Wednesday, November 26, 2008

APT Ambassador JC Tran Dominates PartyPoker.com Premier League

London – 26th November 2008 – Asian Poker Tour ambassador JC Tran’s excellent run at PartyPoker.com Premier League III has continued after he won his first two heats and finished runner-up in his third. JC now sits clearly at the top of the table with 26 points at the $1.25 million event for 12 elite players in London.

Tran, who is also representing team PKR, won his first heat on day one at the expense of World Champion Peter Eastgate and has continued his great form. Cheered on by a large contingent in the green room, including WSOP Main Event final table pal David ‘Chino’ Rheem, and ‘Poker Pack’ pals Nam Le and Quinn Do he put on other great display. When it got heads-up he held 476,000 to Vicky Coren’s 124,000 and he looked the likely winner throughout. The decisive hand saw Tran raise with A6 off-suit and pushed all-in by Coren with KK. An ace on the flop was enough to take it down.

JC’s third heat was hugely eventful. All the previous heats had seen very few eliminations in early levels but this game was different and it very quickly become a heads-up battle between JC and Peter Eastgate. The 2008 WSOP Main Event champion completely run over the field and looked to be home and dry but the blinds were only at 2,000 – 4,000. Eastgate sat with 541,000 to Tran’s 59,000, a very different scenario to when the pair met on day one when the chip counts going into the heads-up stage were more level. Remarkably, as a 9-1 underdog, Tran fought back to hold the chip lead. Eastgate, however, eventually got his revenge for his defeat at the hands of Tran on day one to pick up 10 points. Eastgate pushed all-in with K3 and was called by Tran with A7. A king on the flop was enough to seal the deal for the $9 million Dane. With 6 points from the heat, however, JC is the man to beat and holds a very comfortable lead at the top of the league table and he looks set to qualify for the deep stacked final table on Sunday.

JC said: “It’s going great here in London, maybe I should move here! I was very pleased to come back in the heads-up after being a 9-1 dog but I was confident there was a way back as there was still so much play left at the table. It is a shame I couldn’t eventually win this heat but I am very happy with 26 points and topping the table.”

PartyPoker.com Premier League III sees the buy-in elevated to $75,000 and the added money raised to $350,000, making a total prize pool of $1.25 million. The series features 12 of the world’s best players playing in a unique league format. All 12 players will play six times in the preliminary stages. The leading four players will then progress to the final table with the next four battling it out in heads-up matches for the final two seats. Phil Hellmuth leads the strongest ever line-up that includes Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan, JC Tran, Nenad Medic, Devilfish, Tony G, Vicky Coren, Annette Obrestad, Roland de Wolfe, Andy Black, Juha Helppi and WSOP Main Event winner Peter Eastgate.

PARTYPOKER.COM PREMIER LEAGUE III – 24th – 30th November

LEAGUE TABLE AT THE END OF HEAT FIVE ON DAY THREE

26 pts JC TRAN

16 pts PETER EASTGATE

14 pts JUHA HELPPI

14 pts VICKY COREN

12 pts TONY G

10 pts ANNETTE OBRESTAD

8 pts TOM DWAN

7 pts ANDY BLACK

6 pts ROLAND DE WOLFE

6pts NENAD MEDIC

3 pts DEVILFISH

3 pts PHIL HELLMUTH

ABOUT ASIAN POKER TOUR (APT)

The Asian Poker Tour (APT) is Asia ’s biggest and original poker tour. The Tour was recently acquired by AsianLogic (AIM:ALOG). Joining the stars are players from all over the world who won seats to the event by qualifying through online satellites at www.PartyPoker.com, DafaPoker, PKR, Titan Poker, Bodog, JBet Poker, Virgin Poker, PaddyPowerPoker and Poker Trillion. www.asianpt.com

ABOUT ASIANLOGIC (ALOG)

AsianLogic is a leading online and land-based gaming company focusing on the Asia-Pacific markets. The Company is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: ALOG). AsianLogic owns and operates eight online casino brands and two online poker rooms as well as land-based sportsbook operations through its MegaSportsWorld brand. It is a specialist in Asia-specific games such as Mahjong, Cho-Da-Di, Do-Di-Zhu and 13 Card Poker. The Company owns and operates the Asian Poker Tour. The Company also maintains a corporate advisory team specialising in the gaming sector which is an active investor in gaming-related businesses as well as providing consultancy and analytical services. AsianLogic enjoys strong commercial relationships with leading gaming providers including Playtech , ID Games and LVS. Founded as ESL in 2002, AsianLogic employs over 300 employees, the majority of whom are based in the Philippines .

