- The structure continues to wreak havoc: Chris Bigler and I discussed the blind structure, and we agreed that the jumps are too severe. The third level today makes a 36% jump from the second level and a 58% jump over the first four hours.
- Payouts continue to impact play: This isn't new news, but everyone continues to look at the board, the payout form, and then decide if it's worth playing a hand. For the short stacks, the jumps can be significant, and it will just get more significant after each person drops out. Payout currently is at $47,006 for 134th, but the first real jump is at 81st for $65,973; 72nd is $90,713 and 63rd is $123,699.
- We have a chip leader: Jamie Gold at $3.7M is 57% higher than 2nd place Max Reele. Yesterday, there was an error in the seating assignments and Gold was alone at a table. There won't be any errors with him today. This still isn't too significant yet as we have 20 players with more than $1M in chips and four with $2M. The field is continuing to be skewed with a majority of players below average in chips. Only 48 players are above average.
- The field shrinks even more: Look for the field to continue to consolidate rapidly, probably heading down to 45-60 players. More than likely, there will be a day off prior to the Final Table.
- Top pros have a chance. Anyone who has survived has a great chance to reach the final table. Humberto Brenes is the odds-on favorite to get there, although he has some work ahead of him. Annie Duke and Prahlad Friedman look very strong as well. The best player in the field has to be Allen Cunningham. He starts at $503k after being low the entire day. He's the dark horse to win this thing.
- Double through or double up. Most of these players seem to have no fear doubling someone up once they're in a pot. Look for major chip swings to continue.
Top Tables to Watch (chip average)
- Table 138 ($963k): Jamie Gold's table is the one to watch, as he'll have a 3:1 chip edge over Brian Hansen. Can Gold keep these chips, or will he spread the wealth?
- Table 118 ($655k): Allen Cunningham and Prahlad Friedman sit here, with Friedman having more than twice as many chips as anyone else.
- Table 148 ($382k): No one has chips here, and some of these players have nursed short stacks for literally days. The longer they're here, the more cash they have to carry out.
- Table 145 ($924k): Humberto Brenes joins six players with $800k or more, so there should be some nice accumulation of chips here.
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