And that’ll do it for tonight! 101 of the best players in the world ponied up the $10,000 entry fee for this event, and 54 of them survived the night. At most tournaments, we are lucky to find two or three famous faces at the same table. Well at this tournament, it was rare to see two or three faces that we DIDN’T recognize. It truly was a star studded field and at the end of the night your chip leader is none other than Konstantin Puchkov who bagged 133,400. Puchkov is looking to make WSOP history, as a cash in this event would be a record breaking 11th for him on the series. Not far behind are Hertzel Zalewki (107,700) and Hasan Habib (104,700).
The big story of the night was the return of the 10-time bracelet winner Johnny Chan, who made his first appearance at the Rio all summer. Chan cashed in this event last year, finishing 12th, but he will not be able to top that this year, as he was eliminated just before the end of the night.
Some of the players who joined Chan out the door included Phil Hellmuth, Brandon Cantu, Chad Brown, Shaun Deeb, Josh Brikis, Bryn Kenney, and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.
It was a great day for former champions of this event. Last year’s winner John Juanda is looking to defend his title, and he will come into tomorrow with 63,000 chips. David “Bakes” Baker won this event two years ago, and he has 37,900 chips. In 2009, Nick Schulman took down the event, and he is also still alive with 65,000. Before 2009, this event played out as a $5,000 with rebuys, and the champions of that in 2008 and 2007, Mike Matusow (33,400) and Erik Seidel (91,200), will also return tomorrow looking for another bracelet!
In addition to those players, there is a near endless list of big names who are moving on to tomorrow. Just a few include Daniel Negreanu (94,200), Jason Mercier (89,000), Michael Binger (86,300), Tom Schneider (82,900), Ali Eslami (75,800), and Phil Galfond (41,200), amongst several others.
The 54 remaining players have bagged and tagged their chips, and they will come back tomorrow at 2 pm. They will play ten levels, or until they reach the final seven players, whichever comes first. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, as it should be an exciting end to the preliminary events here at the 2012 WSOP! For now, good night from Las Vegas!