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2012 43rd Annual World Series of Poker

Saturday, July 07, 2012 to Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Event #61: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT - World Championship

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  • Buy-in: $10,000
  • Prizepool: $62,031,385
  • Entries: 6,598
  • Remaining: 0
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10/29/12 10:35:46 PM PDT
Merson, Sylvia and Balsiger Three-Handed for the Gold

Greg Merson holds the lead

Day 8 of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event and the first night of the final table is in the history books, and play only took approximately seven and a half hours. The final three players moving to tomorrow are Greg Merson, Jesse Sylvia and Jake Balsiger.

With high expectations, this final table didn't disappoint. Although the action seemed to get off to a slow start, it only took 30 hands before the first player hit the rail, and that was former WSOP bracelet winner Steve Gee. He was eliminated in a spectacular hand against Russell Thomas where Thomas called Gee's river shoved on a board of      . Thomas held the    to beat Gee's    and send him to the rail.

Next out the door was Robert Salaburu. He called all in from the big blind after Sylvia shoved his big stack from the small blind. Sylvia held the    against Salaburu's   . Sylvia hit a queen on the river, and eliminated Salaburu from the field.

Michael Esposito fell in seventh place at the hands of Merson. He got the last of his money in dominated with the    versus Merson's   . The flop, turn and river ran out      , and Esposito was eliminated.

Then, it was the lone non-American to hit the rail in sixth place. Andras Koroknai became the first Hungarian player to reach the WSOP Main Event final table, but he won't become the first Hungarian to win the gold as he got a little too frisky with his stack. Koroknai six-bet all in holding the    after Merson had five-bet. Merson called with a dominating    and held as the board ran out      .

When the final table began, Jeremy Ausmus was the short stack and the only player under 10 million. He battled his way all the way down to five-handed play, but that's where his run would end. On a board of     , Sylvia checked, and Ausmus fired 1.5 million. Sylvia check-raised to 3.6 million, and Ausmus moved all in for around 14.5 million. Sylvia called with the    for two pair, nines and threes. Ausmus needed help holding the   , but had plenty of outs to a straight or a ten. The river completed the board with the  , and that ended Ausmus' run.

Thomas was then eliminated in fourth place to set the stage for the final day of play. He got all in preflop with the    against Balsiger's   , and once again it was the short stack who held a dominated hand. After the board came      , Thomas was left with fourth-place money and a ticket out the door.

Tomorrow's final day of play will see the 2012 WSOP Main Event champion crowned, and it will be Merson who takes the chip lead into action. He bagged up 88.35 million, while Sylvia is in second place with 62.75 million. Balsiger will be bringing up the rear with 46.875 million, but this is really anyone's ball game.

The action is scheduled to kick off at 5:45 PM local time tomorrow, so be sure to tune right back in to PokerNews for all of the action. Until then, good night from Las Vegas!

10/29/12 10:15:18 PM PDT
Chip Counts
Greg Merson88,350,000-75,000
Jesse Sylvia62,750,000-75,000
Jake Balsiger46,875,00016,050,000
Russell Thomas0-15,900,000
10/29/12 10:13:23 PM PDT
Russell Thomas Eliminated in 4th Place ($2,851,537)

Russell Thomas is interviewed by Kara Scott after busting in 4th.

Hand #135:

Jesse Sylvia was on the button, and the action folded to Russell Thomas, who raised to 1.5 million from the small blind. Jake Balsiger moved all in from the big blind for effectively 15.825 million, and Thomas tank-called.


Balsiger's rail exploded at the site of his hand, and became even louder after the flop fell    . Thomas could double with a nine or running straight or flush cards.

The   took away a lot of Thomas' outs, but he could now chop with any queen or eight.

The river was six-sided, but the   eliminated Thomas in fourth place. He'll take home $2,851,537.

10/29/12 10:08:34 PM PDT
Chip Counts
Greg Merson88,425,0002,025,000
Jesse Sylvia62,825,000-675,000
Jake Balsiger30,825,000-75,000
Russell Thomas15,900,000-1,275,000
10/29/12 10:07:33 PM PDT
Hand #134: Merson Limps the Button

Greg Merson had the button. He limped in, then Jesse Sylvia completed from the small blind. Russell Thomas was in the big blind and checked to allow for a three-handed flop of    . Sylvia and Thomas checked before Merson bet 1.2 million. Sylvia folded, and Thomas also gave it up.

