One day of poker stands between 35 hopefuls and the dream of reaching the final table of the 2019 World Series of Poker main event.
The stakes in play are staggering, even for established tournament poker pros. All 35 players in contention are guaranteed $261,430, but making it through one more long day of poker and reaching the final nine locks in a payday of at least $1 million.
England's Nicholas Marchington leads the way with 39.8 million, followed by Germany's Hossein Ensan, who holds 34.5 million. While Marchington has a single WSOP cash to his credit -- a 19th-place finish in an $800 event earlier in the 2019 WSOP -- Ensan sports one of the strongest résumés in the remaining field with over $2.6 million in career tournament earnings, including an EPT title won in 2015.
Day 5 chip leader Timothy Su sits just behind them in third with 34.35 million, courtesy of one of the most memorable and impactful hands of this tournament so far. As the cameras rolled on the feature stage, Su shoved all in with the bottom end of an open-ended straight draw and ran into Sam Greenwood's pocket aces. When that straight connected on the river, Greenwood -- one of only two WSOP bracelet winners left in the field at the time -- was sent out in 45th place.
Brazil's Yuri Dzivielevski, who won the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo/Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo event earlier this summer, is the lone bracelet winner in the field as Day 7 gets underway; he'll start with 13.75 million. Another notable to keep an eye on is Italy's Dario Sammartino, who has over $8 million in career earnings, including a third-place finish in the 2017 $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $1.6 million.
Garry Gates, a longtime presence behind the scenes in the world of poker, has already locked up his fourth career WSOP main event cash and the biggest result of his poker career. After nailing an ace on the river with Ah-Kd against Robert Heidorn's pocket kings in a crucial hand late in the day, Gates takes 24.025 million into playdown day, good for sixth place.
With two-thirds of the field falling out on Thursday, a few big names were destined to fall by the wayside. Former WSOP Player of the Year and four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen went out early on Day 6 (102nd), with 2012 Big One for One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari out soon thereafter (82nd). Daniel Hachem made a deep run in pursuit of following in the footsteps of his father, 2005 WSOP main event champion Joe Hachem, but ultimately fell short (79th).
Jake Schindler ($24.572 million in career earnings) and Alex Foxen ($12.2 million in earnings) also saw their main event championship hopes extinguished, in 67th and 40th, respectively.
In a tournament field predominantly filled by players from the United States -- 6,110 of 8,569 players hail from the U.S. -- the final 35 represents a solid cross-section of nationalities. Countries represented in the final 35 include England, Germany, Russia, Australia, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Austria, Japan, Romania, Argentina and Spain.
Play is set to resume at noon local time in Las Vegas, and the tournament will carry on into the night until just nine players remain (with an off-day set for Saturday). ESPN coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and then switch over to ESPN2 at 11 p.m.
Day 7 chip counts
Nicholas Marchington: 39.8 million
Hossein Ensan: 34.5 million
Timothy Su: 34.35 million
Milos Skrbic: 31.45 million
Henry Lu: 25.525 million
Garry Gates: 25.025 million
Duey Duong: 21.65 million
Warwick Mirzikinian: 20.7 million
Dario Sammartino: 19.85 million
Kevin Maahs: 19.55 million
Michael Niwinski: 18.9 million
Zhen Cai: 18.275 million
Luke Graham: 16.3 million
Enrico Rudelitz: 15.8 million
Preben Stokkan: 14.6 million
Yuri Dzivielevski: 13.75 million
Viktor Rau: 13.6 million
Nicholas Danias: 11.55 million
Hiroki Nawa: 10.25 million
Zackary Koerper: 10.075 million
Daniel Charlton: 9.725 million
Mihai Manole: 9.7 million
Marcelo Cudos: 9.45 million
Austin Lewis: 9.35 million
Mario Navarro: 8.15 million
Oliver Bithell: 8.075 million
Robert Heidorn: 7.625 million
Christopher Ahrens: 7.275 million
Corey Burbick: 7.25 million
Johnathan Dempsey: 6.5 million
Paul Dhaliwal: 6.225 million
Christopher Barton: 4.35 million
Thomer Pidun: 3.625 million
Alex Livingston: 2.800 million
Steven Parrott: 1.825 million