2012 Main Event: Marc Ladouceur Leads Final 27

Ladouceur (standing, left) won a big 3-way all-in earlier today.
Ladouceur (standing, left) won a big 3-way all-in earlier today.

Day 6 is over.

Our final elimination of the day came with 1 hour and 37 minutes left in Level 30. Erik Hellman was the Day 7 bubble, his 28th place finish will earn him $236,921.

The final hand of the day started with action folding to Erik Hellman in the small blind. Hellman moved all-in and Robert Salaburu called from the big blind. Hellman showed A J and was dominated by Salaburu's A Q.

The flop came 7 Q 2 and Salaburu's hand improved. The turn was a 4 and Hellman was drawing dead. The river brought a 7 and a cheers from all across the Amazon room.

We've reached the final three tables. Tomorrow, we'll get our final nine.

Official Leaderboard for Day 7

With the blinds at 60,000-120,000 with a 15,000 ante, here's a look at the entire leaderboard heading into Day 7.

All of these players are guaranteed at least $294,601.

1.  Marc Ladouceur  -  15,875,000 (132 bb)
2.  Daniel Strelitz  -  12,790,000 (106 bb)
3.  Robert Salaburu  -  10,915,000 (90 bb)
4.  Russell Thomas  -  9,985,000 (83 bb)
5.  Elisabeth Hille  -  9,770,000 (81 bb)
6.  Yuval Bronshtein  -  9,735,000 (81 bb)
7.  Jamie Robbins  -  8,750,000 (72 bb)
8.  Robert Corcione  -  8,745,000 (72 bb)
9.  Cylus Watson  -  8,500,000 (70 bb)
10.  Jeremy Ausmus  -  8,300,000 (69 bb)
11.  Scott Abrams  -  8,080,000 (67 bb)
12.  Greg Merson  -  7,435,000 (61 bb)
13.  Jesse Sylvia  -  7,385,000 (61 bb)
14.  Jacob Balsiger  -  7,330,000 (61 bb)
15.  Michael Esposito  -  7,045,000 (58 bb)
16.  Percy Mahatan  -  6,750,000 (56 bb)
17.  Jan Heitmann  -  6,390,000 (53 bb)
18.  Danny Wong  -  6,360,000 (53 bb)
19.  David Balkin  -  6,330,000 (52 bb)
20.  Gaelle Baumann  -  5,530,000 (46 bb)
21.  Rolan Israelashvili  -  5,525,000 (46 bb)
22.  Steven Gee  -  4,830,000 (40 bb)
23.  Robert Buckenmayer  -  4,410,000 (36 bb)
24.  Andras Koroknai  -  3,125,000 (26 bb)
25.  Wilfried Haerig  -  2,665,000 (22 bb)
26.  Paul Volpe  -  2,650,000 (22 bb)
27.  Nicco Maag  -  1,300,000 (10 bb)

Day 7 begins tomorrow (Monday) at 1:00 pm PT, and they will play as long as it takes until there are nine players left for the November Nine -- which will be played in late October.

The first nine players eliminated tomorrow will receive $294,601 each, while the nine survivors will be guaranteed at least $754,798, with a shot at $8.5 million.

As you might imagine, it'll be an important day.

Return to PokerListings.com for continuing coverage of the WSOP Main Event.

WSOP Daily Video Show with Jesse Sylvia, Niels van Alphen and Erik Hellman

Check out today's show to get to know three of the Day 6 players a little better. Niels van Alphen was the last Dutch player in the field, while Erik Hellman was the final Swede.

Jesse Sylvia is an American pro originally from Martha's Vineyard and he's heading into the final 27 right around the middle of the pack.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: 28 Left, Playing to 27

Marc Ladouceur is second in chips.
Marc Ladouceur is second in chips.

There has been another last-minute schedule change.

Since there were 28 players remaining at the end of the level, it was determined by the WSOP and/or ESPN to continue playing until one more player is eliminated.

It might seem like a frivolous thing, but there is a rather substantial TV production difference between 28 players and 27.

With 27 players, ESPN can set up three tables and provide thorough coverage. With 28 players, there will need to be four tables, and as soon as the first player busts, they will need to take a break to consolidate to the final three tables.

So it is much easier on everyone if they start tomorrow with 27 players rather than 28. And so they keep playing into Level 30, with blinds increasing to 60,000-120,000 and a 15,000 ante.

There hasn't been any word yet as to whether this will affect tomorrow's start, which was rescheduled for 1:00 pm PT earlier this evening.

Shahriar Assareh Can’t Beat Kings

Shahriar Assareh shoved over an opening raise for his last 2.2 million chips but couldn’t have been too happy when Robert Corcione re-shoved, with the original raiser getting out of the way and Assareh and his pocket tens getting the bad news when Corcione flipped up pocket kings.

The board blanked out and didn’t even produce a sweat for Assareh, who finishes 31st for $236,921, leaving us with 30 players remaining.

Niels van Alphen
Niels van Alphen is out in 30th place.

Last Dutchman is Down

Niels van Alphen has finished in 30th place ($236,921), and his exit ended Dutch hopes that they might produce the next Main Event champ.

He’d been battling with a shorter stack for much of the evening and found a good spot to double up his remaining 1.2 million chips, getting it all-in preflop with A K versus Cylus Watsons 9 9.

The board ran out 5 7 4 7 Q with the nod going to Watson, boosting his stack up to nearly 12 million chips.

Jordan Batt Eliminated by Scott Abrams

Jordan Batt was down to about 3.1 million (31 big blinds), when he four-bet all in over a raise from Marc Ladouceur and a reraise from Scott Abrams.

Ladouceur folded, and Abrams called with A K. Batt turned over J J, and he'd need it to hold to stay alive.

The board came K 8 5 4 10, and Abrams paired his king on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Jordan Batt in 29th place.

Batt earns $236,921, while Abrams increases his stack to about 9.75 million.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard with 28 players remaining, courtesy of WSOP.com, with blinds increasing to 60,000-120,000 and a 15,000 ante:

1.  Daniel Strelitz  -  14,505,000 (120 bb)
2.  Marc Ladouceur  -  13,500,000 (112 bb)
3.  Jamie Robbins  -  9,770,000 (81 bb)
T4.  Scott Abrams  -  9,750,000 (81 bb)
T4.  Cylus Watson  -  9,750,000 (81 bb)
6.  Jacob Balsiger  -  9,400,000 (78 bb)
7.  Russell Thomas  -  8,925,000 (74 bb)
8.  Gaelle Baumann  -  8,740,000 (72 bb)
9.  Jeremy Ausmus  -  8,580,000 (71 bb)
10.  Percy Mahatan  -  7,550,000 (62 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Lightning Round

Daniel Strelitz is back in the lead with 16.3 million
Daniel Strelitz is back in the lead with 16.3 million


The thunderstorm outside the Rio has died down, but it seems the electric storm has moved indoors. The tournament took a while to get down to the final four tables, but once we did, there was a quick flurry of bustouts. In under 15 minutes, we lost four players and are now down to our final 32 players. 

While the cause of all this action is most definitely due to invisible poker lightning, some people think the blinds have something to do with the accelerated action. Blinds are now 50,000/100,000 with a 10,000 ante, with 36 players left, that made the average stack 54 big blinds.

Jonathan Schoder was the first to go. Soon after players sat down, his ace-jack ran into Michael Esposito's pocket queens. The board brought all low cards and Schoder became our 36th place finisher.

Marty Zabib Runs Out of Lifelines

Marty Zabib was saved on the river earlier when he was all-in and at risk but he couldn’t pull off the feat again, falling in 35th ($236,921).

He shoved for 1.4 million and got a call from David Balkin who was holding pocket eights, ahead of Zabib’s A 6.

The flop of J 5 2 didn’t change anything but Zabib’s rail exploded when the A came on the turn. Their roars turned to stunned silence, however, when the 8 fell on the river to swing things back in Balkin’s favor and eliminate Zabib.

Charles Coultas
Charles Coultas

Coultas Out in 34th

Charles Coultas was next on the cutting board.

David Balkin raised to 200,000 from early position and Coultas moved all-in for 1.7 million from the button. The blinds folded, Balkin called and showed pocket kings.

Coultas turned over A Q and was in need of an ace. The Q 8 5 brought him a queen instead and the 10 came on the turn. The river was the 9 and Coultas was eliminated in 34th place.

Down to 32

Our next fast-paced elimination came from the feature table. 

Taylor Paur moved all-in for 1.355 million and Jamie Robbins called from the big blind.

