Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Vin Narayanan
Top-10 moments of the WSOP Main Event13 July 2008
LAS VEGAS – Entering Monday's action, the Main Event at the 2008 World Series Poker was filled with special moments. Here's a look back at our 10 favorites.
10. Ante Up for Africa
In a game where the primary goal is to make as much money for yourself as possible, it's nice to see that charity still has a place. On July 2, the day before the Main Event began, celebrities and poker players alike played in the Ante Up for Africa charity tournament in order to raise money to help the Darfur region of Africa. Casino City had a chance to speak with some of the participants as they entered the event and asked each one a pair of questions:
1. What is it about poker that attracts celebrities to the game?
As usual, former NBA star Charles Barkley had the funniest and most honest answer.
"I think the celebrities like to gamble. That's why they like poker. It's not brain surgery, bro. The celebrities like to gamble. They got a lot of money. We don't want to leave it for our family. We like to gamble. We don't want to leave all this money for our freeloading-ass family. Understand?"
9. Obrestad's confidence
8. Ray Romano on poker and golf
"I suck at both," said Romano said. "The difference is that in golf, I know what I'm supposed to be doing and how I'm supposed to be swinging the club, but I can't do it. Here, I really have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing and what I'm not."
7. Crashing the player lounges
6. "Snack-crackled-popped all-in"
"You just snack-crackled-popped all-in," Hawkins said.
The table, including Osterland, burst out in laughter. And the two pounded fists in friendship.
5. The Chan-Griffin mutual fan club
"I was there last night," Chan told Griffin. "The way you took Jackson down was amazing."
"That's why your poster is on the wall," noted Griffin as he folded a hand to Chan, noting the huge posters of each former Main Event winner that don the Amazon Ballroom.
Midway through Griffin's day, the UFC champ rivered a full house, and Chan rushed over to congratulate the fighter and pose for a picture.
Chan ended up eliminating Griffin from the tournament.
4. Michelle Murrell rubbing Hal Lubarsky's back
She whispers the cards into his ear, reads the board for him and generally takes care of him at the table. And watching Murrell rub Lubarsky's back during a big hand is a sight most people watching the Main Event will remember for quite some time.
3. Phil Hellmuth appeals to god
"OK, Lord, I've passed the test," an in-rare-form Hellmuth shouted to the heavens with his hands in the air after folding another hand pre-flop. "Can I have some cards now?"
2. Phil Hellmuth busts out
1. Bubble bursting
Finally, Hong Kong's Steve Chung finished in 667, one place out of the money -- and the crowd went wild. The remaining 666 players had made the money. Milwaukee's Best Light, the title sponsor of the World Series, awarded Chung a $10,000 buy-in into next year's Main Event for his near miss.
It was the kind of drama you simply don't see at events other than the World Series of Poker.
Best of Vin Narayanan