For a moment there, I was dreading a lengthy final day, but as the night drew to a close, players began to fall like lemmings on a tightrope and enabled us to finish the day with a manageable 23 players. Having lost the likes or Roland De Wolfe, David Pham and Kelly Kim along the way, there are few familiar names remaining, but a plethora of talent with UK online pro Jonathan Spinks, Showdown at the Sands Champion John Myung, and former EPT finalist Mihai Manole all looking to prove their worth and get their hungry paws on a sparkling gold bracelet.
However, although Manole sits in second place with 1,253,000, it is in fact unknown entity Michael Linn who will sleep easiest tonight, his stack having fluctuated to a chip-leading 1,410,000 after a number key hands. In third place is Spinks, whilst making up the chasing pack are the likes of Benjamin Smith, Chadwick Grimes and Irish dark horse Sean Prendiville.
Tomorrow should be a hard-fought out battle, but an intriguing one with plenty of fiery encounters and big pots. If you like your action thick, fast, and as exciting as a date with me, then be sure to join us back in the Amazon Room tomorrow at 3pm. Be there, or else.... please, just be there.
On the very last hand of the night, we lost Matthew Waxman at the hands of Erle Mankin. With Makin opening to 37,000 with , Waxman moved all in for 169,000 with to put the decision back on Mankin.
After mulling over his options for a minute, Mankin commented, "I want to play the shootout tomorrow, so I don't want to come back with just 10,000 chips. If it wasn't for that I would have called you already."
Despite his fears, Mankin did indeed make the call, and his bravery was rewarded as he successfully dodged Waxman's six outs on an ensuing board. As a result, Waxman exits at the death, whilst Mankin inserts around 442,000 into his bag rather than two orange 10,000 chips.
Chip leader Mihai Mahole opened to 29,000 from early position and Justin Zaki reraised to 70,000. Back round to Mahole who made it 150,000 to go, only for Zaki to push all in for 300,000 more. Mahole snapped him off quicker than a cheetah on roller skates.
Mahole's behemoth of a stack has now increased even further to an envy-inducing 1,300,000.
The Tournament Director has just announced that there will be seven more hands for the night.
Seat 1: Matthew Waxman
Seat 2: Elliott Harrah
Seat 3: Justin Zaki
Seat 4: Ronald Chaves
Seat 5: Karl Fenton
Seat 6: David Ventura
Seat 7: Erle Mankin
Seat 8: Clint Coffee
Seat 9: Anthony Spinella
Seat 1: Michael Linn
Seat 2: Manuel Cadilhe
Seat 3: Benjamin Smith
Seat 4: John Wunderlich
Seat 5: Roberto Stamerra
Seat 6: Thomas Gruber
Seat 7: Jonathan Spinks
Seat 8: Alexander Kuzmin
Seat 9: Chadwick Grimes
Seat 1: David Cai
Seat 2: Tyler Cornell
Seat 3: Salvador Martinez
Seat 4: Joel Bidnick
Seat 5: John Myung
Seat 6: Sean Prendiville
Seat 7: Taylor Larkin
Seat 8: Benjamin Eilers
Seat 9: Mihai Manole
Don't think that because it's the final few minutes that the action has slowed, as even with just several hands to go, we're witnessing more action than a night on the tiles with the Devilfish.
On this occasion, it was Joseph Potts who lit the first spark, moving all in from early position for 125,000. Steve Cowley then followed suit by shoving the cut-off for 180,000.
And If that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, Chadwick Grimes made the call from the big blind!
On ya backs, fellas...
The board was equally exciting, everyone grabbing a piece, but Grimes ultimately holding up when he flopped a boat on a board to, first, serve up a right hook, then, second, deliver a left uppercut for a double K.O!
Ding. Ding. Next hand.
With Manuel Cadilhe raising it up to 28,000, James Hess found and bumped it up to 70,000. Taylor Larkin looked down at and pushed all in, and after Cadihle had ducked out of the way, Hess called all in for a total of 278,000.
In search of just two outs, Hess was in piping hot water, and that water became no cooler as the dealer placed a board onto the felt. As Hess departed, Erle Mankin pushed his chips in the necessary direction, leading triggering Hess to comment with a chuckle, "I love it when people handle my chips."
Michael Linn opened to 27,000 from early position only to have Kyle Knecht move all in for roughly 300,000 from the big blind. Linn immediately called and we were off to a showdown.
The board ran out to see Knecht bumped to the rail as Linn soars to over 1,040,000 in chips.
Banter on the near table as Roberto Stamerra made a move from the big blind and proudly showed as if it were a bracelet. "Wow, in my face," responded small blind Anthony Spinella with a sarcastic tone. "Why'd you do that to me?"
"Respect me must be," replied Stamerra in a form of pigeon English."I take not one blind all night. My ass so big."
Posterior talk aside, Stamerra's tight image is certainly paying off as he's still in with a respectable 255,000.