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Last night the first 2 episodes of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event were aired on ESPN and ESPN HD.  All of the world’s best poker players were on hand for the 39th playing of the $10,000 buy-in event.  Because of the recent popularity of poker, the Main Event has been split into multiple starting days.  Four days (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D) are used to whittle down the field at the Rio Poker Room in Las Vegas, NV.

The Main Event’s roots can be traced back to 1949 when Benny Binion (of the legendary Binion’s Casino) staged a variety of events in search of the world’s best poker player.  Eventual winner Johnny Moss is said to have won over two-million dollars during a five-month span against no other than “Nick the Greek” Dandolos.  In 1970 the “Main Event” was formed and once again, it was Johnny Moss who would take down the title.  2007 Champion Jerry Yang will try to join Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan as the only multipe winners of the Main Event.

Key notables in last night episodes were 2008 bracelet winners Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, and Jason Young. Lindgren has been on quite a tear this year having won the Mixed-Hold’em Event and placing 3rd in the $50,000 Chip Reese HORSE Tournament.  Daniel Negreanu, a close friend of Lindgren and team PokerStars member, won his title in the $2,000 LHE Event.

Two one-hour-long episodes are set to air every Tuesday night on ESPN and ESPN HD from September 9th through October 28th starting at 9PM EST.  The final table, otherwise known as “The November Nine”, has already been set.  For the first time in history the FT will be shown live, on Novermber 11th.  Once the final two players are left, they will once again be shown playing live the next day, November 12th.