A total of 78 players -- all survivors of six days' worth of poker -- arrived at noon today with hopes of continuing their long and winding tourney journeys. They were the final standing from the starting field of 7,319, and all had already achieved much.
But all wanted more. And just 27 would earn the right to come back tomorrow for the last day of poker this summer in the 2010 WSOP.
Bustouts began shortly after cards went in the air, with Jean-Robert Bellande, Meenakshi Subramaniam, David Benyamine, Peter Jetten, Alexander Kostritsyn, and Tony Dunst among those departing during the first levels.
The pace slowed as the dinner break approached, and with 42 left it was thought it might take a while before we'd get down to three tables.
But then came the fireworks of Level 29 -- specifically the last hour of Level 29, when 11 players were eliminated. It didn't take long after that for Theo Jorgensen, Gianni Direnzo, and Bryn Kenney all to hit the rail, too, each earning $255,242 for getting this far.
As the night wore on, Joseph Cheong and Soi ("Cuong") Nguyen put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field, but there's a formidable bunch behind them, among them Matt Affleck, John Racener, Scott Clements, David Baker, and Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi. Mizrachi took some hits early today, but true to his name, grinded his way back into contention, and still (incredibly) has a chance of tying Frank Kassela for WSOP POY with a Main Event victory.
Thanks for following our coverage today. Join us again tomorrow at noon Vegas time to find out who among these 27 will emerge as this year's November Nine.
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