Just Causing Trouble for Funsies

WSOP final table patch deals bring about a new kind of ringer

by , Aug 7, 2008 | 3:26 am

A few weeks back, a bunch of us got a press release from PokerStars boasting that six of The November Nine were Team PokerStars players. Now don’t get me wrong — I’ve got lots of friends at PokerStars and generally like what they do. But c’mon, who ya tryin’ to fool? Those guys aren’t really PokerStars players — at least not in the way Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer were!

So while I’m happy to share the official word on the Stars-heavy WSOP main event final table (even though none only one of their 2,000 true online qualifiers made it), I couldn’t help but try to get a little more info first on what goes into buying a temporary online team in an effort to increase the odds that the buyers will indeed get to be the site that crowns the next American (or non-American) Poker Idol:

From: Matt Clark
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 5:54 AM
To: Dan Michalski
Subject: Re: PokerStars Final Table Updates

Hey Dan,

How are you doing since the series? I hope your recovering. We are not prepared to do extensive media outreach around these individuals yet. We also do not make their screen names public unless we get the okay from the players. We will be sure to get this information to you once we are ready to go out with it.

Matt Clark

—— Forwarded Message
From: Dan Michalski
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:40:12 -0700
To: Jessie Barrett
Subject: RE: PokerStars Final Table Updates

Hi Jessie, can you tell us the pokerstars players’ screen names? People will
be interested in that. Also, any information about any special results
they’ve had on PokerStars in the past. Have any won any big tournaments on
Stars, for example? Have any been players there for a long time, or are they
all brand new folks who signed up for PokerStars after making the final

Thanks in advance!

—–Original Message—–
From: Jessie Barrett
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:56 AM
To: danm
Subject: PokerStars Final Table Updates

Hi Dan,

My name is Jessie Barrett and I work with Lotus Public Relations. Please
find below some exciting updates from PokerStars. If you have any questions,
please don’t hesitate to contact me or Matt Clark.

All the best,


LAS VEGAS – JULY 17, 2008 — Six PokerStars players have made it to the
final table of the 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. Out of a
6,844-strong starting field, each of the nine final table players are
guaranteed a significant pay day when they return to Las Vegas on November 9
to conclude the Main Event.

The “PokerStars Million Dollar Men” consist of six PokerStars players who
will take part in the final-table battle as they vie for the top prize:

Dennis Phillips, 53 from Missouri, USA; has been one of the chip leaders
throughout the last few days of the Main Event. He is the current chip
leader with 26,295,000 chips.

Ivan Demidov, 27 from Moscow, Russia; has had a phenomenal event with this
year’s WSOP, his first major live tournament. He is in second position with
24,400,000 chips. If he walks away with the title, Ivan will become the
first Russian to win the WSOP Main Event.

Peter Eastgate, 22 from Odense, Denmark; a fearless and unpredictable
player, Peter ranks as one of the top five online pros in Denmark. He enters
the final table with 18,375,000 chips.

Ylon Schwarz, 38, New York, USA; no stranger to WSOP tournaments, Ylon has
had 11 cashes in WSOP events since 2005. He enters the final table with
12,525,000 chips.

Darus “Dennis_TO” Suharto, 39, Ontario, Canada; won a satellite tournament
on PokerStars and progressed through two levels of online tournaments to win
his seat in the WSOP. He enters the final table with 12,520,000 chips.

David “Chino” Rheem, 28 from Californian, USA; has had five WSOP cashes in
the last three years and has been among the chip leaders throughout the Main
Event. He enters “The Final Nine” with 10,230,000 chips.

In the 39-year history of the WSOP, this year marks a change as play at the
final table breaks until November’s conclusion. Joe Hachem, Team PokerStars
Pro and 2005 WSOP Champion said, “This is how poker should be, and the lives
of the PokerStars Million Dollar Men are about to change. It’s going to be
a great ride, as we now start a 117-day countdown to the conclusion of what
can only be described as an epic poker journey. I’m looking forward to
getting to know these six players better and helping PokerStars earn another
WSOP championship.”

