2007: Year of the non-American Players

by , Jul 18, 2007 | 2:11 am

LAS VEGAS–OK, so maybe the Euros didn’t totally dominate this year as I predicted … and the internet young punks — much to the relief of non-ranting poker traditionalists — couldn’t quite hack it at the final table. Perhaps all the dancing and fist pumps were giving away tells. But what is notable is that of the final five players in the main event this year … not a single American passport.

John Kalmar (who went out in 5th place) hails from England.

Raymond Rahme (currently 2nd in chips) is a South African.

Tuan Lam (originally from Vietnam) is now a Canadian.

Alex Kravchenko, from Moscow, has been doing his part all Series long to establish himself as the Doyle Brunson of Russia.

And Jerry Yang (the chip leader) is from California-via-Laos. But as a refugee, he carries an American green card … not a passport. Apparently refugees have a special piece of paper for traveling internationally.

Interesting, no? I think it all means something.

UPDATE: Yang just busted out Kravchenko — seven hours passed between the 5th place finish and fourth — and the crowd began chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

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