Paur: A J

Robbins: A Q

The 10 9 6 flop gave Paur hopes for running straight cards. The 2 came on the turn instead and Paur could hit any spade on the river to chop the pot. But the river was a 7 and Paur was eliminated in 33rd place, earning the same as all the other recent eliminations, $236,921.

Tomas Samol No Match for Ladies

Tomas Somal is our 32nd place finisher ($236,921), knocked out by a lady holding two more in her hand.

Samol and Elisabeth Hille went to war pre-flop with Somal eventually shoving for 2.5 million, with Hille making the quick call and rolling over Q Q, far ahead of Samol’s A Q.

A flop of 2 3 4 was a good one for Hille, with the door slamming on Samol when the K came on the turn to give Hille a lock on the hand and send Samol packing.

Chip Counts

1. Daniel Strelitz - 16,390,000

2. Marc Ladouceur - 10,255,000

3. Cylus Watson - 10,120,000

4. Jeremy Ausmus - 9,860,000

5. Jacob Balsiger - 9,400,000

6. Russell Thomas - 8,925,000

7. Gaelle Baumann - 8,740,000

8. Jamie Robbins - 8,470,000

9. Robert Corcione - 8,400,000

10. Percy Mahatan - 7,550,000


Chip counts courtesy of WSOP.com
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Final 4 Tables & Schedule Changes

Gaelle Baumann had a ton of chips back on Day 2a too.
Gaelle Baumann had a ton of chips back on Day 2a too.

A few changes have been made to the schedule for tonight and tomorrow.

First, it appears that tomorrow's Day 7 action will begin at 1:00 pm PT, rather than noon.

Second, the WSOP staff is planning a hard stop tonight at the end of this level (1:47 am PT), if the field hasn't yet reached the final three tables (27 players).

There are currently 36 players remaining at the final four tables, and it looks like it's going to come down to the wire tonight.

Gaelle Baumann Doubles Thru David Balkin

It was a little surreal at ESPN's secondary table, as it looked for a few moments like Gaelle Baumann -- one of the last two women standing -- had been eliminated.

But it was a false alarm.

David Balkin raised from middle position, and got two callers. The flop came A 10 9, Balkin bet 425,000, Baumann called from the cutoff, and Erik Hellman folded from the big blind.

The turn was the 7, Balkin bet 1 million, and Baumann thought for a while before she called.

The river card was the 4, and Balkin moved all in. Baumann immediately called with A J. She had the nuts -- an ace-high flush.

But Balkin seemed to only see her ace, not the hearts, and reacted as if she only had top pair. Balkin proudly turned over 10-10 for a set of tens and began celebrating with his buddies on the rail.

It took a few moments, but perhaps when the announcer called out that Baumann had a flush, realization sank in for Balkin, and he quietly slinked back to the table to pay off the all-in bet.

Baumann doubled up to about 7.5 million in chips, and Balkin dropped down to about 1.1 million.

Balkin would double up a few minutes later, giving himself a little bit more of a cushion with about 2.3 million.

Amnon Filippi
Amnon Filippi won the $10,000 Bellagio Cup in 2005 -- before it was a televised World Poker Tour event.

Amnon Filippi Eliminated in 39th Place

Amnon Filippi was one of the most recognizable pros remaining in the field, with $2.8 million in live tournament earnings and four televised WPT final tables under his belt, and a fourth-place finish in the 2007 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship.

Filippi was short-stacked, and moved all in from the button for 700,000 (7 big blinds). Paul Volpe called from the big blind with K J, and Filippi turned over Q 9.

Filippi would need to improve to stay alive, but the board came A 6 5 8 A, and Volpe won the pot with king high to build his stack up to about 3.9 million.

Amnon Filippi was eliminated in 39th place, earning $191,646.

Omar Saeed Out in 37th

The bubble for the final four tables has burst. Omar Saeed was eliminated in 37th place and will be the last player to cash for $191,646. The remaining 36 players will reorganize into four tables and be guaranteed $236,921.

Saeed was another feature table elimination. It all started when Elisabeth Hille raised to 200,000. Saeed re-raised to 525,000 and Daniel Strelitz 4-bet to 985,000. Hille folded and Saeed moved all-in for 2.88 million. Strelitz knew he had the best hand and called instantly:

Strelitz: A A
Saeed: A K

The flop came J 9 6 and Saeed was in need of running straight cards or running kings. The turn was a 6 and Saeed's Main Event journey came to an end. The river was an irrelevant 4 and we were down to our final four tables.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard with 43 players remaining, courtesy of WSOP.com, with blinds at 50,000-100,000 and a 10,000 ante:

1.  Daniel Strelitz - 16,390,000 (163 bb)
2.  Jeremy Ausmus - 12,000,000 (120 bb)
3.  Cylus Watson - 9,895,000 (98 bb)
4.  Russell Thomas - 9,375,000 (93 bb)
5.  Gaelle Baumann - 8,600,000 (86 bb)
6.  Robert Corcione - 8,400,000 (84 bb)
7.  Scott Abrams - 8,005,000 (80 bb)
8.  Jacob Balsiger - 7,500,000 (75 bb)
9.  Greg Merson - 7,270,000 (72 bb)
10.  Jesse Sylvia - 6,200,000 (62 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Forty Left

42nd place finisher, Paul Siem
42nd place finisher, Paul Siem

If He Only Had a Heart

The Spanish rail did their best for Jordi Martinez, but he couldn’t find a heart when he needed it most and hit the rails in 43rd place ($191,646).

He was in bad shape when he found himself all-in with A Q versus Jesse Sylvia’s A K, but he definitely had the rail behind him. With various supporters shouting for a queen or heart in equal mixtures of English and Spanish.

A flop of J 7 4 produced a very big sweat and plenty of excitement on the rail, but the# Qd on the turn quieted the crowd slightly. Then, a 2 on the river taking all the remaining wind from their sails.

Paul's Fall

Paul Siem finished 42nd after busting out to Russell Thomas at the feature table.

Jan Heitmann raised to 175,000 and Thomas called. Siem moved in for about 1.7 million, Heitmann folded and Thomas threw in the extra 1.5 million. 

Russell: Q Q

Siem: A 10

When the flop was in the dealer's hand, the A was visible in the window. Siem's fans started to celebrate until the rest of the flop came out.

The flop read Q 4 A and Russell hit a set. The turn was a 4 and only an ace could save Siem. The river brought another four instead, the 4. Siem was eliminated in 42nd place and gets $191,646 for his finish. 

Greg Merson
This person is Greg Merson

Kang Can't Hang

The feature table has been pretty active recently. Rio scientists speculate this might be due to the massive electrical storm covering Las Vegas right now. 

The most recent final table casualty was Webber Kang.

Kang raised to 160,000 from early position and Greg Merson called from the cutoff. The flop came A K 3 and Kang led out for 175,000. Merson called, bringing a 6 on the turn. Kang bet 425,000 and Merson raised to 1.075 million. Kang then went for the ultimate bet, all-in. Merson quickly called Kang's 3.43 million all-in and we had another final table showdown:

Kang; A 9

Merson A K

Kang was in need of a third diamond, but the river brought a taunting 9. Merson's two pairs were bigger than Kang's and Kang became our 41st place finisher, earning $191,646. Merson saw his stack grow to 8.2 million, good for 7th in chips.


We’ve had longer days of poker, but it’s hard on both players and media when we reach the very late stages. The schedule dictates we play down to a certain number of players instead of a set stopping time. In some ways, there’s no real end in sight; it's matter of fate and cards and coolers and other random, arbitrary things.

The elimination pace has slowed over the last thirty minutes, with players sticking tighter and tighter to their chairs. Random unscheduled breaks have also taken their toll, as we’d have normally gotten in an extra hour of play by this point on a normal day.

We are now down to 40 players after the elimination of Webber Kang. The magic number is 27 players, that's when we’ll call it a night.

Twitter Roundup

Most of the players still in are too busy trying to win the Main Event to spend much time Tweeting. So, we rounded up what other poker players are saying about today’s action and the chances of those remaining:

Jason Mercier ‏@JasonMercier: So many good professional poker players went bust today in the main event. Final table gonna b a lot less talented than I hoped#justbadluck

John Kim ‏@NicolakPoker: Forgot Greg Merson is still in it, don't know him but have played online cash w/ him and he's good + great Wsop so up there w/ Ausmus also

John Kim ‏@NicolakPoker: No offense to others in the main event but the best player left happens to be chip leader @jeremyausmus

Daniel Negreanu ‏@RealKidPoker: Of the 42 left in the WSOP main event I've "heard of" 5. By the final table it's unlikely I'll know more than 1.5.

