Note: The accompanying photo shows Erika Moutinho, the only female player still remaining in the WSOP Main Event. A few minutes shy of the mid-day break on Monday evening, she ranked 27th in chips out of 32 remaining players.
Las Vegas, NV (July 18: 18:15 PST) -- Day Seven of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship began as a crisp new 57-player deck.
The deck was packed with aces and kings. There was only one queen. There were even a few jokers in the pack.
After nearly six hours of play during Day Seven -- which included three levels -- the poker deck has been shuffled and reshuffled again and is now down to just 32 remaining survivors.
The survivors have all come so far -- both in terms of the cities and countries where they're from and what they've accomplished in what amounts to the biggest poker game of their lives. A massive tournament field that began nearly two weeks ago with 6,865 players from 85 different nations has now been reduced to 34 aspiring champions with their eyes on the ultimate prize – poker’s world championship, a gold and diamond bracelet and $8,711,956 in prize money.
The mid-day chip leader is Matt Giannetti (Las Vegas, NV). He has been relatively quiet until very recently when he doubled his stack size from about 7,500,000 to more than 16,000,000 and rocketed up into the lead early during the third level of play. He is a 26-year-old poker pro and a graduate of the University of Texas.
Very close behind is Ryan Lenaghan (New Orleans, LA). He catapulted into the chip lead during the previous day and was one of only two players with in excess of ten million in chips. He continues to wield a gigantic-sized stack that has drawn the attention and envy of every poker player. No doubt, Lenaghan is enjoying the his greatest rush ever in a poker tournament. Almost everything hand he's played over the last two days has added more chips to his impressive stack, which now nears 16,000,000.
Closing in on the chip leaders is Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK). He currently ranks in third place. Lamb is perhaps the hottest poker player in the world at this moment. He won a gold bracelet three weeks ago, and now has 1st, 2nd, 8th and 12th place finishes at ths year's WSOP. Now, he appears destined to make a very deep run in the Main Event, which would wrap up one of the best WSOP showings in recent memory. It's also no surprise that no matter where Lamb finishes in the Main Event, he is guaranteed to leave Las Vegas as the 2011 WSOP "Players of the Year" point leader.
Other notable Day Seven developments as of the mid-way point included the elimination of a few notable players. Former WSOP "Player of the Year" and gold bracelet winner from 2008 Erick Lindgren (Las Vegas, NV) went out in 43rd place. Another former gold bracelet winner who hit the rail was David Bach (Athens, GA). He took second place in the last tournament before the Main Event started and added a 45th-place finish in the Main Event to what has been a very impressive year at the WSOP. Adding his name to the list of eliminated players was Tony Hachem, from Australia. Hachem, the brother of 2005 world champion Joe Hachem, exited in 37th place.
Some notable names that remain very much alive in the Main Event include – Ben Lamb (Tulsa, OK), Bryan Devonshire (Henderson, NV), Sam Barnhart (Little Rock, AR), J.P. Kelly (Aylesbury, UK), John Esposito (Las Vegas, NV), Steve Brecher (Reno, NV) and others.
Erika Moutinho (Easton, CT) remains as the only female still sitting in the Main Event. Her goal will be to become only the second female in history to make it to the Main Event final table. Barbara Enright, who finished fifth in the 1995 world championship is the only woman in history currently with that distinction.
Based on payouts, every player remaining in the tournament is now guaranteed to receive at least $242,636 in prize money. Once players reach 27th place, the money guarantee increases to $302,005. A complete list of PAYOUTS can be seen at WSOP.COM.
Day Seven includes two more full levels of play, which is four total hours of competition. Play is expected to conclude at 12:45 am (PST). Players who survive Monday’s session will then come back on Tuesday, which promises to be a thrilling partial-conclusion to what has been a record-smashing WSOP.
RESULTS, LIVE UPDATES, and CHIP COUNTS for all remaining players can be seen at WSOP.COM.