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WSOP 2009

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Event #57, $10,000 Main Event, End of Day 7 Report

World Championship
World Series of Poker Main Event
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $10,000
Number of Entries: 6,494
Players Remaining: 27
Total Net Prize Pool: $61,043,600
Number of Places Paid: 648
First Place Prize: $8,546,435
July 3--November 10, 2009

Day 7 Headlines

  1. World Series of Poker Continues – Down to 27 Players in the Main Event
  2. And on the Eighth Day – Darvin Moon Retains His Chip Lead
  3. Logger from Western Maryland Still Atop the WSOP Leaderboard – Darvin Moon Primed to Become the Next Moneymaker
  4. Seven-Time Gold Bracelet Winner Phil Ivey (Las Vegas, NV) Currently in Fourth Place

The Main Event Continues

The 2009 WSOP Main Event continued with the play and conclusion of Day 7. The day played all the way down to three tables. All 64 players who started play on Day 7 were already guaranteed $90,344 in prize money. Now, after 12 days and 60 total hours of tournament play, all finishers are guaranteed at least $352,832 in prize money.

Day 7 began with 64 players. The day ended with 27 survivors.

Tables are usually played nine handed. Three tables remain.

This was the 47th day of the 2009 WSOP. Play continues for one more day, plus the finale to be played in November. There will also be four gold bracelet events played at WSOP-Europe, to be held in London in September.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) begins at noon and will play down to nine players, which constitutes the final table. This year’s final table will make up the 2009 “November Nine.” Following tomorrow’s play down to nine players, the tournament takes a 115-day recess.

Play on Day 7 began on July 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm.

Play on Day 7

Following 2009 WSOP champion Peter Eastgate’s elimination in Day 6, no more former world champions remain alive in the Main Event.

At the start of play on Day 7, six former WSOP gold bracelet winners were still alive in the Main Event. They included: Phil Ivey (7 wins), Tom Schneider (2 wins), Antonio Esfandiari (1 win), Blair Rodman (1 win), Jordan Smith (1 win), and Prahlad Friedman (1 win). 

Players competed for nearly four complete levels. Play ended towards the end of Level 29. There are 7 minutes 17 seconds remaining. Next, at Level 30, blinds will be 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante. The average stack size is currently 7,215,556.

Day 7 started with a field of 64 players and ended with 27 survivors. This means only about .41 percent of the original 6,494 starters survived past the seventh day.

Only one female started the day still in contention. Leo Margets (Barcelona, Spain) began play ranked in 18th place. She survived and is currently in 26th place. Margets will need to make a big move on Day 8 to make the November Nine. Only one female in history has made it to a Main Event final table – Barbara Enright in 1995.

Former gold bracelet winner Blair Rodman, from Rancho Mirage, CA was eliminated in 34th place.

Dennis Phillips (St. Louis, MO) who finished third in last year’s Main Event, was eliminated in 45th place.

2007 WSOP “Player of the Year” and two-time gold bracelet winner Tom Schneider, from Scottsdale, AZ was eliminated in 52nd place.

Former gold bracelet winner Prahlad Friedman (2003, $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em), from Malibu, CA was eliminated in 64th place.

Players who survived Day 7 will return to continue their quest for the 2009 world poker championship gold bracelet and $8.5 million in first-place prize money on July 15th, starting at noon.

Seven-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Ivey remains in contention, currently ranked in fourth place.

Card Player magazine editor Jeff Shulman remains alive in the Main Event, currently ranked in seventh place. He finished seventh in the 2000 WSOP championship.

Play on Day 7 ended at 10:40 pm.

A Breakthrough Year for France?

France is blessed with many talented poker players. However, in the 40-year history of the WSOP, only one French player has made it to a Main Event final table. That took place in 1998 when Marc Brochard finished in eighth place. In 2003, poker pioneer Bruno Fitoussi finished in 15th place. Other than those two showings, France has been shut out of championship celebrations.

This year could be a breakthrough year for France. Of the 27 remaining players, three are from France. Antoine Saout, from Saint Martin des Champs, is presently in 6th place. Lacay Ludovic, from Paris, is in 15th place. Francois Balmigere, from Toulouse, is in 27th place. Interestingly, Ludovic and Balmigere attended college together, but became professional poker players.

France appears to have a very bright future in poker, as all three of the French players are under the age of 25.

Two Notable Corrections

Bradley “B.J.” Craig (Cleveland, OH) finished in 50th place. This was his first time to cash at the WSOP. There is another player named Bradley Craig (Stitbulle, ON Canada) who cashed in a WSOP event in 2005, who is a different player.

There are two tournament players named Thai Tran. The 49th-place finisher in the Main Event was Thai K. Tran, from Houston, TX. The player asks that all his records be updated with the name THAI K. TRAN.

