The much coveted $50k Poker Players Championship has reached the final table and will play down to a winner tomorrow. Currently leading the way is the man who took down this very title in 2010, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi with 3.648 million chips.
The final day will certainly be no pushover however as Mizrachi has both Andy Block (3.6m) and Chris Klodnicki (3.276m) breathing down his neck and a table full of talent behind them.
The day started with Viktor "Isildur1" Blom with a slight chip lead after winning an outrageous 1.2m chip hand courtesy of a miracle one outer against Joe Cassidy the previous evening (see report here for details). Blom couldn't maintain his form however and lost a number of big pots early on to put him on the back foot for much of the day. Eventually Blom fell in 14th place, although he did get the consolation of making the money (16 paid) and will take away $105k for his efforts. Phil Hellmuth started the day as the massive short stack with just 28k chips, although he wasn't the first to fall as as soon as play started we saw a massive 1 million chip pot which saw Luke "__FullFlush1__" Schwartz shoot up towards the top of the chip leaders as his flopped set of Queens outlasted Antony Lellouche's flopped two pair and straight draw. Schwartz hung around towards the top of the chip counts for much of the day. Also falling before the money were Phil Hellmuth, Michael Glick, David Chiu, Robert Mizrachi, Joe Cassidy, Phil Ivey, John Monnette, and Ben Yu. Phil Ivey had been one of the short stacks throughout this event, never quite reaching an average chip count so it is a little ironic that he had just about reached an even stack of around 700k with some excellent grinding play when he lost nearly everything in one hand. In a classic race he pitted his AsKs up againts Michael Mizrachi's QQ. The board offered Ivey no help and Mizrachi leaped towards the top of the chips counts, and he would stay there or thereabouts for the rest of the day. Had the pot gone Ivey's way he would have been chip leader - a scary prospect for the others left in contention. As it is he fell shortly afterwards, his crippled stack unable to regroup.
As we approached the final table more big names fell as Jeff Lisandro, John Hennigan, Daniel Alaei and David "ODB" Baker were all eliminated. The unofficial final table of nine players started after the elimination of Baker in 10th and it was David Oppenheim who found himself out before the official final table which starts this evening. Current chip counts going into play will be;
Event 47 ($1.5k PLO8) played it's second day yesterday, bagging up with 10 players returning to battle for the bracelet this evening. Greek player Charalampos Lappas currently leads the way with 994k and with 2nd placed Steven Loube on 947k the pair hold almost 2 million of the 4.4million chips in play. Out of the many notable players who started day two, only one breached the top 20 with Dario Alioto finishing in 17th spot.
It was also day 2 for Event 48 ($3k LHE) who played down to 20 players today from 126 and the bracelet will be decided tonight. Currently leading by a pretty hefty margin is Paul Berende with 331.5k chips, around 90k ahead of Kenny Hsiung in second on 242k. There are still some big names in contention here with Chad Brown looking for another final table appearance this summer currently in 7th spot, former Main Event Champ Jonathan Duhamel in 12th, Dwyte Pilgrim in 14th and Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo in 15th.
One of the more fascinating events of this years WSOP started yesterday as Event 49, $1,500 Ante-Only No-Limit Hold'em got underway. This is a new format to the WSOP and involves no blinds but every player contributing an ante from the outset. Play starts, as in any poker match to the left of the button with the player in question having the option to "bring in" to start proceedings (the bring in amount in this event is the minimum chip size left in play). Players then play as normal with the option to call or raise (up to all in as it's NLHE). The result is a very high pace match as each player has made an equal contribution to the pot before the cards have been dealt, creating a lot of value. By the end of play the 979 entrants had been whittled down to just 110, the bubble having been reached at 117 players. Big names to fall yesterday include; Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Daniel "KidPoker" Negreanu (who at one point looked like he might stage a remarkable comeback from just 50 chips as he rose back over 2,000 before succumbing), David Williams, Neil Channing, David "Bakes" Baker and Vanessa Rousso. Still in with a chance of a bracelet are Jon "pearljammer" Turner, Amanda "Many B" Baker, Mike "Timex" McDonald, Erick Lindgren and Melanie Weisner. Current chip leader is Sameer Al Janedi with 177k chips.