PCA 2013: Danchev leads with 21 set to become eight

The story of the main event so far is the hand that took place in the closing stages of play last night. As the last three tables played out the final few hands of the day, two tables had finished and were bagging up when Patrick Kelly, an earlier chip leader and seemingly set to be one of the big stacks coming into today, blew up in the face of Dimitar Danchev. That would leave him with the shock lead, as we reported last night. It would leave Kelly dumbstruck and on the rail.

As Kelly walked off, his face unchanged from any of the three days of play that came before, the landscape he left behind had changed dramatically.

The trophy

Before three camera teams surrounded the action, Owen Crowe and Ryan Fair had been set to lead. Danchev crashed through both of them, totting up a stack of 4,080,000, significantly ahead of the field who will hope for their own Danchev moment today on the way to the final table. That will be the order today, the reduction of the field from 21 to just eight before play ends.

While Danchev holds top spot, at the opposite end of the chip count page is Mohsin Charania, with just 140,000 in front of him.

Moments before Kelly pulled his stunt, Charania, the EPT Grand Final winner, had been all-in with pocket queens against the pocket kings of Mikal Blomlie, the 2012 WCOOP Player of the Series. Both were evenly matched, but the blank board left Charania with around five big blinds and a potentially short day.

Charania though would probably count himself among those in the main event who may seek solace in the $25,000 High Roller event which starts today.

Won by Alex Bilokur a season ago, the High Roller marks the of the feature tournament of the week, with the televised final set to play out on Monday.

We'll have live coverage and feature articles from both events, as well as more news from the World Cup of Poker which concludes in typically vocal fashion today.

Sarah Grant and Brad Willis introduce the day...

For now attention turns back to the main event. Cards are in the air.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter