We’ve lost Ted Forrest and Noah Schwartz already (Forrest out to Schwartz who then busted himself against Justin Bonomo), but the big news is Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer, a huge crowd favourite, has taken the chip lead from Isaac Haxton after a monster all-in pot.

Raymer had just lost a big pot when he doubled up Justin Bonomo, but then this happened: Haxton raised to 225,000 and Raymer made the call, putting on his trademark glasses. The flop came 9♠6♥5♠, Haxton checked, then moved all for 2,560,000 when Raymer bet 400,000. Call…

Raymer: 6♣6♦
Haxton: J♥J♦

The Fossilman was a mile ahead with a set of sixes, and needed to dodge one of two remaining jacks. The turn was 5♥ and the river K♦, giving him a huge double up and the chip lead with 5.7 million. Haxton, who first learnt to play poker five years ago, slips down to 3,825,000.


Isaac Haxton, left, and Greg Raymer

Forrest busted in ninth for $230,317 when his 10♥J♦ failed to overtake Noah Schwartz’ 3♠3♣ on a 9-K-2-8-4 board. Soon after, Schwartz himself busted for $246,834 when his A♥K♦ ran into Greg Raymer’s pocket aces.

Chips in level 25, blinds 40,000-80,000 (10,000). Seven players left:

Greg Raymer, Team PokerStars Pro, 6,410,000
Vitaly Lunkin, 4,340,000
Justin Bonomo, 3,795,000
Isaac Haxton, Pokerstars player, 3,405,000
Daniel Stern, 3,115,000
Lex Veldhuis, Team PokerStars Holland Pro, 1,660,000
Alec Torelli, 1,555,000
Noah Schwartz, $246,834
Ted Forrest, $230,317


Past world champions are now gathering and being presented to the crowd for the start of the first Champions Invitational, playing a two-day freeroll for ultimate bragging rights, and a restored 1970 red Corvette. It’s currently on display in the Rio – a fine machine, but one, I suspect, Greg Raymer, would have trouble being comfortable in.

Not that it’s a major issue right now – he’ll be blinded off in the Invitational while he continues the hunt for his second bracelet in the $40,000 event.

We’re well represented in this star-studded event. Along with Raymer (2004), we have two other Team PokerStars Pro past world champions in Joe Hachem (2005) and Chris Moneymaker (2003), as well as Friend of PokerStars Tom McEvoy (1983).


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