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Friday, March 21, 2008 | Francis Lee


The next World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOP) tour was in Atlantic City this time round with 277 players entering the $5,000 buy in main event. The prize pool reached $1,357,300 shared between the top 27 finishers. When we reached the final table stage of this event on the final days play the official chip rankings was as follows:

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Dan Hicks $1,182,000
  • 2nd Eric Haber $927,000
  • 3rd Soheil Shamseddin $855,000
  • 4th Steven Merrifield $624,000
  • 5th Sumeet Batra $579,000
  • 6th Nicholas Binger $546,000
  • 7th Scott Blackman $391,000
  • 8th Steven Greenberg $251,000
  • 9th Marc Morris $185,000

Marc Morris on the short stack was the first player to go out on this final table making his stand on the fifth hand of play. He moved all his chips into the middle holding :as :5d and found a caller in Sumeet Batra tabling pocket Nines. The board was no help to Morris and the Nines held up to take the pot.

Batra picked up the next elimination on around the 35th hand of play, taking out Steven Merrifield. Merrifield started the day off in 4th place in a decent position with $624,000. After a run of a couple of bad beats he found himself with just a few big blinds left and decided to make a stand with :kc :2h Batra was sitting on pocket Eights and was happy to call. Again the pocket pair held up sending Merrifield to the rail in 8th place.

Scott Blackman a former US hockey player was the next player to go in a coin flip situation against Sohiel Shamseddin. Blackman had :as :ks and was up against pocket Queens. Blackman didn’t improve on his hand when the final board came down confirming his exit in 7th place winning

Poker pro Nick Binger a regular on the WSOP circuit was the next player out. He didn’t pick up many goods cards at this final table and when he did no one wanted to play, so he pushed his short stack in with :kd :jd and was up against Batra with :as :2d Batra flopped an Ace to which Binger never recovered leaving the table in 6th place.

Batra was at it again not long after Bingers exit as he eliminated Steven Greenberg in 5th place, a first time apprearance at a WSOP final table for Greenberg. Batra again moved ahead after the Flop pairing his Ace and Greenberg’s :kd :qc was drawing dead after Batra made two pair after the Turn.

Batra continued to push playing very aggressively, forcing his opponents to play big or not at all. Soheil Shamseddin decided to stand up to Batra calling an All In raise with :kc :js Batra held a narrow lead pre flop tabling pocket Eights. The Flop :9d :8s :7d gave Batra a set and left Shamseddin needing a runner, runner straight draw to survive. This never came leaving Shamseddin to collect $94,311 in 4th place.

It was inevitable Batra’s aggressive style would be his eventual downfall and this proved to be the case. He looked to be in good shape to double through Eric Haber when All In with :ac :7d against :ac :6d This was until a Six fell on the River cruelly ending his tournament. Batra collected $121,257 for all his hard work finishing 3rd.

Dan Hicks and Eric Haber started off heads up play with an almost equal chip stack. The battle for the championship ring and the $431,136 first place prize lasted for nearly 90 minutes. The end of this event came in the space of two successive hands. The first Haber won a pot All In with :6d :5c and a Flop showing :5d :3c :3s against :as :jc The last hand came after the Flop came down :jd :9s :5c All the chips went in again with Hicks having :jc :9d hitting two pair but was massively behind against Haber’s pocket Jacks. The Jacks held up handing Haber the Atlantic City WSOP 2008 circuit win.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Eric Haber $431,136
  • 2nd Dan Hicks $237,124
  • 3rd Sumeet Batra $121,257
  • 4th Soheil Shamseddin $94,311
  • 5th Steven Greenberg $80,838
  • 6th Nick Binger $67,365
  • 7th Scott Blackman $53,892
  • 8th Steven Merrifield $40,419
  • 9th Marc Morris $26,946



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