World Series of Poker”® and “WSOP”® are registered trade marks of Harrah’s License Company LLC. No license, affiliation, sponsorship, or endorsement is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. AsianLogic is not licensed by or otherwise affiliated with Harrah’s License Company LLC or the World Series of Poker®, in any way.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peter Eastgate Becomes Youngest WSOP Main Event Champ, by Dan Cypra - Poker News Daily - 11th November 2008

The long-awaited winner of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event was crowned on Monday night. The heads-up match pitted a Russian, Ivan Demidov, against Denmark native Peter Eastgate. In front of a packed house at the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas, the two battled it out for the $9.1 million first place prize.

Eastgate is a 22 year-old poker pro from Odense, Denmark and, with the win, breaks Phil Hellmuth’s record as the youngest WSOP Main Event champion ever. His opponent, Demidov, also made the final table and finished third of the 2008 WSOP Europe Main Event, the first time that a player has made both marquee final tables. Demidov’s experience on the poker felts propelled him to heads-up play. Those in attendance to witness history on Monday night included 2006 Main Event champ Jamie Gold, young poker gun Jeff Madsen, “Miami” John Cernuto, Cyndy Violette, Full Tilt Poker pro Chris Ferguson, Hevad “Rain” Khan, and Team PokerStars Pro member and three-time bracelet holder Barry Greenstein. Play began around 10:30pm local time.

Although Eastgate started with the chip lead entering heads-up play, Demidov pulled to even within a half hour. On the 208th hand of final table play, Demidov raised to 1.95 million chips pre-flop and Eastgate called. The flop came 9-7-6 and Demidov bet out 3.625 million. After some thought, Eastgate called. After a jack fell on the turn, the action went check-check. A river queen prompted a 7 million chip bet by Demidov, who was quickly called by Eastgate. Demidov showed A-10 for a bluff; Eastgate showed J-8 for a pair of jacks (and had a straight draw after the flop). The pot pushed Eastgate to over 100 million chips, giving him nearly a 3:1 advantage.

Eastgate became the first Dane to win the WSOP Main Event and just the second bracelet winner from Denmark ever. The other is Jesper Hougaard, who has two WSOP titles under his belt. Eastgate broke Hellmuth’s record for youngest Main Event champion ever by nearly two full years, as Hellmuth was 24 years, 10 months, and 5 days old when he won back in 1989.

The newly crowned champion commented to WSOP officials after the final cards were dealt, “I do not think I have realized yet what a big moment this is. It will come in the next days and weeks. I expect I will get emotional about it later, but not as much now.” His win came at the end of a grueling final table. Although it was spread out over two days, with play on Sunday determining the final two contestants, who returned to the Rio on Monday, the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table was the longest in history at 15 hours and 39 minutes. The old record was the 14 hour marathon when Joe Hachem took down the 2005 title, defeating Steven Dannenmann.

On the final hand of the night, Demidov, who had about half of his stack already invested in the pot, pushed all in on a board of 2-K-3-4-7. Demidov flipped over 2-4 for two pair. Eastgate showed A-5 for a turned wheel. On his tournament, Demidov remarked, “I think I played really well at the start, but I did not play as well towards the end. It is really tough to say what went wrong. Every time I tried to bluff, he called and had a hand.”

Eastgate took home $9,152,416 for the win. Demidov took home a $5,809,595 consolation prize. Amazingly, Eastgate is already in second place on the all-time WSOP money list, trailing only Jamie Gold, who won $12,067,092 for taking down the 2006 Main Event. The $9.1 million payout was the second largest in WSOP history. Here is a look at the final payouts from the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event:

1st Place: Peter Eastgate, $9,152,416
2nd Place: Ivan Demidov, $5,809,595
3rd Place: Dennis Phillips, $4,517,773
4th Place: Ylon Schwartz, $3,774,974
5th Place: Scott Montgomery, $3,096,768
6th Place: Darus Suharto, $2,418,562
7th Place: David “Chino” Rheem, $1,772,650
8th Place: Kelly Kim, $1,288,217
9th Place: Craig Marquis, $900,670

The final table will air tonight on cable station ESPN. Network officials will spend Tuesday editing the two-hour show as well as adding commentary from Norman Chad and Lon McEachern.

