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Benyamine Leads $50K Poker Players' Championship with 78 Left; Ivey and Hellmuth Fall

David Benyamine

It was an unusually slow day at the World Series of Poker on Monday. Only four events were scattered around the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and for the first time in more than a month no champions were crowned. Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em was scheduled to play down to a winner, but play was halted with three players remaining due to time constraints.

The big draw for spectators on Monday was Day 2 of Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship. Several big names hit the felt, including Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey, and at the end of the day only 78 players were still in contention.

The other two events in action were Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em.

Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 3 of Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em began with 25 players looking to secure a bracelet and a massive payday of $665,397. Jonathan Cohen led the remaining 25 players with 1,378,000 in chips when play began, but the field was still loaded with pros like Mike Watson, David Vamplew, Tyron Krost and Humberto Brenes.

Brenes was among the first to hit the rail, and Krost followed in 12th place. When Pete Males exited in 10th place, the final nine made their way over to the ESPN stage to play on the WSOP live stream. Still in contention were Watson, Vamplew, and Loni Harwood, the first woman to make two final tables during this year's WSOP.

Watson was the chip leader with five remaining, but he quickly went on a downward spiral and exited in fifth place, ending his attempt at winning his first gold bracelet. Harwood followed in fourth place when her {A-Clubs}{8-Clubs} failed to improve against Vamplew's {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}.

The talented Brit spiked a three-outer against Arttu Raekorpi to take the lead, and he had a chance to take complete control when he had aces against Brett Shaffer's queen-nine with Shaffer's tournament life at risk. But a {9-Hearts}{J-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} board gave Shaffer a full house, evening things up with the night coming to a close.

Play was halted after the 10th level of the day was in the books, and Vamplew holds a slight advantage over Shaffer for the lead.

SeatPlayerChip Count
2David Vamplew5,345,000
5Arttu Raekorpi2,055,000
9Brett Shaffer5,285,000

Play is set to resume at 1 p.m. local time with the three remaining players playing down until the Event #53 champion is crowned. Be sure to join the PokerNews live reporting team for the unscheduled Day 4 on Tuesday afternoon.

Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em

For the second straight day, Barry Hutter is atop the leaderboard in Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Hitter is one of 14 players who will return Tuesday for the final day, and he is bet positioned to claim the title and the $454,207 top prize.

The day started with 239 players, and early in the day notables like Erik Seidel, J.C. Tran, Kathy Liebert, and Russell Crane were eliminated. More and more familiar faces fell throughout the evening, including Matt Salsberg, Amanda Musumeci, Warwick Mirzikinian, Jesse Sylvia, and Gabriel Nassif.

One of the major stories from the day was the rise and fall of three time World Series of Poker Circuit Champion Matt Weber. Weber was the chip leader coming out of dinner break with just around 700,000 chips, but just two levels later he had been knocked out. First, he doubled up Hutter, then he doubled up one of the last standing ladies, Dana Castaneda. Finally, he got all his chips in with {A-}{Q-} against Michael Zucchet's {K-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}, and Zucchet caught a king on the river to bust Weber from the tournament.

Joseph Wertz and Michael Zucchet finished second and third in the chip counts, respectively. Also still alive are Jacob Bazeley and Rocco Palumbo. We will be on the floor throughout the remained of the event, so stay tuned to until a winner is crowned.

Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship

Day 2 of Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship saw nine players take advantage of the late registration option, bringing the total field up to 132 entrants—the largest since 2008. With a prize pool totaling $6,336,000, the eventual winner of the five-day event will take home $1,774,080, plus the coveted Chip Reese Trophy. After five more levels of play on Day 2, only 78 players remain, with David Benyamine in front with 729,000 in chips.

One man who is no longer in contention for the top prize is defending champ Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, who was seeking his third Poker Players' Championship title. Mizrachi's demise came in Level 9 in a round of no-limit hold'em. With the board reading {Q-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{A-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{7-Clubs} and about 60,000 in the pot, Mizrachi called a bet from Cole South to commit the rest of his chips. South turned over {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs} for a club flush, with trumped Mizrachi's {K-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds} for a straight. With that, the 2010 and 2012 Poker Players' Champion was out.

Others who hit the rail throughout the day were David "ODB" Baker, David "Bakes" Baker, Randy Ohel, Konstantin Puchkov, Phil Ivey, Mike Sexton, Gus Hansen, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Galfond, Daniel Negreanu and Mike Matusow.

While some big names fell, there are still plenty of notables left in the field including Jonathan Duhamel (666,100), Matthew Ashton (635,500), Troy Burkholder (623,000), Jean Gaspard (600,100), Brian Rast (489,500), Shaun Deeb (453,600), Justin Bonomo (343,600), Joe Hachem (326,000), Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier (325,000), Huck Seed (309,400), Erick Lindgren (276,000) and Doyle Brunson (265,000).

Day 3 will begin at 2 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, and the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be on hand to bring you all the action and eliminations from another day of action here in Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship.

Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em

Day 1 of Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em began with 1,736 entrants, and after 10 levels the field has been trimmed to 243. Tony Ruberto leads the way after amassing a stack of 178,200. Ruberto is only 6,000 ahead of Florens Feenstra (171,700). Alan Bertenshaw (147,800), Jamil Kanji (129,900) and Chris Karambinis (123,100) also bagged hefty stacks.

Several notables were in attendance on Day 1, but most didn't manage to survive. Among those no longer with us include Antonio Esfandiari, Pius Heinz, Layne Flack, David Williams, Maria Ho, Jennifer Tilly and Annette Obrestad, as well as among many others.

Several well-known pros did prosper, including Mark Teltscher (113,100), Jonathan Tamayo (91,900), Josh Arieh (79,800), Chris Johnson (75,100), Erik Seidel (58,000), David Peters (44,600), Blair Hinkle (36,900) and Amit Makhija (37,000).

The 243 survivors from will be back Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the Amazon Room. As always, check in with PokerNews for live updates and chip counts during the action tomorrow for Day 2 of this $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Event.

On Tap

Six events will be in action on Day 35 of the 2013 World Series of Poker. Two are scheduled to come to a close: Event #53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #54: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em. Event #55: The $50,000 Poker Players' Championship will resume with Day 3 of the five-day schedule, and Event #56: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em is expected to reach a final table, or close to it.

One event will get underway: Event #57: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em.

Video of the Day

During some time away from the Rio, Kristy Arnett made her way to the Las Vegas Sports Park to play a game of indoor soccer with Jeff Gross, Tim Adams, Matt Waxman, Brendon Rubie, and more players, as well as PokerNews employees.

Be sure to follow our Live Reporting page for continuing coverage of every event at the 2013 World Series of Poker, and follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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