Final table set for World Series

Jul 15, 2008 7:27 PM

by David Stratton | Twenty-seven players started Day 7 of the World Series of Poker’s main event, and when the dust settled at 3:30 a.m., Tuesday, nine players had made the final table and, along with it, a shot at the $9 million first place award.

However, the players will have a 117-day wait before they resume action. The final table will be played beginning November 9 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

The average stack at the end of the day was 15.1 million in chips.

The chip leader at the start of Day Seven was Dennis Phillips (St. Louis). He maintained his chip lead and now has the biggest stack going into the final table.

Craig Marquis (Arlington, Texas) started the day in second place. He made it to the final table, but is now ranked eighth in chips.

Scott Montgomery (Perth, Ontario) made the greatest move up the chip ladder during the course of the day. He started off in 16th place and rocketed up to 4th place by day’s end.

Tiffany Michelle (Los Angeles) suffered the greatest setback of any player of the final 27. She started the day ranked third in chips but ended up busting out in 17th place, worth $334,534 in prize money.

All players who started play on Monday were guaranteed at least $257,334 in prize money. All players who made it to the final table are now guaranteed at least $900,670. Players were to be paid the guaranteed prize money today, July 15.

Here’s a closer look at the nine finalists, along with their chip counts going into the final table:

• Ivan Demidov (24,400,000)

The 27-year-old from Moscow, Russia, is a professional poker player, who enjoys skiing and scuba diving. This was the first year he played in the World Series. Earlier in the tournament he finished eleventh in Event No. 44.

• Peter Eastgate (18,375,000)

Although only 22 years-old, this native of Odense, Denmark says he’s a professional poker player who graduated high school but passed on college.

• Kelly Kim (2,620,000)

As the shortest stack at the table, the 31-year-old professional poker player from Whittier, California has his work cut out. A native of Korea, he formerly worked as a business analysts after graduating from the University of California at San Diego. In last year’s World Series, he cashed three times.

• Scott Montgomery (19,690,000)

The 26-year-old professional poker player from Perth, Ontario has been playing poker for about four years. He says he’s proud of the fact that he paid cash to enter the event.

• Craig Marquis (10,210,000)

Craig is a 23-year-old college student from Arlington, Texas. He’s been playing poker for only 18 months. When not raking pots and cramming for mid-terms, he plays the guitar. He said he plans to buy his family a swimming pool with his prize money.

• Dennis Phillips (26,295,000)

The chip leader going into the final table, 53-year-old Dennis Phillips is an account manager for a commercial trucking company in St. Louis, Missouri, although he actually lives in the suburban town of Cottage Hills, Illinois. He gained entry into the World Series by winning a satellite at Harrah’s Casino in St. Louis.

• David "Chino" Rheem (10,230,000)

The 28-year-old professional poker player from Los Angeles has been playing the game for about 10 years. This is his first in-the-money finish.

• Ylon Schwartz (12,525,000)

The 38-year-old New Yorker (Brooklyn, actually) is a former chess player who used to hustle games in the city’s public parks. But he discovered he could make a better living playing poker, which he’s been doing for the past several years. His final table appearance marks the twelfth times he’s cashed at the WSOP.

• Darus Suharto (12,520,000)

The 39-year-old accountant from Toronto was actually born and raised in Indonesia, but emigrated to the US where he earned an MBA from Indiana University. He won entry into the main event through a satellite.

Here are the final table payouts that will be awarded four months from now:

$9,119,517     1st
$5,790,024     2nd
$4,503,352     3rd
$3,763,515     4th
$3,088,012     5th
$2,412,510     6th
$1,769,174     7th
$1,286,672     8th
$900,670         9th