(Credit: Poker News Daily)

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World Series of Poker: Eastgate wins WSOP title, by Jeff Haney - Las Vegas Sun - 10th November 2008

22-year-old becomes youngest champ; pockets $9.15 million

The 2008 World Series of Poker had a fairy-tale ending for a young Danish poker pro who shares a hometown with Hans Christian Andersen.

Peter Eastgate, 22, became the youngest World Series main event champion in the tournament's 39-year-history on the strength of a masterful performance in the heads-up portion of the competition Tuesday morning at the Rio.

Eastgate outlasted runner-up Ivan Demidov to win $9.1 million in first-place prize money and the gold-and-diamond bracelet emblematic of the championship of the richest and most prestigious event in poker.

"It was a great final table ... it was great for me because I won," Eastgate said, not even trying to suppress a wide grin.

Eastgate and Demidov started their head-to-head duel Monday night at the Penn & Teller Theater before a crowd of about 1,000 fans. They were the last two standing from the 6,844 entrants in the $10,000-entry no-limit Texas hold 'em tournament that started in July. They also survived a final table of nine players who reconvened Sunday after an unprecedented 117-day hiatus.

On the hand that clinched the title, Eastgate made a "wheel," or a 5-high straight, to beat Demidov's two pair, deuces and 4s. After a flop of 2-king-3, a 4 fell on fourth street to give Eastgate, holding an ace and a 5, his straight. A harmless 7 fell on the river. Demidov went all-in and Eastgate made the easy call.

Demidov, of Moscow, Russia, collected $5.8 million for second place.

"We'll see a lot more of Ivan," said Eastgate, of Odense, Denmark. "He played great, and that goes for the other guys too. I'm very proud."

Demidov, 27, acquitted himself well at the final table, establishing an image of a fearsome -- and fearless -- competitor before Eastgate pulled away with a late rally.

"I'm not really satisfied with the way I played," Demidov said. "I learned I have some work to do on my heads-up game."

Eastgate surpassed Phil Hellmuth's record as the youngest player to win the World Series championship event. Hellmuth won the 1989 tournament at age 24. Hellmuth wished Eastgate good luck Monday when he advanced to the final two.

"It's a great accomplishment," Eastgate said. "Beating Phil Hellmuth makes it even better."
Eastgate takes commanding lead (2:20 a.m.):

Peter Eastgate snapped off a bluff by Ivan Demidov to win a huge pot and take a commanding lead of $108 million to $28 million in tournament chips.

With a board reading 10-king-7-jack-3 with three diamonds, Demidov bet $12 million on fifth street and was called by Eastgate. Demidov had only ace-9 for a hand of ace high. Eastgate, holding the 4-7 of diamonds, won a pot of more than $40 million with his flush.

Moments later Eastgate put Demidov deeper into the hole when the Dane turned a full house, 3s full of 8s, and coaxed Demidov into calling bets of $2.5 million and $4.5 million on fourth and fifth streets.

Two hands later, a scheduled 20-minute break was announced. The crowd groaned, correctly sensing a massive shift in momentum in Eastgate's favor.

Eastgate went into the break holding a chip lead of $120.4 million to $16.4 million, a ratio of 7.5 to 1.
Demidov fights back as blinds escalate (2:00 a.m.):

The blinds increased to $500,000 and $1 million with an ante of $150,000 at 1:18 a.m. Tuesday. In other words, $1.8 million goes into the pot on each hand before a card is dealt. That amount represents about 1.3 percent of the $136 million in tournament chips in play.

The size of the blinds marks a record high in the history of the World Series of Poker.

Demidov has narrowed his chip deficit as the blinds have escalated, demonstrating he won't go down without a fight, and rebuilding his chip stack to $52 million in tournament dollars. Eastgate, whose chip total had exceeded $100 million, dropped to $84 million.

Picking his spots to show aggression, Demidov challenged Eastgate with a couple of crucial preflop re-raises that could have led to the building of a big pot. Each time, the Dane elected to back off and allowed Demidov to take down the pot.

