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13/07/2005 No.12
he Guardian Poker Column
Barry Glendenning in Las Vegas writes for the Guardian News Group
Wednesday July 13, 2005
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Tiffany almost alone now

As the field narrows to just 58, Londoner Tiffany Williamson is sitting pretty in seventh place

With last night's Quentin Tarantino-directed CSI season finale having been postponed, the climax of the World Series of Poker remains the hottest ticket in Vegas.

Forensic examination of the figures reveals that the number of players remaining in the No-Limit Hold 'Em World Championship at close of play in the fourth round was 58, with each guaranteed winnings of at least $77,100.

However only one will emerge victorious from Binion's Horseshoe this weekend, their bank balance having been swelled by the $7.5m first prize and their wrist weighed down with the gold-and-diamond bracelet presented to each year's winner. As Duke Ellington might say: It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that bling.

Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty.One man who, er, does got it is defending champion Greg Raymer, whose shimmering wrist adornment was no defence against a series of heavy blows that saw him ship over half of the $1.5m stack that had him in pole position at the end of round three. With $700,000 left, Raymer will need a change in fortune if he is to survive through the next round of the Big One and have any chance of joining the elite band of back-to-back title winners.

With only nine chairs available at the final table that convenes on Friday, competition is understandably fierce and tense. Many of those vying for a seat are among the most respected and feared poker players in the world. Tim Phan leads the field with $3.2m in chips in his war-chest, followed by Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, with $2.6m. Phil Ivey and Farzad Bonyadi will also be sleeping easily, featuring prominently as they do on the leaderboard with enviable artillery behind them. But round four belonged to Phan, who having sat down with $746,000, more than quadrupled his stack during the course of the day.
Tiffany Williamson
Of the remaining contenders, just one is a woman: Tiffany Williamson from London, currently seventh in the money list with $1,992,000 in with a great shout of pulling off an unprecedented double: first woman and first Briton to take the title.

Indeed, Great Britain is well represented in the final 58, with Nick Givson ($811,000), John McGrane ($780,000), Radu Butan ($762,000), Bryant King ($702,000) and Mark Forrester ($628,000) all sitting tight, while Dubliner Andrew Black ($371,000) will need the every ounce of the fabled luck of the Irish if he is to continuing flying the flag for his home country.

The Top 10 After Day Seven/Round Four Tim Phan $3,244,000 Mike Matusow $2,561,000 Farzad Bonyadi $2,402,000 Steve Danaman $2,143,000 Phil Ivey $2,027,000 Tex Barch McKinney $2,025,000 Tiffany Williamson $1,992,000 Johnny Howard $1,806,000 Scott Lazar $1,629,000 Tuan Vu $1,571,000

The Editor's WSOP Reports

The Editor's WSOP Reports