The PokerNews What To Watch For brings you the top stories to keep an eye on heading into the final playing days for 2012 World Series of Poker events and we've got our biggest story yet. Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth have made Day 3 of Event 15: $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better and are well in contention to get the gold. On top of that, Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout has reached its final day and a few players are worth keeping an eye on.
Event #15: $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better
Welcome Back, Mr. Phil Ivey
Last year, Ivey skipped out on the WSOP due to a boycott because of the Full Tilt Poker situation. This year, he's back and playing more events than may seem possible, but he's doing it. Ivey just locked up his first cash of the 2012 Series in Event #14, but he's not quite done yet in Event #15.
Ivey still remains in the final 19 of the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better event. He will enter Day 3 sixth in chips overall with 234,000 and has been toward the top of the counts since Day 1. For most of Day 2, Ivey held the chip lead, but he was overtaken by a few players in the later hours of play on Thursday.
Hellmuth Chasing 12th Bracelet
In this event last year, Phil Hellmuth placed second, and this year he's looking to better that finish with a win. If Hellmuth is able to score first place, he'll be awarded an unprecedented 12th WSOP gold bracelet.
Entering Day 3, Hellmuth is right behind Phil Ivey in seventh place. Even with the powerful field that still remains, the Poker Brat side of Hellmuth has been out in force and it will be fun to watch his run from here on out.
Monnette Tries for Back-to-Back
John Monnette took down Event #10: $5,000 Seven Card Stud just a few days ago to claim his second WSOP gold bracelet. The day after, he was right back in action in Event #15 and will be looking for the back-to-back performance.
Entering the final scheduled day of play, Monnette is second in chips and playing as well as anyone. Coming off his recent win will surely have his confidence high, so he's going to be one tough roadblock for all of his opponents.
Event #14: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
Will it Be Number Seven for Flack?
Not many people know that Layne Flack has won a whopping six WSOP gold bracelets. He's through to Day 3 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout thanks to winning his first two tables and can now really look toward grabbing a seventh piece of gold. Only Billy Baxter and Men "The Master" Nguyen have seven bracelets; six others have more than seven. It would put Flack in extremely elite company if he's able to go on and win the gold.
Madsen Rides Birthday Wish to Day 3
It was Jeff Madsen's birthday on Thursday and the poker gods gifted him the present of making Day 3. He'll be seated at the second table in the field and with 12 players remaining and the newly-turned 27-year-old will be aiming to win his third WSOP 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.