Amateurs Sputter, Pros Dominate as PokerListings.com's Live Series Coverage Hits Day 7

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PokerListings.com's live coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker* was a decidedly Phil Collins/Marilyn Martin-esque tale of "Separate Lives" on Day 7 as the professional poker players clearly rose to the top and the legions of amateurs filling the Amazon Room sputtered. To wit: Established pros took home both of the prestigious gold bracelets awarded (Michael Banducci in Event 5; Thang Luu in Event 6), two more final tables were dominated by big name players, and, as several more events progressed, no respite for the ams appeared in sight.

It feels good (laughs). I'm going to go on vacation now. As far the title goes, I mean you play poker and no one knows you, but when you win a bracelet people start to recognize you. It's definitely better.

PokerListings.com's live coverage of the 2008 World Series of Poker* was a decidedly Phil Collins/Marilyn Martin-esque tale of "Separate Lives" on Day 7 as the professional poker players clearly rose to the top and the legions of amateurs filling the Amazon Room sputtered.

To wit: Established pros took home both of the prestigious gold bracelets handed out (Michael Banducci in Event 5; Thang Luu in Event 6), two more final tables were dominated by big name players, and, as several more events progressed, no respite for the ams appeared in sight.

Banducci - a veteran Internet pro and a final-tablist at last year's $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em event - reaffirmed the pros' budding dominance at this year's Series yesterday when he took out Jeff Williams heads-up in Event 5, $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em w/rebuys, to claim the $636,736 first-place prize and his first bracelet.

Said Banducci, in his exclusive PokerListings.com post-win interview:

"You know, last summer I made a final table here, flopped two pair, and got busted by a higher two pair. And there was a hand today where I flopped top two pair on a K-Q-J board with all spades. And all I could think was, "Is this going to happen with two pair again?

"(But) I somehow faded it every time today and ran really good."

Luu, a mixed-game specialist and former dealer who came within one place of earning a bracelet at the 2007 WSOP*, nabbed his first bracelet in Event 6, Omaha Hi-Lo Split Eight-or-Better.

Said Luu in his post-win interview:

"It feels good (laughs). I'm going to go on vacation now. As far the title goes, I mean you play poker and no one knows you, but when you win a bracelet people start to recognize you. It's definitely better."

Complete interviews with both pros - and plenty of other big-name players marking their mark on the Series this year - are available in the PokerListings.com player interview section.

Live 2008 WSOP* coverage continues over the weekend at PokerListings.com with updates, blogs, interviews and photos from all ongoing events, which include six more tourneys either playing down to their conclusions or firing up their first days.

Two of those events - Event 7, $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event 8, the $10,000 World Championship Mixed Event - are winding down their final tables, with the available seats again teeming with pros.

Representing the pros in Event 7: Theo Tran, Shannon Shorr, Alex Bolotin, J.C. Tran and Chris Bjorin. Representing the pros in Event 8: Matt Glantz, James "mig.com" Mackey, Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Sammy Farha, Jeff Madsen and Eli Elezra.

Also playing out over the weekend are the high-action $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Handed Event, the first-ever $5k No-Limit Hold'em Shootout, the $10k World Championship of Seven-Card Stud and the Ladies World Championship. In other words, just another average weekend at the greatest poker series in the world.

Visit the PokerListings.com 2008 World Series coverage section to access all features, including of course the PL.com daily video recap with host Amy Macbride.

PokerListings.com (http://www.pokerlistings.com) was launched in 2003 and quickly became the largest online poker guide in the world. It provides poker players with in-depth reviews of all major online poker rooms, the world's best sign-up bonuses and promotions, breaking poker news and detailed content on strategy, tours, tournaments and the game's best players. PokerListings.com also has the best live poker tournament reporting on the Web, with unrivaled year-round coverage from the World Series, the World Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour and more.

(*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah's License Company, LLC ('Harrahs'). Harrah's does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerListings.com or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.)

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