Chip Counts

Top 10 chip counts, courtesy of WSOP.com:

1. Jeremy Ausmus - 12,400,000

2. Daniel Strelitz - 10,605,000

3. Russell Thomas - 10,330,000

4. Marc Ladouceur - 8,900,000

5. Cylus Watson - 8,600,000

6. Scott Ambrams - 8,240,000

7. Greg Merson - 8,190,000

8. Percy Mahatan - 7,200,000

9. Andras Koroknai - 6,900,000

10. Robert Corcione - 6,720,000

Hellman is Last Swede Standing

Erik Hellman is Sweden's last hope in this event, which might be confusing to Sweden because he actually goes by Jonatan.

He told us that Erik is the first name on his passport, which they used at registration. He also tells us that even if he wins this tournament, he'll still be heading to university this coming year.

Check out the full interview below for even more.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Amit Makhija Latest to Hit Rail

Makhija briefly had the chip lead today, but it didn't last.
Makhija briefly had the chip lead today, but it didn't last.

The field is down to the final five tables, and has consolidated into ESPN's featured areas. There is still plenty of good seating for fans who are in Las Vegas to come down and watch in person.

There was another three-way all-in situation, and once again, it caused two players to bust.

Scott Abrams raised under the gun to 170,000, Amit Makhija moved all in from the cutoff for 1.27 million (15 big blinds). Tristan Clemencon called from the big blind, and then Abrams four-bet all in for about 2.7 million (33 big blinds).

Clemencon tanked for a little while as Makhija gathered his things, in case he was eliminated on the hand. Clemencon eventually called, and they turned over their cards.

Scott Abrams:  A A
Tristan Clemencon:  10 10
Amit Makhija:  A Q

The board came Q 7 3 7 9, and the pocket aces held up for Abrams to win the entire pot, busting two players as he increased his chip stack to about 9 million.

Amit Makhija was out in 47th, and Tristan Clemencon was out in 46th. Both players earned $156,293.

Jeremy Ausmus Leads with 13 Million

The new chipleader is Jeremy Ausmus, who eliminated Amit Zulkowitz on his way to 13.1 million in chips.

After a flop of 9 7 3, Ausmus bet 200,000, Zulkowitz raised to 700,000, and Ausmus moved all in.

Zulkowitz called with A 7 for a pair of sevens, but Ausmus turned over J 9 for a pair of nines. Both players had runner-runner flush draws as well.

The turn was the Q, the river was the 3, and the pair of nines held up for Ausmus to win the pot and eliminate Zulkowitz in 49th place, earning $156,293.

To put 13.1 million in chips in perspective, that is probably more chips than the short stack will have at the end in this year's November Nine.

Ben Yu Holds a Sign For Scott Abrams
Ben Yu holds a sign cheering on Scott Abrams (foreground) on Day 5.


After we get down to the final nine players tomorrow the Main Event will pause for a few months, with the new structure adopted in 2008 that delays the conclusion of the final table in an attempt to build a little more buzz and excitement.

The resumption of the final table has been held in November in each year in Vegas, with the final nine players each year accordingly dubbed the “November Nine”.

This year, though, the WSOP bumped up the date on the calendar into late October to avoid conflicting with the US Presidential election, leading to a predicament of what exactly to call this year’s final nine players.

The Sam Holden Tweet below is a reference to a mini-movement on Twitter among poker players to come up with a brand new moniker for this year’s final table players.

@Sam_Holden888 (Sam Holden): And good luck to @amak316 and @NielsvanAlphen9 and the rest of team 888Poker. Would love to see you at the Octo-Nine!

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard with 43 players remaining, courtesy of WSOP.com, with blinds at 40,000-80,000 and a 10,000 ante:

1.  Jeremy Ausmus - 13,435,000 (167 bb)
2.  Daniel Strelitz - 10,605,000 (132 bb)
3.  Scott Abrams - 9,000,000 (112 bb)
4.  Jesse Sylvia - 8,800,000 (110 bb)
5.  Cylus Watson - 8,700,000 (108 bb)
6.  Andras Koroknai - 6,900,000 (86 bb)
7.  Russell Thomas - 6,685,000 (83 bb)
8.  Marc Ladoceur - 6,600,000 (82 bb)
9.  Danny Wong - 6,125,000 (76 bb)
10.  Jaco Balsiger - 5,685,000 (71 bb)

44th place:  Gwennael Grandmougin ($191,646)
45th place:  Fabrizio Gonzalez ($191,646)
46th place:  Tristan Clemencon ($156,293)
47th place:  Amit Makhija ($156,293)
48th place:  Jean Malherbe ($156,293)
49th place:  Amit Zulkowitz ($156,293)
50th place:  Leo Wolpert ($156,293)

The next increase in prize money comes at 36th place, which is worth $236,921.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Final Fifty

Elisabeth Hille and Kara Scott, chatting about poker
Elisabeth Hille and Kara Scott, chatting about poker

We're getting close to the 40s. Only 50 players remain in this year's Main Event and Daniel Strelitz has lost the lead. Despite being the first to 10 million, Strelitz now has a partner in the club. That partner also has more chips then he does. 

Jeremy Ausmus is the new chip leader, he took the lead over after knocking out our 51st place finisher, Scott Anderson. Our two chip leaders have pulled away from the field, Cylus Watson is in third place with 6,900,000. With 50 players to go, we still have lots of play before we call it a day. 

Daniel Strelitz the First to 10 Million

Strelitz is the first man or woman to breach the 10 million mark barrier here at the 2012 WSOP Main Event, putting a little bit of daylight between himself and Danny Wong in second with 7 million chips.

Strelitz has already played himself into what will be by far his largest tournament cash, prior to this, his biggest score was for $12,050 at EPT Prague in 2011. 

Yontz Out

Back at the feature table, Casey Yontz had raised to 125,000. Russell Thomas was in the cutoff and re-raised to 305,000. Action was folded back to Yontz, who moved all-in for 1.83 million. Thomas called and showed Q Q while Yontz turned over A Q for his tournament life. 

Casey Yontz, out in 53rd

The board came 6 J 10 3 9 and Yontz was eliminated in 53rd place and earned $156,293.

Down Hille

Elisabeth Hille's stack took a big hit at the beginning of the level.

Greg Merson raised to 125,000 from the cutoff and Hille re-raised to 300,000 from the small blind. Omar Saeed put in a 4-bet to 635,000. Merson folded, Hille be enough to put Saeed all-in and Saeed called.

Hille: A J

Saeed: Q Q

There was a 8 5 6 flop and Hille's hope of a flush were ruined. The turn was a 10 and Hille was looking for an ace on the river. But the river brought the 5 and Saeed doubled up to about 5 million. Hille's stack took a big hit and now she's down to about 3.4 million. 

Jeremy Ausmus, Second to 10 million

In a raised pot, Scott Anderson and Jeremy Ausmus were faced with a 9 7 5 flop. Anderson bet 325,000 and Ausmus moved all-in. Anderson called and showed J J for an overpaid, but Ausmus had a set with 7 7.

The turn was the 9 and a 4 came on the river. Anderson was eliminated and the tournament went down to 50 players.

And Then There Were 50

Only fifty players remain from a starting field of 6,598. Our remaining players have gone through an emotional and physical wringer over the last six long days of poker to reach this point.

The math is still pretty brutal, as 41 of those 50 will have their greatest poker dream crushed over the next 24-36 hours, coming oh-so-close to making the final table of nine players.

They’ll walk away with their pockets full of cash and the knowledge that the luckiest and skilled of poker players might only reach the final 50 of the Main Event once in their lives -- a pretty sobering thought, no matter how much you cash for.

Chip Counts

1. Jeremy Ausmus - 10,700,000

2. Daniel Strelitz - 10,100,000

3. Cylus Watson - 6,900,000

4. Erik Hellman - 6,600,000

5. Russell Thomas - 6,315,000

6. Danny Wong - 6,125,000

7. Jan Heitmann - 5,815,000

8. Gaelle Baumann - 5,800,000

9. Jacob Balsiger - 5,795,000

10. Steven Gee - 5,350,000

Counts courtesy of WSOP.com

888poker.com's Jesse Sylvia Still In

We caught up with the newest addition to Team 888poker, American live cash game pro Jesse Sylvia.

Sylvia is 26 years old, originally from Martha's Vineyard and he's hunting the by far the biggest score of his career. In fact, he's already locked it up since his biggest previous live tournament result was just $15,000.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Daniel Strelitz is 1st to 10 Million

Daniel Strelitz looks young, but has already shown proper ID.
Daniel Strelitz looks young, but has already shown proper ID.

