A record-setting 2,525 players entered this $1,000 no-limit hold'em event two days ago and the final 16 will return today to determine a winner.
Raymond Henson is chasing his first WSOP bracelet and leads the way having bagged up 897,000 chips at the close of play last night. Meanwhile Steve "gboro780" Gross is not too far behind with 859,000 and is looking to add a second bracelet to his name having won one in pot-limit Omaha last year. Just behind those two is Richard Milne of Scotland, a stalwart of the European Poker Tour, sitting in third place with 827,000.
Other notables in the field today include World Poker Tour champion and TV producer Matt Salsberg (494,000), Justin “Stelthmunk” Schwartz (354,000), Neo Hoang (237,000), and Bastian Fischer (219,000).
Follow all the action right here as they play down to a winner today with play resuming at 1 p.m. The PokerNews Live Reporting team will bring you details of every elimination including hand-for hand coverage starting from the final nine as one player seeks to place the coveted WSOP gold bracelet on his wrist and win a life-changing $403,483.
The action folded to Michael Spegal in the cutoff and he tossed in two T25,000 chips for a raise. One seat over, Eric Shanks on the button asked Spegal how much he was playing in total and then raised all in. All players behind them folded and Spegal called off with a sigh that turned into frustration when they turned over their cards.
There was no help on the flop for Spegal, then the turn saw him drawing dead. The meaningless completed the board and Spegal headed to the payout desk to collect $14,407. All remaining players are now guaranteed at least $18,180.
Robert Merulla opened to 37,000 and Steve Gross three-bet him to 100,000. This had happened in one of the early hands of play and Merulla had folded. This time, however, he moved all in, and Gross quickly called.
The board ran out . The turn gave Merulla spade outs for a flush, but the river bricked and he was the second player to fall today.
Andrew Egan raised to 32,000 from the button and Justin Schwartz moved all in out of the big blind for 218,000 total. Egan didn't waste much time to announce "okay, I call" and turned over the . Schwartz was ahead with , but the flop was quite a blow, giving Egan a straight.
The turn changed nothing, and Schwartz needed a king to stay alive. The dealer fanned the as final community card and Egan even got a flush on top of the already-made straight to score the knockout.
"That wasn't my day," said Schwartz before heading to the payout desk.
Daniel Riley opened and Steve Gross thought for a short time before three-betting him from the small blind. Back around to Riley who sat still for a moment before moving all in. Gross snapped him off to put Riley at risk.
Gross showed and Riley had made his move with .
All eyes were on the board as the cards ran out and Gross has busted two players on his table in the first level of the day.
Viktor Skoldstedt raised to 32,000 and Michael Marckx called from the cutoff to see a flop. Skoldstedt continued with a bet of 42,000 and Marckx raised to 100,000 before the Swede moved all in. Marckx threw back his hands, sighed, and eventually folded after one minute.
Only one hand later Marckx was all in for approximately 200,000 and Eric Shanks one seat over moved all in as well. All three players behind them mucked their cards and Marckx was looking for an ace.
After the flop, a ten would help Marckx and he got exactly that with the on the turn. One card from a possible comeback, he started cheering. However, the brutal river gave Shanks the better full house and eliminated Marckx in 12th place.
From early position, Bastian Fischer moved all in and got called one seat over by Mike Kachan. All other players folded and Kachan didn't want to see any diamonds.
His wish was only partly granted with the flop, but he didn't have to worry much anymore on the turn and the river. Kachan made the flush after having had the better hand preflop, and the German missed the unofficial final table.
Matt Salsberg opened the action with a raise to 50,000 from early position and got called by Raymond Henson as well as Richard Milne and Andrew Egan in the blinds. On the flop, the action folded to Salsberg and he moved all in for 223,000 chips. Henson called and both players in the blinds folded.
The TV producer needed a queen to stay alive but the board completed with the turn and the river. Salsberg shook hands with his opponents and then left the tournament area.
Alex "Assassinato" Fitzgerald joins Nate and Andrew on the Thinking Poker Podcast to talk about growing up in Alaska, struggling with drugs, coming up in poker, and making and disseminating training material.