After 10 more levels of play in Event #23: $2,500 Seven Card Stud, only 10 players remain in contention for the gold bracelet and the $145,520 first-place prize. Leading the way is 2010 World Series of Poker Player of the Year Frank Kassela. Kassela bagged 331,500 chips, and his closest competitors are David Chiu (295,000), and Matthew Ashton (277,500). Ashton is having a terrific 2013 WSOP, finishing third in Event #5 and runner-up in Event #13.
A total of 106 players returned for Day 2 action, and only 32 would make the money. Plenty of notables busted before the money bubble arrive, including Allen Kessler, George Danzer, Perry Friedman, Cyndy Violette, Roland Israelashvili, Chad Brown, John Monnette, and Greg Raymer. Brown started his bustout hand with split jacks, and improved to kings-up on sixth street, but Chiu had wired aces, and made a better two pair on sixth. Chiu’s hand held up on seventh, and Brown hit the rail.
The bubble burst in Level 14, where Terrence Hastoo was all-in for just the ante. He started with three to a flush, but Kenn Wittock had split kings and held. Once the players were in the money, they started hitting the rail in rapid succession. Among the min-cashers were Andrey Zaichenko, Marco Traniello, Andrew Kelsall, Joseph Cappello, Calvin Anderson, Konstantin Puchkov, and Daniel Negreanu.
At the three-table redraw, Scott Seiver and Chiu started to climb up the charts. Seiver made a timely spade flush against Jesse Martin, while Chiu knocked out Ashly Butler. Kassela's ascent to the top of the counts began in Level 17 against Gary Benson, and continued in Level 18 against The Grinder. While those three were growing their stacks, others busted, including Mike Sexton (13th), 2008 Stud World Champion Eric Brooks (14th), and Andre Akkari (17th).
With the elimination of Brooks, Freddie Ellis was the last Stud World Champion standing. The 2009 champ will be looking for bracelet number two on Friday, but has a long road ahead of him with only 26,000 chips.
Here's the seat draw:
The 10 survivors will return on Friday at 2 p.m. local time to battle it out for a bracelet. Be sure to check back then for all of your exclusive live updates straight from the tournament floor. For now, we'll leave you with Lynn Gilmartin who has all the highlights from around the Rio.