Sunday, July 15, 2012 Updated: July 16, 8:09 AM ET
They are the 1 percent: 63 remain
A.J. Jejelowo was eliminated in 66th place. He earned $106,056.
LAS VEGAS -- They are the 1 percent. Only 63 players remain in the World Series of Poker main event and the most recent eliminations contained some recognizable faces that it appeared would at least make it to Day 7, if not the final table.
Vanessa Selbst's day started with the loss of a race and the unfortunate honor of being one of the shortest stacks in the room as Level 2 action resumed. Sitting at the feature table, Selbst moved all-in from the button with Q-7 and was called by 2012 bracelet winner Greg Merson in the big blind with Ac-8c. The flop -- 7c-2c-10s -- gave Selbst the lead, but didn't get her out of danger as Merson picked up a club flush draw. The turn 6h gave Merson even more outs, adding a straight draw to the mix. For Selbst to survive she needed to dodge any club, ace, nine or eight. But as a nine hit the turn, she was eliminated in 73rd place.
Seconds before Selbst's knockout, there was significant action at the side feature tables that resulted in the eliminations of 2009 main event final table member Eric Buchman and Andrew Flaherty. Buchman's chips went in post-turn on a Kh-5h-4d-7h board holding 10-7. Elisabeth Hille had Buchman in trouble with 7-4 and a river 8 ended the hopes of another run at the main event final table. Flaherty was also all-in on that hand (for less than three big blinds) and his A-Q also fell short of Hille's two pair. Hille is among the top 10 in chips at the moment, with 4.92 million.
Jason Somerville's run also ended with his Q-Q losing to the K-10 of Jacob Balsiger at the feature table. Somerville was eliminated in 69th-place after a 10-7-10 flop denied him a four-million chip pot. Somerville earned $106,056 for his main event run.
The strangest elimination of the day belongs to Nick DiVella, who was knocked out in 72rd by Steven Gee. As I arrived at the table, Gee was visibly on edge after a floorman's ruling. The dealer at the table told me DiVella opened the pot by moving all-in. He placed three 25,000 chips in front of him to represent his move and as the action came around to 2010 WSOP bracelet winner Gee, he threw out the same three 25,000 chips, thinking it was just a call. Considering that DiVella was all-in, by putting any chips in the pot, Gee was ruled to have called the all-in. The cards were flipped up and Gee was even more on tilt. DiVella's A-K dominated the K-7 of Gee, but a 7 on the turn shockingly turned the tables. For a moment Gee didn't realize he won the pot, but then it clicked and he sat down and began stacking his chips once again.
Marcia Topp's elimination in 71st (by Robert Corcione) means that only two women remain in the field. Both Hille and Gaelle Baumann are sitting comfortably among the top half of players at this time. WSOP Circuit champion A.J. Jejelowo and Nick Cushman were the final players eliminated at the $106,056 level and now all players are guaranteed at least $128,384.
As for those who are continuing their chase for a seat at the final table, Taylor Paur has taken over the chip lead from Robert Salaburu and Robert Buckenmayer, thanks to cracking aces with 8-8, is in fourth.
The top 10: 1. Taylor Paur (7.4 million in chips)
2. Robert Corcione (6.37 million)
3. Nicco Maag (6.20 million)
4. Robert Buckenmayer (5.98 million)
5. Jacob Balsiger (5.90 million)
6. Cylus Watson (5.59 million)
7. Robert Salaburu (4.96 million)
8. Jeremy Ausmus (4.95 million)
9. Elisabeth Hille (4.92 million)
10. Eric Legoff (4.80 million)
Small blinds: Sam Holden continues to fight to become the first repeat November Niner and recently won a race with J-J against A-Q. He still is short with about two million in chips. … Japan had its first bracelet winner in WSOP history in 2012, but won't have a member at the final table as Takashi Ogura was eliminated. … The feature table has been changed out twice already through two levels. … There will be one more level before a 90-minute dinner break.