The final two tables took flight just after 12 p.m. in Las Vegas and a series of massive hands sent the first five also-rans to the rail immediately.
First Bill Klein got his jacks cracked by Evan McNiff's big slick. Then, after a short-stacked Benjamin Tollerene said goodbye and Nick Schulman was left crippled. He himself doubled up twice to get back in it, but his run at a second WPT title ended soon after when Justin Young's big slick flopped top two against his pair of jacks.
Brett Richey got cooled next when he woke up with A-K under the gun and shoved when David "Chino" Rheem repopped from the big blind. Chino had aces and the hand was practically over before it started, taking Richey's tournament life with it.
Chino began putting together his very serious run at the Five Diamond riches right there and then, sickly semi-bluffing newfound chip leader McNiff off a $1.5 million pot with a gutter and a flush draw that he was only too proud to show.
But McNiff grabbed more than that back, busting Robert Mizrachi minutes later when his queens held against Bro Grinder's A♦ J♦.
With Mizrachi out of the way they went to a 10-handed final table to play down to six, and the action did not slow down one bit.
Clonie Gowen rode sixes to her demise, failing to win a pre-flop all-in race with Steve Sung and his A♠ Q♣. Coming off a sixth-place finish at Foxwoods, Mike Matusow's attempt at back-to-back WPT final tables ended next when he got it in dominated with A-Q against Justin Young's A-K.
With two WPT titles under his belt already, Steve Sung is truly playing for the win this time around and grabbed the chip lead soon after, convincing Evan McNiff to pay him off in a $5 million pot where Sung flopped quads and bet every street strong.
Overnight chip leader Ben Straate went nowhere but down today and eventually handed his chips to Sung as well, going out eighth when his A♦ T♣ swung and missed against Sung's sixes.
Literally seconds later, Joe McGowan pushed in with fours, Chino called him down with nines and the final six was set.
When the cameras start rolling sometime around 4 p.m. Friday, Sung will come in with the chip lead sitting on $5.8 million in chips. Coming off three cashes at the 2008 WSOP, Evan McNiff will be next with $4.8 million.
November was a month to remember for Chino Rheem. But he'll be looking to better his seventh-place finish at the 2008 WSOP Main Event with a win here at Bellagio, coming into the final table with $4.2 million in chips.
Amnon Filippi is next with $2.75 million, and he'll be desperately trying to get over the hump in this, his third WPT final-table appearance.
Justin Young placed 11th here at the WPT Bellagio Cup last season, and his steady play throughout the tournament has been impressive. The North Carolinian will bring $2.4 million worth of chips to the party.
The short stack, if you can call him that on $2.295 million, is Hoyt Corkins. Having a WPT title and two runner-up finishes on his resume makes Corkins the most experienced player at this final table and perhaps the scariest.
As usual the WPT has an epic battle between veteran pros and hot-shot Internet phenoms on the menu tomorrow, and PL.com will be first in line at the buffet.
From the call to shuffle up and deal to the moment the $1.5 million first-place prize is handed out, you are welcome to join us as always. Just click right here.