After a record-setting year in 2006, the numbers dropped slightly in 2007. However, the 2008 WSOP Main Event would see a rebound as 6,844 players created a prize pool of over $64.3 million. Another mix of players would reach the final table with four countries represented – Canada, Russia, Denmark, and the United States – but the biggest change would be the introduction of the November Nine.
Once the final table was reached, the final nine players wouldn’t return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino until November 11 to conclude the final table. On the first night, the final nine were reduced to two, and the second night would see Denmark’s Peter Eastgate defeat Russia’s Ivan Demidov heads-up to win the $9,152,416 first-place. Eastgate’s win not only marked the first WSOP Main Event winner from Denmark, but it also saw Eastgate become the youngest WSOP Main Event champion at the age of 22 – surpassing Phil Hellmuth who was 24 when he won in 1989.
In similar fashion to the previous champions he followed, Eastgate wasn’t as well-known as the winners that the 1990’s and earlier provided. Prior to winning the 2008 WSOP Main Event, Eastgate had just three results and only two cashes to his name. He finished ninth in the 2007 €3,500 PaddyPower Irish Open for €35,000 before following that with a 32nd-place finish in the 2008 EPT Copenhagen Main Event. Eastgate qualified for the 2008 WSOP Main Event through the Ladbrokes Poker website, and wasn’t a staple on the broadcast until very late in the 2008 WSOP Main Event.
There are 19 episodes from the 2008 WSOP Main Event available now on PokerGO, and coverage begins with play from the four opening flights. The coverage is dominated by poker’s biggest personalities as Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Scotty Nguyen, and Daniel Negreanu take center stage on the feature table. Day 2 coverage would see 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker and defending 2007 World Champion Jerry Yang in action.
As the tournament progresses through the money bubble on Day 3, some new faces begin to emerge as Jean-Robert Bellande joins Phil Hellmuth at the feature table to start Day 4. Chino Rheem holds court at the feature table on Day 5, and he is joined by Tiffany Michelle and veterans Hellmuth and Matusow. The emergence of Michelle continues on Day 6, while Dennis Phillips and Kelly Kim are highlighted as they make their run towards reaching the November Nine. The final three episodes see the field trimmed from 27 down to 18, and then 18 down to the final table. Following nearly a four-month hiatus, the final nine returned to play down to the winner where it would be Eastgate collecting the $9,152,416 first-place prize while being crowned the winner of the 2008 WSOP Main Event.
The 2008 WSOP Main Event was broadcast on ESPN and is now available on PokerGO. Select your favorite episode from the overview below and start watching right now.
|2008 WSOP Main Event Viewing Guide|
|Episode||Day||Featured Player/Episode Note||PokerGO Link|
|1||Day 1a||Scotty Nguyen||Link|
|2||Day 1b||Erick Lindgren and Daniel Negreanu||Link|
|3||Day 1c||Mike Matusow||Link|
|4||Day 1d||Phil Hellmuth and Chuck Liddell||Link|
|5||Day 2 (Part 1)||Chau Giang||Link|
|6||Day 2 (Part 2)||Ray Romano and Jason Young||Link|
|7||Day 2 (Part 3)||Chris Moneymaker and Jerry Yang||Link|
|8||Day 2 (Part 4)||Gus Hansen and Phil Laak||Link|
|9||Day 3 (Part 1)||Johnny Chan||Link|
|10||Day 3 (Part 2)||The money bubble is reached||Link|
|11||Day 4 (Part 1)||Phil Hellmuth and Jean-Robert Bellande||Link|
|12||Day 4 (Part 2)||Victor Ramdin and Phil Hellmuth||Link|
|13||Day 5 (Part 1)||Mike Matusow, Tiffany Michelle, and Chino Rheem||Link|
|14||Day 5 (Part 2)||Chino Rheem and Phil Hellmuth||Link|
|15||Day 6 (Part 1)||Phil Hellmuth and Kelly Kim||Link|
|16||Day 6 (Part 2)||Dennis Phillips and Tiffany Michelle||Link|
|17||Day 7 (Part 1)||27 players remain||Link|
|18||Day 7 (Part 2)||18 players remain||Link|
|19||Final Table||Peter Eastgate, Ivan Demidov, Dennis Phillips, and Chino Rheem||Link|
World Series of Poker Main Event coverage is available right now on PokerGO. Check out the WSOP Classic collection and watch the best moments from past Main Events including Johnny Chan’s quest for a third title, the meteoric rise of Chris Moneymaker, and Joe Cada setting the record as youngest champion.