Photo Caption:  Always a clown at heart.  Guy Laliberte has never forgotten his roots.  The founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil who created “Big One for One Drop” among many other philanthropic projects initially started his career as a performer.  Remarkably, he’s very much alive as one of the final eight players, who will take seats at the final table of what is the richest finale in poker history.  If ever there was must-see poker, this is it.  (Photo by Jay WhoJedi Newnum)
 
To see more photos from the 2012 WSOP, please visit the official WSOP PHOTO BLOG.


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DAILY HEADLINES

Big One for One Drop Down to Final Eight
 
Finalists Each Guaranteed at Least $1.2 Million – But Shooting Much Higher for $18,346,673

Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett atop the Poker’s Richest Pyramid

Top Pros Go Down in Flames in Big One – Final Table Includes Four Pros Versus Four Non-Pros
 
Neil Willerson Takes Late Lead Over Vladimir Mefodichev in Event #53 – Heads-Up Finale Continues Tuesday

 
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THE FINAL EIGHT IN THE BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP

Meet the eight finalists of the Big One for One Drop:

SEAT 1: Guy Laliberte – The creator and CEO of famed Cirque du Soleil takes a seat in the extraordinary event he inspired to create. There’s something poignantly ironic about Laliberte taking “Seat One” at the Big One for One Drop. The 52-year-old executive and philanthropist from Montreal, Quebec starts final table play ranked in third place – with 21,700,000.

SEAT 2: Brian Rast -- The two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner from Las Vegas is here to add to his list of prestigious titles -- including last year's Poker Players Championship.  Rast, age 30, comes to the final table ranked in fourth place, with 11,350,000

SEAT 3: Phil Hellmuth -- The most storied poker player in WSOP history won his 12th gold bracelet at this year's WSOP.  He holds virtually every record in the book, including the 1989 World Championship.  Hellmuth, at age 47, currently resides in Palo Alto, CA.  He is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.  Hellmuth begins play ranked fifth place -- currently with 10,925,000.

SEAT 4:  Antonio Esfandiari -- "The Magician" is a WSOP gold bracelet winner in addition to the chip leader coming into the final table.  The 33-year-old Las Vegas poker superstar has 39,925,000 in chips and is the man to beat today.

SEAT 5:  Bobby "the Owl" Baldwin -- The 1978 World Champion owns four WSOP gold bracelets.  He's a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.  The 62-year-old resident of Las Vegas is the President and CEO of City Center in Las Vegas.  He begins play ranked eighth in chips, with 7,150,000.

SEAT 6:  Sam Trickett -- The 26-year-old English poker pro is one of the highest-stakes gamblers in the world.  He is arguably the king of the British poker scene.  Trickett seeks his first WSOP gold bracelet today, and is in great position to achieve a monumental victory -- currently ranked second in chips with 37,000,000.

SEAT 7:  Richard Yong -- The 54 year-old poker player and businessman spends much of his time in Macau and China.  He's also philanthropist as well as one of the most revered gamblers in Asia.  Yong is seeking his first WSOP victory and begins this finale ranked in seventh place with 7,475,000 in chips.

SEAT 8:  David Einhorn -- The hedge-fund investor and financial mogul lives in Westchester County, NY.  He's been here before, finishing 18th place in the 2006 Main Event Championship, the biggest poker tournament of all time.  Einhorn donated all of his $600,000 in winnings to the Micheal J. Fox Foundation.  The 43-year-old titan of finance begins this final table ranked in sixth place, with 8,375,000.

Final table play begins on Tuesday at 12:45 pm (PST) at the Rio in Las Vegas.  Coverage can be seen in the U.S. exclusively on ESPN2, ESPN, ESPN3, the mobile Watch ESPN App, including here at WSOP.com.  Final table action will be broadcast on ESPN.
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WSOP QUESTION OF THE DAY
 
Question of the Day:  Part 1 -- Name the four women who have won multiple WSOP gold bracelets.  Part 2 -- Name the only two women in history who have won multiple gold bracelets in open events.