Daniel Strelitz was the chipleader at the dinner break with a little more than 9 million in chips, and he's only increased his stack since they've been back in action.

When Gaelle Baumann raised under the gun at the secondary featured table, Strelitz reraised from the small blind to 385,000. Baumann called.

The flop came Q 5 3, Strelitz bet 440,000, and Baumann called. The turn card paired the board with the 3, and Strelitz bet 615,000. This time, Baumann folds, and Strelitz picks up another 900,000 or so in chips.

That knocks Baumann down to about 4.6 million, and makes Strelitz the first player to reach 10 million in chips.

Fast Pace After Dinner

It’s always tricky to predict the elimination pace at any live event but so far so good tonight for players (and media) hoping for a relatively early end to the evening, as there were three players who busted rather quickly. Four more followed later in the level.

58th place: John Beauprez ($128,384)
57th place: Bobby Law ($128,384)
56th place: David “ODB” Baker ($128,384)
55th place: Sam Holden ($128,384)
54th place: Helge Stjernvang ($156,293)
53rd place: Casey Yontz (($156,293)
52nd place: Richard Pyne ($156,293)

As you can see, they've crossed another pay jump. The next pay jump is at 45th place, earning $191,646.

Marc Ladouceur Wins 3-Way All In
Mark Ladoceur eliminates two players on the same hand -- David Baker and Bobby Law.

Marc Ladouceur Wins 3-Way All In; Busts David Baker and Bobby Law

Bobby Law moved all in under the gun for 650,000 (10 big blinds), and David Baker moved all in over the top from the cutoff for 950,000 (15 big blinds).

Then Marc Ladouceur had them both covered and called from the small blind with K K. Ouch.

Baker showed A K, and Law turned over A Q.

The board came 5 4 3 7 4, and Baker and Law flopped a gutshot straight draw, but improved no further.

Ladouceur won the pot to increase his stack to about 3.5 million, while Law placed 57th, and Baker finished 56th, both earning $128,384.

What Cards to Call Out For

The deeper players go here in the Main Event the louder their rail tends to get (especially when supporters have had a few adult beverages as the evening wears on), with the loudest cries and pleas coming when their horse is all-in and needing some help.

It’s always interesting to see the different approaches that railbirds take when pleading with the poker gods for a little help, which we just saw in the big 3 million chip pot that saw Bobbly Law, David “ODB” Baker, and Marc Ladouceur all-in preflop.

Law had the loudest railbirds -- and the worst hand of the three with just Ad Qq versus pocket kings and AK -- with his camp split in their approach when it came to begging for a little help.

The direct approach: “Queen queen! Queen queen on the flop! Queen queen!”

The don’t-get-too-greedy-approach: “Just put three diamonds out there, dealer!”

The confused/drunk approach: “Let’s see paint, dealer! A lot of paint!”

Checking in with the Player of the Year Race

The WSOP Player of the Year (PoY) competition is more about pride and putting together the best overall performance at the WSOP each year than about dollar signs, but the two tend to be closely intertwined.

The Main Event is worth a ton of PoY points and can lead to some big changes at the top; WSOPE events also count in the race now, so we likely won’t know the 2012 WSOP PoY for quite some time.

Those caveats aside, below are the current standings, with Greg Merson holding the best shot of players still in the Main Event of passing Phil Ivey for the current lead:

1.  Phil Ivey - 568.70
2.  John Monnette - 524.25
3.  David “ODB” Baker - 508.38
4.  Phil Hellmuth - 500.70
5.  Antonio Esfandiari - 488.10
6.  Michael Mizrachi - 486.20
7.  Gregory Merson - 481.13
8.  Vanessa Selbst - 463.17
9.  Andy Frankenberger - 406.66
10.  Andy Bloch - 405.30

Sam Holden
The second deep Main Event run in two years for Sam Holden falls short.

Holden Can’t Hang On

There will be no back-to-back final tables for Sam Holden, who saw his night end quickly after the dinner break to finish in 55th place ($128,384).

Holden had slipped to under 2 million but was in great shape to double when he got all his chips in pre-flop with 8 8 versus Andras Koroknai’s 5 5 -- great shape that is until the dealer fanned out a flop of J T 5.

Holden couldn’t hit his own two-outer to stay alive, with the turn and river bricking to send Holden off in 55th and crush the dreams of media and WSOP officials of seeing Holden pull off the nearly impossible task of making consecutive Main Event final tables.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard with 51 players remaining, courtesy of WSOP.com. The blinds have just increased to 40,000-80,000 and a 10,000 ante:

1.  Daniel Strelitz - 10,070,000 (125 bb)
2.  Danny Wong - 6,950,000 (86 bb)
3.  Percy Mahatan - 5,850,000 (73 bb)
4.  Jan Heitmann - 5,815,000 (72 bb)
5.  Cylus Watson - 5,800,000 (72 bb)
6.  Jacob Balsiger - 5,795,000 (72 bb)
7.  Elisabeth Hille - 5,790,000 (72 bb)
8.  Robert Corcione - 5,780,000 (72 bb)
9.  Taylor Paur - 5,715,000 (71 bb)
10.  Erik Hellman - 5,695,000 (71 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Back From Dinner

Feature table is back in action
Feature table is back in action

Players are back from their 90-minute break to finish up Level 27. There's one more hour of 30,000/60,000 blinds with and a 10,000 ante before the blinds get raised to 40,000/80,000.

With 58 players left, the average stack is 3.4 million, or 57 big blinds. There's also no set stopping level today since we're playing down to our final 27.

Three tables. 27 players. The rest is bat country, we can't stop there. 

Dinner with a Side of Indigestion for Bobby Law

Bobby Law made the dinner break on Day 6 of the Main Event -- a feat any poker player would be rightfully proud of -- but he isn’t exactly in a spot for a leisurely dining experience. Law will come back the short stack of the remaining 58 players with just 700,000 chips.

Facing 30,000/60,000 blinds and a 10,000 ante, Law has just over 11 big blinds to work with. Now he’ll need to cross his fingers and hope the poker gods bless him in a big way if he wants to be around at dinner time tomorrow.

Video: Last Dutchie Standing Niels van Alphen

The last remaining player from the Netherlands is Niels van Alphen who just signed on as the newest member of Team 888poker.com.

Check out the video interview we did on the break to get to know the man who's got a shot to become the first Dutch world champion of poker.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Danny Wong 2nd in Chips at Dinner

Danny Wong doubled up moments before the dinner break.
Danny Wong doubled up moments before the dinner break.

There was a massive pot between Danny Wong and Nicco Maag right before the dinner break, that knocked Maag out of the chip lead and catapulted Wong up the leaderboard.

Nicco Maag five-bet all in preflop with J J, and Wong called with a dominating K K.

The board came 10 7 2 3 3, and Wong's pocket kings held up to win a huge pot and double him up to about 7.7 million -- second in chips with 58 players remaining.

Nicco Maag, Who Are You?

Nicco Maag (who lists his hometown as Karlsruhe, Germany) briefly held the chip lead with nearly 8 million in chips, but he remains a mystery man so far as far as his poker credentials.

Nicco Maag
Nicco Maag was feeling great about the dinner break -- until Danny Wong doubled thru him.

Most remaining players have at least some live cashes to their credit -- albeit pretty small ones in some cases -- but Maag is pretty much a cipher, with no Hendon Mob results and no real Google results as far as a search for his name.

He wouldn’t be the first unknown player to explode on the scene at the Main Event -- think Jerry Yang or Darvin Moon -- but now that Maag has taken a big hit from Danny Wong, his road to the November Nine just got a lot more difficult.

63-Way Chop?

In case you’re bored or curious (or both), we just ran the numbers to see what each player would have received if the remaining 63 players coming back from the last break had agreed to a 63 way chop for the roughly $40.5 million still remaining in the prizepool.

The answer? Each player would have gotten about $644,322 if they chopped it up equally at that point.

Tristan Clemencon Doesn’t Even Need to Look

Young French pro Tristan Clemencon has just knocked out David Kluchman and he did so without even looking at his cards before calling from the big blind when Kluchman shoved for his last 300,000 chips.

How good is Clemencon running? When he finally did peek he turned over two queens, which was enough to send Kluchman to the rails in 63rd place.

Clemencon isn’t well-known on US soil but he’s been a regular on the European circuit since 2008 when he turned 18, piling up more than $1 million in tournament earnings.

Featured Table Crew
When you work the entire day at the featured table, you're allowed to unwind a bit on the breaks.

