After ten long levels of play our field has been reduced from 171 to just 33. There were times where we thought we wouldn't get this far as the players were slow to drop away, but a non-existent bubble that saw three rapid-fire concurrent eliminations, including Eli Elezra and Noah Schwartz, allowed us to inch into the money tonight. The 33 survivors will sleep well tonight in the knowledge that they are in the cash, but there's still a long way to go in this one.
Some who may have a restless night are those with life-changing bracelet bets with one Mr. Tom "durrrr" Dwan. Earlier on this summer, we witnessed the circus-like activity that involved many of the industry's biggest pros as Dwan searched for his elusive first bracelet. While many were relieved when Dwan finished runner-up, it comes as no surprise at all to see the young phenom in this incredible position to make another strong surge at WSOP gold tomorrow. He won't have it easy as the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Alaei, Jason Mercier, Alex Kravchenko, David Ulliott and Blair Rodman all lurking.
However durrrr will be the buzz amongst the Internet forums this evening and all eyes will be on our final four tables tomorrow afternoon. Who can stop the durrrr-train? Will there be an immovable object in the way of this irresistible force? Join us again at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow as we find out! See you then!
Table 318 has been a veritable EPT reunion this evening. It sits Fabrice Soulier, Alexander Kravchenko, Dmitry Stelmak, Ludovic Lacay, and Jason Mercier, all perennially present faces on the European circuit. Just to really set the scene even more explicitly, EPT Tournament Director Thomas Kremser is sitting over there next to Mercier as well, and it feels very strangely like an EPT event in that area of the room.
Our little European get-together has just been reduced by one, though.
Kravchenko opened the last pot with a raise, and Kremser moved all in with his short stack of about 55,000. Kravchenko quickly called, and Kremser was at risk as the cards were turned up:
"Well, I cracked aces once today..." Kremser said optimistically.
The flop was a hell of a sweat as it came out to give "T.K." his flush draw to work with. The on fourth street was a blank, though, and the on the river has sent Mr. Kremser out on the penultimate hand of Day 2.
Ever the consummate gentleman, Kremser stood and shook hands with his friends at the table, thanking them all by name. "Alexander... Jason... Lacay... It's been a pleasure playing with you. I truly enjoyed it."
The dealers have been instructed to deal three more hands on every table before be bag, tag and escape the Rio's clutches for another day.
On a flop of , Ben Blackmore fired a bet of 30,000 from under the gun and Tom Dawn made the call on the button.
The turn brought the and Blackmore checked to Dwan who made it 102,000 to go. Too rich for Blackmore as he let it go.
Dwan continues on his merry way as he's now up to 905,000.
Phil Hellmuth is complaining to pretty much anyone who will listen about the possibility of how little sleep he may get over the next two days.
If he wins this particular tournament it's very likely that he will have to play until 6am or possibly later tomorrow night. He'll then have to grab an hour or two of sleep before the Tournament of Championships is scheduled to recommence at 9am that day and is expected to also produce a marathon day.
Julio Marines raised to 19,000 from under the gun and Anton Kozlovskiy made the call in the big blind.
They took a flop of and Kozlovskiy moved all in for his last 39,000 with Marines making the call.
A whole lot of not much right there as Marines held the lead with a pair of fours. The turn improved Marines to two pair which didn't change on the river.
Kozlovskiy is out and Marines is up to 570,000.
As we enter the money stage our runaway leader is Tom "durrrr" Dwan who is relentlessly pounding on his table. It was very much to his disadvantage that the bubble burst so quickly as he would've enjoyed preying on the weak during a hand-for-hand period.
However it hasn't prevented him jumping up to 825,000 and almost 300,000 clear of second position.
Alessio Isaia limped in from the small blind before Eli Elezra raised it 30,000 in the big blind. Isaia made the call and they saw a flop of . Isaia checked it over to Elezra who moved all in with Isaia making the snap-call.
Isaia had flopped the wheel and it held on the turn and river. Elezra is sent to the rail as Isaia is up to 540,000.
At the same table on nearby tables we lost Noah Schwartz and Tore Lagerborg in rapid succession to see us avoid a prolonged bubble as we are now down to 36 players and in the money!
Chau Giang is always thereabouts when it comes time to move into the money stage of the tournament, but unfortunately for Giang his run has finished just short of the cash on this occasion.
Giang was all in preflop for his last 65,000, as was David Ulliott for around 30,000 more as Matthew Wheat took at shot at eliminating them both.
Both short stacks nodded in approval at the flop. The on the turn didn't change much, but the river was the to give Devilfish trips and the pot to double up. Giang departs as Ulliott is up to 210,000 chips.