WSOP 2011: Field unites as the run for the money begins


So you think players use a rest day to rest? While the universal day off came after six full days of play at the Rio, in Las Vegas, that constituted only two days at the tables for the remaining 1,865 players. How much rest could you possibly need?

Ask the 5,000 players already eliminated from the main event if they'd skip rest to be still playing, to a man and woman they'd no day suggest playing through the night if it got them their seat back. And, at least one main event player was keeping her eye in yesterday, skipping a lazy day by the pool to indulge in the $50 Treasure Island nightly tournament. They were defeated in that fairly swiftly. Perhaps they wanted to practice their elimination walk?

The blog team may have done no better in that event, but it was only ever going to be a day of waiting; waiting for the final push that in six days will leave just nine players. A lot of stories will march out of the Rio, out of Las Vegas and back home, to be prattled at home games and in supermarket queues for the foreseeable future, but there is only one story to world really cares about, and the next week of play will determine exactly what that is.

That said there should be a few morsels worth discussing today, with four levels of play schedule, devided in a lopsided fashion by a two hour dinner break, starting after two and a half levels at 5.25pm.

Chip leader Ben Lamb

If you didn't already know, Day 3 represents the first time the playing field will be united, together in the same room (make that two rooms). Before they all start asking "who's that guy?" this might be a good time to recap who's actually winning:

1. Ben Lamb - 551,600
2. Kevin Saul - 542,200
3. Aleksandr Mozhnyakov - 478,600
4. Ryan D'Angelo - 462,300
5. Tuan Vo - 434,500
6. Guillaume Darcourt - 410,500
7. Nicolas Fierro - 405,000
8. Narendra Benwari - 404,800
9. Stephane Albertini - 400,100
10. Dong Yang Yan - 383,400

It's worth noting that despite competing in a field of thousands up to now chip leader Ben Lamb has kept that lead through two days, having led at the end of Day 1A. Usually, we say good bye to early chip leaders pretty fast. It'll be interesting if Lamb remains up top when chips are bagged-up tonight.

From the ranks of Team PokerStars Pro the stand out player is Sebaswtian Ruthenberg on 289,400, with the likes of Tony Hachem (245,100), Martin Hruby (185,800), Victor Ramdin (172,400), Humberto Brenes (157,900), Tom McEvoy (143,600), Fatima Moreira de Melo (116,800), Daniel Negreanu (114,100) and Joe Cada (111,000) all sitting with six figures worth of chips.

That's not all of them: JP Kelly (99,400), Sandra Naujoks (86,800), Christophe de Meulder (60,300), Noah Boeken (51,800), Dennis Phillips (44,800), Vanesas Rousso (41,000) and Jason Mercier (34,400). Bringing up the rear, and carrying our every confidence of success, is Leo Fernandez (4,800).

Their fates could be decided today as we expect the dreams of around 1,000 players to be extinguished by the close, at least for another year.