Working the Final Table

While the spotlight is on the players, there are a lot of people involved in the WSOP crew and the ESPN crew to keep things moving smoothly.

During the last break, a few of them got together on the main stage for a quick photograph. There are dozens and dozens more, but consider this to be just a sampling.

ESPN reporter Kara Scott is in green, but most of you are already familiar with her. There are also the three featured table dealers: Jennifer Palmer, Shaun Harris (seated, center), and Dealer of the Year Tim Louie.

They are joined by Liz Ramey, the stage manager for ESPN. And in the background is the legendary announcer, Robbie Thompson, also known as "Redbull Robbie" for the high number of Redbull energy drinks he consumes while announcing a final table.

Updated Leaderboard - Dinner Break

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com, with the blinds increasing after the dinner break to 40,000-80,000 and a 10,000 ante:

1.  Daniel Strelitz  -  9,050,000  (113 bb)
2.  Danny Wong  -  7,700,000  (96 bb)
3.  Taylor Paur  -  6,750,000  (84 bb)
4.  Jeremy Ausmus  -  6,350,000  (79 bb)
T5.  Erik Hellman  -  5,900,000  (73 bb)
T5.  Jacob Balsiger  -  5,900,000  (73 bb)
7.  Jan Heitmann  -  5,800,000  (72 bb)
8.  Cylus Watson  -  5,500,000  (68 bb)
9.  Charles Coultas  -  5,300,000  (66 bb)
10.  Percy Mahatan  -  5,100,000  (63 bb)

The remaining 58 players are now on a 90-minute dinner break, and action will resume around 7:40 pm PT. Return to PokerListings.com for continuing coverage as the Main Event field plays down to the final three tables today.

77th-Place Finisher Nicolau Villa-Lobos

Brazil's Nicolau Villa-Lobos was playing his first-ever WSOP Main Event and made it all the way to 77th place before going broke, good for more than $88,000.

Villa-Lobos is the son of legendary Brazilian rock guitarist Dado Villa-Lobos from band Legião Urbana. And Nicolau will even be playing the role of his father in an upcoming feature film about the band's frontman Renato Russo.

In addition to the cash Nicolau snagged a spot on Team 888poker.com. Check out the video interview below for more on how Nicolau won his way into the Main Event and the poker scene in Rio de Janeiro.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Taylor Paur Leads

Taylor Paur leads the final 63
Taylor Paur leads the final 63

Players are now returning from a 20-minute break to play Level 27 of the Main Event. Aside from two hours of poker, Level 27 features 30,000/60,000 blinds with a 10,000 ante. Only 63 players will be coming back to play this level, and they're all guaranteed $128,384. 

They'll pack into the seven remaining tables and play won't stop until we bring the number of tables down to three. 

Up to Paur

Taylor Paur is now leading the 2012 Main Event. Paur is the first player to break the 7 million mark and he's in the hunt for his first major tournament victory.

Paur has nearly $500,000 in live-tournament winnings, but he's yet to win one.  Paur's largest cash came last year, when he finished 5th in the $10k NLHE 6-max tournament for $198,140.

But the closest Paur's come to a major victory was last month. Paur finished 2nd in the $2.5K NLHE event at the Deep Stack Extravaganza III. That finish earned Puar $56,511, he's now guaranteed more than double that amount. 

Paur started the day with 5.85 million and he's been taking down pots ever since. 

Paur took a big pot from Steven Gee earlier on. The final board read 3 Q K 5 2 and both Gee and Paur had put 900,000 into the pot. Paur put in a river bet worth 1.2 million and Gee folded.

Paur then took 320,000 away from Jan Heitmann.

Paur had led out on the turn and river on a 10 3 2 4 K board. Heitmann called Paur's river 135,000 river bet, but mucked when Paur turned over 7 7.

Paur then took another 320,000 off of Jamie Robbins. It was a raised pot on a 5 3 2 board and Robbins had just bet 205,000. Paur raised to 545,000 and took down the pot. 

Paur is now up to 7.4 million.

Sam Holden
Holden, holding on

Holden Doubles

Sam Holden has doubled up again.

After dropping down to 1.6 million, Holden made his way back up to 2 million. Holden then got into a pre flop raising war with Jean Malherbe and went all-in. Malherbe had about 4.1 million and called Holden's 2.025 million all-in. 

Holden showed Q Q and was up against Malherbe's A 10.

The board came 8 8 6 6 6 and Holden doubled up to 4.2 million. The 2011 November Niner stays alive and continues to try to be the first back-to-back November Niner. 

And So it Goes

We’re now down to 63 players, with all players now having locked up at least a six figure payday for their efforts here at the Main Event.

The next money jump is at 64th place, which pays out $156,293 -- not too shabby at all, but a far cry from the $8.5 million the winner will get for outlasting just 62 more players.

The payout jumps start to get more significant now as we play down to 27 players here on Day 6. As the levels keep coming, tension and the potential money at stake will only increase.

55-63: $128,384

46-54: $156,293

37-45: $191,646

28-36: $236,921

There Will Be No Main Event Champ from Japan

Takashi Ogura was the lone player from Japan still alive in Day 6, but that country’s Main Event dreams just died. Ogura was just sent to the rails when his A Q couldn’t outrun Wilfried Haerig’s pocket nines.

Here are the countries still in the hunt for poker’s biggest prize:

Naoya Kihara
Naoya Kihara won Japan its first WSOP bracelet this year, now Japan will have to wait until 2013 for another chance

US (40 players)

France (5 players)

Germany (4 players)

Norway (2 players)

the Netherlands (2 players)

Sweden (1 player)

UK (1 player)

Israel (1 player)

Hungary (1 player)

Australia (1 player)

Canada (1 player)

Spain (1 player)

Slovakia (1 player)

Break Time Twitter-style

Sam Holden ‏@Sam_Holden888: 4.14m at 2nd break. Double twice JJ>AQ then QQ>AT. 30k/60k next level.

David Baker ‏@audavidb: 63 left I have 3.2 million...

Taylor Paur ‏@taypaur: About 7.3m on 2nd break. 30k/60k when we get back. About 60 left

Scott Abrams ‏@weirdchess1: 2.1m holding steady

paul volpe ‏@paulgees81: Won a nice lil pot. Just About 3 mill

Chip Counts

Here are the top 10 chip counts, courtesy of WSOP.com: 

1. Taylor Paur - 7,400,000

2. Robert Corcione - 6,370,000

3. Wilfried Haerig - 6,335,000

4. Nicco Maag - 6,200,000

5. Robert Buckenmayer - 5,985,000

6. Jacob Balsiger - 5,900,000

7. Cylus Watsun - 5,590,000

8. Robert Salaburu - 4,960,000

9. Jeremy Ausmus - 4,950,000

10. Elisabeth Hille - 4,920,000 

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Jason Somerville Eliminated

Kara Scott interviews Jason Somerville for ESPN.
Kara Scott interviews Jason Somerville for ESPN.

The big names keep falling from the WSOP Main Event. Former November Niner Eric Buchman busted 74th, immediately followed by Vanessa Selbst in 73rd.

We lost another woman in 71st place, when Marcia Topp was eliminated. There are now only two women left.

For historical perspective, @Kevmath tells us that the best combined finishes for two women in the WSOP Main Event happened in 1998 (Susie Isaacs 10th, Kathy Liebert 17th) and 2000 (Annie Duke 10th, Kathy Liebert 17th).

It remains to be seen whether Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille can top.

Jason Somerville Eliminated by Jacob Balsiger

Jason Somerville caught some good luck when he doubled thru Eric Buchamn with pocket nines against pocket tens -- Somerville flopped a nine.

But when he needed the best hand to hold up, it didn't.

Somerville raised to 105,000, Jacob Balsiger moved all in from the big blind, and Somerville quickly called with Q Q. Balsiger turned over K 10.

The board came 10 10 7 3 8, and Balsiger flopped trip tens to win the pot and eliminate Jason Somerville in 69th place. Balsiger increased his stack to about 4.1 million.

Somerville earned $106,056 for his week of poker, and it was his second six-figure cash of the WSOP, as he finished third in the $25,000 mega-satellite for the Million-Dollar One-Drop tournament, which earned him $400,000.

Sam Holden Getting Lonely

Sam Holden started the day as the only UK player still left in the field but at least he had a little company in the “November Nine players still in the running” category with fellow November Niner Eric Buchman joining him on Day 6.

Holden is now completely alone on both counts, with Buchman bowing out in 76th place moments ago.

Holden has dipped to about 1.6 million chips at last count, giving back a few after his big triple up to start the day.

