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WSOP

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 | Francis Lee

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The 49th event at the World Series of Poker 2008 was another $1,500 no limit hold’em event, which again attracted a huge starting field of 2,718 players. The total prize pool generated by this field reached $3,710,070 and the first place prize set from this was $631,170. The rest of the prize pool paid the top 270 finishers in this event.

There was a minutes silence before the cards were in the air to respect the passing away of John Bonetti, a popular player on the poker circuit. There was a large number of well known pro’s eliminated at the start of play with the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, David Singer, double 2008 bracelet winner John Phan and Chris “jesus” Ferguson all heading off early on. The bubble burst toward the end of day one as the first cash place was shared between David Pointer and Dove Byrne. Both players won $1,391 sharing the 270th place prize. When play was brought to a close just 215 players remained to return for the second days play.

With the bubble gone on day one, the second days play was played down quite quickly to the final table with just nine players left standing. It took approximately 16 hours to get to this stage with Rasmus Nielsen leading the chip rankings going into the final table having double the chip stack of his nearest rivals. WPT player of the year J.C Tran was sat in a promising position in second place, this being his third final table appearance this year’s WSOP.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st Rasmus Nielsen $2,998,000
  • 2nd J.C Tran $1,438,000
  • 3rd Joe Pelton $1,093,000
  • 4th Peter Nguyen $870,000
  • 5th John Conroy $501,000
  • 6th Robert Kalb $456,000
  • 7th Jesper Hoog $320,000
  • 8th Christoph Kohnen $293,000
  • 9th Chad Siu $185,000

Christoph Kohnen had a bad start in the opening exchanges on this final table loosing over $100,000 in the first few hands. He moved All In pre flop with :ac :jh for his last $174,000 and looked to be in good shape as John Conroy called with :kc :jc This was until Conroy rivered a King high straight on the final board showing :9h :9s :qc :3s :10d sending Kohnen to the rail in 9th place.

Just three hands later Rasmus Nielsen led out for $80,000 and Robert Kalb moved the rest of his $355,000 chips stack into the middle. Nielsen made the call finding his :as :qd was in a dominant position against Kalb’s :ac :9s No help came on the board meaning Kalb was out in 8th place winning $85,331.

The next elimination came when short stacked Jesper Hoog tried to steal the blinds, going All In for $220,000 from middle position with :kd :7s His timing wasn’t the best as Peter Nguyen was happy to call from the button with :ad :kc Neither player hit any piece of the board handing Nguyen the pot leaving Hoog eliminated in 7th place.

Chad Siu was unlucky to be eliminated next when he was leading with :ah :ks against Joe Pelton’s :ac :9c after the first fours cards down on the board was the :4s :10d :7s :3s The killer River changed the outlook of this hand as the :9d paired Pelton up knocking Siu out in 6th place.

Play slowed down from this point and it wasn’t until hand 100, 65 hands after Siu’s exit that the next elimination came about. The unfortunate player to be eliminated was Joe Pelton as he got his short stack in against J.C Tran. Pelton was leading after the Flop came down pairing his Six, but Tran tuned the tables on Pelton pairing a King on the River.

Four handed play lasted for just 11 hands as Peter Nguyen was cruelly eliminated by Nielsen. Nguyen hit trip Sevens when the Flop came down :7c :7h :4d holding :9d :7d Nielsen’s :ks :jd was looking dead in the water and needed help to win this pot. One of the cards he needed, the :kh came down on the Turn but only a King on the River would do. The :kc completed the board handing Nielsen the pot, who acknowledged Nguyen’s bad beat consoling him as he left the table.

Three quickly became two as John Conroy quickly followed Nguyen to the rail just five hands later. Conroy opened the betting to $175,000 and after a count request of Conroy’s chips Nielsen moved All In. Conroy went into the tank before calling, only to find himself ahead :ad :qh dominating by Nielsen’s :ah :8s The Flop put Nielsen into the lead pairing his Eight and the rest of the board all came down low.

This win put Nielsen on $5.9 million in chips, almost double of J.C Tran’s $2.3 million. Heads up lasted for over 70 hands which saw Tran chip away at Nielsen drawing level on chips. The end came when Nielsen moved All In after the first four cards down were the :8h :qs :2h :4d holding :qd :jh Tran called and was happy with what he saw tabling :kc :qc just one card away from victory. The :2s ended the event handing J.C Tran his very first WSOP bracelet and the $631,170 first place prize.

WSOP 2008 Event 49 Final Standings

  • 1st J.C Tran $631,170
  • 2nd Rasmus Nielsen $389,557
  • 3rd John Conroy $278,255
  • 4th Peter Nguyen $233,734
  • 5th Joe Pelton $191,068
  • 6th Chad Siu $150,257
  • 7th Jesper Hoog $113,157
  • 8th Robert Kalb $85,331
  • 9th Christoph Kohnen $58,248



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