The atmosphere has changed inside the Amazon Room.
Gone are the swarming fields of randoms and westward-bound summer vacationers here to take their shots at a quick cash score. What was once a tight squeeze with 121 tables packed into this room is now a nearly-empty chasm of dim lights and empty floor space. Just seven tables are left on the main floor, and the rest of the vacant space will soon be filled by throngs of spectators and media elbowing to catch a glimpse of the action. Fifty-six bracelets have been divvied out over the last seven weeks with WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela greedily taking two for himself. That leaves just one piece of diamond-studded jewelry in the display case, and it's the single most prized possession in poker. The World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet awaits, and the honor of hoisting it will be bestowed on one of our final 78 players. Oh and then there's almost $9 million up for grabs too...
Theo Jorgensen has thus far done his part to secure a seat at November's final table. He's well out in front of the peloton with 9.295 million chips, but it would be a serious blunder for him to relax now. There are still two long days of poker to be played before the summer recess, and only the nine most skilled and luckiest in our remaining field will be around in the fall to play for it all.
There's danger lurking in the waters below Jorgensen, too; Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi is in second place and hungry for his second bracelet of 2010 as well. If he can manage that, it might be one of the more impressive feats in poker when combined with his victory in the $50,000 Players' Championship earlier this year. John Racener and William Thorson are both forces to be reckoned with in the top ten as well, and Matt Affleck has a good stack deep in the Main Event for the second consecutive year. He was out on Day 6 last year, though, and he's already improved upon that performance and put himself in a good spot to make Day 8 and beyond.
We're just a few minutes from action, so don't wander off. The race to 27 is here!