Amit Makhija
Amit Makhija was briefly in the lead, but has slipped down the leaderboard a bit.

Checking in with the Leaders

Stacks are still pretty fluid and we’ve had no player yet make a break from the general pack but at the moment we’ve got three players solidly over the 6 million chip mark.

We’ve already talked about Amit Makhija’s path to the top but Elisabeth Hille and Taylor Paur have gotten their the old-fashioned way: starting the day with big stacks and steadily grinding their way up.

Hille did dispatch Eric Buchman and Andrew Flaherty when she flopped two pair with 7c 4c on a Kh 5h 4d flop (Buchman held Td 7d and Flaherty As Qc) but both were relatively short-stacked, with most of Hille’s gains coming from small wins here and there.

Paur started the day among the leaders with 5.8 million chips and having a fairly quiet day so far chip up a bit to around 6.5 million.

Hille’s Amazing WSOP Adventure

Elisabeth Hille is putting together an amazing run here at the Main Event -- sitting in the top three chip counts with over 6 million chips -- but the real story goes back to Event #59, a $1,000 NLHE event held earlier in the series.

Hille was here in Vegas with her boyfriend Harald Olsen, who had qualified online with Betfair to win a package to play in Event #59.

Olsen would go on to cash for just over $20,000 in Event #59, with Hille rooting him on at various stages.

With Olsen’s Main Event buy-in secured, it’d be Hille’s turn to try to play her way in, hitting up satellites and cash games in an attempt to give the Main Event a whirl herself.

Hille would come up short in that quest but Olsen would do what any good poker boyfriend should; he paid Hille’s $10,000 Main Event buy-in out of his winnings and kick-started her deep run here at the Main Event that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Elisabeth Hille
Three women have busted so far today, but Elisabeth Hille (pictured) and Gaelle Baumann are holding strong.

Queen of the Hille

Elisabeth Hille started popping up on poker radars all over the world yesterday. Before this tournament, Hille had no major tournament cashes. She tried to satellite in, but Hille didn't make it far enough. She tried to play cash games to win enough money for the buy-in, but that didn't work either.

Now Hille is fourth in chips and is guaranteed at least $106,056.

A lot of Hille's chips came from a double elimination at the feature table. Andrew Flaherty moved all-in for 130,000 and Eric Buchman called from the small blind. Hille was in the big blind and also came along for the ride.

The flop came 5 4 K and both players checked. The turn was a 7 and Buchman moved all-in for 775,000. Hille called and everyone showed their cards.

Flaherty:  A Q
Buchman:  10 7
Hille:  7 4

Hille's two pair was in the lead and Buchman was drawing slim with his pair of sevens. Flaherty, on the other hand, was drawing dead. The river was the 8 and Hille killed two birds with one board. Hille is now up to 5,125,000.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com, with the blinds about to increase to 30,000-60,000 and a 10,000 ante:

1.  Taylor Paur  -  7,000,000  (140 bb)
2.  Robert Corcione  -  6,370,000  (127 bb)
3.  Robert Buckenmayer  -  5,985,000  (120 bb)
4.  Elisabeth Hille  -  5,125,000  (102 bb)
5.  Webber Kang  -  4,975,000  (99 bb)
T6.  Jacob Balsiger  -  4,950,000  (99 bb)
T6.  Jeremy Ausmus  -  4,950,000  (99 bb)
7.  Nicco Mag  -  4,920,000  (98 bb)
8.  Amit Makhija  -  4,885,000  (97 bb)
9.  Eric Legoff  -  4,800,000  (96 bb)
10.  Charles Coultas  -  4,740,000  (95 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Selbst Out, Somerville Doubles

Jason Somerville at the feature table
Jason Somerville at the feature table

Day 6 of the Main Event has some special features to it. First, most of the media are banished from the tournament area. The tables are roped off and a little "media corral" has been set up around the tables.

It seems like a cattle pen, but instead of being sent to the slaughter, the media are watching the slaughter of Main Event players. 

While these new restrictions make reporting a bit harder, it's for the best interest of the players. Only 72 players remain, and they're almost outnumbered by the media.

Aside from the ESPN crew, there are nearly a dozen media outlets present today. If all of them are allowed inside the ropes -- like yesterday -- the swarm the tables and the players whenever there's a big hand.

This restriction gives players space to breath and move around while also allowing the ESPN crew to run back and forth without running any tournament reporters.

Spectators can surround the media corral or chose to go to the Mothership feature table. The main feature table has seen a recent addition, Jason Somerville. 

Welcome to the Feature Table

WSOP officials are regularly rotating out the players on the main feature table stage. A new crop of players are taking their seats, some of whom are very familiar with poker’s biggest stage at the WSOP.

Eric Buchman is back on center stage at the WSOP. It's a familiar position for the 2009 November Niner who finished 5th for $2,502,890 that year. This will be his 9th WSOP cash since his Main Event final table, including winning a bracelet in 2010 in a $2,000 Limit Holdem event.

Jason Somerville is another new player at the feature table with some bling to his credit, winning a $1,000 NLHE event in 2011 for a $493,091 payday.

Greg Merson is one of the newer members of the feature table and bracelet crowd, winning his first bracelet in this year’s $10,000 NLHE shorthanded event for a massive $ 1,136,197 payday.

Eric Buchman
Erich Buchman out in 76th

Jason Somerville Doubles Thru Eric Buchman

Deep in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, with 28 players remaining, Eric Buchman surprised some people when he open-shoved 30 big blinds with A 10.

Buchman was called by Jonathan Tamayo, who had J J, but Buchman flopped a heart flush to win that pot and double up. 

There was a little deja vu at the ESPN Featured Table as Buchman again open-shoved, this time for 32 big blinds.

And Buchman was called again, but this time by a shorter stack, Jason Somerville. 

Somerville turned over 9 9, but he was dominated by Buchman's 10 10 and facing elimination.

But the board came 9 5 3 8 2, and Somerville flopped a set of nines to win the pot and double up in chips.

This time, Buchman open-shoved 30+ big blinds and had the best of it, but the board didn't cooperate, cracking his tens. Both players finished the hand with about a million in chips.

A few minutes later, Somerville three-bet all in over the top of a reraise to pick up some more chips, improving his stack to about 1.4 million (28 big blinds). 

Selbst Out

Vanessa Selbst's Main Event run has come to an end. After losing a big flip earlier today, Selbst managed to double up once to stay alive. That luck wouldn't continue.

Selbst moved all-in from the button for 745,000 and Greg Merson called from the big blind.

Selbst: Q 7

Merson: A 8

Vanessa Selbst and Kara Scott
Vanessa Selbst during her post-bust interview. Check it out in a few months on ESPN

The flop came 7 2 10 and Selbst paired her seven. The turn was a 6 and Maria Ho started chanting from the stands.

"Seven!" Ho screamed. "Pair the board!"

Selbst was in the lead, but had to dodge any club, eight, ace or nine. The river was a 9 and Merson hit his straight, eliminating Selbst in 75th place. Selbst now ends her 2012 WSOP with her second and largest Main Event cash.

Movers and Shakers

Here are a few of the players who’ve made big moves today on Day 6:

Elisabeth Hille: 5.4 million chips (+2 million chips)

Webber Kang: 5 million chips (+4 million chips)

Jesse Sylvia: 4.1 million chips (+1 million chips)


Manos Foudoulakis: Finished 91st (-3 million chips)

Lawrie Gibson: Finished 83rd (-2.2 million chips)

Stephane Bisson: Finished 87th (-1.5 million chips)

Chip Counts

Here are the top 10 chip counts, courtesy of WSOP.com:

1. Taylor Paur -- 6,475,000

2. Amit Makhija -- 6,265,000

3. Elisabeth Hille -- 6,100,000

4. Webber Kang -- 4,975,000

5. Jeremy Ausmus -- 4,950,000

6. Eric Legoff -- 4,800,000

7. Charles Coultas -- 4,740,000

8. Robert Salaburu -- 4,700,000

9. Shahriar Assareh -- 4,660,000

10. Jean Malherbe -- 4,500,000

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Gaelle Baumann Continues to Rise

Gaelle Baumann picked up right where she left off on Day 5.
Gaelle Baumann picked up right where she left off on Day 5.

Gaelle Baumann finished last night on a bit of a down note, losing a potentially big pot when Andras Koroknai moved all in over the top of her raise, and then mucked his cards when the big blind folded, thinking the hand was over.

Baumann had pocket kings.

But, according to the WSOP rulebook, the ruling appears to have been correct, and Koroknai only had to forfeit the amount of Baumann's raise.