The two finalists have been playing heads-up poker at its highest skill level, treating the fans at the Rio to a taut and cerebral duel. Regardless of the outcome, both men figure to be major forces in tournament poker for years to come.
Setting a new record (1:15 a.m.):

Just before 1 a.m. Tuesday the final table, which began Sunday morning, broke the record for the longest main event final table in the 39-year history of the World Series of Poker.

The 2008 final table surpassed the old mark of 14 hours, 2 minutes set in 2005, when Joe Hachem won the championship.

Tournament director Jack Effel's announcement of the milestone drew only lukewarm applause from the crowd despite his gallant attempts to sell it: "Always breaking records. It's all about the numbers."

The timekeeping includes short breaks but excludes longer interruptions such as dinner breaks.

Meanwhile Peter Eastgate, playing textbook big-stack tournament poker by applying consistent pressure on his opponent, had opened a chip lead of approximately $107 million in tournament chips to Ivan Demidov's $29 million. Eastgate won a series of small pots, causing a look of frustration to flicker across the face of Demidov, who otherwise had been virtually unreadable to the point of stoic.
Play resumes with Eastgate in control (12:35 a.m.):

Play resumed at 12:25 a.m. Tuesday after a brief break with Peter Eastgate holding the chip lead against Ivan Demidov, $86.3 million to $50.5 million in tournament chips.

Eastgate proceeded to stretch his lead by winning a couple of key hands, including a large pot in which he caught Demidov bluffing. With a dangerous board reading 6-7-9-jack-queen, Demidov made a $7 million bet holding nothing but ace high. Holding 8-jack, Eastgate "insta-called" without even taking a moment to think it over and took down the pot with his pair of jacks.
Final two playing for national pride (12:20 a.m.):

An hour and a half into the heads-up portion of the World Series of Poker final table, Peter Eastgate has maintained his chip lead against Ivan Demidov in a closely contested match marked by tactical yet selectively aggressive play by both men.

The two finalists contested a pot exceeding $30 million in tournament chips, but ended up splitting it because they both had a straight. Ivan, holding the 6-8 of clubs, flopped his straight when the first three community cards came 5-7-4 with two diamonds. The flop gave Eastgate, holding 4-6 offsuit, an open-ended straight draw, and he completed it when an 8 fell on fourth street. A third diamond, the 3, put the brakes on the betting. Both players checked and chopped the pot.

Just before the players left to take a short break, Eastgate won a sizable pot when he made two pair, aces and queens, on the river and Demidov mucked his hand at showdown.

Eastgate is attempting to become the second Dane to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. Jesper Hougaard won his in a $1,500-entry no-limit hold 'em tournament at the Rio in June, and followed that victory by taking down a 1,500-pound-entry tournament at the World Series of Poker Europe in London three months later. Hougaard, of Copenhagen, is sitting with Eastgate's cheering section at the final table.

If Demidov wins, he'll join 2008 World Series women's tournament winner Svetlana Gromenkova as a Russian reigning champion. Gromenkova, a Russian national who lives in New York, won her bracelet in June.
Former champs in the house (11:00 p.m.):

Between hands, tournament director Jack Effel has introduced former world champions Chris Ferguson, Chris Moneymaker and Jamie Gold, who are on hand to watch the match between Demidov and Eastgate. Ferguson and Gold are sitting in the front row with fellow popular pros Erick Lindgren and Daniel Negreanu, just in front of Barry Greenstein.

Also stage-side are Madeline and Stephanie Ungar, widow and daughter of poker great Stu Ungar, who won the World Series main event in 1980, 1981 and 1997. This month marks 10 years since Stu Ungar's death at the age of 45.
Final table underway (10:50 p.m.):

Michael Buffer, the famed boxing ring announcer also known for his haunting performance in the role of Walbridge in "You Don't Mess with the Zohan," introduced the two finalists and intoned, "Let's get ready ... to shuffle up and deal!"

Play resumed with the blinds at $300,000 and $600,000 with an ante of $75,000. Eastgate entered heads-up play with an official count of $80.3 million in tournament chips to Demidov's $56.6 million, slightly different figures from the estimates posted early Monday morning just after the final table of nine had been pared to two players.

The first hand, which began at 10:35, went all the way to the river. With two 10s and three kings on the board, Eastgate folded to Demidov's bet after fifth street.

The big pile of cash and the bracelet remain on the table as the players compete.

