It's been a long and gruelling day, and as a new day dawns over Vegas, Event #30 has come to an end.
21 players returned today and one by one they trudged off to the payout desk - all of them taking home a little something for their troubles, but we suspect none of them feeling as though they'd really achieved what they'd come in to do.
Mike Ellis outlasted an incredible field of almost 2,400 players to take home the biggest win of his poker career. He first made his presence felt on the poker circuit back home in the UK when he took down the GUKPT Grand Final for £197,600 ($407,700) in late 2007. Since then he's added five WSOP cashes to his record, and now he gets to take home not only the biggest poker payday of his life but also his first WSOP bracelet.
The heads up battle between Ellis and his more than worthy opponent Christopher Gonzales was nothing short of epic, lasting almost three hours and seeing the chip lead change hands several times. Both players played stellar poker, and both deserved to win. In the end though, there can only be one winner, and this is Ellis' moment.
Many congratulations to Ellis and indeed all the other finalists. From PokerNews.com at the Rio, very early on a Saturday morning, it's over and out.
Mike Ellis raised from the button, and this time Christopher Gonzales re-popped for another 500,000. Ellis called, and they saw a flop.
Shouted Ellis' buddy Paul Parker, the sartorially daring British poker pro, "It's over now Mikey! This is it!"
Gonzalez bet out 1,255,000. That was a very big bet. Ellis paused for a few moments, while Parker continued to call over encouraging things. After a while, he called.
Gonzales announced all in. Ellis announced call.
Gonzales: for, well, aces
Ellis: for the nut flush
River: an irrelevant
Ladies and gentlemen, at long last, we have a winner.
...Or what passes for it at the moment.
The relatively short-stacked Christopher Gonzales announced all in from the button, and Mike Ellis folded.
The heads up continues.
A very large pot indeed had formed by the river of the board when Christopher Gonzales turned over for two pair - and discovered that Mike Ellis' two pair had him pipped.
With that, the stacks look roughly like so:
Ellis - 8 million
Gonzales - 3 million
However we have, if you recall, been here before...
After that excitement, our players have reverted to extreme caginess. They are seeing a lot of flops, but nothing terribly exciting is happening on them.
For instance, our two heads-uponauts saw a limp/checked flop. Chris Gonzales checked to Mike Ellis, who min-bet. Gonzales folded.
It is most heartening that these two gentlemen both so fervently want that precious gold bracelet - but at the same time this is not really a spectator sport. The few railers who remain are mostly sleeping now.
Mike Ellis limped on the button and Chris Gonzales announced a raise from the big blind. Ellis insta-shoved. Gonzales insta-called.
Ellis duly doubled up. The stacks are now exactly even, with both players sitting on roughly 5.4 million. We could still be here next week at this rate.
After that promising start to the level, everything's gone a bit slow again.
For example, just now Christopher Gonzales limped in on the button and Mike Ellis checked his option. They proceeded to check down the flop and turn, before Ellis bet the 160,000 minimum on the river. Gonzales called, but mucked when Ellis showed him a for two pair.
First hand back and Mike Ellis raised to 500,000 from the button. Christopher Gonzales, however, announced all in, and Ellis folded.
Ellis dropped again, to 3.5 million or so.