There's been a kind of near-symmetry thus far Event 40: $2,500 Limit Hold'em - Six-Handed, almost matching the fixed nature of the betting the game requires.
Day 1 saw the starting field of 302 almost perfectly divided by three, with 101 players returning on Friday. From there exactly 10 have made it to today's final day of play, with the remaining group collectively bringing an impressive résumé of WSOP success to what will begin as two five-handed tables.
Here's how the stacks will look as the first hands of Day 3 are dealt:
|4||Joep van den Bijgaart||273,000|
It's quite a group. And a lot of interesting story lines, too.
To start, our end-of-day chip leader on both Day 1 and Day 2, Vincent Gironda of Edison, NJ is making his very first WSOP cash in this event.
Terrence Chan of Vancouver, Canada continues his remarkable summer at this year's WSOP where he's cashed a whopping seven times already, his best finish so far coming in Event 20: $5,000 Limit Hold'em where he took 12th. He's come close before at the WSOP, with a runner-up in 2007 in this very same event among his now 26 career WSOP cashes. As he told WSOP Media Director yesterday, "I'm hoping number eight is number one."
Sorel Mizzi, who like Chan also currently resides in Canada (in Toronto), begins today third in chips. This marks Mizzi's 21st career WSOP cash, among them a couple of runner-ups in PLO events.
The Dutchman Joep van den Bijgaart is also continuing a hot 2012 WSOP after having finished fourth in Event 35: $2,500 Mixed Hold'em. He final tabled another limit hold'em event back in 2009, the $1,500 shootout where he finished seventh.
Hans Minocha of Manhattan, Kansas starts today fifth in chips. This marks Minocha's first WSOP cash.
Brent Wheeler of St. Charles, Illinois was at that same Event 35 final table with van den Bijgaart earlier this week where he took seventh. Wheeler is making his fifth cash of the summer at this year's WSOP.
Like Chan and Mizzi, Chad Brown is another player whose enjoyed much success at the WSOP, coming close yet not quite earning a first gold bracelet. This marks Brown's 36th career WSOP cash, among them 10 final tables and three runner-up finishes (in stud, stud high-low, and 2-7 NL draw events). His career WSOP earnings entering this event total nearly $1.19 million.
Meanwhile Woodinville, Washington's Rep Porter comes to today's final day as the only player among the 10 with WSOP gold, having two bracelets among his 20 career cashes. Porter's first also came in 2008, also in a short-handed event, the $1,500 no-limit hold'em 6-max. event. Porter followed that with a win in last year's $2,500 razz event. This is Porter's fourth WSOP cash this summer, results that have nudged his career WSOP earnings over $1 million.
The Californian Marco Johnson is yet another player bringing a track record of WSOP success to today's final day. This marks Johnson's 17th career cash, one of them a second-place finish in 2008's $2,000 no-limit hold'em event that earned him a nearly half-million dollar payday.
And Ronnie Bardah of Stoneham, Massachusetts likewise has tasted success at the WSOP before, most notably in the 2010 Main Event where a deep run ended in 24th-place for a $317,161 score.
Will Gironda go wire-to-wire? Will Chan, Mizzi, Brown, or Johnson improve on their previous runner-ups at the WSOP to grab a first gold bracelet? Will Rep Porter manage to grab a third bracelet in five years? Or will someone else emerge as the next WSOP bracelet winner?
Today we'll find answers to these questions. It's been an exciting beginning and middle. Join us here at 2 PM Vegas time to follow along and find out how the Event 40 narrative ends.