WSOP 2012: Selbst leads Magnificent Seven as main event bubble looms
For the first time in the Main Event, the field was united today, and it was good to have the field all under one roof. It was just a shame the time they had together didn't last very long.
The rate of attrition today surprised most, not least those whose title dreams were turned to dust. You'd be forgiven for thinking that, with a price tag so high, a player would think twice about moving all-in with aces, lest they be outdrawn. But if that's the case it played no part in a volatile five hours of play, with 719 of the 1,765 players who returned today, exempt from spending their Friday on a trip home.
The survivors are not out of the woods just yet, with players unused to such a weighty business end of a tournament facing the most important days of their lives - at least where mortgage payments and family bills are concerned.
Those in that long column of defeated souls tramped back up the hallways, mobile phones to ears, to the taxi lines and check out desks of the Rio may have had it easy compared to those who tomorrow will bust within sight of a payday. Only 666 will be paid, few enough to cause a few sleepless nights tonight.
But among them will be several key figures in the Team Pro line-up, the "Magnificent Seven" you might say, who booked their place in one of the most exciting days on the poker calendar.
Nobody would be surprised to know that leading them is Vanessa Selbst.
Selbst earned her second career bracelet this summer and has featured among the leaders of the main event this week, as though she still had anything left to prove. There is no more feared a player right now than Selbst who, in form, continues to dominate, bagging up more than 800,000 tonight, good enough to sleep soundly.
Joining her tomorrow will be six other Team Pros made up of Selbst's good friend Liv Boeree, who rampaged through the field today. Daniel Negreanu faced set back after setback today but rallied well enough to reach Day 4, as did Salvatore Bonavena, Jan Heitmann, Marcel Luske and the always dangerous Jason Mercier.
Among those busting today were seven of the Team Pros who started. We say goodbye to Barry Greenstein, Victoria Coren, Toni Judet, Eugene Katchalov, reigning champion Pius Heinz, De Meulder and Juan Manuel Pastor.
The reigning champion: Pius Heinz
If you happened to miss any of our stories from today's play the links below should get you up to speed.
We continue tomorrow on what will be Day 4 of the Main Event, in which the majority of those returning will reach the money. Naturally that means some will leave empty-handed and you can find out which when coverage resumes at noon PT on Friday. Don't be late.
Until then, it's good night from Las Vegas.