Each year at the World Series of Poker, over 6,000 players enter the main event with the dream of reaching the final table and becoming one of the November Nine. By the third day of play, those dreams are crushed for thousands of those players.
The 2011 event has not been much different. Thousands of players have been eliminated, so many, in fact, that only 357 players remain. That leaves just enough players for each to think they have a legitimate shot at making the final table and coming back to Las Vegas in November.
With only three days of play left before the action is tabled until November, Manoj Viswanathan, from the US, is in the best position to secure a November Nine seat. The chip leader, Viswanathan is holding over two million chips. Pius Hines is second, and French player Stephane Albertini sits in third.
The action has been hot and heavy here at the Rio, and fans have received their money’s worth. The big names have mostly been knocked out, but there are still a few lingering that could make a run at the most coveted bracelet in sports. Ben Lamb, who held the chip lead for much of the early stages of the tournament, has dropped in rank.
Eli Elezra is the top professional currently playing, holding on to sixty-ninth place. In the next tier down is Allen Cunningham, and then below that is the player most fans are watching and rooting heavily for, Daniel Negreanu.
Negreanu has been one of the most recognizable names in poker for several years. With frequent appearances on televised tournaments, Negreanu has become a household name. If he can turn his 500,000 chips over a couple of times, he may find himself in the spotlight again come November.
Play is continuing on Saturday afternoon, before the remaining participants get a day off on Sunday to rest. Play will then resume on Monday, and on Tuesday, the players will continue until the final table is reached.