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Final table set at World Series of Poker after women contenders fall from field18 July 2012
By Howard Stutz
Eight Americans and a Hungarian will return to the Rio Oct. 28-30 to play for the Main Event title, an $8.5 million payday, and the most elaborate championship bracelet ever created.
The chip leader is Jesse Sylvia of West Tisbury, Mass., who has 43,875 million in chips. Andras Koroknai of Hungary is in second place with 29.375 million in chips. Greg Merson of Laurel, Md., is in third place with 28.725 million.
Roughly 34 million in chips separate first place from ninth place.
Gaelle Baumann of France made a valiant run to reach the final table, but fell short in 10th place. She entered the round of 10 players with a little more than 2 million in chips.
Baumann doubled up with a pair of kings shortly after the 10 remaining players were seated, but was eliminated a few hands later by Koroknai, whose ace-jack held against her ace-nine.
Baumann earned $590,442 for 10th, the best finish by woman since Annie Duke finished 10th in 2000. A woman hasn't reached the final table of the Main Event since 1995.
Elisabeth Hille of Norway finished 11th and also earned $590,442. Koroknai also eliminated Hille.
Russell Thomas of Hartford, Conn., is fourth in chips with 24.8 million, followed by Steven Gee of Sacramento, Calif., who is fifth with 16.86 million.
Michael Esposito of Seaford, N.Y., is sixth with 16.26 million, while Robert Salaburu of San Antonio, Texas is seventh with 15.155 million. Jacob Balsiger of Temp, Ariz., is in eighth place with 13.115 million
Jeremy Ausmus of Las Vegas is ninth with 9.805 million in chips
Seven of the nine final table competitors will earn more than $1 million.
The Main Event began July 7 and a field of 6,598 - fifth largest in tournament history - produced a prize pool of $62 million.
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