About the Day 7 Chip Leader (Darvin Moon)

Darvin Moon remains as the chip leader after seven days of play. He lives in the small eastern Maryland town of Oakland. Moon owns and operates a small logging company with other family members. Most of his days are spent in pine forests scattered throughout the Maryland panhandle. He is married and was cheered on by his wife, who was sitting in the crowd. This is Moon’s first time to play in the WSOP. It was also his first time to visit Las Vegas.

Moon lost his lead early in the day and fell to around tenth place in the standings. Just when it appeared he might crumble and fade away, Moon managed to win a few big hands and stay near the top of the leaderboard. He won a few big pots late in the day to regain his chip advantage over Billy Kopp (Erlanger, KY), who is currently in second place.

An Interview with Darvin Moon

Question: How did you get to the WSOP?
Moon: I won my seat at the casino in Wheeling (WV). We started going out there last year. I came in ninth one time last year. This time, I played three times (trying to qualify for a seat to play in the Main Event). I finished third the first time, and then busted out the next time. The third time, I won my seat.
Question: How long have you been playing poker?
Moon: About three years. I watch poker on TV a lot. And I pay attention to it.
Question: What is your usual poker game?
Moon: there are about 70 of us around who play around. We do benefits at places like the Elks Club, American Legion, and the fire departments. I also play in Wheeling (WV).
Question: You really came out of nowhere to seize the chip lead. How did you do it?
Moon: It’s easy to play when you get hands like I was getting. It’s just unbelievable. It’s like a dream. I got pocket aces and flopped trips, and someone was betting into me. But I had pocket kings one time and the other guy pushed all in over the top of me. I just mucked my hand pre-flop. I mean, he has to have aces. What else can he have? That’s just my style. I play tight. When I get them I bet and when I don’t, I fold.
Question: You must feel like a kid in a candy store here at the WSOP.
Moon: Oh yeah. I’m nervous. I mean, this is my first time in Las Vegas. It was my first time on a big plane.
Question: How did it feel to play on the main ESPN stage under the spotlight of television cameras?
Moon: It didn’t bother me at all. I mean, I am nervous. But I am more nervous out there than I am here. I focus on the cards and I am comfortable playing. I walk down that hall and everybody that’s won and everybody is big time and a name. And they walk right by you and you say, ‘wow, here I am playing with these guys. It’s a dream come true.
Question: Why are you wearing a New Orleans Saints (NFL) cap?
Moon: I like cheering for the underdog. They were underdogs for a long time. But now they are doing good and I am sticking with them. We are located right between Pittsburgh and Baltimore. It is mostly Steeler fans where I live. And I wear this hat to mess with them.
Question: Let’s say you get offered ninth place right now. You can make a deal and you will get $1 million for ninth, plus you get to be part of the November Nine. Would you take the imaginary deal?
Moon: No. No. Ninth place? I got my goals set. It’s not first. But it’s not ninth, either. I’ll be happy. I don’t care if I go out the first hand tomorrow. I’ve had fun. It’s been worth every minute of it. I just like to play and it’s unreal. It’s something I can’t even dream of doing, and here I am.

Here’s how the previous end-of-day chip leaders have fared:

  • Day 1-A: Redmond Lee (London, UK) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 1-B: Brandon Demes (Tempe, AZ) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 1-C: Joseph Cada (Shelby Township, MI) – currently in 12th place
  • Day 1-D: Troy Weber (West Terre Haute, IN) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 2-A: Andrew Gaw (Philippines) – eliminated, did not cash
  • Day 2-B: Amir Lehavot (Weston, FL) – CASHED IN 226th PLACE
  • Day 3: Bertrand Grospellier (Nancy, France) – CASHED IN 122nd PLACE
  • Day 4: Matt Affleck (Seattle, WA) – CASHED IN 80th PLACE
  • Day 5: Waren Zackey (Johannesburg, South Africa) – currently in 16th place
  • Day 6: Darvin Moon (Oakland, MD) – currently in 1st place (retained chip lead)
  • Day 7: Darvin Moon (Oakland, MD) – TBD

Meet Billy Kopp (Second Place in WSOP Main Event)

Billy Kopp is from Erlanger, KY. He is 23-years-old and is attending the University of Kentucky as a full-time student. He is close to receiving a degree in hospitality management and tourism.

Kopp was the chip leader late on Day 7, but feel to second place when Darvin Moon (at another table) made a late run and regained his chip lead. Currently, Kopp has nearly 16 million in chips while Moon is atop the leaderboard with 20 million. Other rivals are all 12 million in chips, and less.

Kopp has come close to victory recently. He was the runner up at the WSOP Circuit championship held at Harrah’s New Orleans in May. Kopp admits to being brought into the game about six years as part of the so-called “Moneymaker effect,” which brought millions of new players to poker.

