Could they have finished the Main Event? With 45 players and a plan to play down to 27, it would be simple to blow through that barrier and finish everything today. Thankfully, play stopped after five hours - for the quickest day of the World Series.
Jamie Gold came in as the chip leader at $7.3M and left with $13M. He had some sick hands as he built those chips. Kevin Aaronson raised to $90k, then Gold made it $300k and Brian Hansen called. Aaronson got out of the way, and the flop came . Gold announced he was all-in, and Hansen instacalled with pocket 10's. Gold turned over red aces, the turn of the brought a straight board but the knocked out Hansen (42nd, $247,399) and built Gold's stack even more. Gold would bet at pots and show hands to folds often, flipping over pocket 10's twice and A-Q once. Two hands after Hansen's exit, Aaronson again raised it $90k with Gold and Robert Betts calling. The flop came , and Gold led out from the small blind with $200k. He told Hansen that he shouldn't call, yet he did call as Aaronson folded. The hit the turn, and Gold again moved all-in only to be instacalled by his opponent. Gold had A-K for top two pair, dominating Betts' A-J two pair. The on the river sent Betts out (38th). Those two pots put Gold up to $13.5M that quickly.
Humberto Brenes didn't have chips for three days, and today was no different. He ended up moving in with and Ricki Nielson had no decision to make from the big blind with pocket kings. An unnecessary straight for Nielson meant Brenes was out (36th, $329,865).
Rhett Butler from Rockville, Maryland, came into the day with $3.2M in chips. One key hand got him significantly up. After Butler limped, Siddharth Jain raised to $120k and Butler called. The flop came , and both players checked. The came on the turn, and Jain bet $160k after Butler checked. Butler called, and the river brought the Q . Jain bet $210 after a check, and Butler called assuming he was beaten with his . Jain only had pocket 10's, and Butler moved up to $6.5M. "I played solidly and didn't give my chips to anyone," said Butler. "Everyone was gambling so much, I thought just playing solid was the way to go." He's 4th in chips at $6.4M.
Erik Friberg literally came out of nowhere, making a huge run from $650k heading into yesterday to $5.9M when he left. The 23-year old qualifier from Sweden held his own with Allen Cunningham and ended up 2nd in chips with $7.7M. David Einhorn more than doubled his stack in these five hours, moving from $2.8M to $6.9M. Two of the toughest players left, Jeff Lisandro and Prahlad Friedman, tangled on the ESPN Feature Table through the day. They often made plays at each other; for example, Friedman raised with on the river with a board of . Both survived the day.
Allen Cunningham started out 33rd in chips out of 45. He won a huge pot against Erik Freiberg, betting $800k at a $1M pot on a board of . Freiberg called and then mucked when Cunningham flipped over for the bottom set. That put him over $3M, and he ended the day at $2.65M.
Everyone will get plenty of rest tonight as action starts Tuesday at noon Pacific. Check back frequently for more insight and up to date reports. You can always see the latest action at Quest of a Closet Poker Player.