After waiting nearly four months to reconvene the final table of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, everyone was excited to get the action going. None could have been more excited than the 22-year-old Peter Eastgate, who broke Phil Hellmuth’s record and is now the youngest main event champion to ever grace the WSOP. Eastgate walked away with not only the record-holding title, but the WSOP gold bracelet and $9,152,416 in total winnings!
Think back to July and recall that the $10K NL Hold’em tournament began with 6,844 players. Then it all came down to the infamous November Nine: Ivan Demidov, Peter Eastgate, Kelly Kim, Craig Marquis, Scott Montgomery, Dennis Phillips, David “Chino” Rheem, Ylon Schwartz, and Darus Suharto.
Dennis Phillips, the truck salesman from St. Louis, started the table as chip leader and was able to stick around long enough to see some of the first few eliminations.
First to go was Craig Marqui. With pocket sevens, Marqui pushed his stack all-in, only to be called by Scott Montgomery who held A-Q. Flopping a set, Marqui thought his win was in the bag. That is until Montgomery got runner-runner and sent Marqui home with his straight.
Next to go to the rail was Kelly Kim. Starting as short stack, Kim wasn’t expected to last very long. Trying to seize the right opportunity to double up, Kim’s stack became extremely low. Finally, a break must have come because Kim moved all-in. Ivan Demidov, Ylon Schwartz, and Darus Suharto all called to see the action. Lady Luck didn’t play a role in choosing board cards for Kim though. Defeated, Kim mucked and walked away in eighth place.
David Rheem was next on the list, when his A-K met up against Darus Suharto’s A-Q. Rheem was devastated, which he quite verbally expressed afterward, when the flop delivered a queen. Neither the turn or river brought any relief. Rheem had to accept his seventh place finish.
After eliminating Rheem, Canadian player Darus Suharto found himself the next to be escorted from the table. Moving all-in with A-8, Suharto was called by none other than Scott Montgomery, the other Canadian present at the final table. Much to Suharto’s dismay, Montgomery flipped A-Q. The board ran with four spades, and with Montgomery’s ace being a spade, he held the flush and sent Suharto home in sixth place.
The victory was sweet, but short for Montgomery. Just 14 hands later, Montgomery found himself sitting with 80% less chips and had to act fast. Montgomery decided to take action and move all-in against Peter Eastgate. Eastgate revealed pocket sixes and Montgomery showed A-3 and it was looking good for Montgomery when an ace turned up on both the flop and the turn. However, a six on the river was all Eastgate needed to seal the deal, and that’s what came. Montgomery left in fifth place.
Eastgate was able to add another one to his knockout list after Montgomery. Ylon Schwartz, the chess player from NYC, ran into some trouble after he and Eastgate both checked a Kh-8h-2s flop. A Kd turn brought some action between the two, and a 5h river caused Schwartz to check-raise all-in. Eastgate called and showed pocket fives for the full house. Schwartz quickly busted out in fourth and left the arena quickly.
Dennis Phillips, the beginning chip leader and favorite to win, was the next to hit the rail. After seeing Jc-4d-3s on the flop, Eastgate bet only to have Phillips shove all-in. Eastgate quickly insta-called and revealed pocket threes. Phillips held 9h-10c. An ace and a nine finished out the board and sent Phillips home in third place.
Play resumed the next day, heads-up with Peter Eastgate and Ivan Demidov. Eastgate held the chip lead and kept Demidov on the ropes for most of the night. Finally, after 104 hands of heads-up play, Eastgate got the final say. The flop came 2d-Ks-3h. Demidov checked to Eastgate who bet 1.25 million. Demidov decided to call, and checked again when a 4c landed on the turn. Eastgate again bet, 2 million this time. Demidov check-raised to 6 million. After half a minutes worth of thought, Eastgate called. The river brought a 7s and Demidov shoved, immediately called by Eastgate. First, Demidov showed 4h-2h for two pair. Eastgate then flipped his cards, Ad-5s revealing a wheel and the winning hand!
For his valiant efforts, Eastgate graciously received his prizes and, spoken like a true competitor, gave tribute to his opponents. Eastgate was then crowned as the new youngest Main Event champion in WSOP history. He is also the first Danish Main Event champion.
Here are the final results and pay outs of the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table:
1. Peter Eastgate $9,152,416
2. Ivan Demidov $5,809,595
3. Dennis Phillips $4,517,773
4. Ylon Schwartz $3,774,974
5. Scott Montgomery $3,096,768
6. Darus Suharto $2,418,562
7. David “Chino” Rheem $1,772,650
8. Kelly Kim $1,288,217
9. Craig Marquis $900,670