You can’t exactly prepare for Day 7 of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The final day of play before the final table is a high stress situation unlike anything else in tournament poker. The day begins with 27 hopefuls who have already battled their way through six days of play and thousands of opponents to get this far. For one-third of them, this is the last step before the elusive October Nine. For most, it will be a heartbreaking day where they come so far only to end up just short of the life-changing final table.
Tonight on ESPN from 9:30pm-11:30pm ET, the madness that is Day 7 gets underway. For now, French-Canadian Marc-Andre Ladouceur is the man to beat. The Montreal poker player hasn’t experienced Day 7 before, but last year he did make it all the way to Day 6 before busting out in 63rd place. Will this be a tale like that of Matt Affleck, who made it to this point only to come up short? Or will this be a Ben Lamb-like story of a guy who got a second chance at final table glory and got there?
Ladouceur, like the other players in the Day 7 field, will have to dodge a lot of landmines. Unlike the early days of action where players have room to bounce back from their mistakes, one bad call or one failed bluff is all it takes for these players to go from big stack to busto. Bracelet winners Greg Merson and Steve Gee know how to dodge these pitfalls, but one spot of bad luck or good luck is all it takes to seal their fates.
Day 7 of the Main Event is unique, but this Day 7 stands out among others in recent memory because of one—make that two things. Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann are the final two woman in the field. The last time two women finished in the top 27 in this tournament was in the pre-Moneymaker era. Kathy Liebert and Annie Duke made it to the top 18 in 2000 when the field was 512 players. To see two women this late in the game in a field ten times that size is an unprecedented feat. Will that unprecedented feat translate into a lady making the October Nine? Tune in tonight and find out.
And don't forget that you could be sitting where these players are this time next year thanks to our Watch and Win contest. Tune in at 9:30pm tonight, keep your ears out for the special code from host Lon McEachern and log onto the WSOP.com free play site to enter the code and enter your name in our drawing for a free seat in the 2013 Main Event. Terms and conditions of the contest are available on WSOP.com.
Don't forget to play along as well with the new WSOP ACTV8 app that allows you to basically play along with the WSOP, guessing flop colors, putting players on hands, and offering up your insight on all aspects of the Main Event. The app is available on Apple through the iTunes store.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect tonight on ESPN:
Photo by Eddie Malluk for PokerNews/WSOP