10/30/2012 : FOUR DOWN ALREADY IN WORLD SERIES OF POKER GRAND FINALE (Update)
Gee, Salaburu, Esposito and Koroknai eliminated
The reconvened final table of the 2012 World Series of Poker main event exploded into action Monday with three eliminations during the first few hours, and the final table's only foreigner not much later.
Resuming with 1 hour, 9 minutes left in Level 34, with antes of 40,000 and blinds at 150,000 and 300,000 the game started at a cracking pace with Hungarian Andras Koroknai on the button.
Once the table has been reduced to three players, a halt is scheduled, with play to decide the winner recommencing on Tuesday late afternoon Vegas time.
The final table comprised Jesse Sylvia, Andras Koroknai, Greg Merson, Russell Thomas, Steve Gee, Michael Esposito, Rob Salaburu, Jake Balsiger and Jeremy Ausmus at the start, with the Penn and Teller Theatre packed with loud music, chanting, enthusiastic spectators and the television cameras rolling.
After two hours and thirty hands of action the first casualty, Stephen Gee of California, headed for the cashier's cage and a $754,798 ninth place pay day after being eliminated by Russell Thomas.
Two hours later it was 27-year-old Texas player Robert Salaburu who left the table in eighth place, ousted by Jesse Sylvia and claiming a useful prize of $971,252.
43-year-old Michael Esposito of Seaford, New York was next to go, busted out by Greg Merson after the break, and heading for the exit in seventh place looking forward to a check for $1,257,790. The blinds at that point were 250,000-500,000 with a 50,000 ante, and the victory over Esposito gave Merson the chip lead.
When InfoPowa went to press, Andras Koroknai from Hungary, the 2012 World Series of Poker main event’s only non-American competitor, had just been eliminated in sixth place by a rampant Merson.
The Hungarian initially played a cautious game but was starting to show more aggression and was third in chip counts when he ran into the dominant and fearless Merson and now has to be content with a sixth place finish but a very consolatory prize of $1,640,461.