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Finally, nine people remain after a grueling 12 day battle in the 2008 Main Event where 6,844 began with hopes of joining the ranks of some of poker’s best as world champion. The problem is that these golden nine will have to wait until November 9th to finish their journeys due to the fact that this year the final table of the Main Event will be played live for the first time.

As we all know, finishing 10th in a poker tournament is not quite the glamorous place, but one isn’t really in a position to complain. Dean Hamrick had such a role this year, after over eleven hours of play on the day Hamrick moved all-in for 3,420,000 chips and Craig Marquis shoved over him. The action was folded around the rest of the table and Marquis revealed QQ to Hamrick’s AJ.The flop was K-10-3 rainbow giving Hamrick an inside straight draw. The turn was a 10 which was no help. And the river fell a K as the crowd was yelling various cards. Obviously, this was no help to Hamrick either as he was sent home in 10th, but not before taking home a healthy payday of $591,869. “It’s the worst you’re ever going to feel to win half a million bucks,” Hamrick said. “I guess at least it’s a good story.”

That hand left “The November Nine” who will vie for glory in four months. “Now, I have nothing to lose,” said Kelly Kim, a 31-year-old professional poker player from Whittier, California. He was still happy although he finished as the final table short stack.

No matter what the result, this year’s final table will be enjoyable to watch live for all poker buffs out there. Chip leader Dennis Phillips sums it up nicely in stating, “I love this game.”

The complete final table participants and chip stacks are:
Dennis Phillips – 26,295,000
Craig Marquis – 10,210,000
Ylon Schwartz – 12,525,000
Scott Montgomery – 19,690,000
Darus Suharto – 12,520,000
David ‘Chino’ Rheem – 10,230,000
Ivan Demidov – 24,400,000
Kelly Kim – 2,620,000
Peter Eastgate – 18,375,000