By the PokerStars World Series blog team in Las Vegas...
It had to happen and now it has. We have reached three tables in the World Series main event.
Three tables, 27 players, one more day until we reach the final nine. Along the way, there were all the twists and turns we expect as we reach the business end of these monster tournaments. We had vast crowds, mountains of chips, huge checks being written and countless stories. We even had a rainstorm.
But when the clouds cleared we were left with a sharper picture of where this thing is headed -- and as ever, PokerStars players feature heavily in any reportage.
What started as a 79-strong field of players at noon ended with three tables in less than twelve hours. Among the remaining 27 are eight PokerStars players. Here they are with their approximate chip counts.
David “Chino” Rheem -- (8,280,000)-- David “Chino” Rheem is having a great time since he arrived in Vegas. Not only did he take 5th place in the $5k NL tournament in June for $93,624, he also won a super satellite back in April for a $25,700 seat in the WPT Five Star World Poker Classic. Generally, the 28-year-old from Miami, Florida has enjoyed a string of tournament successes recently including five WSOP cashes in the last three years. This includes $327,981 in the 2006 $1,000 NLHE event.
Chris Klodnicki -- (6,245,000)--Chris Klodnicki is a 23-year-old professional poker player from New Jersey. He started playing six years ago after getting some instruction from his brother. After running over home games and the poker scene in Atlantic City, Klodnicki turned pro. After a couple of unsuccessful World Series tries, Klodnicki returned this year to play. After coming runner-up to Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein in the Razz event, Klodnicki has made a massive run through the Main Event field.
Brandon Cantu--(4,740,000)--PokerStars player Brandon Cantu is both a World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker winner. The latter of these he won back in June 2006 as a 25-year-old, taking $757,839 for first place in what was then the largest non-main event field in WSOP history, a $1,000 buy-in hold 'em tournament. More recently, his WPT crown at the Bay 101 Shooting Stars in March of this year swelled his bankroll to the tune of $1 million. Now, he’s looking at the possibility of a $9 million payday in the World Series Main Event.
Darus Suharto -- (4,510,000) -- Darus Suharto is from Toronto, Canada. He is an accountant who loves his job so much, he would find it hard to quit, even if he won the World Series Main Event. He would like to find more time to play poker, but because he spends so much time working, most of his tournament poker experience comes from playing online. He’s looking to improve on his modest in-the-money finish from last year.
Owen Crowe -- (3,800,000) -- Known as “ocrowe” to just about everyone in the online poker world, Owen Crowe is a 26-year-old professional poker player. Famed for a monster year in 2006, it’s been a good World Series for the Canadian who took over $81,000 last month in a $1,500 no limit hold’em event for his eighth place finish. Now he’s already better than that in the Main Event and guaranteed $257,334 as he goes into the final day of play before the final table break.
Ylon Schwartz -- (3,655,000) -- A native New Yorker -- born in Manhattan and now living in Brooklyn -- Ylon Schwartz is a chess whizz and a poker player with 11 previous cashes in World Series events dating back to 2005. He's equally at home playing chess in the super-competitive games in New York's Washington Square Park, idling the time in Golden Nugget low limit ring games or tearing up the major poker tournaments in the east coast casinos of Atlantic City and Foxwoods.
Tim Loecke -- (2,280,000) -- From Highland Park, Illinois, Loecke is a 37-year-old who still maintains his Iowa farm boy roots. He once said, “I used to milk 70 cows a day as a kid.” Now he is a director of sales who dreams of winning big enough money that he can use it for such things as restoring the little league baseball program in his hometown, Greeley, Iowa.
Phi Nguyen -- (1,020,000) --Phi Nguyen is no stranger to the World Series and as a double bracelet winner, winning the $2,500 no limit hold’em event in 2003 and the $1,500 hold’em shootout a year later, the Californian would be one of the favourites were it not for a short stack. He has impressive form this year having narrowly missed out on the final table in the $1,000 no limit hold’em, finishing tenth for $36,176. He also has numerous World Series and WPT cashes to his name and career winnings of $1.3 million.