Five tables of eight are all that remain of the two fully packed rooms we saw on Days 1a and 1b and although a seemingly endless line of broken players were forced to leave with nothing but the sand and surf waiting for them, a small percentage have been able to reap the rewards of the nearly $8.6 million prize pool.
The sun was shining and the waves were crashing on the beaches of Paradise Island this afternoon, at least that's what we've been told. Fortunately for us the UV rays and itchy sand-in-the-pants were unable to harm us.
Tucked away in the Grand Ballroom, thankfully safe from the perilous natural world outside these walls, the PL.com crew dutifully chronicled the action as we hacked the start-of-day field down from 153 to the few who would earn a seat at tomorrow's Day 4 festivities.
Van den Berg, an EPT regular hailing from Amsterdam, has already made two EPT final tables this year and is reportedly one of the most frequent qualifiers taking advantage of the PokerStars satellite program. With two cashes at this year's World Series of Poker, including one final table, VDB seems to be running hot as of late.
Grospellier and Ramdin, two card-carrying Team PokerStars Pros, should need little introduction. ElkY was an accomplished Starcraft player before he made the jump to online poker, hardly an unusual transition, and has since made enough of an impact to warrant the sponsorship with Stars. The first player ever to reach Supernova and Supernova Elite status on the site, Grospellier has already taken down more than a half million dollars in live tournament poker.
Ramdin, a native of Guyana currently based in the Bronx, made a huge impact when he took up tournament poker in 2002 after watching his friends play in a local bar. Reaping nearly $2.4 million in tournament wins since then, it's no wonder he now finds himself among the elite in the game.
William Thorsson, poster-boy for the new generation of Scandinavian online superstars, has already proven he's able to translate his skills to the live arena. A merciless player with expertise in the art of small-ball poker, Thorsson has added more than $1.5 million to his earnings through live tournament play alone.
And lastly we have Eric "Rizen" Lynch. Primarily an online player who has earned the respect of everyone with even a modicum of knowledge, Rizen made his live presence known at the 2006 WSOP where he final-tabled a Pot-Limit Hold'em event, finishing third for over $100,000, before finishing 24th in the Main Event for a staggering $494,000. In 2007 Lynch continued his World Series success with five cashes including two final tables.
So this is a little taste of the caliber of play we can expect during tomorrow's battle for the final table. The interesting thing though is that there are many other names on the list of 40 who deserve respect; it's just that so far they've been too young to play in any live events. With the minimum age for this event set at just 18 it has attracted some of the best online tournament talent the world has to offer.
As always I'd like to extend a personal invitation to a super-exclusive viewing of the action to come. You and a guest, or maybe two, are hereby granted permission to view it all via your home or work computer right here on PokerListings.com. We don't give this chance to just anyone so we suggest you take advantage of it.
WSOP live blog from the tournament floor w/ poker pro interviews, photos and side action from Las