“The break in play will make for a different dynamic at the final table,
build more excitement for the sport, and allow the public to better
understand the personalities of the players,” said Chris Moneymaker, Team
PokerStars Pro and 2003 WSOP Champion. “The benefit to the PokerStars
Million Dollar Men of being with us is that these 6 players have the
support, skill and knowledge of Team PokerStars behind them, a team already
featuring 3 World Series Main Event Champions. I think we have a great
chance to bring the WSOP title back to PokerStars for another year”

Over 1,000 PokerStars qualifiers competed in this year’s 39th World Series
Main Event and 123 of these PokerStars players have cashed at this year’s
event – winning more than $9 million between them. There is another $32.6
million up for grabs in November, and with six of the final nine playing for
PokerStars, and competing for the remaining $32.6 million in prize money,
that total is set to rise.

Among Team PokerStars Pro, Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu won his fourth WSOP
bracelet in the Limit Hold’em Event, cashing $204,874. Poker legend Barry
Greenstein won his third WSOP bracelet in the Seven Card Razz Event, and
Italian poker pro Dario Minieri dubbed “Super Dario” recorded his first
major live poker win and took home the WSOP bracelet in the No-Limit Hold’em
Six-Handed event.

Daniel Negreanu said, “I would have loved to go further in the Main Event,
but regardless, it has been a very exciting WSOP – not just for me, but the
rest of Team PokerStars, and for thousands of players from around the world
who won their entry to the Main Event on PokerStars. As in previous years,
we’ve had an incredible series.”

In 2008 over 2000 players qualified through PokerStars satellites and
tournaments to win their $10,000 buy-in to the Main Event, plus spending
money and luxury hotel accommodation.

The final table will be broadcast on November 11th, from 9pm on ESPN

2008 World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table:

Finalist Name
Chip Count
Dennis Phillips
St Louis, Missouri
Ivan Demidov
Moscow, Russia
Scott Montgomery
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Peter Eastgate
Odense, Denmark

Ylon Schwartz
Brooklyn, New York
Darus Suharto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
David Rheem
Los Angeles, California
Craig Marquis
Arlington, Texas
Kelly Kim
Whittier, California

For a full recap of PokerStars at the 2008 World Series of Poker, go to
www.pokerstarsblog.com or see incredible footage of all the events at

10 Comments to “Just Causing Trouble for Funsies ”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Seems strange that Stars has Chino, when it appears he’s been playing at FTP for a while. FTP did snatch up the remaining 1/3 of the Nov. 9 (Montgomery, Marquis and Kim).

  2. Lance

    Actually, Darus Suharto qualified via a $650 satellite on PokerStars and Ylon Schwartz has tournament winnings of nearly $400K on Stars. And as far as I can tell Stars has not hidden the fact that guys like Dennis Phillips have qualified via other means: http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/2008/07/2008-world-series-pokerstars-six.html

  3. DanM

    See, now why couldn’t they have just told me that? Thanks, Lance.

  4. Kevin Mathers

    Darus’ username on Stars was mentioned in the press release, unless you thought “Dennis_TO” was his middle name.

  5. DanM

    OK, now, between KevMath and a Bluff editor, I am starting to feel like a little bit of a shmuck with this post. But hey, like I said, I was just trying to cause trouble. I still stand by at least 50 percent of everything I’ve said. Shame on them for burying the lede!

  6. Lance

    I realize I am piling on at this point … BUT, from the release you posted:

    “Darus “Dennis_TO” Suharto, 39, Ontario, Canada; won a satellite tournament on PokerStars and progressed through two levels of online tournaments to win his seat in the WSOP.”


  7. DanM

    Like I said, they buried the lede.

    Life was much easier when we could just run the press releases without even thinking about them.

  8. MattC

    Really man? lol

  9. DanM

    Yeah, I know … this post has not been my proudest moment, Matt. Still, the underlying point about the difference between true online qualifiers and online team members vs. final tableists that are bought and paid for is still a valid one, I think.

  10. MattC