“Pure Vida, Papi!” was the cry heard in the corner of the Paris Ballroom as the final two tables of the Mystery Millions were swarmed by railbirds wanting to see the battle for the $1,000,000 top prize on Monday afternoon.
The signature tagline for Costa Rica of “Pure Vida” became the dominant flavor as the final table was reached as Steven Thompson from San Jose, Costa Rica surged to second in chips after eliminating the final two players to reach the final table of 9.
Thompson’s boisterous rail of about four or five were most the vocal in support of their man who is going for his first career bracelet. Thompson was runner in 2016 in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed for over $328,000 which very nearly brought a WSOP bracelet to Costa Rica, something that his rail was quick to point out as they watched him.
The Costa Rican legend himself Humberto Brenes even stopped by for a quick well wish to Thompson.
Thompson’s rail commented on Brenes. “Of course he is a legend in our country. We (and Thompson) may not know him very closely personally but we definitely want to add to his legacy for us.”
Brenes, affectionately known as “The Shark” has brought two WSOP bracelets to Costa Rica which has six bracelets in total, made up of three from Max Stern and one from Maria Stern to make for the total bracelet count for the small Central American country. All six of those bracelets were won in the 1990s, which means Thompson is aiming to be the first Costa Rican to win a bracelet in nearly 30 years.
Thompson has a great chance to do just that as he has the second largest stack of the final nine. While his rail is currently the loudest, it may be challenged by the always high-volume Brazilians who have a representative at the final table in Tauan De Oliveira.
Guang Chen will enter the final table as chip leader and the biggest name is Dan Shak who is aiming for his first bracelet.
Play will resume around 5:30 local time and streaming will be available on youtube on a one hour delay to determine if Thompson can take the gold bracelet back home to the lovely shores and rainforests of Costa Rica!