With the elimination of Ryan Schimidt in 8th place, the 2009 UltimateBet.com Aruba Poker Classic unofficial final table is set and for a third straight day it's Robert Mizrachi holding the chip lead. In fact, Mizrachi never slipped out of the top three spots all day. He finished the day with 1.977 million.
Thirty-six players walked into the tournament room yesterday, including the champions of the past two years: Travis "TravestyFund" Rice and Matt Brady. Both players were eliminated, ensuring that a new champion will be crowned at the 2009 Aruba Poker Classic. Matt Vengrin, Howard "Tahoe" Andrew and Zachary "CrazyZachary" Clark were also eliminated today.
Joining Mizrachi at the final table is 2009 World Series of Poker double-bracelet winner Brock Parker, as well as another 2009 WSOP bracelet winner, Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin. Each has more than a million chips.
Perhaps the most dramatic hand of the day came with 12 players left. Three players built a massive pot before the flop, culminating with the all-in of Jose Roberto Santos for 335,000 chips. He was looked up by both David Perkins and Brandon Hall. Santos was at risk with and found himself up against pocket queens and pocket kings! With a great crowd of Santos' cheerleaders shouting at the dealer, she ran out a gasp-inducing board of .
The ace on the flop sent Santos charging to the rail and into the arms of his supporters as they erupted in hysterical celebration. The cheering party of about 20 ran a lap around the room before their man returned to his chair to rake in his chip-leading pile of 1.1 million chips. Santos tumbled down the board for the rest of the day, though, finishing up as the short stack with 211,000.
The official chip counts and seat assignments:
Seat 1: Chase Steely - 1,293,000
Seat 2: Jose Roberto Santos - 211,000
Seat 3: Brandon Hall - 442,000
Seat 4: Brock Parker - 1,241,000
Seat 5: Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin - 1,573,000
Seat 6: Robert Mizrachi - 1,977,000
Seat 7: Matt Ross - 301,000
The final table tomorrow will be held outside on a stage that has been set up over the pool. Play will begin at 12:00 p.m. local time, so make sure to be back here at PokerNews to follow the coverage as the next Aruba Poker Classic champion is crowned!