Tuesday, July 17, 2007

WSOP Day 46: The Main Event Final Table Bios

By Pauly

There are moments in life that define your existence. Winning the most prestigious poker tournament in the world, outlasting a field of 6,358 players, and collecting $8.25 million for first place is definitely one of them. One person is going to become immortalized as he joins an elite group of champions who can claim that they have won the World Series of Poker main event. This is what every poker play dreams about. And tonight, someone's dreams are about to become a reality.
Here's the final table of the 2007 WSOP:

Seating Assignments:
Seat 1 - Jon Kalmar
Seat 2 - Lee Childs
Seat 3 - Philip Hilm
Seat 4 - Jerry Yang
Seat 5 - Raymond Rahme
Seat 6 - Tuan Lam
Seat 7 - Alex Kravchenko
Seat 8 - Lee Watkinson
Seat 9 - Hevad 'Rain' Khan

Final Table Chip Counts:
Philip Hilm - 22,070,000
Tuan Lam - 21,315,000
Jon Kalmar - 20,320,000
Raymond Rahme - 16,320,000
Lee Childs - 13,240,000
Lee Watkinson - 9,9250,00
Hevad "Rain" Khan - 9,205,000
Jerry Yang - 8,450,000
Alex Kravchenko - 6,570,000

Final Table Payouts:
1 - $8,250,000
2 - $4,840,981
3 - $3,048,025
4 - $1,852,721
5 - $1,255,069
6 - $956,243
7 - $705,229
8 - $585,699
9 - $525,934
Poker will be crowning a new world champion as the final table gets underway at Noon local time on Tuesday. The next champion will be one of nine players collectively representing America, Canada, Vietnam, England, Denmark, Laos, South Africa, and Russia.

If you want to find out who wins, stop by PokerNews.com for live updates starting at Noon. I have one of the best seats in the house, only ten feet from the final table, and I've been waiting for this moment for over 46 days.

In case you never heard of any of the final table players, here's a run down of who's who including chip counts and the latest odds to win set by BoDog. In case you were wondering, all of these photos are courtesy of Flipchip.

* * * * * *
Seat 1 - Jon Kalmar
Chip Count: 20.32 million
Hometown: Chorley, UK
BoDog Odds: 4-1

Jon Kalmar

Kalmar is a 33 year old from England who is married with one kid. He's a professional poker player but had a stint as a singer in a punk band. He listed "drinking" as a hobby and his railbirds were definitely partaking in his favorite hobby over the last couple of days. I expect his contingency to be a rowdy bunch.

He learned poker by playing online, which he started to do to curtail his other gambling (sports and casino). He's been playing for four years and this is his third WSOP. He flew to Vegas to play a bunch of preliminary events. He didn't cash in any of them and had blown through his bankroll. Due to his catastrophic lost of his bankroll, he was ready to give up poker for good. Like most tortured souls who go broke in Sin City, he tried to book an earlier flight back home. The cost to England was too high so he decided to stick around and play the last mega-satellite at the Rio. He won his seat to the main event at the last minute. Not only did he cash, he made the final table and is trying to return to England a millionaire.

When asked about the one thing he wanted the audience to know about him, he wrote, "I'm not really a Britney fan."

Kalmar has a sense of humor and is second in chips. According to BoDog, he's the second favorite to win. The Brits would love nothing more than to have the next WSOP champion be one of their own.

Seat 2 - Lee Childs
Chip Count: 13.24 million
Hometown: Reston, VA
BoDog Odds: 8-1

Lee Childs

The 35 year old Virginia native recently left his computer systems job to devote more time to poker. He has his dad in the crowd who's way more nervous than he is while sweating his son. He learned how to play poker from the internet, books, and attending WPT boot camp. He's been playing for about five years and bought into the WSOP main event directly. He said, "I wouldn't have gotten here without my incredible wife, dad, and all the support of family and friends."

Seat 3 - Philip Hilm
Chip Count: 22.07 million
Hometown: Cambridge, UK
BoDog Odds: 14-5

Philip Hilm

Philip Hilm is originally from Denmark and currently resides in Cambridge, UK. He's a poker pro and I first took note of him when he played on the feature table at the EPT Grand Finale Championships in Monte Carlo. He's played in the WSOP during the last three years and bought in directly. He has one previous WSOP cash. Fellow Danish pro Lars Bonding was on the rail sweating him.

When there were 50 players left in the Main Event, I offered to bet Change100 that he'd win the WSOP at 20-1 odds and she could take the field. She declined. He's the current chipleader and will make me look like a genius if he wins. I said a Scandi would win this year and he's their last hope. Like most Scandi's he's hard to read, aggressive, and could play any two cards. With a chiplead, he's even more dangerous.

Seat 4 - Jerry Yang
Chip Count: 8.45 million
Hometown: Temecula, CA
BoDog's Odds: 9-1

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang is originally from Laos. The forty year old lives in California with his wife and six kids. He's a psychologist and social worker that earned a master's degree on health psychology. He's been playing poker for two years and this is his first WSOP. He won a $225 satellite at Penchanga. He's got the most karma points coming into the final table. He will be donating 10% of his winnings to the Make a Wish Foundation, Feed the Children, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Jerry Yang is one of the most deliberate players at the final table. He always takes his time to make decisions. He's been successfully using his skills as a psychologist at the table, analyzing his opponents behavior in order to make a better decisions.