10/29/12 10:04:40 PM PDT
Hand #133: Walk for Sylvia

Jake Balsiger had the button. Jesse Sylvia received a walk.

10/29/12 10:03:29 PM PDT
Hand #132: Russell Thomas

Russell Thomas started this hand with the button. He raised and won the pot.

10/29/12 10:03:16 PM PDT
Hand #131: Greg Merson

Jesse Sylvia started the hand with the button. Greg Merson was first to act, and opened to 1.2 million. Jake Balsiger defended his big blind, and the flop fell    . Balsiger checked, Merson fired 1.6 million, and Balsiger folded.

10/29/12 10:00:36 PM PDT
Hand #130: Jake Balsiger

Greg Merson started the hand on the button. Jake Balsiger raised to 1.2 million from under the gun and Russell Thomas called from the big blind to take a     flop. Thomas checked, and Balsiger bet 1.5 million. Thomas folded.

10/29/12 09:57:36 PM PDT
Chip Counts
Greg Merson86,400,0000
Jesse Sylvia63,500,00020,575,000
Jake Balsiger30,900,000-1,275,000
Russell Thomas17,175,000-2,575,000
Jeremy Ausmus0-16,725,000
10/29/12 09:57:33 PM PDT
Jeremy Ausmus is Eliminated in 5th Place ($2,155,313)

Jeremy Ausmus shakes hands with Jesse Sylvia.  Ausmus was busted in 5th place by Sylvia.

Hand #129:

Jeremy Ausmus had the button, and opened to 1.2 million. Jesse Sylvia defended his big blind, and the flop fell    . Both players checked.

The turn was the  , Sylvia checked, Ausmus fired 1.5 million, and Sylvia check-raised to 3.6 million. Ausmus tanked, then moved all in for around 14.5 million. Sylvia instantly called.


The spectators in the Penn & Teller Theater rose to their feet when the cards were turned over, Ausmus' rail calling for a six or a jack, and Sylvia's rail yelling "Hold!"

Sylvia held as the   spiked on the river, and his rail erupted. Ausmus will take home $2,155,313 for his fifth-place finish.

10/29/12 09:50:32 PM PDT
Hand #128: Jesse Sylvia

Jake Balsiger had the button. Jesse Sylvia raised from under the gun and took down the pot.

10/29/12 09:48:39 PM PDT
Hand #127: Jesse Sylvia

Russell Thomas started the hand with the button. Jesse Sylvia opened to 1.3 million, Thomas called from the small blind, and the flop fell    . Both players checked.

The turn was the  , Thomas checked, Sylvia bet, and Thomas folded.

10/29/12 09:45:00 PM PDT
Hand #126: Jesse James

Jesse Sylvia had the button. He opened to 1.3 million, and won the pot.

10/29/12 09:43:44 PM PDT
Hand #125: Greg Merson

Greg Merson had the button. He raised to 1.2 million and won the pot.

10/29/12 09:42:32 PM PDT
Chip Counts
Greg Merson86,400,000-2,325,000
Jesse Sylvia42,925,0002,925,000
Jake Balsiger32,175,0003,450,000
Russell Thomas19,750,000-2,925,000
Jeremy Ausmus16,725,000-1,125,000
10/29/12 09:42:23 PM PDT
Hand #124: Blind vs. Blind

Jeremy Ausmus had the button. Greg Merson completed from the small blind, Jesse Sylvia checked, and the flop fell    . Both players checked.

The turn was the  , Merson led for 900,000, and Sylvia called.

The   completed the board, Merson checked, and Sylvia fired 1.75 million. Merson released, and Sylvia picked up the pot.

10/29/12 09:38:28 PM PDT
Hand #123: Jacob Balsiger

Jake Balsiger started this hand with the button. From the cutoff seat, Russell Thomas opened with a raise to 1.2 million. Balsiger reraised to 2.7 million, and action moved back to Thomas. He called.

The flop came down    , and Thomas checked. Balsiger fired 1.8 million, and Thomas folded.

10/29/12 09:35:22 PM PDT
Hand #122: Jesse Sylvia

Russell Thomas started the hand with the button. Jesse Sylvia opened to 1.4 million from the cutoff, and won the pot.

10/29/12 09:34:07 PM PDT
Chip Counts
Greg Merson88,725,00075,000
Jesse Sylvia40,000,000-2,925,000
Jake Balsiger28,725,0007,500,000
Russell Thomas22,675,000-1,200,000
Jeremy Ausmus17,850,000-3,450,000

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