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WSOP Main Event down to 27 players -- and no Theo Jorgensen

17 July 2010

LAS VEGAS -- The World Series of Poker Main Event reached a surreal place Friday.

A 100,000-chip wager was actually a "small" bet. If you had 1 million in chips, you were a short stack.

If you had 4 million in chips, you needed to double up just to crack the top ten on the leaderboard.

Poker moved from a solitary game to a communal game, with players sharing hand information and strategy with friends on the rail.

Joseph Cheong is the chip leader with 27 players remaining

Joseph Cheong is the chip leader with 27 players remaining (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Pots could reach the 19-million mark. And in one hand, players could move from final table contender to irrelevant.

Theo Jorgensen discovered that last point the hard way. Jorgensen had spent most of the day comfortably ensconced near the top of the leaderboard with about 12 million in chips. But the last hand before Friday's dinner break changed everything.

On a board reading Kc-5h-9c, Brandon Steven fired out a bet of more than 200,000. Jorgensen raised it to 500,000. Cuong "Soi" Nguyen raised it to 1.5 million. Steven folded. And then Jorgensen re-raised it to 4 million.

After Jorgensen's re-raise, Nguyen went all in for 7.6 million and Jorgensen called instantly.

Nguyen showed a Kh-Jc for a pair of kings. Jorgensen showed Ac-3c for a flush draw. Nguyen's kings held up, and Jorgensen went from heavy favorite to reach the final table to one of the shortest stacks in the room with 2.3 million.

One hand changed the course of the Main Event for Theo Jorgensen

One hand changed the course of the Main Event for Theo Jorgensen (photo by Vin Narayanan)

On the last hand of the next level, Jorgensen busted out of the tournament when his ace-king couldn't hold up against John Racener's ace-queen. Racener spiked a queen on the turn, and there was no more dancing for Jorgensen.

"I'm so happy," said Joseph Cheong when Casino City told him that Jorgensen had just been eliminated.

"He's just too good. He's so good," added Cheong, who traded the chip lead with Nguyen for most of the night.

Jorgensen won $255,242 for finishing in 30th. And he wasn't the only player that had built up a sizable chip stack early in the tournament to run into problems. Evan Lampera, the chip leader at the end of Day 5, finished in 46th to win $168,556. The dapper Tony Dunst, who spent a couple of days among the chip leaders, finished in 50th for $168,556. And Alexander Kostritsyn, the Russian many expected to challenge for the Main Event title, finished in 52nd for $168,556.

Cuong "Soi" Nguyen was on the receiving end of an 18-million chip pot

Cuong "Soi" Nguyen was on the receiving end of an 18-million chip pot (photo by Vin Narayanan)

Friday's action started with 78 players, and ended with 27 still vying for the Main Event crown. The top-ten in chips at the end of the day were: Cheong (24.49 million), Nguyen (23.1 million), Pascal LeFrancois (15.78 million), Jason Senti (13.55 million), Matthew Jarvis (13.3 million), Matt Affleck (12.515 million), Jonathan Duhamel (10.52 million), Racener (10.47 million), Filippo Candio (10.02 million) and Benjamin Statz (9.885 million).

LeFrancois is the only player in the top-ten that's won a WSOP bracelet.

The tournament will play down to nine players Saturday night before taking a break to play the final table in November. The winner of this year's Main Event will win $8.9 million.
WSOP Main Event down to 27 players -- and no Theo Jorgensen is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.

Vin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the managing editor at Casino City. When he's not writing or editing stories, he likes to play Chinese Poker, Badugi, Razz and any other "non-traditional" poker game. He also thinks blackjack is his best game and loves game theory.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for USATODAY.com, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vin can be found on most nights and weekends trying to find a way to watch the Spartans play football or basketball.