Seat 5 - Raymond Rahme
Chip Count: 16.32 million
Hometown: South Africa
BoDog's Odds: 7-1

Raymond Rahme

Rahme is the oldest player at the final table. He's 62 years young and hails from South Africa. He's married with six children and is an avid golfer. He's a self taught poker player who's been playing for about two years. This is his second WSOP. He's made final tables in tournaments overseas. On the bio sheet question... What's the one thing you want the audience to know about you? He wrote, "Never give up."

Rahme missed time when the final table was set with ten players. Out of the 36 hands, he was there for less than half of them. One media rep suggested that he had bladder issues. Change100 suggested that he might have been interviewing with the South African film crew. He has a documentary film from ALL Africa TV following him around. One of their channels shows poker 24/7. He's going to be having his own show. He happens to have the most loyal railbirds that chant and sing and sway back and forth and yell things like, "Ship it to Africa!"

Seat 6 - Tuan Lam
Chip Count: 21.315 million
Hometown: Canada
BoDog Odds: 7-2

Tuan Lam

Tuan Lam is originally from Vietnam and currently lives in Canada. The forty-one year old's birthday falls on January 1st. He used to be a poker dealer and is now a full time poker player. He's married with two kids and enjoys soccer. He's been playing poker for 17 years and learned from friends. He's played in the WSOP three different times and he bought in directly.

According to Otis at PokerStars Blog... "Known as BABYHAN on PokerStars, you'll find him regularly playing the high-limit cash games to a lot of success. Lam finished runner-up in the 2005 World Championship of Online Poker $200 short-handed no-limit hold'em event."

Seat 7 - Alex Kravchenko
Chip Count: 6.57 million
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
BoDog Odds: 9-1

Alex 'KGB' Kravchenko
...taken during his bracelet winner's photo a few weeks ago

Alex Kravchenko listed that he was born in Archangel, Russia. He's married with two kids. He's not a pro poker player and makes his living as a businessman, but if you've seen him play, he's all business. He displays the least emotion at the table and you can't get a read on him because he gives off the same intimidating blank stare, like Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

He's a self-taught poker player who's been dabbling in the game for over a decade. He's won over $219K in tournaments held in Europe and starting playing smaller buy in tournaments about six or seven years ago in Moscow. He bought into the WSOP main event directly and could definitely afford it. He's is the only other WSOP bracelet winner at the final table aside from Lee Watkinson. Kravchenko won an Omaha 8 event and beat Bryan Devonshire heads up to win. This is his third final table at the WSOP and hr's cashed five times (not including the main event) for about $269K. He's also cashed in two previous WSOPs and cashed four times on the WPT.

My nickname for Kravchenko is Alex KGB. He totally looks like a throw back from those 1980s cold war flicks like Fire Fox, Gorky Park, or Red Dawn. I could picture him wearing a red jump suit with the CCCP initials across the back. He seems quiet at the table and never cracks a smile, but I saw him chatting with his Russian friends on the rail and he seemed extremely friendly and animated.

He'd get better odds if he had more chips. Everyone thought he was going to bust out once it got close to the final table bubbles. But he hung on with a short stack and survived as Scotty Nguyen busted in 11th place. Once the final ten were set, he was the super short stack and doubled up to advance to the final nine.

Seat 8 - Lee Watkinson
Chip Count: 9.925 million
Hometown: Cheney, Washington
BoDog Odds: 7-2

Lee Watkinson

Lee Watkinson left his bio sheet empty, aside from his phone number. The forty year old made four final tables at the WSOP and won one bracelet in the $10K PLO last year. He also made two final tables on the WPT and took second place twice, once to Doyle Brunson and the other to Eli Elezra (which also happened to have Scotty Nguyen and Gabe Kaplan at his table.) Lee Watkinson is Derek's least favorite player have he felted him in a 2/4 NL game on Full Tilt. Watkinson is the biggest named pro at the table and he has monkeys.

"He's fleecing the donkeys to save the monkeys," explained Benjo.

Watkinson and his fiance rescued retired chimps that have been exploited in show business or for research. They have taken them in and provide a safe haven for them. Part of his tournaments winnings goes to fund that and he also does his part to raise awareness for various aninal rights groups.

Seat 9 - Hevad "Rain" Khan
Chip Count: 9.205 million
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
BoDog Odds: 7-1

Rain Khan

Rain Khan is a 22-year old online poker pro from upstate NY mostly known as RainNKaHN on PokerStars. He listed that he was homeless on his bio sheet. He attended SUNY Albany and wrote that his hobbies are "eating subway and bulldozing." This is his second WSOP and has two previous cashes in the $1,500 donkfests. Khan won his seat to the main event via an satellite online. He's the guy who was accused of being a bot for playing 40 SNGs at once. His personal record is 43 and after PokerStars frozen his account, he sent them video proof that he was not a "robot." He's claimed to have played over 35,000 SNGs on PokerStars. Unreal.

Rain Khan is quiet most of the time with outbursts of feral energy. He jumps up and down. Shakes his head back and forth like the chick in The Exorcist and screams out random things. He's been seen running around with a chair on his head. But ask Otis and he'll tell you that he's one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.

Rain Khan completely shifted gears on Day 6. He played with less crazed aggression and picked his spots to go nuts. Aside from Hilm, he's my pick to take it down.
* * * * *

Bonus Code: Pauly

Don't forget to check out LasVegasVegas for Flipchip's WSOP photos and there's the Poker Prof's cool 2007 WSOP Info page.

And come back at the Tao of Poker for daily recaps and head over at PokerNews for live coverage and updates of the final table including chipcounts, photos, and videos.

For all you fantasy sports junkies, check out our new site... Fantasy Sports Live.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

No comments:

Post a Comment