WSOP field narrows; Johnny Chan eliminated

Jul 16, 2010 10:33 AM

The 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event championship is reaching its final rounds as 78 remaining players vie for a shot at $8.9 million.

Today’s action will whittle the field down to 27 players, who will return to the Rio hotel/casino on Saturday, when a final table of nine players will be determined. The "November Nine" will return to battle for the championship.

On Thursday, the last of the remaining former champions, Johnny Chan, was eliminated, after being at or near the top of the leader board since the event began on July 5.

Chan suffered through a nightmare scenario early in the day when he was dealt pocket kings.  The big hand came at the worst possible time, since another big stack belonging to Robert Pisano was dealt pocket aces.  Chan lost the hand and became short-stacked for the first time in the tournament.  He was eliminated about an hour later. 

Other notable names who played on Thursday but will not return include – Jesper Hougaard (Copenhagen, Denmark), J.P. Kelly (Aylesbury, United Kingdom), Jimmy Tran (Houston), Robert Mizrachi (Las Vegas), Tomer Berda (Arsus, Israel), Phil Galfond (New York, NY), Russell Rosenblum (Las Vegas), Todd Witteles (Las Vegas) and Matt Keikoan (San Rafael, California).

Breeze Zuckerman, from Moorpark, California was also eliminated.  She was the last female in this year’s Main Event.  Zuckerman finished 121st.

Also hitting the rail was the youngest competitor in the tournament, John May, who finished in 177th place.  May turned 21, the legal age to compete, on July 7 – just one day before he entered the Main Event.  John had the chance to become the youngest world champion ever, but as it stands now, Joe Cada’s reign as the youngest champ in history will stay intact. 

The Top 10 leader board was in constant flux the entire day as one big stack ran into another, or when the lower chip stacks were taken out by their larger-stacked competitors.  The chip lead changed about a dozen times on Thursday.

Heading into today’s action, Theo Jorgensen is the chip leader with 8.45 million in chips. Michael Mizrachi (7.725 million), John Racener (7.25 million) and Alexander Kostritsyn (6.96 million) are his closest competitors.