WSOP 2014: Play continues as 79 turns to 27

It's the nature of the game that as things progress towards the business end of the tournament, its most exciting stage, the corridors become emptied of the bustle that once marked the start of the main event. Players busted just yesterday are probably already home, thousands of miles away from this place that serves as the centre of the poker world.

After a late finish yesterday the World Series of Poker Main Event field was slimmed to just 79 players, each player staggering out of the Amazon Room and to a bed close by for whatever rest they could manage before resuming this afternoon. At stake a place in the penultimate day of the biggest game in town.

Mark Newhouse is on an incredible run. He led coming into today with 7.4 million chips, remarkably that amount being a shade more than the size of stack he took to the November Nine late last year. It would be an incredible achievement if he were to make back to back November Nines, something that's never been done before.

As play began though it was Kyle Keranen who was moving up the chip counts, with more than 8 million chips. As we reported yesterday Martin Jacobson remains in the field, as does Yorane Kerignard and Vitaly Lunkin. They'll head the Europeans tilting at a return trip to November.

Kyle Keranen_2014WSOP_EV65_Day5.jpgCurrent chip leader Kyle Keranen

In the meantime, as they play on at the Rio, a different event will be taking place downtown this afternoon, as the poker community unites to pay tribute to the late Chad Brown. We'll be reporting on events there on the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter. Photos by Joe Giron and Jayne Furman/Poker Photo Archive