They've reached the first break of the day. We noted at the top how the eliminations came at a rate of seven per level yesterday, and that the pace might well slow down a bit today as they approach the final nine.
No slowing down yet.
The first hour of play today saw four eliminations -- Lars Bonding (22nd), Chris Moore (21st), Gionni Demers (20th), and Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (19th) -- after which the remaining 18 players reassembled around the final two tables. Following a brief period which saw players sticking to small-to-medium pots, the knockouts began anew, with three more coming before the break.
Within a few hands of the move, Kenny Shih got knocked out in 18th in a hand with John Hewitt, then Sam Barnhart was eliminated shortly thereafter in 17th after running pocket nines into Puis Heinz' pair of kings. Then Ryan Lenaghan pushed his below average stack all in with but couldn't outrun Samuel Holden's , and he hit the rail in 16th. Meanwhile, Anton Makievskyi continues to lead the way, having crossed the 30 million-chip mark, although Eoghan O'Dea is close on his heels.
The tension has risen a significant notch. Six of those who remain will see their two-week long runs end today, while the other nine will be continuing to live out their WSOP Main Event dreams until November. Cards go back in the air in 15 minutes.