Monday July 16 2012 : DAY SIX OF WORLD SERIES OF POKER REACHES LAST THREE TABLES
Two women among 27 survivors
In the early hours of the Monday morning Vegas time, just 27 players were left on Day 6 as the last three tables formed in the 43rd World Series of Poker main event.
Tournament officials had earlier decided to depart from the planned schedule of playing down to three tables for a total of 27 players, and call it a night once the end of the current level was reached in order to give contestants a chance to rest before the start of Day 7, which was pushed back to 1pm Vegas time Monday.
However, in the end it proved unnecessary as a sudden spate of eliminations brought the day to an end with just 27 players still standing.
Day 6 started with 97 players and Kyle Keranen holding the chip lead on 6.9 million. At that point every survivor could look forward to a cash of at least $62,021, with the prospect of substantially bigger rewards as the planned 5 two-hour levels of action unfolded.
Early notable eliminations started with Gavin Smith, Dung Nguyen, Erik Cajelais and Susie Zhao, one of the last five women still in the field, who was taken out by Isaac Barron in 90th place for $73,805.
Barron's jubilation was short-lived – he was himself busted out shortly thereafter.
That left four women still in contention: Gaelle Baumann, Elisabeth Hille, Vanessa Selbst and Marcia Topp, a fitting tribute to women players, who at this year's WSOP have achieved thirteen final table finishes.
United States players dominated the overall international list at the start of Day 6 with 65 players, followed by France (5), Canada and Germany (4 each) Australia, Norway and Brazil with 2 each. A slew of other nations provided one player each, including Britain, which fielded Sam Holden.
The feminine contingent lost one more member before the dinner break when Greg Merson eliminated Vanessa Selbst at 75th. That was followed by Eric Buchman going out at 74th and another female player, Marcia Topp leaving in the 71st spot.
At that point Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille were still going strongly and well up in the top 15 chip counts, with Norwegian Hille's participation of special interest.
Apparently her boyfriend Harald Olsen won a seat in one of the earlier events and managed a $20,000 finish. Hille was unable to qualify via satellites for the main event via a satellite, so Olsen staked her buy-in…a generous move that is likely to result in a healthy return in investment, as Hille is still running deep with a pay-day in excess of $294,601 likely.
By level 27 the blinds were at 30,000/60,000 with a 10,000 ante, and the field had shrunk to 63 players on seven tables, all guaranteed $128,384.
When the players returned after dinner, there were 58 survivors, with the average stack at 3.4 million.
Post-dinner departures with pay checks of $128,384 included Britain's last hope Sam Holden in 55th place. Holden was also the last remaining 2011 main event final table contestant in this year's tournament.
Keeping him company at the cashier desk was 56th placed David “ODB” Baker, who received the same reward and can be proud of an outstanding WSOP performance this year in which he won his first bracelet, cashing seven times and making four final tables, including the 2011-12 National Championship.
On the distaff side, Baumann and Hille were still keeping the feminine banners flying at that point, with Hille in seventh place in the top ten chip counts on 5,790,000 and Baumann still competing strongly lower down in the chip counts after taking a big hit to her stack.
Among the railbirds some hefty prop bets were being made, chiefly on whether Hille or Baumann would survive to the main event final table (the line was 6 to 1 against despite their excellent performances so far), and whether this year's World Series of Poker would be won by a player older or younger than age 40 years (the line was 10 to 1 against an older person winning – only 11 of the 55 players still taking part at that point were over 40)
With the clock ticking steadily down, more quality players headed home, including Leo Wolpert at 50th, Amit Makhija at 47th, and Tristan Clemencon at 46th, all with pay days of $156,293.
They were followed by Uruguay player Fabrizio Gonzalez whose main event came to a halt when he busted out in the 45th spot for $191,646, along with Amnon Filippi at 39th and Omar Saeed at 37th.
Saeed's departure set the scene for just four tables to continue for the 36 tired players remaining, with Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann still very much in the running.
Almost immediately there were four more eliminations in quick succession, and they were followed by another five, making it unnecessary for officials to enforce the hard stop…the day's target of 27 players had been reached and the chips were bagged.
With 1 hour and 37 minutes left in Level 30, Erik Hellman was busted out in 28th place for $236,921.
Day 7 begins Monday at 1:00 pm PT, and will continue until the main event final table of nine players is reached.
The first nine players to bust will receive $294,601 each, while the nine final table survivors will be guaranteed at least $754,798, and a chance at the winner's $8.5 million when the event reconvenes late October.
Two women remain in the event: Elisabeth Hille is in fifth place on 9,770,000, and Gaelle Baumann is in the 20th slot on 5,530,000.
With the blinds at 60,000-120,000 with a 15,000 ante, and average chips counts of 7,331,112, this is what the top chip counts look like going into Day 7:
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)
Offering the closest challenge to Canadian chip leader Marc Ladouceur as the day ended was the little known Daniel Strelitz – who was at one stage way ahead of the field on 16,390,000.
The 22-year-old is the first player with more than 10 million in chips, and has wreaked havoc among his many opponents during the day. He has two previous WSOP cashes to his credit, and like so many of the young players at WSOP built his career and substantial winnings in the internet poker sector, where he started to play in 2008 and currently coaches other players.