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WSOP What To Watch For: Ivey Leads Event #24; Grospellier, Katchalov Go for Gold in Event #23

Phil Ivey

Two more events moved to their third and final day of play on Tuesday. Day 2 was completed in both Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em — Six-Handed and Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better. In Event #23, 18 players remain including Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov, and in Event #24, Phil Ivey found himself atop the final 27. Those three are the focus of this edition of the PokerNews What To Watch For.

Event 23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em — Six-Handed

Two Friends Both Chasing Second Gold Bracelet

There is certainly plenty of firepower left in the final 18 in Event #23. Two of the most dangerous players left in the field are very good friends and also both WSOP gold bracelets holders. Grospellier and Katchlov both won gold last year at the 2011 WSOP. They also both won seven card stud events to get their hardware. Grospellier won Event #21: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship and Katchlov earned his in Event #5: $1,500 Seven Card Stud.

These two players are no secret to the poker world and have a laundry list of accomplishments to go along with their bracelet wins, but like any competitor out there, they're never going to settle. Both of them want bracelet No. 2, but unfortunately only one of them can earn it in this event. Both will begin Wednesday's Day 3 in this event at separate tables, which means they won't have to duke it out at the start, but that could change throughout the day and will be very interesting to keep an eye on.

One thing is for sure, and that's that Katchalov will have a bit more work to do than Grospellier as he enters the final day with just 84,000. That's the short stack of the tournament, with everyone else having more than double what he has. Grospellier begins the day in a bit better position, sitting sixth overall with 487,000.

Event #24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better

Looks Who's Back On Top: Phil Ivey

Here at PokerNews, we're beginning to wonder when Ivey sleeps — or if he does. The guy never seems to stop, ever. He's constantly running around the Rio from event to event and no matter what, he's always a force to be reckoned with.

On Tuesday, Ivey was involved in three separate events. In Event #24, Ivey has maneuvered his way to the top of the leaderboard with 27 players left. Another Day 3, another cash and another chip lead for Ivey. Now we're just wondering when he's going to win another bracelet.

Whether it's the bracelet bets, the fact that Phil Hellmuth just won his 12th piece of gold, or simply the money that's driving Ivey, the fire is in his eyes like never before. It's almost as tough he feels the need to make up for the lost time he suffered by opting to sit out the WSOP last year. With Ivey being deep in events day after day, there's an extra bit of electricity in the Rio every day. He seems to be making a new final table every other day at the WSOP and we're just waiting and watching for him to snatch up his ninth gold bracelet.

As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2012 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.

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