Tuesday July 17 2012 : NO WOMEN ON THIS YEAR'S WORLD SERIES OF POKER FINAL TABLE
Baumann and Hille both fall just prior to the formation of the main event final table
Over the past gruelling ten days of World Series of Poker main event competition, two women have earned respect for running deep against massive and talented competition, but their participation was terminated almost simultaneously in the closing minutes of Day 7 of the fiercely contested event.
Nevertheless, Norway's Elisabeth Hille and Winmax pro Gaelle Baumann of France earned big consolatory prizes of over half a million dollars apiece for their 11th and 10th bust outs respectively, and will be remembered for outstanding performances.
Day 7 started out at 1pm Vegas time Monday with 27 survivors on three tables and Canadian pro Marc Ladouceur holding the chip lead on 15,875,000, pursued by Daniel Strelitz on 12,790,000 and Robert Salaburu on 10,915,000.
Average stacks at the start were $7,331,112, and all 27 players could look forward to pay days of at least $294,601, with the next pay-out jump starting at position 16 and going up to $369,026.
By nationality, the competitors hailed from the USA (19 players), Germany (3), and one each from Australia, Norway, France, Hungary and Canada
Early eliminations included Nicco Maag in 27th place and Jan Heitmann in 26th place, both for $294,601.
Just after the first break Roland Israelashvili became the 25th bust out for $294,601, and he was followed by internet whiz Daniel Strelitz at 24th and Yuval Bronshthein at 23rd for his 21st WSOP cash, with both players collecting checks for $294,601.
22nd place went to Cylus Watson – his third and biggest yet WSOP cash at $294,601.
US rivals Robert Corcione (21st) and Paul Volpe (20th) were the next to go, also for $294,601 pay days.
With just on one and three quarter hours left in level 32, two more players left when Jamie Robbins busted out at 19th for $294,601, just missing the next pay jump to $369,026 – that went to elimination number 18 and David Balkin.
Robert Buckenmayer in the 17th slot and Percy Mahatan in 16th both collected $369,026 from the cashier's desk.
Returning after the dinner break, play continued for around an hour at 100,000/200,000 blinds and a 30,000 ante before the next elimination took place when Wilfried Harig headed for the cashier and a new pay day level of $465,159.
The chip leader at the start of Day 7, Canadian Marc Ladouceur ran out of good cards and fortune as the evening wore on, with Greg Merson sending him home in the 13th spot with $465,159.
Scott Abrams followed soon after in 12th place to claim the next pay jump and a check for $590,442.
That left just 11 survivors competing for the nine spots at the main event final table in the now largely empty and cavernous Amazon Room. Women players Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille were among them, albeit among the lower stacks.
In the closing stages both went out – Hille at 11th and Baumann at 10th for pay days of $590,442, but the disappointment of not having a crack at the millions available for the first prize in this year's event.
The man who took both women out was Hungarian player Andras Koroknai, who ironically had been involved earlier in the event in a controversial error that cost Baumann.
Chip counts at the end of the day, with the average stack at $21,993,334 were
1 Russell Thomas 24,800,000
2 Jacob Balsiger 13,115,000
3 Jeremy Ausmus 9,805,000
4 Steven Gee 16,860,000
5 Greg Merson 28,725,000
6 Jesse Sylvia 43,875,000
7 Robert Salaburu 15,155,000
8 Andras Koronai 29,375,000
9 Michael Esposito 16,260,000
The nine finalists will now take a break until late October, when they will return to the Rio to battle it out for the really big money in the 43rd World Series of Poker main event final table.