The penultimate day of the 2014 WSOP Main Event is scheduled to start with the number of players down to two-digits. What started as a field of 6,683 players has now been reduced to just 79. These 79 survived the longest day of the tournament so far, as some extra time was added to make up for time lost in all the bubble shenanigans.
There were 291 players with chips at the start of play yesterday, but more than 200 of them hit the rail before the evening came to an end. The bustouts included billionaire David Einhorn, who was fighting a tough battle to stay alive until his luck eventually ran out and he was unable to match his 18th place finish from 2006. Keeping him company on the rail are many other big names, perhaps most notably Griffin Benger, who had been among the top stacks at the dinner break yesterday but finished in 90th place. Jeff Madsen, Jared Bleznick, Mukul Pahuja and Brian Townsend also failed to make it to the chip bagging stage.
The title of ‘man of the day’ easily went to Mark Newhouse. A November Niner last year, Newhouse entered the final table as the short stack but couldn’t progress past 8th place. This year he is clearly looking to improve on that run. Although not the chip leader currently, Newhouse’s stack of 7.4 million is slightly more than what he had going into the final table last year.
Keeping him company at the top are Kyle Keranen, Scott Palmer, Bruno Politano and Dan Smith. Others still in the mix include Martin Jacobson, Isaac Baron, Brian Hastings and Bryan Devonshire. If Newhouse is to improve on last year’s success, he will have to get past some very serious competition to do so.
When play finished yesterday, one woman remained in the field. That young lady was none other than Maria Ho. Sadly, the Heartland Poker Tour commentator will not be taking a seat at the final table, as she was eliminated shortly after play began today.
Tonight, players will play for either five and a half levels or until just 24 remain. It is hard to predict which will come first, as anything can happen. Generally speaking, this Main Event has been played at a relatively fast pace so far, but that also means that it should slow down at some point. Either way, by the last river we will have a short list of names that will be coming back tomorrow to fight for their seat at the final table.