Way back during the afternoon, a couple of hours before play began, the tournament staff and television crew were readying for another night staging the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event final table.
In front of the stage was a tall ladder, almost reaching the ceiling from which lights shone down on the table and surrounding area below. Someone — possibly your humble scribbler, I cannot recall — might have tweeted a photo of the ladder along with a note.
“Readying for 2nd day of #WSOPMainEvent final table. Looks like staff expects short stacks to try to ladder up.”
Somehow the tweeter was allowed to survive.
Speaking of survival…
The preponderance of short stacks coupled with the massive payouts — with the jumps getting bigger with each elimination — meant there’d likely be multiple all-ins early tonight.
While leader Scott Blumstein came back to almost half the chips in play with seven left, four others returned to stacks worth less than 20 big blinds.
One of those players was John Hesp, but like he did yesterday he began today getting involved and winning pots early, claiming the first two pots of the night.
Another early hand involved Blumstein, Pollak, and Piccioli, with the four short stacks on the sidelines watching. In that one Piccioli picked up a decent pot after making quads — three queens on board and one in his hand — and he showed after a river bet went uncalled.
Another half-hour passed, with Antoine Saout open-shoving twice and getting no callers. Dan Ott did it once, too, then pushed all in again as a reraise-shove over a Benjamin Pollak open, and after a long tank Pollak folded.
Blumstein pushed all in a couple of times as well, both open-raises from the small blind with Saout in the big. The Frenchman folded the first, but called the second, tabling K♥Q♥ versus Blumstein’s 8♦7♠. Two queens on the flop furthered Saout’s lead, and by the turn it was over with Saout back up close to 30 BBs.
Damian Salas got involved exactly once, losing a few chips after defending his blind then folding a flop, and he is now down under 10 million as the level is nearing its close.
After nearly an hour seven still remain. No one has cashed, which means no one has moved up a rung on the payouts just yet.
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.