Isabelle Mercier, a woman pro, is one of the many pros still fighting to ensure that the 2008 WSOP remains The Year of the ProTM.
The talk around the Rio Amazon room today among so-called poker "media" and industry types completely surrounds whether or not Erik Seidel and his non-win of Event #43 means that it is no longer The Year of the ProTM.* Or maybe it signals a changing of the tide. Or maybe it's just a blip on the screen, and pros will continue making it the year of them in the last few tourneys before the Main Event starts next week. Like that song from Asia, only time will tell.
:: Event #43 ($1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo) - You've probably figured out by now that Erik Seidel, a pro, did not win Event #43. He finished fourth. A win by Seidel would've all but solidified the 2008 WSOP as The Year of the ProTM. A win by Kasey Castle would've at least been a nice consolation, as his hot porn star sounding name gives us a little chubber. Until we see his face. Which then obliterates said chubber. Kastle finished second. Martin Klaser, who is not even a pro, won the event. Further hammering home Klaser's non-pro status is the fact that this is his first ever WSOP cash, let alone bracelet. For the win, Klaser banks $216,249. Get full payouts here.
:: Event #44 ($1,000 No Limit Hold'em w/ Rebuys) - What the fuck is going on here man. We're willing to say that the wildly under-rated Alex Bolotin is a pro, but he's pretty much it at the final table, and he's among the short-stacks, sitting with 308,000. This is Bolotin's third final table of the 2008 WSOP, and for the sake of pros everywhere, he better win. And if not for the pros, than for the sake of The Year of the ProTM and all the money we spent trademarking it and dividends we're expecting in return. Jesse Chinni, not a pro, will bring the big stack to final table play with 2,160,000. Get full chip counts here.
:: Event #45 ($50,000 H.O.R.S.E.) - Now we're talking! The leaderboard for this one has more pros on it than a Chinese phonebook. Let's count 'em down: Lyle Berman (pro, 507,000), Patrick Bueno (not a pro, 485,500), Barry Greenstein (such a pro you should count him twice, 473,000), Minh Ly (pro, 451,000), Chris Reslock (pro, 435,500), Joseph Michael (Internet pro and Davidson Matthew Club member, 401,000), Erick Lindgren (pro, 397,500), Justin Bonomo (pro, 384,000), Daniel Negreanu (pro, 374,500), Doyle Brunson (pro, 366,000), and Andy Bloch (pro, 362,500). So counting Barry Greenstein twice, that makes 11 of the top 12 chip leaders in Event #45 pros. That's 91.6%!!! Of the other 49 remaining (counting Greenstein twice still), we'd be willing to bet that at least 80% are pros. And we'd even be willing to count Isabelle Mercier twice (146,000), just because of her fantastic new rack. Get full chip counts here.