The other remaining competitors - Dan Ott of Altoona, Pa., and French pro Benjamin Pollak - have 88.375 million and 45.85 million, respectively, in chips remaining.
The first player to hit the rail was 42-year-old Damian Salas, the first player ever from Argentina to make the main event final table. He discussed a pivotal hand against Blumstein earlier in the day chopped his stack down to 44 million. That the man having the most fun with his stay in Las Vegas was responsible for it would not be surprising. However, with the $8.15 million top prize and the specially crafted World Champion bracelet waiting for their victor, players contended fiercely to survive.
With each hand play along with one of the players, then decide which action you'd take when asked. Saout's didn't seem pleased by the grandstanding, but it wasn't over yet. Saout checked yet again and Blumstein moved all in. This led to the THIRD HAND of the night, in which Hesp only made a raise to get everyone out of the way. He came in with the least amount of chips, but heated up to build his stack almost six times bigger than it started on Friday.
Thus, the actions on Hand 4 of the tournament were a bit of a reality check for everyone. Each of the three hopefuls is guaranteed a minimum payout of $3.5 million. Lamb eventually settled on moving his 18 million-chip stack to the center and an undaunted Sinclair made the call. Pollak won the hand with ace-high and Hesp was eliminated in fourth place. The was safe, but Ott drilled the on the river for the straight.
Later, though, Damian Salas was eliminated in seventh place when an untimely river card went the way of Ott. Blumstein says he has nothing but respect for both of them. When there was a clash, it was between two players that probably shouldn't have been colliding.
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Bryan was one of four Americans at the final table. Thus, on Hand 47 when Blumstein opened the betting from under the gun, it was perceived that he'd get the walk about as his stack deemed. "But with that being said, I have a lot of chips and I'm confident we're going to go home, work on some three-handed poker, and come back ready to play tomorrow".
Unknown to either player (but known to those watching on ESPN), a storm was brewing. Blumstein held the aces of spades and diamonds while Hesp had the ace of hearts and 10 of hearts. That domination only became an evisceration when a ten hit on the turn, giving Hesp two pair but leaving him drawing dead to Blumstein's set of Aces. If you know your poker, you know that an Ace would doom Hesp into thinking he could bet with top pair. Saout, who sat with 26.1 million, thought it over for a while before electing to call for his tournament life with the KJ for trip jacks, only to have Blumstein show him the 53 for a turned straight.
Blumstein has since consolidated his lead, while Hesp is in last place of the remaining six players (as of Saturday afternoon AEST).
Play resumes this evening at 6PM (Pacific Time, 9PM Eastern Time), at which point the final seven will play down to the final three combatants.
Scott Blumstein, left, Antoine Saout, right, play at the World Series of Poker final table at Rio hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Friday, July 21, 2017.