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Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Francis Lee


The World Series of Poker 2008 main event had reached day five with 189 players left in the tournament. There was 5 levels scheduled to be played before the day was out, but the tournament staff stated this was under review depending on the pace at which they were played.

Once the players were seated and the cards were in the air the eliminations came along at a stead pace. George Rahme was one of the first to go when his :ac :5c was dominated and beaten by :as :qs Peter Traply ran his pocket Queens into pocket Kings and Ben Roberts pocket Kings were cracked by :ah :qh when an Ace fell on the Flop.

A break was called after the first level of the day had past and when the players returned we saw the eliminations of Lou Esposito when his :as :jc was beaten by Shawn Sheikhan’s pocket Queens. Hoyt Corkins found his pocket Queens no good against pocket Aces and Even Jarvis also ran his pocket pair into pocket Aces.

Gus Hansen’s tournament came to an end with two bad hands in a row. First of all he was crippled him down to his last few chips, and then on the next hand his flopped top pair was beaten as his opponent filled a straight on the River. Jon Freidberg found his :ac :jh dominated by :ac :qd and Jeremiah Smith’s pocket Kings was busted by :ac :qc when his opponent hit two pair on the Flop and then improved to a full house on the River.

As the next break came there was 144 players left with James McManus leading the field with $3.4 million in chips sat in front of him. The steady pace of eliminations continued as Matt Lessinger’s pocket Tens was beaten by :kh :jc making a King high straight. Mikael Johansson got the last of his chips in with pockets Sixes, only to find his opponent tabling pocket Kings. Jeff Anderson’s pocket Queens was busted by :ad :jd hitting a flush on the River and just before the next break Raja Kattamuri lost with :kd :qs in a race against pocket Eights.

The next session saw a few big names fall as Allen Cunningham ran his :qh :jh into pocket Aces. Kara Scott’s :kh :qc lost out against Phil Nguyen’s :ad :10d Jeff Madsen found his :kd :10h dominated by :ac :ks and had no chance as an Ace fell on the Flop. Then Shawn Sheikhan was crippled down to his last chips and made a stand with :5s :7h which was no match against :ad :kc

The last session of the event was played at a much slower pace with everyone making deliberate moves with big hands and not getting too involved in large pots. The notable names not to get past this session included Alexander Kostritsyn and Mark Vos who went out on the final hand of the day.

There was a bit of a situation on the feature table between none other than Phil Hellmuth and Cristian Dragomir. Dragomir opened the betting to $80,000 and Hellmuth raised this to $225,000. Dragomir made the call to see a Flop of :9c :10c :7s Hellmuth checked and Dragomir fired out a $300,000 bet. Hellmuth went into the tank before folding :as :kh face up. Mike Matusow seated at this table asked Dragomir to show his bluff and he flipped over :10d :4d as he dragged the pot. This sent Hellmuth into a rage asking how he could call his raise pre flop with Ten high. Hellmuth continued to call Dragomir an idiot and the worst player in history as the floor staff was called to the table. It was decided Hellmuth had gone too far and incurred a one orbit penalty for when they returned for day 6. Both players eventually made up shaking hands as they bagged up there chips for the night.

Day five ended with just 79 players left with Mark Ketteringham holding the chip lead with just under six million in chips. The rest of the top 10m leader board was as follows.

WSOP 2008 Main Event Day 5 Chip Leaders

  • 1st Mark Ketteringham $5,800,000
  • 2nd Nikolay Losev $4,058,000
  • 3rd Albert Kim $3,734,000
  • 4th Tiffany Michelle $3,438,000
  • 5th Dennis Phillips $3,436,000
  • 6th Aaron Gordon $3,369,000
  • 7th Jamal Kunbuz $3,327,000
  • 8th Terry Lade $3,225,000
  • 9th Jeremy Joseph $3,100,000
  • 10th Alfredo Fernandez $3,053,000



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