It took 72 hands to eliminate just three players from the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event table this weekend. Patrick Chan, Federico Butteroni, and Pierre Neuville were all sent home, leaving just six of the November Nine to battle for the championship and $7.5 million-plus prize.
Chan, who entered the table second-to-last in chips, was the first to go. His all-in call during his second hand marked the end of his final-table career. The decision was made when Chan held a K♤, Q♧ against chip-leader Joe McKeehen’s A♢, 4♡ and the board (10♧, 6♡, 5♤, 3♡, 9♧) favored the latter.
Chan’s walked away with a prize just topping $1 million and McKeehan still remains at the top of the board with a $91,450,000 chip count, almost triple that of second-place Ofer Zvi Stern.
Thirty-three hands later, eighth-place winner Federico Butteroni also decided to go all-in against McKeehan. Just like his colleague, the Italian found his A♡, J♧ failed to measure up to McKeehen’s A♤, K♤. It was only the second hand Butteroni had played, but was also his second shove. His first all-in went uncalled, but his confidence didn’t pan out the second time.
A board showing 10♧, 6♢, 3♢, 9♤, 7♢ sent Butteroni, the first Italian to make the table since Filippo Candio in 2010, home with $1,097,056.
Only one other player was eliminated on the first day of play, Belgian-born Pierre Neuville. Neuville watched his chip count slowly descend throughout the day and finally went all-in for $3 million with A♧, J♧ in the 72nd hand. Again, McKeehen would do the honors.
The chip leader, whose count was nearing $90 million at that point, called with a J♡, 6♡ and ultimately pulled out a flush with a Q♢, 10♢, 3♡, Q♡, 10♡ board. Neuville was out in seventh with $1.2 million.
The less-than-exciting first day moved slowly, on the whole, and one three-hour span saw only 34 hands played. The pace had viewers frustrated and several fans took to Twitter with their thoughts:
The final six players will take to the tables at The Rio again at 4:30 p.m. GMT on Monday afternoon.
Final table remaining players and chip count:
(Photo credit: Berit Watkin, Creative Commons.)
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