Jesse Sylvia chip leader with 14 left

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
12:50
AM ET


There was only one elimination over the two hours since the players returned from the dinner break, but that doesn't mean that Level 32 didn't include some exciting moments.

Wilfried Harig fought off elimination during the first two levels, but couldn't avoid it in the third. To nobody's surprise, his opponent was once again Greg Merson, who is inching closer to becoming the leader in the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race. With the blinds at 100,000/200,000 and a 30,000 ante, Merson opened from middle position to 400,000. Michael Esposito called and, in what looked like a squeeze play, Harig moved all-in for his final 2.8 million. Merson took his time and finally made the call, revealing the Ks-Jd. Harig showed A-A and Merson's fans, for the first time all night, were relatively silent. That changed immediately. The flop was Kd-Qs-3d giving Merson a pair. The Js on the turn put Merson ahead and, after a blank on the river, Harig was out in 15th.

Merson's run on Day 7 has been memorable and at the latest break, he is fourth with 22 million in chips.

Jesse Sylvia had the best couple hours since moving off the feature table during the re-draw and is now the chip leader with 14 players to go. Sylvia has remained aggressive and as he collided with the changing gears of Rob Salaburu, the two played the biggest pot thus far in the tournament, a 16 million-chip coin flip with Sylvia's K-Q hitting against Salaburu's J-J. Sylvia continued to use his aggression and headed to the break with 24.45 million in chips. Salaburu hasn't been able to rebound just yet and has 11.95 million in chips.

Andras Koroknai also moved up in the top of the chip counts thanks to a couple of crazy hands. Koroknai first called all-in with As-9s against the Ad-10h of Danny Wong and was in bad shape for his tournament. The flop of Ks-Js-3c gave him life. The turn Ah didn't changed a thing. The river 8s gave him a chance at the final table. That hand got Koroknai up to 10 million and in the final hand before the break, he earned even more.

Everyone was laughing as Koroknai's Ac-Ks was turned up and put on the board with Marc-Andre Ladouceur's As-Kc, but the Hungarian crowd was the only side at the feature table smiling after four clubs hit the board. Ladouceur entered the final day as the chip leader and maintained one of the top five stacks for most of the day. Now, he's one of the shortest stacks in the tournament with only 5 million in chips.

The blinds are currently 120,000/240,000 with a 30,000 ante.

Here are the remaining chip counts:

Jesse Sylvia (24.45 million in chips)

Russell Thomas (24.28 million)

Michael Esposito (21.50 million)

Greg Merson (19.40 million)

Andras Koroknai (18.30 million)

Jacob Balsiger (17.00 million)

Steven Gee (17.00 million)

Jeremy Ausmus (16.50 million)

Scott Abrams (14.40 million)

Robert Salabaru (11.90 million)

Elisabeth Hille (11.77 million)

Marc-Andre Ladoucer (5.02 million)

Gaelle Baumann (3.05 million)

Danny Wong (1.94 million)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

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