Just five remain with a shot at the next PokerStars Championship High Roller trophy. A total field of 110 entries meant a $1 million-plus prize pool, with the majority of it -- about two-thirds -- still up for grabs.
With the chip advantage to start play today is no surprise. A quick scan of Steve O'Dwyer's results shows no less than seven previous first-place finishes in tournaments with "high roller" in their names, including two at PCAs (a $50K and a $100K), one at EPT Prague (a $50K), and one at EPT Malta (a $10K).
O'Dwyer nearly added another high roller trophy to his collection here a week ago when he finished fourth in the $50K Super High Roller won by Ben Tollerene. A win today would add another nice chunk of change to the 34-year-old's $16.3 million in tournament winnings.
Nearest to O'Dwyer in chips to start today will be the 30-year-old Canadian Francois Billard. The 30-year-old pro from Quebec has more than $1.1 million in tournament earnings himself, nearly half of which came for a third-place showing in the €10K EPT11 Prague High Roller in late 2014.
Also from Canada, Sam Greenwood began yesterday with the chip lead and ended in third position among the final five. He's cashed a dozen times in high rollers before, including earning some huge paydays for several runner-ups and a high roller win at EPT13 Prague on his way to more than $4.6 million in live earnings. Today he'll try to get a PokerStars Championship high roller trophy of his own and match the feat of his twin brother, Luc, who won the $25K High Roller to conclude PokerStars Championship Bahamas in January.
Next in line chip-wise is Chris Hunichen, an American pro from North Carolina who has already cashed four times here in Panama over the last week-and-a-half, including making three other final tables. With a ton of online success to go along with more than $1.37 million in live cashes, Hunichen -- like the others still remaining -- has finished well many times before.
Rounding out the final five and returning to a short stack is the lone red-spade sporter left, Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos. Lasting to fourth would earn the Brazilian his second-career six-figure cash, and getting further will represent a career-high score and a big addition to the more than $1.3 million in live earnings he has already accumulated.
Here's a look at how the chips stack up to start the day:
And here's a reminder of what the final five are playing for (in addition to that shiny trophy, of course):
Cards go in the air at 2 p.m. local time, and we'll be looking in here at PokerStars Blog to let you know how this one sorts out... and whether anyone can catch O'Dwyer.
Meanwhile don't forget to check our coverage of the Main Event, also playing down to a winner today.
For live updates from the $10K High Roller, visit PokerNews.
Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship Panama and all other Festival and Championship events.
Also all the information is on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS.
Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.