When asked about the surroundings of playing in the WSOP Main Event, Kopp remarked confidently: “I am not really intimidated by anybody. I think it is my ball game….I think I can play with the best of them.”

Meet George Caragiorgas (Currently in 24th Place)

Poker tournaments are often won by players who come from the middle of the pack or are far behind at a critical stage of the competition. Most recently, Jerry Yang and Joe Hachem began play at the final table with a low stack, yet somehow managed to stage memorable comeback victories. George Caragiorgas, from Montreal, Quebec (Canada) has to be hoping for a similar result. He will start Day 8 ranked 24th in the chip count, with 1,615,000 (the chip leader has more than 20 million).

Question: You are currently one of the shorter stacks. What is your strategy for tomorrow?
Caragiorgas: I have to wait for a good spot to put my money in. Then, I have to hope for the best. If I can accumulate a couple of chips, that’s good because you can’t do much (at this stage) with 1.7 million in chips. If I can get 4 or 5 million in chips, we can play some poker. Right now, it is either push or fold.
Question: What’s your story, George?
Caragiorgas: I was born in Greece. My family came to Montreal, Canada when I was three years old. So, I’ve been living in Montreal for the last 33 years. I am married to Fotini and I have two little girls. I am in the restaurant business and I just love poker more than you can possibly imagine.
Question: What kind of restaurant?
Caragiorgas: A Greek restaurant. It’s called Marathon, like the race. It’s in Montreal.
Question: You were here at the WSOP back in 2006. What do you remember?
Caragiorgas: Yeah, I was here back in 2006 when Jamie (Gold) won. It was my first time here. I was a lot more nervous then, than I am now. I was, I can’t explain it, but my poker level has drastically improved in the last three years. I am a much better poker player now. I just came with a dream back in 2006. It was a good rush three years ago. I finished like 300 spots from the money (Note: Caragiorgas made the top 1,000 out of more than 8,700 who entered). Coming that close to the money given there were nearly 9,000 players was quite a feat. But, I managed to do a little better this time around.
Question: So, what do you expect to happen tomorrow?
Caragiorgas: My strategy is pretty simple. I just have to wait for a good spot. I have to stick it in with what I hope is the best hand and hope it holds up. I am definitely going to put my money in good, that’s for sure.
Question: Anything else to add?
Caragiorgas: Yeah, just one thing. I am really loving life right now.

WSOP Main Event (Final Table Records)

MOST LIFETIME FINAL TABLE APPEARANCES

Doyle Brunson (5)
1976          1st         
1977          1st                   
1980          2nd
1982          4th         
1983 3rd

Jesse Alto (5)
1988          9th   
1985          6th 
1978          5th  
1986          4th  
1984          3rd

Johnny Moss (5)
1974          1st         
1971          1st  
1985          7th  
1979          5th  
1980          4th  

Dan Harrington (4)
1995          1st 
1987          6th   
2004          4th  
2003          3rd      

T.J. Cloutier (4)
1988          5th 
1998          3rd
1985          2nd 
2000          2nd

Stu Ungar (4)
1997          1st 
1980          1st 
1981          1st 
1990 9th 

Note 1: Johnny Moss’ victory in 1970 is not included amongst final table records, since the winner that year was determined by a vote.

Note 2: Crandall Addington actually holds the record with nine Main Event final table appearances. However, most of these did not include a prize-money payout (field sizes were considerably smaller during the 1970s when most of Addington’s appearances occurred).

Note 3: Final table appearances were counted only if the player also received a payout.

Note 4: WSOP Main Event final tables were played six-handed during a 16-year span. However, the top nine finishers during those years are included in final table records.

WSOP Main Event (Cashing Records)

MOST LIFETIME CASHES IN MAIN EVENT:

MORE ON BERRY JOHNSTON:

Berry Johnston’s cashes in the Main Event include:

  • 113th in 2007
  • 16th in 1996
  • 21st in 1995
  • 17th in 1992
  • 5th in 1990
  • 29th in 1989
  • 32nd in 1987
  • 1st in 1986
  • 3rd in 1985
  • 3rd in 1982

MOST CONSECUTIVE CASHES IN MAIN EVENT:

4 – by three players

Notable Players

Here is the current status of all former WSOP world champions who played in this year’s Main Event. All have been eliminated:

Here is the current status of all current and former WSOP “Player of the Year” champions who played in this year’s Main Event. All have been eliminated:

Here is the status of those players with notable results from this year’s WSOP:

  • David Bach (HORSE World Championship winner) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Alex Bolotin (“Ante-Up for Africa” championship winner) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Darryll Fish (cashed 7 times at this year’s WSOP) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Jeffrey Lisandro (won three gold bracelets this year) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Ville Wahlbeck (finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th in four events) – eliminated in Day 4
  • Greg Mueller (won two gold bracelets this year) – eliminated on Day 4
  • Phil Ivey (won two gold bracelets this year) – STILL ALIVE (currently in 4th place)

Here is the status of notable non-pro celebrities from this year’s Main Event:

  • Chuck Pachenco (movie producer) – CASHED IN 612th PLACE
  • Jason Alexander (actor) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Scott Ian (musician with band “Anthrax”) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Shane Warne (world famous cricket player) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Torrie Wilson (female wrestler) – eliminated on Day 1
  • John Salley (former NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Patrick Bruel (French actor and singer) – CASHED IN 428th PLACE
  • Lou Diamond Phillips (actor and singer) – CASHED IN 186th PLACE
  • Marlon Wayans (actor) – eliminated on Day 2
  • Jordan Farmar (NBA basketball player) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Sam Simon (Hollywood writer and producer) – eliminated on Day 3
  • Joseph Kahn (music video producer) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Ray Romano (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Sully Erna (musician) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Shannon Elizabeth (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Brad Garrett (actor) -- eliminated on Day 1
  • Jennifer Tilly (actor) – eliminated on Day 1
  • Orel Hershiser (former major league baseball player – eliminated on Day 1

Historical Footnote: The highest Main Event finish by a celebrity was actor and comedian Gabe Kaplan, who finished 13th in the 1991 championship. The highest Main Event finish for a (non-poker) celebrity was actor Telly Savalas, who finished 21st in the 1992 championship.

Here is the current status of last year’s “November Nine” (2009 Main Event Final Table participants). All have been eliminated. Three of the nine players cashed:

Here are the nations represented among the 27 survivors:

  • US – 19 players
  • France – 3 players
  • UK – 1 player
  • Canada – 1 player
  • Germany – 1 player
  • Spain – 1 player
  • South Africa – 1 player

Daily elimination percentages are as follows:

  • DAY ONE: 68 percent of the original starters in this tournament survived the first day / 32 percent were eliminated.
  • DAY TWO: 31 percent of the original starters survived the second day / 27 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.
  • DAY THREE: 12 percent of the original starters survived the third day / 60 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount.
  • DAY FOUR: 6.2 percent of the original starters survived the fourth day / 48.2 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount
  • DAY FIVE: 2.8 percent of the original starters survived the fifth day / 55 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount
  • DAY SIX: 1 percent of the original starters survived the sixth day / 65.4 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount
  • DAY SEVEN: .2 percent of the original survivors survived the seventh day / 58 percent were eliminated from the start of day amount

Female Participants in the 2009 Main Event

(Note: The WSOP recognizes that player characteristics such as gender, race, etc. do not warrant special mention. However, since many members of the media wish to know details about female participation and status, the staff is providing this information for media use.)

The number of female participants in this year's Main Event is estimated to be 187, which amounts to 2.8 percent of the field. There is no official record since entrants are not designated by their gender. However, it has been customary to count every player at the start of Day One and take an unofficial head-count of female players.

Here are the highest-female finishers (by year) in the WSOP Main Event (Note: Only players who finished in-the-money were recorded):

No female cashed in the Main Event between the years 1970-1985.

1986 – Wendeen Eolis (25th)
1987 – None
1988 – None
1989 – None
1990 – None
1991 – None
1992 – None
1993 – Marsha Waggoner (19th)
1994 – Barbara Samuelson (10th)
1995 – Barbara Enright (5th)
1996 – Lucy Rokach (26th)
1997 – Marsha Waggoner (12th)
1998 – Susie Isaacs (10th)
1999 – None
2000 – Annie Duke (10th)
2001 – None
2002 – None
2003 – Annie Duke (47th)
2004 – Rose Richie (98th)
2005 – Tiffany Williamson (15th)
2006 – Sabyl Cohen-Landrum (56th)
2007 – Maria Ho (38th)
2008 – Tiffany Michelle (17th)
2009 – Leo Margets (TBD)

Playing on Day 1 – A, B, C, or D – Does it Matter?

Which of the four Main Event starting days is the most advantageous? The data has been run and the numbers are now in. Statistics from the past two years of Main Events show there is almost no correlation between the starting day and the odds of finishing in-the-money. Here are the numbers:

2009:
Day 1A: 121 cashes out of 1116 entrants --10.8 percent
Day 1B: 84 cashes out of 873 entrants -- 9.6 percent
Day 1C: 162 cashes out of 1696 entrants -- 9.5 percent
Day 1D: 281 cashes out of 2809 entrants -- 10 percent
 
2008:
Day 1A: 122 cashes out of 1299 entries -- 9.4 percent
Day 1B: 117 cashes out of 1158 entries -- 10.1 percent
Day 1C: 187 cashes out of 1936 entries -- 9.7 percent
Day 1D: 240 cashes out of 2461 entries -- 9.7 percent

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