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November 22, 2014

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Antonio Esfandiari among 26 players left vying for $4.8 million in WSOP One Drop

Swedish pro Martin Jacobson takes chip lead into scheduled final day of $111,111 buy-in tournament

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Antonio Esfandiari takes part in the $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold’em event during the World Series of Poker Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the Rio. Esfandiari won the event the previous year.

One Drop High Rollers Payouts

  • 1st: $4,830,619
  • 2nd: $2,985,495
  • 3rd: $1,965,163
  • 4th: $1,433,438
  • 5th: $1,066,491
  • 6th: $807,427
  • 7th: $621,180
  • 8th: $485,029
  • 9th-10th: $384,122
  • 11th-12th: $308,622
  • 13th-14th: $251,549
  • 15th-16th: $208,968
  • 17th-24th: $173,723
  • Schedule: Play to continue Friday at 1 p.m.

Note: Scroll to the bottom for full chip counts of the players remaining in the tournament.

The hope was that 10 levels of play Thursday would prove enough to reach a final table of eight players in the World Series of Poker’s $111,111 buy-in One Drop High Rollers tournament.

It wasn’t even enough, in the end, to get into the money. Cards flying continuously from noon Thursday to about 1:30 a.m. Friday only whittled the field down from 108 players to 26.

That’s still two away from the payouts, which start at $173,723. Action in one of the biggest events of the summer will resume at 1 p.m. Friday with most of the players holding their breath to avoid losing six figures, despite competing for two straight days.

A few fortunate souls left likely aren’t quite as worried because, barring a monumental collapse, they’re safe to make at least some profit. Four players, none of whom have ever won a previous WSOP event, bagged more than 3 million chips at the end of play.

Three of them — Matt Jacobson, Connor Drinan and Matt Glantz — are poker professionals. The fourth, Brandon Steven, is an entrepreneur from Wichita, Kan., whose frequented the poker circuit since finishing 10th in the Main Event three years ago.

Steven held the chip lead coming into play Thursday, by virtue of serving well known pro Tom Dwan a bad beat with pocket Queens over pocket Aces, and maintained it for the majority of the afternoon and evening.

A late rally put Jacobson on top, but he’s only a hair above Drinan, who won a satellite to get into the One Drop High Rollers, and Steven.

Five more players built stacks in between 2 million and 3 million chips, including last year’s One Drop champion Antonio Esfandiari, who sits in fifth place with 2.97 million.

Esfandiari squared off with German pro Martin Finger, who won his first WSOP bracelet earlier this summer, in a number of pots throughout the night. Finger is still clinging to a healthy 2.91 million chips but had as much as 3.5 million and was the leader at a couple points.

Joining Steven from the business world is Houston hedge fund manager Bill Perkins. Like Steven, Perkins benefited in one key spot when his pocket Queens upset pocket Aces.

Perkins won a 3.5 million chip pot when he flopped a third Queen and bated poker pro Tobias Reinkemeir to call off his stack with poker’s best starting hand.

Check below for a full list of chip counts entering the third day of the WSOP’s One Drop High Rollers event and come back to lasvegassun.com for full continuing coverage.

Martin Jacobson — 3,255,000

Connor Drinan — 3,250,00

Brandon Steven — 3,140,000

Matt Glantz — 3,005,000

Antonio Esfandiari — 2,970,000

Martin Finger — 2,910,000

Bill Perkins — 2,750,000

Chris Klodnicki — 2,570,00

Olivier Busquet — 2,275,000

Nick Schulman — 1,940,000

Farshad Fardad — 1,900,000

Phil Laak — 1,760,000

Anthony Gregg — 1,750,000

Richard Fullerton — 1,705,000

Andrew Lichtenberger — 1,575,000

Lawrence Greenberg — 1,565,000

Blake Bohn — 1,375,000

Steve Gross — 1,270,000

Haralabos Voulgaris — 1,240,000

Jason Koon — 1,195,000

Daniel Alaei — 1,140,000

Dan Shak — 1,020,000

Jeremy Ausmus — 995,000

Mike Sexton — 740,000

Players will return to a big blind of 60,000 chips, a small blind of 30,000 chips and an ante of 10,000 chips.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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