s Queen kicker was good to win the pot.

David Woo held the chip lead going into heads up with $5 million chips sat in from of him compared to Wood’s $3.1 million. It took Woo just over 40 hands to finish Wood off. The last hand came for Wood when both players starting a raising contest until Wood was All In after the Flop came down :9h :5s :4d Wood tabled :9s :6d having top pair but found himself behind against Woo’s pocket Tens. The :qs and :4c completed the board confirming David Woo as the winner of Event 39. Woo finished in 5th place in this event last year and was visibly very pleased having won his very first WSOP bracelet.

WSOP 2008 Event 39 Final Standings

  • 1st David Woo $631,656
  • 2nd Matthew Wood $389,844
  • 3rd Eric Beren $278,460
  • 4th Habib Khanis $233,906
  • 5th Thom Werthmann $191,209
  • 6th Curtis Early $150,368
  • 7th Thanh Dat Tran $113,240
  • 8th Mike Glasser $85,394
  • 9th Jim Paras $58,290



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