Only 64 players remain in the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, but the field is populated with familiar faces from the live tournament circuit and the world of internet poker. The diverse and international pool of remaining players also includes several players who qualified via online satellites to play in this event. One such online qualifier is Miika Puumalainen of Helsinki, Finland. According to the Party Poker blog, Puumalainen has the honor of being the last Party Poker qualifier standing in the Main Event.
Going into Day Six play on Monday the online poker site still had three seat winners in contention for the bracelet, but with the eliminations of Maurizio Saieva in 149th place and James Coulthard in 90th place there is just one man left to carry the Party Poker banner. According to the blog, all three players who started Day 6 received bonuses from the online poker site for their achievement.
Despite owning and operating a poker room that does not open its doors to US customers, Party Poker still had an impressive presence at the Main Event once players neared the money. Longtime Party Poker spokesperson Mike Sexton survived long enough to make the money, but was eliminated not too long after reaching the 648-person money bubble. Sexton finished in 420th place and earned $27,469 for his efforts. Sexton’s newly signed Party Poker teammate, Remy Biechel of France, lasted a day longer than Sexton did when he was eliminated on Day 5 in 350th place, earning Biechel $29,911.
Some of the other Party Poker online qualifiers who made the money include Staffan Fogleberg (647th place), Randy Armitage (447th place) and Ashley Cheung who was eliminated when he moved all-in on a Q-Q-6 board holding pocket tens and Joe Sebok called him with pocket jacks. Cheung made it through to Day 5 before that hand busted him out in 241st place.
While several Party Poker qualifiers did well this year, it now all comes down to the Finnish Puumalainen to carry the site’s banner. He begins play on Tuesday with 3.2 million chips and sitting 25th in chips overall. He will begin his day at a table featuring a familiar face from last year, 2008’s third place finisher Dennis Phillips. Joining them in the line-up is Sebok, who struggled with a short stack for most of Day 6 and will begin Day 7 with one million chips. Phillips, meanwhile, will start the day with just over 2.3 million chips.
Phillips and Sebok are not the only familiar faces left in the field. Poker superstar Phil Ivey is sitting at third in the chip counts with almost 6.4 million chips and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari (5.6 million), Card Player magazine owner Jeff Shulman (4.8 million), French pro Fabrice Soulier (3 million) and former WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider (2.9 million) are just a few of the other big names left in the field.
The final 64 will play down to 27 players on Tuesday before returning on Wednesday to play down to the final table and the soon-to-be famous November Nine.

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