2008 WSOP Final Table: Jenny Woo Interviews The Players

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
2008 World Series of Poker

With the highly anticipated 2008 World Series of Poker about to get underway Tuesday, Gambling911.com's Jenny Woo had an opportunity to sit down with a few of the finalists.

This is the first WSOP final table to be delayed a few months as part of an effort to drive ratings for ESPN, which will carry the event on tape delay.

Not everyone is thrilled about the delay.

"I have mixed feeling about it," Ylon Schwartz told Ms. Woo this weekend.  "In the beginning I was kind of happy to take a break; I was kind of tired and didn't want to come into day 8 totally exhausted.  It was a relief at the time but I think ultimately I didn't like it.  I think it goes against tradition; we're playing a marathon.

"In WSOP the person who is the champion was someone who had the most tenacity, who was tough and who was able to stay alert and focused for the entire marathon.  That was sort of taken away.  It could be interesting for tactical and positional purposes at the final table as far as skill level.  I think it's a little unfair that some players were pulled out of their zone.  For instance, Dennis Phillips was running very well; he was strong.  Peter Eastgate was raising a ton.  And now they might have to alter their game plans a little bit.  But that's the essence of poker, which you have to constantly involve to win.  I think it's a little unfair to those who were in their zone."

Darus Suharto thinks the delayed WSOP final table is a great idea, however.

"I love it because I was so dead tired on day 7 when reaching the final level.  But right now, we've gone through 3 ½ months and I hate it.  I just want to get it over with.  It's not good to wait and it's been so long.  I was in the zone on day 7.  Having this break doesn't help me the most getting back in the zone.  It goes from intense poker and you suddenly have to take a 3-month break.  It's a different feeling.  Your mind is just not there anymore.  Yet you have to play in November and you expect yourself to be in the same mind set as day 7.  It will be very tough.  I don't know if I can do it but I'm still ready.  I'm not complaining though."

The off time has actually proven nearly as excruciating for some of the finalists. 

"You're the 151st interview I've done," chip leader Dennis Phillips joked with Woo.  "I've been keeping a log of them."

In addition to the numerous interviews, Phillips has been globetrotting a bit.

"I've been able to travel around a lot, playing some poker.  I've been over to London, been down to Biloxi, Atlantic City and have done a lot of things that way.  And I've had a chance to get involved and in depth with some of the charities that I've been working with for years.  And that's fun."

One of the more intriguing aspects of the 2008 World Series of Poker is the showing at this year's World Series of Poker Europe final table by one Ivan Demidov, the Russian poker pro who finished in second place and is among the nine who will be seated at the WSOP final table on Tuesday.  It's a first that someone has made it to two World Series of Poker final tables in a single year.

"Nobody intimidates me," Schwartz said when asked if he was concerned by Demidov's presence and hot play this year.  "The one person I fear at the table is myself.  Everybody and anybody can snap at any moment.  I see it a thousand times.  I just hope I can maintain myself.  You're ultimately in charge of your life and all of your decisions.  Being afraid of someone is tactically bad for your poker game.  So it's incorrect to be afraid."

You can read all the interviews at http://www.gambling911.com/ in our Poker section. 

For the quintessential online poker experience, be sure to check out Doyles Room and receive up to 110 percent in free cash bonuses today.


Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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