Nine minutes into play, the blinds were raised to $400,000 and $800,000 and the ante to $100,000.
Electric atmosphere fills Rio (10:30 p.m.):

Spectators were still filing into the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio at 10 p.m. Monday, the scheduled starting time for the final night of the 2008 World Series of Poker main event.

A capacity crowd of about 1,000 fans was expected for the heads-up match between Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate, with a top prize of $9.1 million and poker's world championship at stake.

On stage, millions of dollars in cash and the gold-and-diamond championship bracelet sat on the final table itself awaiting the players' arrival.

In a promotion in the Rio casino Monday afternoon, both finalists showed they did not regard the treasured bracelet with superstition, the way hockey players do with the Stanley Cup. Demidov and Eastgate each hoisted the bracelet in the air for photographers during the appearance on the Rio's Masquerade Stage to hype the final showdown. (Hockey players, by contrast, famously refuse to handle the Cup unless they have won it on the ice.)

Boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer is milling around on stage. Predictably, his appearance has generated more than one impersonation of his signature phrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!" from the audience.

Tournament director Jack Effel is preparing to wish the players good luck in their native languages. In Danish, it's "held og lykke." The Russian version involves foreign characters but phonetically it roughly translates as "udachee."

World Series of Poker commissioner Jeffrey Pollack presented Erick Lindgren with the 2008 World Series player of the year award. Lindgren, of Las Vegas, won the World Series $5,000-buy-in mixed hold 'em tournament and cashed in four other events, including a third-place showing in the $50,000-entry world championship HORSE mixed-games tournament.

Lindgren offered the two finalists his congratulations, then passed along a message from former world champ Doyle Brunson: There will be a big cash poker game in progress on the Strip after the final table, and Demidov and Eastgate are more than welcome to join in.
Demidov, Eastgate play for poker’s biggest prize (3:30 p.m.):

Having secured at least second-place prize money of $5.8 million, both World Series of Poker main event finalists said they'll be competing Monday night for the prestige of winning the game's most revered tournament.

Ivan Demidov of Moscow, Russia, and Peter Eastgate of Odense, Denmark, will square off head-to-head for the no-limit Texas hold 'em world championship beginning at 10 p.m. at the Rio.

First place in the $10,000-buy-in tournament, which drew 6,844 entrants, pays $9.1 million. The winner also receives a gold-and-diamond championship bracelet, considered the most coveted prize in poker.

"It's about the bracelet and about winning the biggest poker tournament in the world," Demidov said Monday at the Rio.

Demidov enters heads-up play at the Penn & Teller Theater with $57.7 million in tournament chips to Eastgate's $79.5 million. Spectators are welcome, with doors scheduled to open to the general public at 9:30 p.m.

"We already know we're getting the paycheck, so it's pride that's on the line," Eastgate said.

As players were eliminated from the final table Sunday, which reconvened after an unprecedented 117-day hiatus, nearly every one of them mentioned Demidov, Eastgate or both as the toughest competitors in the event's endgame.

Both finalists became professional poker players after honing their skills online, moving up through the ranks to high-stakes play as they conquered each succeeding level.

Demidov, 27, entered play at the final table with a burgeoning reputation for "live" (that is, live and in person) tournament play as well. During the 117-day break, he finished third in the World Series of Poker Europe main event in London.

Eastgate, 22, became serious about poker in 2006 when he went on a major "heater," or winning streak, in online play. He was asked Monday at the Rio what he did before he embarked upon his lucrative career as a poker pro.

"Before that," Eastgate said, "I was in high school."

(Credit: Las Vegas Sun)

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WORLD SERIES OF POKER: The Final Table - Las Vegas Review-Journal - 8th November 2008

DENNIS PHILLIPS, 53 ST. LOUIS position 1: $26,295,000

BACKGROUND

• Phillips, an account manager for a commercial trucking company, won his seat in the World Series of Poker through a satellite tournament at Harrah's St. Louis. He has parlayed that opportunity into a shot at $9.1 million.

• Phillips has been playing live poker for almost three years and has won less than $5,000.

HOW HIS LIFE HAS CHANGED

Phillips has become a celebrity in St. Louis, thanks to wearing a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap while playing in the main event. He threw out a pitch at a Cardinals game in September with his family on the field. "Other than absolutely no free time, everything is positive."

PREPARING FOR FINAL TABLE

Phillips played in tournaments in Atlantic City and London during the break. He hired a couple of coaches and has been playing poker with friends in St. Louis to evaluate his game.