 
Answer coming in tomorrow’s WSOP Daily Shuffle.

Yesterday’s Question of the Day:  Aside from the United States, which nation has produced the most WSOP gold bracelet winners?  
 
Answer:  it is probably no surprise that Canada ranks second to the U.S. in the number of WSOP titles -- with 31 (at present).  Ranking third is Great Britain -- with 25.

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CORRECTION
In yesterday’s Daily Shuffle, it was reported that Sunday was the first time in history that two women had won gold bracelets on the same day.  In fact, that happened once before, in 2004.  I regret the error.  
 
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DAY 34:  THE WSOP TODAY – TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012

9:00 AM
Today’s first tournament is a $75 buy-in TURBO MEGA-SATELLITE.

12:00 NOON
EVENT #57, the $10,000 buy-in SIX-HANDED NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM Championship begins with Day One play.  Registration will be available up through the completion of four levels, plus two breaks, which is estimated to be about 4:40 pm.  Action takes place inside Brasilia.  This is a three-day event.  Last year’s similar tournament drew 498 entrants.

EVENT #57 UPDATES can be followed at WSOP.com.  Coverage includes chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at PokerNews.com.

The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #57 can be viewed HERE.
 
1:00 PM
 
EVENT #55, the $1,000,000 buy-in “BIG ONE FOR ONE DROP” (NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM) tournament, continues with the play of Day Three – including the final table.  Action takes place inside Amazon.  This is a three-day event.  There are eight players remaining from a starting field of 48.  Antonio “the Magician” Esfandiari is the current chip leader. This marks the first time this event has ever been played.
 
EVENT #54, the $1,000 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with Day Three – including the final table.  There are 15 players remaining from the starting field of 3,221.  Will Jaffe is the chip leader with 1,947,000.  Chip counts can be found here.

EVENT #56, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with Day Two.  There are 305 players remaining from the starting field of 2,798.  The top 297 finishers will make the money.  Donald Vogel is the chip leader.  Chip counts from the end of the first day of play can be found here.

2:00 PM

EVENT #53, the $1,500 buy-in NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament continues with (unscheduled) Day Four – including the final heads up match.  There are two players remaining from the starting field of 3,166, Neil Willerson and Vladimi Mefodichev.  Chip counts from the end of the second day of play can be found here.

The first DAILY DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $235. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 4:20 pm.

2:20 PM
Two players will be honored at the official gold bracelet ceremony today – Yen Dang (winner of Event #51) and Vanessa Selbst (winner of Event #52).

4:00 PM
The first MEGA-SATELLITE begins. The entry fee is $330

5:00 PM
EVENT #58, the $3,000 buy-in POT-LIMIT OMAHA tournament, begins with the play of Day One.  Registration will be available up through the completion of four levels, plus two breaks, which is estimated to be about 9:40 pm.  Action takes place inside Brasilia.  This is a three-day event.  Last year’s similar tournament drew 500 entrants.

EVENT #58 UPDATES can be followed at WSOP.com.  Coverage includes chip counts as well as written updates supplied from the tournament floor by our friends at PokerNews.com.

The official Structure Sheet for EVENT #58 can be viewed HERE.

6:00 PM
The second DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins. The entry fee is $185.  Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 8:20 pm.

8:00 PM
The second MEGA-SATELLITE of the day begins. The game is No-Limit Hold’em (Note: This event regularly features different games – so be sure and check the schedule in advance). The entry fee is $550.

10:00 PM
The third and final DEEP STACK NO-LIMIT HOLD’EM tournament begins at 10 pm. The entry fee is $135. Registration is open for four (30 minute) levels, plus one break – which means until about 12:20 am.

3:00 AM
All WSOP gold bracelet tournaments end for the night.
 
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* Please note that all listed times are estimates and subject to change

-- by Nolan Dalla