Friday saw another action-packed day at the Rio's Amazon Room as Event #24, $3,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low, continued with Day Two play. With 128 of 236 original entrants returning, this would be knockout day, as players positioned themselves for final-table seats.
Ted Forrest and Chip Reese were early bustouts, and they were joined in due time by Shahram 'Sean' Sheikhan, Paul Darden, Steve Zolotow, Annand 'Victor' Ramdin, Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer, David Chiu, John Phan, Rob Hollink and Tony G.
One touching story apart from the poker itself was that of 17-year-old Mitch Maxey, a brave teenager diagnosed with terminal cancer. Maxey continued his amazing weekend with poker's elite, invited to sweat Phil Ivey for a stretch of play. A day earlier, Maxey got a chance to play in a special tournament that featuring a table full of pros during the dinner break of that day's play.
The event's rapidly increasing blind structure was a hot table topic. According to Mike Matusow, once the limits hit 1,500-3,000, the odds aren't in the players favor. "I have double the average stack and that's only 12 bets," he said. Fellow pro Scotty Ngyuen also appeared frustrated and said, "This is the worst structure I've seen in poker."
Play slowed after the dinner break as the money bubble neared. Barbara Lewis jumped from near-elimination to make the money; down to 3,000 chips at one point, Lewis made a surge that pushed her all the way to 15th place, worth $7, 491. And with the elimination of 'Miami' John Cernuto in tenth and John Cutter in ninth, today's eight-player final table was set, with Eli Elezra leading the way. The seat assignments and chip counts for today's final table:
Seat 1: Russell 'Dutch' Boyd 170,000
Seat 2: George Hardie 182,000
Seat 3: Eli Elezra 303,000
Seat 4: David Sklansky 171,000
Seat 5: Scotty Nguyen 255,000
Seat 6: John Harkness 141,000
Seat 7: Thor Hansen 167,000
Seat 8: Marshall Ragir 28,000
Check back with Pokernews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #24, $3,000 Seven Card Stud High/Low. A first-place prize of $198,984 awaits the winner, with the action beginning at 3pm PDT.