Eastgate out, 64 remain in WSOP main event

Defending World Series of Poker champion Peter Eastgate was eliminated from this year’s event late Monday night, but one of his competitors from the 2008 final table was still alive heading into play Tuesday.

The $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em world championship event will begin play today at the Rio with 64 players remaining from the original field of 6,494. The field will be reduced to 27 with the successful competitors returning Wednesday to play for a seat at the final table of nine.

Eastgate, of Denmark, who won $9.15 million a year ago, ended in 78th place, winning $68,979. He was busted out of the game by Billy Kopp of Kentucky, who is currently is in second place in the chip count. Earlier in the day, Kopp busted out 2005 champion Joe Hecham, who finished in 104th place.

Eastgate’s run was the deepest by a defending champion since 2004 winner Greg Raymer finished 25th in 2005.

There are still some big names still alive in the tournament.

Dennis Phillips of St. Louis, last year’s third place finisher, is in 43rd place. Eastgate and Phillips, known for his St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap and legions of fans, played against each other for several hours Monday when they were seated at the ESPN feature table.

One woman remains alive in the competition. Leo Margets of Barcelona, Spain, is currently in 18th place.

The most recognizable name left in play is Phil Ivey of Las Vegas. The poker professional has won seven individual event champion bracelets in his career, including two this year. He has cashed 35 times in World Series of Poker play, winning almost $3.5 million at the tournament in his career.

Ivey, who has never won the main event, is currently in third place in the chip count with almost 6.4 million, trailing Kopp (8.24 million) and chip leader Darvin Moon of Maryland (9.7 million).

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