Eight players will make a run for the bracelet and $425,594 first-place money in Event #31, $5,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold 'Em. Three rounds of action on Wednesday reduced the field from 64 to eight.
The final eight, along with today's early match-ups, are as follows:
Toto Leonidas vs. Daniel Schreiber
Shannon Shorr vs. Vanessa Selbst
Steve Sarrafzadeh vs. Keith Block
Mark Muchnik vs. Jared Davis
Paul Wasicka very nearly made the final eight before busting out to Vanessa Selbst's two pair. Both players limped in, with Wasicka holding and Selbst . The flop came , and Wasicka checked. Selbst bet 12K and Wasicka check-raised to 30K, which Selbst re-raised to 85K. Wasicka went all in with his last 190K, Selbst called, and Wasicka needed help. The turn came , the river , leaving Wasicka's kins beaten and making him the official ninth-place finisher ($23,030). Selbst eliminated Layne Flack (61st) and Peter Jetten (23rd) on the day before sending Wasicka out.
Keith Block's good fortune helped him oust Jason Glass in tenth place. In the previous round, Block sent Kyle Wilson out in 24th place by making a full house after starting with A-Q; here, against Glass, he went all-in on A-8 against Glass's kings and rivered quad eights to take control of the match. Glass pushed all in on the next hand with pocket tens against Block's pocket aces. The flop delivered and Glass screamed, "Who the hell flops quad aces?" as he collected $23,030.
Toto Leonidas knocked out Nick Niergarth in the fifth round before eliminating Michael Pickett to make the final eight. Leonidas moved out to a dominant lead before Pickett doubled through twice to make it a match before Leonidas finished it off. The final hand saw Leonidas's A-Q hold up over Pickett's Q-10, and Pickett took 11th place.
Shannon Shorr sent Carmel Petresco to the rails by filling a flush draw and cracking Petresco's pocket aces. Petresco finished 12th after eliminating Jean Kabbaj and Tony G earlier in the day. Shorr outed Matthew Giannetti in the fourth round, then pushed Alex Bolotin out in 26th place before beating Petresco to make the final eight.
Curt Kohlberg and Phil Gordon both met their demise at the hand of finalist Jared Davis. Gordon fell in the fifth round (25th place) when he went all in on pocket eights and ran into Davis' two pair. Kohlberg, who earlier in the day defeated Aaron Been, was bounced in 13th place when he pushed all in on a Q-J and couldn't improve to top Davis' pocket jacks.
Scotty Nguyen quickly defeated Nashaat Antonius in the fifth round, but ran into heavier competition with Mark Muchnik. Nguyen was trailing Muchnik by 100k when Nguyen caught two pair to double through. Then, on an all-in, Nguyen flopped two pair, only to see Muchnik catch a runner-runner straight to send Nguyen out in 17th place. Muchnik then went on to oust Kevin Song, earning his place in Thursday's final eight.
Daniel Schreiber was responsible for Jennifer Tilly's (48th) and Carl Olson's (31st) exits in Rounds 4 and 5. Jonah Rogers was next in line for Schreiber. The final hand saw Schreiber crack Rogers' with a modest when the flop came for trips. Schreiber bet his trips, and Rogers moved all in, which Schreiber called. The turn and river gave Schreiber a full boat and the knockout.
Steve Sarrafzadeh defeated Alex Brenes (39th) and Philippe Boucher (27th) before topping Thomas Wahlroos in the sixth round. Wahlroos defeated Roman Paradiso in the fifth round. Sarrafzadeh dominated through most of the match, then finished Wahlroos off when he caught a 6 pair his A-6 and overtake Wahlroos' A-10, leaving Wahlroos in 14th place with $23,030.
All 64 players who entered Wednesday's action cashed. Play will resume at 2pm PDT. Visit PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #31, $5,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold 'Em for the latest reports.