It took a little over four hours to go from 15 down to six, and the final table is now set at the 2015 partypoker World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship.
Samuel Tsehai came into the event's fourth day at Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Quebec, holding what proved to be only a tentative chip lead. As shorter stacks shipped it in and others around him grew exponentially, Tsehai fell from grace being forced to fold in a huge pot with Sheraz Nasir. Soon after, he got it in with jacks against Lu Zhang's kings on the turn of a board showing two nines to bow out 12th and hand Zhang the lead.
Gary Lucci then chipped up, taking a sizable pot off Jonathan Karamalikis to pull ahead of Zhang, with Aussie pro Karamalikis eventually losing a classic race holding big slick against Nasir's pocket jacks to go broke 10th.
When they got down to 10, Senthuran Vijayaratnam started the unofficial final table as the shortest stack and doubled once before busting the shorter-stacked Robert Taylor in ninth. Vijayaratnam was suddenly healthy again before a bizzare hand played out between pals Trevor Delaney and Gary Lucci with Levi Stevens stuck in the middle.
On a seven-high flop, Delaney shoved for over one million chips and once Stevens stepped away, Lucci open-folded pocket kings creating shock and awe at the table. A hand later, Vijayaratnam four-bet shoved big slick for 40 big blinds and Delaney called with jacks, turning a boat to send Vijayaratnam home in eighth and his own stack soaring over three million.
Not long after, Zhang shoved with a gutshot straight draw and one over against 2010 World Series of Poker bracelet winner Pascal LeFrancois' top pair. He called, she rivered a bigger pair, and the final table of six was set.
A native of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Delaney will come into the final day with the chip lead and not a whole lot of experience, having just north of $40,000 in live tournament earnings from a half a dozen Canadian-based events.
Nasir, who finished 10th at WPT Montreal here at Playground this past November, will be second in chips when play resumes, and Zhang, who barely missed a final table appearance at WPT Fallsview earlier this year, is just a few chips behind him.
Lucci, who cashed 57th at WPT Montreal in November and has just under $100,000 in live tournament winnings, is next with about half of Zhang's chips, while Stevens, who has a half a dozen prelim cashes here at Playground on his résumé, including three this year, has a little more than half what Lucci does.
Finally, the shortest stack appears to be the most experienced player, as 2014 WPT Johannesburg winner and WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star and WPT Fallsview runner-up Dylan Wilkerson is currently at the bottom of the counts.
Of course, the $237,390 first-place prize that also includes a seat in the WPT Season XIV World Championship is still up for grabs and it's anybody's ball game at this point.
The final table will kick off at 12 p.m. local time Wednesday with WPT.com hosting a live stream of the action on a 30-minute delay featuring commentary from WPT Raw Deal host Tony Dunst and Canadian pro Griffin Benger.
And of course, the PokerNews Live Reporting team will be on hand providing up-to-the-minute live updates and videos throughout.