Merson, Sylvia and Balsiger Still In The Hunt For WSOP Gold
Greg Merson, Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger became the last three players in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event last night after a brisk seven-and-a-half hour session in the Penn and Teller Theatre whittled the final table down to the podium finishes.
Of the three it is the highly-fancied Merson who holds the most chips on 88.35 million, with Sylvia bagging up 62.75 million for the night and Balsiger bringing up the rear with 46.87 million, but with the blinds at 300,000/600,000/a75,000 there is still a lot of poker left to play.
When the final table began last night it took some 30 hands for viewers to witness the first casualty as a monster pot saw Steve Gee three-barrel pocket eights into the pocket queens of Russell Thomas to see him depart in 9th and he was followed out of the door by Robert Salaburu in 8th.
Michael Esposito then fell in 7th place after his dominated ace lost out to the ace-king of Merson, while a huge all-in pre-flop clash saw the final table’s sole European Andras Koroknai six-bet all-in with king-queen only to be looked up again by Merson holding ace-king as he busted in 6th place.
Final table short-stack Jeremy Ausmus then departed in 5th after his open-ended straight draw failed to get there against the top pair of Jesse Sylvia, but he did successfully ladder his way to $2,155,313 in prize money before Thomas became the final player of the night to bust at the hands of Balsiger.
With all three players now nursing comfortable stacks it should be an entertaining finale when play resumes today, but one person will be sweating the result more than most as WSOP Player of the Year frontrunner Phil Hellmuth looks on knowing that a win for Merson would see him finish 2nd.
Find out if he can fade the sweat when play resumes at 5:45 Vegas time today.