KEY HAND THAT LANDED YOU AT THE FINAL TABLE

On the fourth day, he doubled up on poker professional Mike Vos' to move into the top 10 chip leaders. Phillips remained in the top 10 from that point. "Twice earlier in the tournament I had to lay down aces. That was hard, and in one case, the wrong move. My concern was advancing day to day with an above average chip count and I did that. If I threw away the best hand a few times, so be it. I think the end result was worth it."

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ESPN POKER ANALYST NORM CHAD:

"Perhaps no player could be more negatively affected by the 117-day final-table delay. When play was halted in July, Phillips was in a zone. He was running hot and reading well, getting all the right cards and pushing all the right buttons. Poker is a streaky game, and he was on a weeklong streak. Heck, 31/2 months later, he might not even be able to find his St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap."

Greg Tingle comment...

It's always great to see someone come from nowhere to go onto fame and fortune. It gives all the punters hope that lady luck might favor them in a big way also. It's all great news media exposure and PR for the game of poker and gives a real story line to the rich history that is The World Series of Poker. Congratulations Dennis Phillips. It will be interesting to learn of Texas Dolly's thoughts on the current crop in the WSOP. Doyle Brunson will always be the king in the opinion of many, but all respect to Phillips. Your throw of the dice.

(Credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Final nine meet in Las Vegas again for US$9.12M poker crown

LAS VEGAS — The wait is over for nine men to settle a US$9.12 million bet.

The final players at the World Series of Poker resumed play Sunday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to determine the champion at this year's no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event.

Seven players were to be eliminated Sunday, with the last two scheduled to play heads-up Monday night for the title and top payday. The nine players will split $32.6 million - the lion's share of a pool built on the $10,000 entry fees of 6,844 players who began play in July.

The last nine players return to the table Sunday after a break to build up interest in the event with vastly different sized chip stacks. Chips don't have monetary value, but they tell players where they stand compared with their opponents and significantly affect how they can manoeuvre in the game. A player who loses all his chips is eliminated.

Dennis Phillips, 53, a trucking account manager from suburban St. Louis, leads the way with 26.3 million chips. Phillips won his $10,000 buy-in and trip for the main event in a $200 satellite tournament at Harrah's St. Louis Hotel & Casino.

"I think I have these guys pegged pretty well," Phillips told The Associated Press. Phillips hired a professional poker coach but did not quit his job at Broadway Truck Centers in St. Louis.

He did say he spent weekends and other spare time studying his opponents and poker.

"You're always learning, you're always perfecting, you're always trying to improve," he said.

Ivan Demidov, a 27-year old semi-professional poker player from Moscow, trails Phillips with 24.4 million in chips.

Next in line are poker professional Scott Montgomery, 26, of Perth, Ont., with about 19.7 million chips, and Peter Eastgate, a 22-year-old professional poker player from Odense, Denmark, who holds 18.4 million chips. Eastgate, the youngest player at the poker table, could become the youngest main event champion ever.

Ylon Schwartz, 38, of New York, is next with 12.5 million chips. The Brooklyn native has been hustling games since age 13 and said the only difference between the World Series of Poker final table and other poker games is the "public spectacle."

Schwartz said he would try to not let the pressure of the money stand in the way of winning.

"It is $9 million, but I have no understanding of what that means," Schwartz said.

Schwartz is slightly ahead of Toronto accountant Darus Suharto, who won his main event entry through a $650 online satellite tournament on gambling site PokerStars.

"I'm an online donkey," Suharto said, billing himself as the least skilled player left in the tournament. Suharto won $26,389 for finishing 448th in the 2006 main event.

David "Chino" Rheem, a 28-year-old pro from Los Angeles, is in seventh place with 10.2 million chips, just 20,000 chips ahead of Craig Marquis, 23, of Arlington, Texas. Marquis also is trying to become the tournament's youngest champion.

In last place is Kelly Kim, a 31-year-old professional from Whittier, Calif., who believes serious play won't start until he doubles his stack or busts out. With 2.6 million chips, Kim holds about two per cent of the chips in play.

Kim said he was looking to get lucky after a bad day nearly eliminated him before the final table was set in July. He held on as the last players busted out, and said afterward that just making the final nine was of paramount importance.

"After getting there, now you're free-rolling into placing farther," he said.

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