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Sunday, July 15, 2012
No repeat final table for Sam Holden


LAS VEGAS -- There will be nine new faces at the 2012 World Series of Poker main event final table. Sam Holden, the last player who had made a previous main event final table, busted in brutal fashion, losing 8-8 to 5-5 all-in preflop, and became the latest causality on a day when notable pros continued to fall by the wayside.

Holden, eliminated in 55th place by Andras Koroknai, earned $128,384 and backed up his 2011 WSOP main event ninth-place finish with an incredible run. According to the WSOP, the modest British pro has outlasted 13,469 players in the past two main events. That accomplishment has only been topped by two other players, Joseph Cheong and Matt Affleck (in 2010-2011).

Sam Holden
Sam Holden was eliminated from the 2012 WSOP main event in 55th place.

David Baker's main event also ended immediately after the dinner break. Caught in a huge bluff before the break, Baker resumed play with only one million in chips. Sitting at a side feature table, Bobby Law moved all-in from early position and Baker moved all-in over the top. Marc Ladouceur was in the big blind and as soon as he called, both Baker and Law knew they were in major trouble. Ladoucer tabled K-K and was in a great position over the A-K of Baker and the A-Q of Law. The flop teased both Baker and Law with straight draw possibilities, but the turn and river provided no help and the two were eliminated.

Baker had an incredible WSOP, winning his first bracelet, cashing seven times and making four final tables, including the 2011-12 National Championship. He also earned $790,990 in prize money. While his results were beyond impressive, the thing to consider about Baker's finish is that this was his second top-55 finish in the past three years. As he said a few days ago, a deep run only makes him want to reach the final table even more.

Daniel Strelitz may not look like he's old enough to be at the felt, but, man, he plays like someone who has been there forever. The 22-year-old is the first player with more than 10 million in chips, mostly due to his victory in the six-million-chip pot in which his K-K held against Wilfried Haerig's A-K. He also has knocked out Eric Legoff, took a few million from Robert Salabaru and reduced Gaelle Baumann's stack as well. Strelitz has two previous WSOP cashes, but his legacy has been made online since he started to play in 2008. He's also a poker coach who will probably be busier after this run in the WSOP.

Behind Strelitz is Jeremy Ausmus, who topped Percy Mahatan in a massive pot with kings. He is the first player with more than 10 million in chips. A few players who have lost chips recently include former chip leader Taylor Paur, who ran queens into the aces of Steven Gee; Elisabeth Hille, who lost a big pot to Omar Saeed; and Amit Makhija, who has given professional Danny Wong some more ammunition during the past level. After the first level of the day, Makhija seemed set on coasting to Day 7, but he has had troubles as of late and is down to only 2.9 million in chips.

Other recent eliminations include Scott Anderson, Richard Pyne, Casey Yontz and Helge Stjernvang. There are 49 players remaining and play will continue until there are 27 left.

The top 10:

1. Daniel Strelitz (10.07 million in chips)
2. Jeremy Ausmus (9.20 million)
3. Cylus Watson (6.90 million)
4. Erik Hellman (6.60 million)
5. Russell Thomas (6.31 million)
6. Danny Wong (6.12 million)
7. Jan Heitmann (5.81 million)
8. Jacob Balsiger (5.79 million)
9. Steven Gee (5.35 million)
10. Kyle Keranen (5.30 million)

Small blinds: Leo Wolpert and Scott Abrams have shared a rental house this Series and until Wolpert's elimination in 50th, both were still alive in the main event. … How does Amnon Filippi focus at the tables on Day 6? By playing games on his iPad. … There are only six tables left in the massive Amazon Room. … There have been numerous changes of the final table so far on Sunday and, as a result, there was no official 20-minute break between the past two levels. The blinds are now 40,000/80,000 with a 10,000 ante. …