The 2011 World Series of Poker is down to its final two summer days. Today marks Day 7 of the marathon Main Event, and just 57 players of the 6,865 who started have been lucky enough to make it this far.
Some would argue there's no luck involved. Take Ben Lamb, for example, who's been in and out of the chip lead for the bulk of the last two weeks. He's already racked up five cashes, three final tables, and a bracelet at this Series, and he very clearly has his sights fixed on bracelet number two. With his run yesterday, he overtook Phil Hellmuth for the lead in the Player of the Year race once again, and he finds himself second in chips with 9.8 million as he starts the sprint down the home stretch.
All we can ask for are some good stories to come out of the final days of the Main Event, and so far, it has not disappointed. We've got four members of Team PokerStars left, and one of them already has some Main Event history in his bloodline. Australia's Tony Hachem — brother of 2005 champ Joe — will join Sebastian Ruthenberg, JP Kelly, and Team Onliner Andrew Brokos in sporting the starred-spade patches at the tables today. Some of the other notables left include two-time bracelet winner Minh Nguyen, Dutchman Ruben Visser, Erick Lindgren, David Bach, Bryan Devonshire, and WSOP Circuit National Champion Sam Barnhart. A bit closer to the top we find Bryan Devonshire (5.97 million), Phil "USCphildo" Collins (7.42 million), and Matt Giannetti (7.94 million) as well.
Another noteworthy pair of players in the field: Doc Sands and Erika Moutinho. Sands has three deep WSOP cashes to his credit this year, and a bit more laddering in this Main Event will push him up over $1 million in cashes for his career. Moutinho is our last lady standing, an impressive accomplishment in itself. She's only got one prior cash at the WSOP, but she's got a good mentor showing her the ropes right now — her boyfriend, Doc Sands. We're likely to learn more as the event presses on, but it's quite amazing to have a couple still left standing together in the top 1% of this field.
All those players — 57 in total — will return to the Amazon Room today at noon for the penultimate day of this little game of high-stakes chicken. The schedule for the day has not been disclosed yet, but we'll go out on a limb and guess we'll play four levels or down to 18 players, whichever comes first. More info to come on that as soon as it's made available to us.
For now, you can peruse the seat draw and the chip counts posted below, have a look at a few photos, and maybe watch some of the work our video team has been doing this week. In order to keep you from wandering off, here's one to get you started, Kristy Arnett's June 18th update. We'll see you back here at noon local time for the start of Day 7.