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Two Remain In $9 Million WSOP

Following their epic 117-day wait to get final table action underway, the ‘November Nine’ finally sat down to business last night as they battled it out to become World Series of Poker Main Event champion for 2008.

And by the time play had finished, only Denmark’s Peter Eastgate and the Russian Ivan Demidov remained—with Eastgate leading Demidov with 79,500,000 in chips, compared to the Russian’s 57,725,000. The two of them will go heads up tonight at 10pm Las Vegas time for the WSOP Main Event bracelet and a winner’s cheque for $9.1 million.

Truck driver Dennis Phillips, who had started the final table as chip leader, went out in the final hand of the night after moving all-in on a flop of J-4-3 and getting an insta-call from Peter Eastgate’s pocket threes. Phillips had 10-9 and there was nothing on the turn and river to help him with his straight draw. Phillips went from chip leader to short stack as play progressed but he rallied to build himself back up and eventually finish third. "I came in there with the idea that I was going to try and win this thing," he Phillips. "I got a little nuts at the beginning ... but then I had to tighten up and play solid. And I think I outplayed a few people to climb back in there." Phillips picked up $4.5 million for third place.

Demidov was exhausted at the finish, and surprised by Phillips all-in move that back-fired. "There were lots of very important hands against Dennis," he said. "But his last push surprised me." He also added: "I wasn't nervous. But I was tired."

Eastgate concurred with the sentiment: “I have no idea right now," he said when asked how heads-up would pan out. "It should be interesting. I just want to get some sleep right now. I think most importantly I need to be fully rested for tomorrow night."

And so the players have made their way up to bed for some well-earned rest. And by this time tomorrow, one of them may well be holding the winner’s cheque for $9.1 million dollars having joined the pantheon of greats that includes Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Moss, Stu Ungar and Scotty Nguyen.
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