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Esfandiari On Brink of One Drop Repeat, Johnson Denies Ho
Already poker's all-time leading money winner, Antonio Esfandiari is on the cusp of another huge score in the $111k One Drop High Roller.
The winner of the inaugural $1m Big One for One Drop last year for $18m, Esfandiari resurrected his One Drop magic to stand on the edge of back-to-back titles with a spot in the final four after play last night.
Elsewhere at the Rio Marco Johnson denied Maria Ho her first bracelet, the Ladies event got underway and Phil Galfond got off to a big start in the $25k Six-Max as the 2013 WSOP wound ever closer to the Main Event.
Esfandiari Conjures Another Magic Run in One Drop
The event all eyes were focused on last night played down into the money and to the final four with Esfandiari the biggest name still in the hunt.
Businessman Bill Perkins is technically the chip leader with 14,700,000 but with everybody fairly short compared to the blinds it's any man's game.
Anthony Gregg, the 2009 PCA Main Event runner-up, and Chris Klodnicki, runner-up in last year's $50k Player's Championship, are at 13,900,000 and 12,000,000 respectively.
Esfandiari is the short stack on 9,200,000 - and needed a huge re-suckout late to get there - but with his magic in this event he might still be the favorite to claim the $4.8m first-place prize. Everyone left is now guaranteed at least $1.4m.
Check our feature live coverage from the Rio for a rundown of all the action and tune in today at 1 pm as they play down to a winner. The final four:
- 1. Bill Perkins 14,700,000
- 2. Anthony Gregg 13,900,000
- 3. Chris Klodnicki 12,000,000
- 4. Antonio Esfandiari 9,200,000
Johnson Grabs First Bracelet in $2,500 Limit Six-Max
Vegas high-stakes regular Marco Johnson has been on the brink of a WSOP bracelet himself three times but come up short heads-up each time.
Not last night, however, as he finally locked down his first bracelet in Event #48, $2,500 Limit Hold'em Six-Max.
This time Johnson finished off Jeff Thompson heads-up and outlasted a tough final table that included Juha Helppi and Maria Ho.
Ho, who also knows the disappointment of a runner-up finish at the WSOP, came into the final table as the chip leader but had the wheels fall off to bust in sixth.
- 1. Marco Johnson $206,796
- 2. Jeff Thompson $127,801
- 3. Juha Helppi $82,956
- 4. Danny Warchol $55,457
- 5. Mike Schiffman $38,095
- 6. Maria Ho $26,858
Ylitalo, Abrams Edge Closer to First Bracelets
Two more events played down to the edge of final tables last night with Swede Robin Ylitalo and Scott Abrams chip leaders in their respective events.
Ylitalo leads Event #49, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, with 21 players left, among them Barny Boatman and Kevin MacPhee.
Abrams leads Event #50, $2,500 10-Game Mix, with 20 left including Robert Williamson III and Greg Raymer.
Both events will play down to a winner today starting at 2 pm. The top 10 in each event:
Event #49, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
- 1. Robin Ylitalo 1,151,000
- 2. Paul Dasilva 1,129,000
- 3. Taras Kripps 945,000
- 4. Valentin Messina 905,000
- 5. Brian O'Donoghue 772,000
- 6. Walter Treccarichi 757,000
- 7. J. Austin Hijar 638,000
- 8. Noah Sandler 616,000
- 9. Jan Eric Schwippert 459,000
- 10. Sergei Stazhkov 410,000
Event #50, $2,500 10-Game Mix
- 1. Scott Abrams 351,700
- 2. Sebastian Saffari 294,300
- 3. Philip Sternheimer 229,900
- 4. Brian Tate 211,800
- 5. Robert Williamson III 203,100
- 6. Christopher George 197,400
- 7. Michael Jarmark 192,400
- 8. Loren Klein 152,300
- 9. Brandon Wong 145,000
- 10. Tom McCormick 112,500
Anderson and Boeree Advance, Galfond Crushes $25k
Two more marquee events got underway in Vegas yesterday with the kickoff of the 2013 Ladies Championship and the $25k No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max.
Importantly for the Ladies, the $10k buy-in for men steered off any interlopers and 954 ladies were the only entrants. Chris Priday is the Day 1 leader while Danielle "dmoongirl" Andersen and Liv Boeree were two of the 122 to survive.
Our feature live coverage from the Rio meanwhile focused on the $25k and the big-name superstars battling it out at each table.
Online high-stakes legend Phil Galfond ruled the day, pretty much, bagging up 335,000 for second overall behind Max Lehmanski.
His high-stakes cohort Ben "Sauce123" Sulsky also bagged up a top 5 stack. Tune in to our WSOP Live Updates today at 2 pm for more great action from the 101 remaining players. The top 10:
- 1. Max Lehmanski 406,000
- 2. Phil Galfond 338,700
- 3. Craig Casino 333,000
- 4. Ben Sulsky 330,300
- 5. Marvin Rettenmaier 289,400
- 6. Brandon Meyers 258,100
- 7. Michael Lipman 250,000
- 8. Francois Safieddine 250,000
- 9. Alex Uskov 236,000
- 10. David "Bakes" Baker 223,700