When the day began in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller tournament, we weren’t even sure who was going to collect a payday. Now that the day is over, we know which players are guaranteed seven figures and have narrowed down the field of potential champions from 26 to 4. There are still some unknowns though that won’t be answered until Saturday, most notably whether or not Antonio Esfandiari can pull off the improbable back-to-back victories in One Drop events.
Day 3 of the One Drop High Roller began on the money bubble with 26 players and 24 paydays up for grabs. Haralabos Voulgaris made the first exit of the day, setting up a lengthy bubble period that ended in dramatic fashion as Yevgeniy Timoshenko doubled up in one hand, only to bust in the very next hand when his aces failed to hold against Matt Glantz’s flush draw after they got it all-in on the flop.
Once the bubble burst, the pace of play sped up a bit as players like Dan Shak (23rd), Jason Koon (21st), Phil Laak (19th), Daniel Alaei (17th), and Mike Sexton (16th) hit the rail. Sexton’s in the money finish made him one of two players to cash in both the Big One for One Drop and the One Drop High Roller, the other being Esfandiari. However, as the final two tables neared the final table, where the seven-figure paydays lurked on the horizon, things slowed down once again.
As players fought tooth and nail to stay in this tournament, the blinds started to catch up with them. Eventually, players had to find a hand and take a stand, leading to the exits of folks like Matt Glantz (13th), October Niner Jeremy Ausmus (12th), and final table bubble boy Olivier Busquet (9th).
The final table featured two gold bracelet winners, five poker pros, and three recreational poker enthusiasts. Former Main Event final table bubble boy Brandon Steven began the day near the top of the counts, but ended it in seventh place, while Richard Fullerton exited in fifth, leaving Bill Perkins as the last amateur in the field. Meanwhile, two-time bracelet winner Nick Schulman and European pro Martin Jacobson finished in eighth and sixth places respectively.
He may be short on experience, but Perkins will be returning on Saturday with more chips than his professional competitors. Perkins is a venture capitalist and a film financier who has a chance to add “bracelet winner” to his resume, as he will be coming back with 14,700,000 chips for the final day of play on Saturday. Perkins doubled through Esfandiari on the penultimate hand of the evening when is prevailed over Esfandiari’s pocket sevens.
Esfandiari, meanwhile, will come into Saturday as the shortest stack with 9,200,000. Even though he is technically the short stack, he has certainly been in this position before and found success. In addition to the One Drop title, Esfandiari also has two other bracelets and more experience than the two young pros who will also be back in action tomorrow.
Both Chris Klodnicki and Anthony Gregg have yet to put a bracelet on their wrist, but both are formidable players with plenty of tournament experience. Just last year, both made deep final table runs, with Gregg finishing fourth in the Four-Handed No Limit Hold’em event and Chris Klodnicki taking second to Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi in the Poker Players Championship.
Gregg and Klodnicki will come back Saturday with relatively comparable stacks of 13.9 and 12 million chips respectively. The final four are closely packed in the counts and, while each are guaranteed at least $1,433,438, they will all be battling for that $4.8 million first place prize and the bragging rights that come with topping one of the toughest fields of the year.
We’ll have all the action from the final four available on WSOP.com tomorrow both via hand-for-hand live updates and our livestream coverage with hole cards and commentary on a 30-minute delay. Be sure to tune in, check it out, and see which player wins the bracelet and the massive payday.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments for when final table play resumes at 1pm PT Saturday:
Seat 1: Antonio Esfandiari – 9,200,000
Seat 2: Anthony Gregg – 13,900,000
Seat 3: Chris Klodnicki – 12,000,000
Seat 4: Bill Perkins – 14,700,000
Here are the results so far in the $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Rollers event:
5th: Richard Fullerton - $1,066,491
6th: Martin Jacobson - $807,427
7th: Brandon Steven - $621,180
8th: Nick Schulman - $485,029
9th: Olivier Busquet - $384,122
10th: Lawrence Greenberg - $384,122
11th: Connor Drinan - $308,622
12th: Jeremy Ausmus - $308,622
13th: Matt Glantz - $251,549
14th: Martin Finger - $251,549
15th: Blake Bohn - $208,968
16th: Mike Sexton - $208,968
17th: Daniel Alaei - $173,723
18th: Andrew Lichtenberger - $173,723
19th: Phil Laak - $173,723
20th: Shaun Deeb - $173,723
21st: Jason Koon - $173,723
22nd: Farshad Fardad - $173,723
23rd: Dan Shak - $173,723
24th: Steve Gross - $173,723