Baumann hasn't let last night's controversy slow her down today.

Stephane Bisson min-raised to 80,000, and Baumann reraised to 210,000. Bisson four-bet all in for about 1 million (25 big blinds), and Baumann called.

Bisson showed J J, but he'd need them to hold up against Baumann's A K to stay in the tournament.

The board came K 10 2 Q 6, and Baumann paired her king on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Stephane Bisson in 87th place, earning $73,805.

Gaelle Baumann climbed a little further up the leaderboard with about 5,000,000 in chips.

Erik Cajelais
I would not want to be the one to eliminate Erik Cajelais. Dude is strong.

Erik Cajelais Eliminated by Jean Malherbe

Erik Cajelais, one of the handful of WSOP bracelet winners remaining in the field, has been eliminated.

Cajelais moved all in for about 700,000 (17 big blinds), and Jean Malherbe called from the small blind with Q Q.

Cajelais showed 10 10, and he'd need to improve to stay alive.

The board came 6 4 2 Q 3, and Malherbe won the pot with a set of queens on the turn to eliminate Cajelais from the WSOP Main Event in 86th place, earning $73,805.

Isaac Baron Eliminated by Amnon Filippi

Two of the well-known pros in the field tangled in an all-in situation, but only one survived.

Isaac Baron min-raised to 80,000, Amnon Filippi reraised to 225,000, and Baron moved all in for about 1.75 million.

Filippi called with K K, and Baron was in jeopardy with A K.

The board came Q 7 4 7 2, never giving Baron much hope as he was eliminated from the WSOP Main Event in 85th place, earning $73,805.

Amnon Filippi builds his stack to about 4.6 million, enough to barely slip into the top 10 on the leaderboard.

Sam Holden
Can Sam Holden do what Dennis Phillips couldn't -- back-to-back November 9s?

Other Notable Eliminations, and Notable Survivors

Dung Nguyen, one of four players who started the day with a shot at winning multiple bracelets this summer, was eliminated in 89th place ($73,805).

The three remaining players who can win their second bracelet of the summer are David "ODB" Baker, Greg Merson, and Vanessa Selbst.

There is only one remaining player in the field from last year's November Nine -- Sam Holden. Holden finished ninth last year, earning $782,115.

Since the November Nine concept originated in 2008, the closest any player has come to going back-to-back was Dennis Phillips, who followed up his third-place finish in 2008 with a 45th-place finish in 2009.

The Year of the Woman Continues at the WSOP

Susie Zhao, one of the final five females in the field, was eliminated when her K Q couldn't catch up to Isaac Baron's A Q. She was eliminated in 90th place, earning $73,805.

That leaves four women in the field trying to become the first female November Niner: Gaelle Baumann, Elisabeth Hille, Vanessa Selbst, Marcia Topp.

Hille and Baumann are both in the top four of the leaderboard, while Selbst and Toopp have shorter stacks but are still in the mix. Selbst has rebuilt her stack somewhat after losing a big pot worth more than 2 million in chips in the first few minutes of the day.

Vanessa Selbst
Selbst could become the first female November Niner, and also the only multi-bracelet winner of 2012.

Four women among the final 80 players is unprecedented in recent years, and puts an exclamation mark on what’s been a very strong 2012 WSOP for female players.

Selbst won her second WSOP bracelet (both in open events), while Allyn Jaffrey Shulman won the Seniors event. Overall, there have been 13 WSOP final table appearances by women this year.

(So far.)

Here is a look at the Last Women Standing during the post-Moneymaker era:

2011:  Erika Moutinho  (29th place)
2010:  Breeze Zuckerman  (121st place)
2009:  Leo Margets  (27th place)
2008:  Tiffany Michelle  (17th place)
2007:  Mario Ho  (38th place)
2006:  Sabyl Cohen-Landrum  (56th place)
2005:  Tiffany Williamson  (15th place)
2004:  Rose Richie  (98th place)
2003:  Annie Duke  (47th place)

Only one woman in history has ever made the final table of the WSOP Main Event -- Barbara Enright did it in 1995, finishing fifth.

Twitter at the Break

Players are on their first scheduled 20 minute break of the day, giving them time to hop on Twitter and let the world know how they’re faring so far on Day 5:

@MSauce_ (Mazin Khoury): Relaxed and in the comfort zone with stack size. Time for some doubles.

@NickDiVella (Nick DiVella): 20min break till blinds go 25k/50k w/ 5k ante. Low on chips w/ only 800k. 80 players left guaranteed over $80,000! Need to make a move asap!

@paulgees81 (Paul Volpe): Lost a big pot with aq on 2282q vs kk. 2.7 mill still above avg

@VanessaSelbst (Vanessa Selbst): 945,000 going to first break. 19BB. Feels like a huge stack!

@audavidb (David Baker): 80 left in the main despite losing a 1.6 million chip pot with ak v qq today is going well up to 2.7 million and feeling good!

@amak316 (Amit Makhija): And were up to 3.4m at break. Thanks so much for all the well wishes guys this is an amazing experience

@JasonSomerville (Jason Somerville): 650k or so with 81 left #grinding

@superroger47 (Tristan Clemencon): Next blind 25/50K 1.8M #susuwsop #Winamax

@pzerotm (Jacob Balsiger): Lost 1.4 million chip pot with a set to overpair that rivered a flush. 3.3 million

Elisabeth Hille
Elisabeth Hille is third in chips.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com, with the blinds increasing to 25,000-50,000 and a 5,000 ante:

1.  Robert Salaburu  -  6,500,000  (130 bb)
2.  Taylor Paur  -  5,820,000  (116 bb)
3.  Elisabeth Hille  -  5,480,000  (109 bb)
4.  Gaelle Baumann  -  5,000,000  (100 bb)
5.  Jeremy Ausmus  -  4,750,000  (95 bb)
6.  Erik Hellman  -  4,715,000  (94 bb)
7.  Shahriar Assareh  -  4,660,000  (93 bb)
8.  Wilfried Haerig  -  4,500,000  (90 bb)
9.  Kyle Keranen  -  4,300,000  (86 bb)
10.  Charles Coultas  -  4,200,000  (84 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Selbst Doubles, Holden Hangs In

Selbst doubles up
Selbst doubles up

Players went on a five-minute break so the ESPN crew could switch around some feature tables. The main Mothership stage still has Vanessa Selbst, but the secondary feature table now features Gaelle Baumann and David ODB Baker. 

Both these tables have a crew of alien-looking cameras peering and swooping in on their every move. Aside from all their facial expressions and conversations, cameras are capturing every single hole card.

Then near the front of the Amazon room, there are three semi-feature tables. They're all in a roped off area with a smaller camera crew and no hole cams. A few of these tables were also switched out during the small break. 

Feature Table Deal

An unusual deal was made at the feature table. A small blonde dealer came to tap out Shaun the dealer and Vanessa Selbst told them to wait up. 

"Shaun said he was going to give me a big hand on the big blind," Selbst said.

The feature table floor person, Robbie "Redbull" Thompson, let the deal proceed and told the other dealer to hold up a hand.

"I didn't know you guys had a verbal agreement," Thompson said. "I never would've interfered if I'd known."

Shaun dealt another hand and Robert Corcione raised from the button. Action was folded to Selbst and she folded. Shaun failed on his promise and the dealer was switched out. Their friendship managed to survive though.

@ShaunTheDealer: Starting the day off dealing on the Main Table & I'm dealing to my girl @VanessaSelbst. She'll have a MONSTER stack! #SheWillBeDealtMonsters

Selbst Doubles

Despite their failed agreement, Selbst doubled up soon after. Selbst moved all-in for 315,000 from the hijack and Scott Anderson called from the small blind. 

Selbst: J 9

Anderson: A 7

The flop came 2 7 8 and Anderson hit a pair while Selbst got a straight draw. The turn brought a 10 and Selbst hit a jack-high straight. Selbt's double-up was guaranteed and the river was an irrelevant 6

Selbst is still going to need some help with about 700,000

Sam Holden
Holden looking for another November 9

Holden Hanging In

Sam Holden is our last standing member of last year’s November Nine but he’s off to a fast start on Day 5, managing to triple his starting stack to about 2.3 million:

@Sam_Holden888: Wow! Upto 2.3m after tripling up on a coinflip 44>AQ after guy calls and then folds to larger shove.#runbetter

Joeseph Cheong got a lot of well-deserved props for his Main Event finishes the last three years (3rd, 114th, and 116th) but Holden is moving into impressive territory as well, among the last 86 players remaining here in 2012 and trying to improve on his 9th place finish in 2011.

