Boom, we finally have some factual information to give you. The number 431 is indeed a good number for today's field as that many players turned up with $2,500 to wang on a tournament, as our British friends would say. Their entries have generated a prize pool worth $980,525. So close.
That money will be paid out across the final 42 spots with the bottom level being worth $4,853. The last three tables all make five figures, and the top three all earn six. First place? Just a cool $254,955 to go along with that bracelet.
A player from Table 135 (who we'll let remain anonymous) was just eliminated, and he came over near us to collect his phone from the wall outlet. "They finally donked me out," he lamented in a southern drawl. We did the polite thing and apologized, and he continued with the story. "They got four bets in preflop with ace-queen. Made the nuts against my ace-king. I hate limit poker. There's no edge. Nobody folds."
Three players each paid 400 to see the flop, and they all checked as it came . On the turn, Phil Hellmuth took the lead with a small bet of 300, and the player behind him quickly raised to 600. We double-checked the plaque on the table, and indeed we were playing no-limit. The third player folded, and Hellmuth open-mucked his , too. He's had just 1,050 chips left.
As we were writing that, Hellmuth got the rest of his chips in during razz. With a seven up, Hellmuth completed, and he got the rest of his chips in right there against Owais Ahmed.
Hellmuth had started with an unimpressive ( ) , and he sounded surprised as he announced, "Ooh, I paired!" Perhaps he hadn't looked yet. In any event, his board ran out ( ) / (), and he made a nine somehow. He was live on sixth street, but Ahmed ended up with to take care of Hellmuth.
On an flop, we watched a player check-call a bet of 650 from Rob Hollink (who appears to have been the preflop raiser). On the turn, the drew checks from both players, and Hollink was faced with a bet of 800 after the river. He called, and his opponent showed for the bluff. Hollink's was easily good, and it pushes his stack up toward the top of the pack.
Phil Hellmuth is down in the danger zone after an encounter with Owais Ahmed went south. It happened in triple draw, and it began with Hellmuth opening in middle position. Ahmed reraised, and Hellmuth called. Hellmuth took two cards and checked, and Ahmed bet after drawing one. Hellmuth snuck in a check-raise, and Ahmed reraised it right back. Hellmuth flatted and stood pat, and he'd end up check-folding to one more bet from Ahmed on the next round.
Hellmuth is down to 1,600 after that pot, and his chips move Ahmed up to 9,000.
We picked up a three-way pot just after the first draw where all three players took one card. The small blind -- a player we don't recognize -- led out with a bet, and both Dan Heimiller and Jeff Sarwer called to proceed. One card apiece again, and the small blind put out the big bet of 500. Heimiller threw in 600 chips, and it appeared he wanted to raise. He didn't, though, and Sarwer and the small blind both called. Heimiller patted and bet while the other two still needed one card. Sarwer folded his miss, and the small blind mucked as well, and Heimiller did them the courtesy of showing his as he raked in the chips.