Out of the starting field of 108 competitors, 26 will return to the Rio at 2 p.m. Wednesday in an attempt to earn a seat at the final table of nine players in the World Series of Poker’s $50,000 buy-in Players Championship.
The current leader is Viktor Blom of Sweden with 1,262,000 in tournament chips. David Oppenheim of Calabasas, Calif., is second with 1,165,000 million.
The winner takes home $1.45 million, a gold bracelet, and earns his name on the Chip Reese Trophy.
The Players Championship is considered the second-most coveted event at the World Series of Poker, behind the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship, which is often referred to as the Main Event.
Among the players still in contention for one of nine final table seats includes Michael Mizrachi of Miami, the 2010 winner of the event; Andy Bloch of Las Vegas, the event’s runner-up in 2006; and Lyle Berman, the CEO of casino company Lakes Entertainment.
Phil Ivey, who has reached five final tables at this year’s World Series of Poker, is still in contention in 19th place out of the 26 players. Phil Hellmuth Jr., a 12-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner, and last year’s Players Championship runner-up, enters Wednesday in 26th place.
On Tuesday, defending champion Brian Rast was eliminated along with noted professionals Matt Glantz, Patrik Antonius and Huck Seed.
The Players Championship requires participants to play a rotation of eight poker variations — Limit Hold’em; Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or better; Seven Card Razz; Seven Card Stud; Steve Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8 or Better; No Limit Hold’em; Pot Limit Omaha; and 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball.
The top 16 places will cash in the event. The final table will be played out on Thursday.