And that was the case as the Main Event action transgressed into the early hours of the morning.
When play began the plan was to play down to our final six but things dragged on and a decision was made to cut the day short. We almost made it. Of the 23 returning players this afternoon it was seven who would ultimately survive the night.
The pace ebbed and flowed with a few very slow patches throughout.
Perhaps the worst one was when the final table bubble was approaching. It would finally burst during Level 24 when Patrick Mahoney made an ill-timed jam and was called by Hsien Kui Yang. Mahoney held pocket threes and couldn’t improve against the pocket jacks of his opponent. The elimination signalled a final table redraw and a 40-minute dinner break.
The 2♠5♣2♣4♦6♦ runout was safe for the aces and would see Zhou hold and cripple his opponent who was left with only two big blinds.
Wei committed those two big blinds the very next hand and despite turning the nuts with J♣10♥ on a board of 7♥9♣K♦Q♦10♣, Xixiang Luo would river one better, tabling A♣J♠ for Broadway to eliminate Wei.
We didn’t have to wait too long for the next bustout as Sergey Lebedev found himself on the wrong end of a flip. He was all in preflop holding ace-queen against Thomas Ward’s pocket jacks. Ward spiked a set on the turn as the board landed 6♣9♣3♦J♠8♣ to leave his opponent drawing dead.
When all was said and done though it was Connor Drinan who bagged up the chip lead again – but not before he managed to slide backwards in his chair and fall off of the final table podium. The railbirds erupted in laughter as the red wines that Drinan had been consuming during play seemed to have well and truly taken effect.
Despite that incident, Drinan finished the day with 1,755,000 in chips, ahead of China’s Nan Tu on 1,370,000 and New Zealand’s Thomas Ward who will come back with 1,335,000 to play with tomorrow.
Seat 1: Thomas Ward (New Zealand) – 1,335,000
Seat 2: Nan Tu (China) – 1,370,000
Seat 3: Connor Drinan (Mexico) – 1,755,000
Seat 4: Hsien Kui Yang (Chinese Taipei) – 370,000
Seat 5: Zhou Zhou (China) – 1,210,000
Seat 6: Qi Luo (China) – 980,000
Seat 7: Xixiang Luo (China) – 780,000
The action recommences at 2pm tomorrow as we play down to a sole survivor and prepare to crown a new ACOP Main Event champion. In the meantime you can check out the final table player profiles and we hope you can join us here at the PokerStars Blog for the exciting conclusion!