Almost 11 of the 55 events in the 39th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas have now either been completed or are in progress, and the crowds, the vibe and the quality of play has been well up to expectations.
 
Notable recent win was that of Mike Banducci, who collected a paycheck of $636 736 and a gold bracelet for his win in Event 5 – the $1 000  buy-in No-Limit Hold'em w/ Rebuys competition in which he was victorious over a typically PokerStarsstar-studded WSOP entry field, having led most of the way. Banducci was quick and efficient in finalising the heads up against Jeff Williams, who's second-place finish earned him a take-home of $406 330.
 
Commanding attention as we went to press was the close of a long and gruelling Day 2 with the final table setting for Event 8 – the $10 000 buy-in World Championship Mixed Games tourney. This is one for the pros, featuring eight different poker types with deuce-to-seven triple draw, limit hold'em, Omaha-8, razz, seven-card stud, stud-8, no-limit hold'em, and pot-limit Omaha played in rotation.
 
The  2007 WSOP Player of the Year, Tom Schneider had been eliminated in 12th position as we went to press, together with David Oppenheim in the ninth slot, setting up the final table, with Matt Glanz holding a significant almost 400 000 chip lead over his nearest rival, the youthful "Mig.com" Mackey.
 
Other players read like a who's who of land and Internet poker aces: Sammy Farha, Michael DeMichele, Tom Durr, Eli Elezra, Anthony Rivera and young gun Jeff Madsen – all survivors of an original entry field of 192 and a Day 2 start of 89 players.
 
The quality of the opposition these players had to overcome is evidenced by a list of just some of the stellar players who threw their hats in the Event 8 ring: Mike Sexton, Marcel Luske, Johnny Chan, Doyle and Todd Brunson, Erik Seidel, David Grey, Tony G, Alex Kravchenko, Sigi Stockinger, Tim Phan, Noah Jefferson, Gus Hansen, Lee Watkinson and David Sklansky.
 
The money bubble extended to the 24th man out, with Nikolay Evdakov collecting $16 243. Play resumes over the weekend.