The tension is at an all-time high in the midst of Day 8 of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event. With 15 players remaining, there are still 5005 possibilities for which group of players will earn the distinction of being this year’s November Nine with the chance to take home over 8.9 million dollars and the ultimate achievement in poker, the WSOP Main Event gold bracelet.

With Joseph Cheong and Soi Nguyen the dominant chip leaders heading into the final day, it could be assumed that at least one of those final nine spots were a lock. But, this is poker - and in this sometimes unforgiving game, even (or especially) a dominant chip leader is not immune.  Cheong, a 24-year-old Korean-born poker pro experienced this truth in brutal fashion during a hand against Italian pro Filippi Candio in which both players saw a flop of      . After Cheong bet out 1.5 million, Candio raised to 4.4 million before Cheong moved all-in. Candio called, putting his entire 12.1 million stack at risk. Candio turned over    , pairing his 5, but was floored to see Cheong reveal pocket aces.

What happened next was nothing short of incredible. After an   on the turn, a   completed the miracle straight for Candio, who exploded in a bout of celebration, while Cheong sunk back in his seat, forced to ponder his own mortality while counting out his remaining chips. The 25 million chip pot elevated Candio to the top of the leaderboard with 26 million while Cheong assumed his opponent’s former chip position with about 13 million.
The current chip leader is Canadian Matthew Jarvis with more than 32,000,000.

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, who has had a phenomenal 2010 WSOP, is still in alive although he is near the bottom of the leader board with 3,210,000 in chips. The announcement of this year’s Player of the Year has been put on hiatus as Mizrachi has a chance to tie Frank Kassela for the honors with a win in the Main Event.

The only other player with Main Event final table experience that is still alive, is Hasan Habib, a WSOP gold bracelet winner who final tabled this same event in 2000.

Day 8 play will continue until this year’s November Nine are determined.  The remaining 15 players are guaranteed at least $500,165 in prize money. Follow the remaining day’s action online right here on WSOP.com