Phil Collins is no longer at the WSOP Main Event final table, but that doesn’t stop me or many others from breaking out a classic Genesis album from the 1970′s. Around 5:50pm PT tonight (8:50pm ET, 2:50pm in the UK) Pius Heinz, Ben Lamb and Martin Staszko will return to the Penn & Teller Theatre in a battle where the winner earns $8.7 million while second and third place will have to settle for $5.4 million and $4.0m respectively.
Here’s the chip counts when action kicks off again tonight with the blinds starting at 600,000/1,200,000 with an ante of 200,000:
Seat 1: Pius Heinz – 107,800,000
Seat 2: Ben Lamb – 55,400,000
Seat 3: Martin Staszko – 42,700,000
Hand for hand updates at PokerNews and WSOP.com. PokerNews also has a chat going off the ESPN broadcast here.
ESPN will start their 15-minutes delayed coverage at 6:00pm PT, 9:00 ET. Streaming will be available at www.watchespn.com as well as the WSOP.com site.
Some twitterers to follow tonight for live updating:
@taopauly, @oskargarcia @howardstutz @casekeefer @pokernews @jesswelman @bluffmagazine @pokerlistings @lance_bradley @eric_ramsey @donnie_peters @avpoker
Live blogging from Pauly while Shamus will be blogging a few minutes behind the coverage.
Expect Tao of Pokerati episodes throughout the night.
6:35pm UPDATE: Ben Lamb was eliminated on the 4th hand after Staszko doubled up on the first hand: 77 >KJ to become crippled. Lamb shoved with Q6 into Staszko’sJJ and didn’t improve to earn $4,021,138 as Staszko takes the chip lead. Here’s what Lamb got shortly after being eliminated:
Ben Lamb gets punk'd (photo courtesy @BenbaLamb
6:50pm UPDATE: Heinz has dominated the early action heads-up to regain the lead with 132 million chips to Staszko’s 73 million.
7:40pm UPDATE: Staszko has gone on a rush as the blinds are now at 800,000/1,600,000/200,000 to retake the lead 110.65m – 95.25m
8:30pm UPDATE: Staszko gave up his lead, but turned up the aggression once again to hold a 113.6m – 92.3m chip lead. Heinz appears tired while Staszko has renewed confidence.
9:25pm UPDATE: The lead has now changed hands for a seventh time heads-up as Heinz wins several hands in a row to hold a 116.9m to 89m chip lead as the blinds go up to 1,000,000/2,000,000 with a 300,000 ante.
10:20 UPDATE: Now Staszko takes the lead once again as he wins several hands in a row as he now takes a commanding lead again: 146.6m to 59.3m.
11:30pm UPDATE: The poker media is getting restless as the heads-up battle rages on. Staszko had Heinz under 45m in chips, but the gap has been narrowed. Staszko leads 132.8m to 73.1m for Heinz.
12:00am UPDATE: Over 100 hands of heads-up play and not a single hand featured an all-in and call. That would change shortly after the blinds went up to 1,200,000/2,400,000 with an ante of 300,000. Heinz shoved with Ah Qh on a Ks Tc 7c flop. Staszko called with Qc 9c. The turn and river bricked out and Heinz now leads with 161.5m chips to Staszko’s 44.4m.