And down the stretch they come in the 50th annual World Series of Poker Main Event.
Only 35 players remained at the noon start of play Friday from a field of 8,569 in the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold’em World Championship at the Rio Convention Center.
Play will continue on Day 7 of poker’s most prestigious tournament until the field is pared down to the final table of nine, all of whom will take home a seven-figure payday, with $10 million for first place, $6 million for second and $4 million for third.
Englishman Nick Marchington entered Friday as the event leader after bagging 39.8 million in chips at 2 a.m. in his first Main Event. According to The Hendon Mob poker database, Marchington’s only career cash was for $12,415 on June 23 for placing 19th in the WSOP’s $800 buy-in No-limit Hold’em Deepstack 8-Handed event.
“I could never have imagined it, but here I am,” said Marchington, who increased his chip stack to 64 million by 2 p.m. Friday.
Timothy Su of Boston, Massachusetts, began Friday in third place after busting accomplished poker pro Sam Greenwood on Day 6 in arguably the most memorable pot of the tournament.
Su, a first-time Main Event entrant who has $2,467 in total live earnings compared to Greenwood’s $18.7 million, went all-in after the turn on an open-ended straight draw. Greenwood, who had pocket aces and made two pair with jacks on the board, called and was an 82 percent favorite to win the hand. But he was eliminated on a painful bad beat when Su caught a king on the river for a straight.
After an off day Saturday, the Main Event will resume at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and the final table of nine will play until six players remain. The field will be cut to three players on Monday, with a new champion to be crowned Tuesday.