the poker chronicles : wsop main event update

in case you didn't know, the 2005 world series of poker main event is already in progress and it's getting close to the end. i've been keeping up-to-date with the tournament through cardplayer.com. they have media representatives there blogging tourney updates every 10 minutes or so. pretty cool if you ask me.

a record number 5619 players entered the "big one" this year, more than twice as much as last year!! at $10,000 a pop, that brings the total prize pool to $52,818,610 (minus 6% for harrah's to run the damn thing). of the 5619, the top 560 get paid!!

here are the payouts for the final table (everyone becomes a millionaire):

1st - $7,500,000 (wow)
2nd - $4,250,000
3rd - $2,500,000
4th - $2,000,000
5th - $1,750,000
6th - $1,500,000
7th - $1,300,000
8th - $1,150,000
9th - $1,000,000

so after 7 days of poker, we're down to the final 3 tables of 27 players. most of the big names are gone. doyle brunson? gone. johnny chan? gone. phil hellmuth? gone. tj cloutier? gone. of the final 27, only 3 names are recognizable: mike "the mouth" matusow, phil ivey, and unbelievably, greg "fossilman" raymer, last year's world champion. i'm blown away by raymer's performance. after outlasting 2,575 for the title last year, he's in the final 27 out of 5619. that's ridiculous. according to the blogs, he's the crowd favorite. i don't blame them.

i'm personally rooting for phil ivey, who's my favorite player along with johnny chan. ivey has already won a bracelet this year, which gives him a career total of 5. the current all-time wsop bracelet leader is chan with 10 (he won his 10th this year). at the age of 28, ivey, the "tiger woods of poker", is already being donned as the next great one. i can't help but draw the comparisons between jack nicklaus passing the torch to tiger woods in golf, to doyle brunson passing the torch to phil ivey in poker. i know, i'm a cheeseball.

let's also not forget the run-in that mike matusow had with raymer last year. the cameras of espn caught "the mouth" being an ass by taunting and cursing at raymer (hence the nickname). he later apologized and tried to shake hands, but raymer wasn't having any of it. it should make for great tv if the two end up at the final table together. i'm sure espn is praying for that scenario.

they start at 3pm today, and will play until the final 9. tomorrow, the final 9 will play until the 2005 world series of poker champion is decided.

here are the current chip counts for the final 27:

Mike Matusow - $5,104,000
Phil Ivey - $4,600,000
Steve Dannenmann - $4,150,000
Tex Barch - $3,900,000
Greg Raymer - $3,500,000
Scott Lazar - $2,900,000
Michael Kessler - $2,700,000
Joe Hachem - $2,700,000
Daniel Bergsdorf - $2,500,000
Andrew Black - $2,350,000
Aaron Kanter - $2,200,000
Tim Phan - $2,200,000
Tommy Vu - $2,000,000
Minh Ly - $1,800,000
Brad Kondracki - $1,500,000
Bryant King - $1,500,000
Connor Tate - $1,300,000
Oskar Silow - $1,300,000
Joe Connor - $1,000,000
Tiffany Williamson - $1,000,000
Tom Sartori - $950,000
Bernard Lee - $950,000
Johnny Howard - $800,000
John McGrane - $600,000
Per Hildebrand - $550,000
Shawn Sheikhan - $400,000
Ayhan Alsancak - $250,000

**** update 07/15/2005 11:00 am ****

so i apparently jinxed phil ivey and greg raymer with my blog. they were both knocked out yesterday with some bad luck. oops. raymer finished 25th while ivey finished 20th. mike matusow continued to play well though, and made the final 9. he's my pick now. how can you not root for someone nicknamed "the mouth"?

here's the final table w/ chip counts and seating assignments:

1. Aaron Kanter - $10,700,000 (seat 6)
2. Tex Barch - $9,330,000 (seat 3)
3. Andrew Black - $8,140,000 (seat 2)
4. Mike Matusow - $7,410,000 (seat 5)
5. Steve Dannenmann - $5,460,000 (seat 8)
6. Joseph Hachem - $5,420,000 (seat 1)
7. Daniel Bergsdorf - $5,270,000 (seat 4)
8. Scott Lazar - $3,370,000 (seat 9)
9. Brad Kondracki - $1,180,000 (seat 7)

play begins today at 4pm, and will go until the winner is decided.