Fabrizio Gonzalez Putting Uruguay on the Poker Map

You don’t often see the country Uruguay as the home country of players among the chip leaders in big live events, but Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez is building up a big stack here in the late stages and putting himself in position to make some noise.

You can find an in-depth interview with Uruguay’s most decorated poker player here but we’ll give you the Cliffs below:

Over $3 million in online tournament winnings

Second place in the 2010 WCOOP second-chance for $94,975 and a win in the $530 WCOOP Heads-Up event for $120,000 just two weeks later

Second place on Uruguay’s all-time live tournament money list with $263,398, trailing Adolfo Vaeza who has $566,079.

Gonzalez has already notched three cashes at the 2012 WSOP for a total of $33K, and he’s primed to add to that total in a big way when his run is finished here in the Main Event.

Chip Counts

Top 10 chip courts, courtesy of WSOP.com:

1. Robert Salaburu -- 5,970,000

2. Taylor Paur -- 5,820,000

3. Kyle Keranen -- 5,800,000

4. Gaell Baumann -- 5,000,000

5. A.J. Jejelowo -- 4,900,000

6. Erik Hellman -- 4,715,000

7. Shahriar Assareh -- 4,660,000

8. Wilfried Haerig -- 4,505,000

9. Jacob Balsiger -- 4,030,000

10. Charles Coultas -- 4,105,000

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Gavin Smith Eliminated

Gavin Smith's highest finish in the Main Event was 52nd in 2004.
Gavin Smith's highest finish in the Main Event was 52nd in 2004.

Gavin Smith was the most notable player at ESPN's secondary featured table, but he came into the day relatively short with 675,000 in chips (16 big blinds).

Smith had dropped down to 545,000 (13 big blinds) by the time he moved all in from the button. But then Eric Legoff moved all in over the top from the small blind with J J.

Smith turned over A Q, and he'd need to improve to stay alive.

The board came 9 6 3 10 8, and the pocket jacks held up for Legoff to win the pot and eliminate Gavin Smith from the WSOP Main Event.

Smith earns $62,021, and finishes in approximately 94th place.

David Balkin Doubles Thru Vanessa Selbst

Shortly after play began, there was an all-in situation at the featured table involving one of the most famous players in the field, Vanessa Selbst.

David Balkin raised from the cutoff to 85,000, Selbst reraised from the small blind to 205,000, and Balkin moved all in for 940,000 (23 big blinds). Selbst thought for a little bit before she called with A J. Balkin turned over 4 4, and it was a race situation.

Vanessa Selbst and the Bracelet
Vanessa's road to a 2nd bracelet just got a lot tougher.

The flop came 4 3 2, and Balkin flopped a set against a gutshot straight draw for Selbst. The turn was the 10, the river was the 6, and the set held up for Balkin to win the pot and double up to about 1.9 million.

Vanessa Selbst was knocket down to about 380,000, leaving her with less than 10 big blinds to work with.

Abrams Fleet Afoot

Scott Abrams has just won a huge pot for his tournament life, taking a chunk out of chip leader Kyle Keranen in the process.

The two would get it all-in preflop in a classic race situation -- Abrams holding Ac Kd and Keranen with pocket eights -- with an ace on the flop enough to give the nod to Abrams and ship nearly 3 million chips his way along with a new lease on his tournament life.

It’s just a flesh wound for Keranen who is still among the overall leaders with 6 million chips.

Country Counts

Our 97 players who began Day 5 hail from a diverse set of countries, with home court advantage giving the US its typical big edge at this stage of things.

France has put in a surprisingly strong showing -- reflecting the poker boom currently going on in that country -- with the UK one of the bigger disappointments, getting exactly one player (November Niner Sam Holden) through to Day 5, which is just as many as countries such as Uruguay, Mexico, and Israel, which aren’t traditionally thought of as poker hotspots.

Here’s a quick country count as far as where the starting field today call home:

Actor Kevin Pollak
Actor Kevin Pollak has caught the poker bug. First symptom: Chip Tricks.

US (65)
France (5)
Canada (4)
Germany (4)
Australia (2)
Norway (2)
Brazil (2)
Belgium (1)
Greece (1)
Hungary (1)
Israel (1)
Japan (1)
Mexico (1)
Netherlands (1)
Slovakia (1)
Spain (1)
Sweden (1)
Uruguay (1)
UK (1)

Kevin Pollak Hooked On Poker?

Actor Kevin Pollak spun up plenty of buzz and laughs during his run at the Main Event (which ended in pretty brutal fashion in a 134th place finish for $52,718 when his pocket queens lost to pocket queens when his opponent hit a four flush) but it may not be the last we’ve seen of him based on his recent Tweets:

@kevinpollak (Kevin Pollak): Flying home... It's only now that I realize what a truly intoxicating drug playing #WSOP Main Event 10 hours for 4 & 3/5 days became...

@kevinpollak (Kevin Pollak): Thank you @HollywoodPoker, the dealers/staff of #WSOP Main Event, & the entire #ESPN crew. An AMAZING week that I'll dine on forever more.

@kevinpollak (Kevin Pollak): #WSOP 484 remain from field of 6584, and I'm still in it... 1st cash level came at 665. I will brag about cashing my 1st time here forever.

Updated Leaderboard

Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com, with the blinds at 20,000-40,000 and a 5,000 ante:

1.  Robert Salaburu  -  6,195,000  (154 bb)
2.  Kyle Keranen  -  6,100,000  (152 bb)
3.  Taylor Paur  -  5,820,000  (145 bb)
4.  A.J. Jejelowo  -  4,900,000  (122 bb)
5.  Erik Hellman  -  4,715,000  (117 bb)
6.  Shahriar Assareh  -  4,660,000  (116 bb)
7.  Wilfried Haerig  -  4,505,000  (112 bb)
8.  Jacob Balsiger  -  4,030,000  (100 bb)
9.  Charles Coultas  -  4,015,000  (100 bb)
10.  Gaelle Baumann  -  3,980,000  (99 bb)
Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Day 6, Shuffle Up & Deal!

Vanessa Selbst has 1 bracelet this summer, but wants 2.
Vanessa Selbst has 1 bracelet this summer, but wants 2.

Action begins today with 97 players, and all of them are guaranteed to make at least $62,021. The field will play five 2-hour levels today, or down to the final three tables (27 players), whichever takes the longest.

Vanessa Selbst, one of the four remaining players with a chance to win their second bracelet of the 2012 WSOP, is at the featured table. That photo of her and the Main Event bracelet was taken when action got underway.

The other three players hoping to win their second WSOP bracelet of 2012 are David "ODB" Baker, Greg Merson, and Dung Nguyen.

There are plenty of great storylines still in the field, and the average stack has about 51 big blinds to start the day. Shuffle up and deal!

Video: Fabrizio "SixthSenSe19" Gonzalez

Fabrizio Gonzalez is a top-ranked online tournament pro from Uruguay who started Day 6 11th in chips.

Watch the video below to find out how Fabrizio got his start in poker when the game was barely known in his home country.

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment

2012 Main Event: Day 6 Preview

Gaelle Baumann
Gaelle Baumann

It’s Day 6 of the 2012 Main Event and with 97 players left the final table is starting to loom.

Leading the way into the final 97 is Kyle Keranen who amassed a stack of 6.9 million and will be looking to parlay that stack into at least one more day at the Main Event.

We’re starting to approach the serious money as every player left will receive at least $62,021 and one hell of a story to tell their friends.

Although yesterday saw famous faces Daniel Negreanu and Kevin Pollak hit the rail there are still a number of interesting stories in the mix with Gavin Smith, Fabrizio Gonzalez, Jan Heitmann and Jason Somerville still in it to win it.

Interestingly there are still five women in the mix with Gaelle Baumann, Elisabeth Hille, Vanessa Selbst, Marcia Topp and Susie Zhao looking to cap an incredible summer for female poker players with a final table appearance.

Action will resume in about an hour so check back to this page for real-time live updates.

Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts to start the day:

1. Kyle Keranen – 6,935,000
2. Robert Salaburu – 6,195,000
3. Taylor Paur – 5,820,000
4. Erik Hellman – 4,715,000
5. Wilfried Haerig – 4,505,000
6. Shahriar Assareh – 4,395,000
7. Charles Coultas – 4,015,000
8. Gaelle Baumann – 3,980,000
9. Fabrizio Gonzalez – 3,935,000
10. Nicco Maag – 3,895,000

 In addition here’s our daily recap show with Fabrizio Gonzalez, Elisabeth Hille and more:

Players Left
Tables Left
Post a comment