Simon Young

The corridors are empty, trade stands have disappeared, and even the huge Poker Kitchen, set up in the parking lot, has been taken down and packed up for another year. But 27 players have come back for one last day, along with a few hundred spectators standing on tip toe, all trying to see the action in an ever-diminishing playing floor now with just three tables.

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Deserted in the desert: no more heaving masses in the Rio

The Rio, and the Amazon Room in particular, are unrecognisable from last week, when you could hardly move and the noise was deafening. From 6,844 starters, each with hopes and dreams of picking up the $9,119,517 first prize, just the select few now remain.

They will play down to the final table of nine tonight, no matter how late the hour. Then, as I’m sure you all know by now, the whole tournament goes into the freezer, only to be thawed out and re-heated again for the final table in November.

PartyPoker had dozens of qualifiers who started out nearly two weeks ago in Las Vegas, many having got here for the price of a few dollars. Several made the money, and two in particular, James McManus and Stephen Kenna from Dublin in Ireland, did themselves great credit, winning $96,500 and $64,333 respectively.

No big “TV” names remain in the Main Event. Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow crashed yesterday, so a relative unknown is going to be crowned World Series of Poker champion. We’ve already lost two of our 27 players today. Sixteen to go, and it’s a wrap.

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Three tables left in a corner of the Amazon Room

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