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WSOP: The Grueling March to the Final Table

$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Goes Till 6 a.m. -- Final Table Still Not Set


David Bach Overall Day 1 Chip LeaderThe “fourth-largest tournament in the history of live poker” resumed Monday afternoon, this time with both halves of the field present. The total number of players surviving their respective day ones was 447. Despite surviving nearly 90 percent of the massive 3,929-player field, 68 runners would go home disappointed.

Of those to just miss the money were notables Michael Binger, Daniel Alaei, Mike Wattel, and Joe Bartholdi, who just busted shortly before the conclusion of the second level of the day. Meanwhile, day 1 chip leader David Bach kept the pressure on and continued to add to his already impressive stack.

The amateur-heavy field ended up being a goldmine to the few pros remaining, who took advantage of those hoping to eke into the money. At one point during hand-for-hand play, Shane “shaniac” Schleger and Todd “DanDruff” Witteles had collectively won nearly every pot on the bubble with a standard preflop raise.

After the bubble had burst, the predictable flurry of action continued, and within five levels, the field had been trimmed down to a more manageable 95 players. Lost in the shuffle were notables David Singer, Cody “thugmoneymkr” Slaubaugh, Ryan Daut, Matt “AllInAt420” Stout, Jon Friedberg, Todd Brunson, Marco Traniello, Gavin Griffin, Mark Gregorich, Rami “ArbianNight” Boukai, Mark Vos, Kenny Tran, and Erica Schoenberg.

After busting, Singer remained especially busy, and ended day 1 of the $1,500 pot-limit hold'em event in the money and in second place.

As midnight approached, there was still the little matter of determining the final table. Play continued to slow as the field whittled itself down, and for a while, it seemed as if the end would never be in sight. At 2 a.m., with roughly 50 players remaining, tournament officials confirmed that no matter how long it took, play would continue to the final nine.

Chris Ferguson As a result of the long, grueling day, many of the players began to complain. While the tournament staff sympathized with their current situation, they could do nothing about it, due to the ESPN filming schedule. ESPN is filming a set number of events here at the Rio, and tommorow's $1,500 event final table is one of them. While some of the players may have enjoyed their chance to be in the spotlight, others were busy griping about the hour and the late-night rail that had gathered around them.


As the sun came up, the focus of the Amazon Room switched completely from the cards to the late hour, and finally, at 5:30 a.m., tournament officials decided to call it a day, err … night … err … morning. Of course, this was met with some resistance, and the remaining 20 players put it to a vote which tied, twice. The concensus was to play down to at least 18 and then vote once again. Two eliminations later, the majority finally came to their senses and play was halted for the night.

Notables still in contention include Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, David Bach, Theo Tran, Minh Nguyen, and Perry Friedman.

The final 18 players will return today at 1:30 p.m. to battle down to a champion, whether they are awake or not.



almost 13 years ago

it's "eke" into the money