Wednesday was judgment day for the 22 players left in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. Eight would walk away empty-handed. Seven more would cash, but miss the final table. For a lucky seven though, the final table of this prestigious event would be their next destination, with a shot at the Chip Reese trophy and a seven-figure payday on the line.Things did not exactly go as planned though, and with eight players remaining at the end of the day, Thursday will be the day we find out which player bubbles the final table as well as which player is our new Poker Players Champion.What we do know is that play began with 22 with a 14-person money bubble. Before the bubble burst, players like David Oppenheim, Player of the Year contender Brock Parker, and Jason Mercier all hit the rail.The money bubble in this event burst when Elior Sion busted at the hands of Brandon Shack-Harris in a Seven Card Stud hand, ensuring the final 14 finishers a payday of at least $99,388. Two-time bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi was the first player to head to the payout desk, taking 14th. He was followed by 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel, who was unable to improve upon his eighth place finish in this event last year with 13th place. Matt Glantz managed to cash in this event for the third time, but his 12th place finish meant he would not be the first player to final table this event on three separate occasions.Todd Brunson and James Obst of Australia were the next to exit in 11th and 10th places, respectively, while bracelet winner Scott Seiver busted out in ninth place. From there, action hit a stalemate, going for almost three hours without an elimination. During that stretch, Brandon Shack-Harris went to work chipping up, moving from the middle of the pack to the chip lead with over 4 million chips.While there is a break in the action, here is a little bit of what you should know about each of our remaining players:Brandon Shack-Harris – It is a name you’ve read dozens of times if you’ve been following this year’s WSOP at all. This newly-minted bracelet winner is now at his fourth final table of the summer with a shot at overtaking George Danzer for the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year race. It won’t be an easy task though, as Shack-Harris will need to win this event in order to take over the top spot.Abe Mosseri – A bracelet winner and highly revered cash game player in the biggest mixed games, Mosseri started the day as chip leader and never saw his stack dip dangerously low all day. While most of his cashes come in big bet games and his bracelet is in Triple Draw, this is actually his first Poker Players Championship event final table. His best finish in this tournament prior to this year is 11th in 2010.
Frank Kassela – Our 2010 WSOP Player of the Year is the only person in this line-up with that title. He’s going for what could be his third bracelet in his first-ever PPC cash.
John Hennigan – The man known as Johnny World is final tabling this event for the second time in a row. After taking 12th in the 2012 PPC, Hennigan finished in third place last year, collecting over $685,000. Hennigan was heads-up for what would have been his third bracelet earlier this summer, but he lost to Ted Gillis in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event.Chun Lei Zhou – This is the first-ever WSOP cash for Chun Lei Zhou of Macau. The young player is the only non-American at the table and started eight-handed play at the bottom of the counts, but slowly worked his way up to end play in the middle of the pack.Jesse Martin – Yet another bracelet winner, Martin won his bracelet in the $10,000 2-7 Single Draw event just last year. This is his first cash in the Poker Players Championship.Melissa Burr – Like Brandon Shack-Harris, Melissa Burr is having a breakout summer. This would be her third final table appearance and fourth top ten finish. Moreover, she has also done something no woman has been able to do in this event prior to today—cash.Allen Kessler – The man they call Chainsaw has been at WSOP final tables before, but never in this event. Of those final table appearances, three are second place finishes and none are bracelet victories.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments for this year’s Poker Players Championship final table. Action gets underway at 2pm PT and live updates are available on WSOP.com:
Seat 1: Frank Kassela – 2,507,000
Seat 2: John Hennigan – 1,878,000
Seat 3: Allen Kessler – 439,000
Seat 4: Abe Mosseri – 3,485,000
Seat 5: Chun Lei Zhou – 1,389,000
Seat 6: Melissa Burr – 661,000
Seat 7: Brandon Shack-Harris – 4,101,000
Seat 8: Jesse Martin – 840,00