The Main Event Championship at Harveys Lake Tahoe is down to the final day, and soon – the final table.
Following two intense days of tournament action, the field has been trimmed from the record-setting start of 422 entries down to just 13 survivors.
Entering the third and final day of action, Cary Marshall (King Salmon, AK) stands at the current chip leader. When players bagged for the night at the conclusion of Day Two, he inched out Derrick Yamada (Sacramento, CA), who is currently ranked second. The remainder of the field is substantially behind and will have to make up ground on the third and final day to have any shot at victory.
Here's a quick glance at the remaining players and their end of day chip counts:
Cary Marshall -- 1,670,000
Derrick Yamada -- 1,585,000
Jesse Rockowitz -- 974,000
John Deng -- 803,000
Ping Liu -- 720,000
Shawn Van Asdale -- 650,000
William Chao -- 500,000
Samuel Mcgrath -- 331,000
Clint Baskin -- 286,000
John Song -- 279,000
Richard G Hanley -- 239,000
Narunat Pansuntorn -- 223,000
Prabhakar Thonduru -- 190,000
The Main Event began on Saturday, with two starting flights. The big turnout was the largest for any Main Event ever held at Harveys Lake Tahoe. Attendance up more than 20 percent over last year – from 327 entrants in 2011 up to 422 this year..
Many friends and colleagues agreed to meet at Lake Tahoe for this series, largely motivated by the area's natural beauty and variety of activities. An informal poll of the tournament room showed far more visitors who had come from far distances than in other years. No doubt, based on overwhelmingly positive feedback about Harveys and this Circuit stop, look for even bigger attendance here next season.
Here are some of the many highlights, so far:
-- Mark “Bonsai” Bonsack was eliminated late on Day Two. However, his cash in the Main Event marked his fifth time in the money at this series – more than any other player.
-- Gold bracelet winner David Williams decided to fly from Las Vegas to Reno at the last minute after having “a feeling,” according to his Twitter account. Unfortunately, the felling turnout out to be nothing more than an itch. Williams was eliminated during the middle of the first session.
-- The terrific trio of WSOP Circuit females fared poorly in the Main Event. Three-time gold ring winner La Sengphet went broke on Day One. Two-time title holder Loni Harwood busted in the first session, then did no better in the second, failing to cash. Kristin (Ting) Ho, fresh off her first WSOP-related final table appearance a few days ago also went out during Day One.
-- Former November and WSOP gold bracelet winner Niner Ylon Schwartz was one of those players who made his Lake Tahoe debut. Schwartz managed to cash in the Main Event (42nd place), and was most impressed with the casino and the area, vowing to return again. He was quoted as saying it had been hot at his home and wanted to come someplace cooler for a few days – so he chose Lake Tahoe.
-- WSOP gold bracelet winner J.C. Tran has been a regular here at Lake Tahoe just about every year. The Sacramento-based poker pro played in the Main Event this year, as well, but he was eliminated.
-- Two-time gold ring winner and WSOP gold bracelet champ Nick Jivkov traveled to Harveys for the first time from his home in Chicago. There would be no third gold ring for Jivkov. He came up short of the final table in each of his attempts here at this stop.
-- Two-time gold bracelet winner and longtime WSOP Circuit regular Howard “Tahoe” Andrew hoped to give headline writers a bonus with what could have been scribed, “Tahoe Wins at Tahoe.” Unfortunately, the super senior was eliminated during Day Two of the Main Event.
-- Last year's Main Event champion Bryan Schultz did not cash this year. However, 2006 Lake Tahoe champion Clint Baskin is still very much alive in the final 13.
The Main Event Championship continues Monday at noon. Live streaming broadcast coverage begins once the final nine players have been determined. Final table action will be broadcast on ESPN3. Viewers may tune in and watch coverage (with hold cards), anchored by commentator Bernard Lee and guest David Clark.