Dan Shak has a pack-and-a-half-a-day Tic Tac habit, and that caused some concern from the television staff as he took his seat. They informed him that he's not allowed to have anything on the table, and a few players raised half-serious questions about the "chark" that Humberto Brenes uses to cap his cards and intimidate would-be callers.
"What about 'the chark'? You can just discriminate against Dan Shak," Scott Seiver piped up with a laugh.
For now, Shak appears to be hiding his Tic Tacs behind his stack of chips, and Brenes' trademark card capper will likely be allowed to stay as well.
Everyone's seated and unbagged, and they're posing for a group shot right now. Cards should be flying in just a couple short minutes!
We're back inside the cavernous ballroom inside the sprawling Atlantis Resort on the sandy strip of land known as Paradise Island.
From a starting field of 32 entries, our final eight players will return to the main featured table to crown a champion in the $100,000 Super High Roller.
Galen Hall is doing his part to make some more history here at Atlantis, and his big stack of 1.748 million chips makes him the pacesetter for this finale. If he wins, he'll have to settle for a $1.25-million paycheck — about half what he earned for winning the Main Event here on the same stage last year. The eventual champion will also earn himself a one-off Shamballa bracelet worth more than $20,000.
Nothing will come easy today for any of our eight men. By now, they all know each other's tendencies rather well, and the level of play has been extremely high for the duration. You already know the other seven players joining Hall at the final table. Humberto Brenes min-cashed this event last year, and he's on pace for a repeat showing this time around, though he begins with the short stack of 343,000 chips. Mike "Timex" McDonald is next up from there with 360,000, and Scott Seiver is the other one below the chip average with 556,000.
The other five are all chip millionaires right now. Below Hall are a pair of Canadian Team PokerStars Pros — Jonathan Duhamel (1.336 million) and Daniel Negreanu (1.23 million). Next down the list is Viktor Blom with 1.228 million, and Dan Shak rounds out the top five after a late-Day-2 charge put him up to 1.199 million. Here's that info in graphical form for your enjoyment:
Mike "Timex" McDonald
Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
Play is set to get under way in just about 15 minutes, but you know how these things go when television is involved. The players are just trickling into the room, and we'd expect a delay of a few minutes before the cards go flying.
Either way, it won't be long, and it's going to be fantastic!