Seventy-nine players returned at noon EDT to continue their individual quests for the $1.36 million CAD first prize, or barring that, at least a substantial piece of the remaining $3.5 million prize pool. With the money bubble set for 45 and plenty of pros still in the hunt, organizers forecast a long day of play and expected to have to make a tough decision if the first five levels of the day hadn't brought the field close to the magic number of 18 finalists.
As it turned out, no tough decisions were necessary, with the eliminations beginning at a rip-roaring pace and not letting up until a virtual massacre at the start of the day's fifth level pared the field to the final two tables.
The day began with young Kofi Farkye as chip leader and 2004 USPC runner-up Joe Cassidy in hot pursuit, but as play got underway the chip leaderboard started to look as stable as the San Andreas Fault or Bobby Bellande's tenuous grip on reality, whichever is less solid. Tuan Lam found themselves eliminated early, and then in the hand of the day Joe Cassidy saw his million-dollar dreams evaporate.
Jonathan Little's big slick and saw an ace hit the flop for doomsday. Karam was out in 25th and takes home $48,633.
Mark Inzian hit the bricks in 24th place and then the day's fourth level was over. After a 15-minute intermission players returned, expecting a long, hard haul to the final 18 players, but seeing a flurry of particularly gruesome eliminations reduce the field to two tables within 20 minutes.
Among the unfortunates were Lee Markholt (23rd place, out with K6o to Dan Shak's pocket jacks), Shawn Wieferig (22nd place, busted by Barry Greenstein), Bill Edler (21st place, out with Q8 to Dave Cloutier's QQ), David Tucker (21st place) and Catherine Caterni (20th place, out with A-K to Adam Levy's pocket aces). Each of the above will receive $48,633.
Just like that, then, the day was over, with 18 players remaining and organizers deciding to make Wednesday an off-day for the survivors. Action will resume at noon EST on Thursday as we play down to the final six, with Jonathan Little holding the chip lead ($1,576,000) over Dave Cloutier ($1,340,000) and Kofi Farkye ($1,212,000) as things stand currently. Also alive and in the hunt for millions are Barry Greenstein ($612,000), Weikai Chang ($485,000), Dan Shak ($261,000), Jeff Garza ($225,000), Scott Clements ($190,000) and Narinder Khasria ($124,000).
PokerListings.com's Niagara Falls team will take tomorrow as an opportunity to seek out, empty, and ride to glory caskets of ale over the Horseshoe Falls, but while we're risking life and limb for alcohol and the pursuit of free medical coverage you can get your poker fix with our EPT and WSOPC coverage. The NAPC will be back on Thursday and PL will be right alongside, injuries, hangovers and criminal charges notwithstanding. Onward!