But with the antes being particularly tough, the players tended to drop faster than we thought they would. By the time we got to the $30,000/$60,000 level, the ante was $10,000, which is huge for an event considered the most prestigious tournament in poker.
The beginning of the day was marked with some controversy as Phil Hellmuth's one-orbit ban from tournament director Steve Frezer was surprisingly overturned by Jeffrey Pollack, with the slightly lame excuse that Hellmuth's histrionics were done for entertainment's sake.
It'll be interesting to see how they manage to deal with the next person who causes a load of noise and then says they're entertaining people.
Meanwhile Hellmuth had managed, like the England soccer team, to be incredibly good at missing penalties. Instantly he was involved in the action and managed to almost double up with K-Q on a Q-J-7-5-K board after calling two bets on the flop and turn with the river going check/check.
More slackness emerged when one of the decks was found not to be monochrome. Keith Hawkins was dealt one red card and one blue card. It was more annoying for the initial raiser, Joe Bishop, who ended up having to give up a big hand that he had raised with.
Mark Ketteringham had started the day as chip leader, but was out relatively early on when he got short and pushed his J♥ 8♥ straight into Gert Andersen's A♠ Q♦ and failed to improve.
Hellmuth also departed, depriving the rail of poker's biggest star. His A♥ Q♦ had a big draw on the turn of a K♦ 4♥ 3♥ T♥ 2♠ board, but couldn't outdraw Andrew Rosskamm's pocket jacks. The last former champion in the running here ended up out in 45th place, winning $154,400 for his efforts.
Kido Pham was another of the big names to go out against jacks: he held big slick, but by the turn of the J-T-9-9 board he was drawing dead, and took home the same amount of cash as the Poker Brat. This left Matusow as the last big name still in it, but he was the recipient of an ultra-cooler this deep in the Main Event.
Having reraised pre-flop, he and Paul Snead both checked the A♦ A♠ 5♥ flop before all the money went in on the 9♥ turn. Matusow flipped A♥ J♠, only to find that to his horror, he'd been three-outered by Snead's A♣ 9♣. No nine or jack came on the river, and a shell-shocked Matusow was a goner.
Craig Marquis finished the day as chip leader with $11,300,000, just ahead of Dennis Phillips with $11,150,000. Poker reporter/player Tiffany Michelle, the last woman in the event, will be sitting in third spot when they come back tomorrow to play down to the final nine before the extended hiatus for the final table.
Will the three of them be there come November? You'll have to tune into our updates tomorrow to find out!