The action continued unabated at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as event 10 - the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em - Six Handed - unfolded on its third day of play with the 15 survivors of an original field of 1,920 returning to the felt.
When InfoPowa last monitored the game it was down to another epic WSOP heads up between Eddie Blumenthall and Texas gynaecologist Geffrey Klein, with the former holding a massive 7 million chip lead but Klein staging a remarkable performance that ultimately saw him take a 2 million chip lead of his own in the wee small hours of the morning.
That led to a final victory for Klein, rewarding him with a bracelet and $544,388 in prize money, and leaving his opponent with a $334,756 runner-up pay day.
It was Blumenthall’s second final table in this WSOP, both in tough events with large fields of talented players.
Event 11, the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo Championship, required another day of play to find a winner, but the bracelet was finally awarded to Viacheslav Zhukov.
22 survivors - all that remained from the entry field of 202 - started the third day with George Lind at the top of the leader board, chased hard by Zhukov, and Steve Billirakis at the bottom but still hunting for his second bracelet.
Others still active and dangerous included Guillaume Rivet, Mikael Thuritz, Richard Ashby and Josh Arieh.
After ten levels, play ended day three with a requirement for an extra day in order for Lind, Billirakis and Zhukov - the final three left in the competition - to decide a winner. Lind and Zhukov were at that point millions ahead, but Billirakis is always dangerous and appeared calm and determined when the extra day of play kicked off.
Barely an hour into play Billirakis was out of it, eliminated by Zhukov in a move that left George Lind and Zhukov in the heads up, fighting for the $465,216 first prize in a clash that lasted for three long hours.
Finally, at level 32 the exhausted players played their last hands, and it was Zhukov who emerged victorious to claim the main prize and the bracelet - his first.
Lind collected a check for $287,444 for his time and trouble.
David Diaz turned out to be the best of 1,340 starters when the third day of play in event 12 - the $1,500 buy-in Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em contest came to a conclusion late Thursday night Vegas time.
Diaz collected the winner's check for $352,808 after three days and 28 hours of play that saw the elimination of the other 1,339 entrants.
With just four tables left, the exciting event still had the likes of Sam Trickett, Cliff Josephy, Bill Chen, Andy Black, J.C. Tran, Getty Mattingsly and Dan Smith in contention, but it was Diaz's night to collect his first WSOP bracelet, having started the day 9th in a 10 player remaining field.
After maintaining a low, under-the-radar strategy for much of the match, Diaz exploded into aggressive action relatively late in the game to rise to the heads up.
In his final confrontation with Anders Meli that lasted less than a half-hour, Diaz triumphed, leaving his adversary with a second placing check for $218,183.
Event 13, a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Shootout contest, concluded its second day late Thursday night with just 16 players remaining from an initial field of 1,440, and formidable opponents such as David Pham, Dan Kelly, Andrew Pantling, Frank Kassela, Vitaly Lunkin, Erik Cajelais, David Robinson, Robbie Verspui, Joseph Webber and Daniel Makowsky all keen to do battle for that $369,371 first prize.
160 players survived into day 2, and now all but 16 of them are gone.
When play recommences Friday afternoon Vegas time the format will be of a two table sit 'n' go with eight players at each table, all starting with 450,000 chips.
The second day of event 14: $3,000 Limit Hold'em kicked off Thursday with 163 players left from the initial entry field of 337 and Marc Traniello holding the chip lead, but facing some fierce competition from the likes of Victor Ramdin, Casey McCarrel, Tobin Banks, Shawn Buchanan, Sorel Mizzi, Nicholas Grippa, Mike Thorpe, Shaun Deeb, Jeff Shulman, Matt Glantz, Justin Bonomo, Dwyte Pilgrim, Maria Ho and Jason Mercier.
By the early hours of Friday morning PST only 19 survivors remained, led by Victor Ramdin and Dmitry Gromov. The main prize in this event is worth $220,817.
Two new events kicked off Thursday - the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold'em and the $10,000 buy-in NL 2-7 Lowball Championship.
In the event 15, the Pot Limit Hold'em, 765 entrants created a prize pool of $1,032,750, representing an increase over last year's entry field of 115 players.
Day one encompassed 10 hours of tough action which saw the elimination of some big names from the field, including Layne Flack, David Sklansky, Paul Magriel, Antonio Esfandiari, Humberto Brenes, and Liv Boeree.
Among the 88 survivors going into the second day of action today (Friday) will be James Dempsey, Joe Sebok, Ali Eslami, John Racener, John Dolan, and Alessio Isaia.
The chip lead at the end of day one play was held by Ronald Lee.
The first day of event 16: $10,000 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship (No-Limit) concluded in the small hours of Friday morning with just 88 players left after the first eight hours of play, and Vince Musso holding the lead, closely pursued by Shaun Deeb.
The event attracted an entry field of 126 liberally sprinkled with star talent, creating a prize pool of $1,184,400. The entry field was a 25 player improvement on the same event last year.
Notable entrants included Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, John Monnette, Justin Bonomo, Chris Oliver, Nikolay Evdakov, Hasan Habib, Billy Baxter, Steve Zolotow, Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, Carlos Mortensen, Jean-Robert Bellande, Tom Dwan, Daniel Alaei, Alessio Isaia, Vladimir Schmelev, Tom Schneider, Steve Billirakis, last year's victor David Baker, Chino Rheem, Dave, David Singer and Dan Shak.
Veterans Doyle Brunson and Eric Cloutier fell by the wayside in day one, along with Chris Oliver, Tom Dwan, Jean-Robert Bellande, Phil Laak, Justin Smith and Justin Bonomo, but there is still a strong field of aces in the game, including former WSOP champ Greg Raymer, David "Devilfish" Ulliot, Richard Ashby, Daniel Negreanu and Eugene Katchalov.
Source: InfoPowa News