1,375 players came back for Day 2, and we needed to get down to 480 for the money. We set the chance of the bubble bursting at “no chance” at the start of the day, and then we spent the rest of the five levels downgrading our forecast.
With one 90-minute level to play, it was suddenly on. Play was fast all day and it was showing no signs of slowing down, thanks in part to the Action Clocks that were introduced at the start of level 15. They meant players had 15 seconds to make their first preflop action and 30 seconds for any future decisions. They also had five 30-second time extension chips.
At this point, Mateus Carrion, a successful Brazilian cash game player, was the big chip leader with a stack of almost four million, with the average at 790k. He had so many chips he needed help racking them all, and his new tablemates were somewhat alarmed to see them.
The previous four levels had been pretty wild. Headphones were thrown in anger, Alan Keating’s stack was its very own rollercoaster ride, and lots of big names were eliminated.
Martin Kabrhel hit the rail, but not before asking two of the PokerOrg crew to stop filming him. The live stream kicked off and welcomed Patrick Leonard before showing him the door. Nacho Barbera, Chris Brewer, Bill Klein, Christian Harder and Mike Matusow all departed before the money.
As the bubble proper approached, Maria Konnikova got her last four big blinds in with pocket fours and flopped a set of fours to keep everything symmetrical.
Meanwhile, Lynn Gilmartin was threatening another deep run after finishing 96th here last year… and Eliot Hudon was threatening the unthinkable after winning it last December.
It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. And there was some pretty nasty stuff before the bubble finally burst. One player got it in with kings, found himself up against jacks and was eliminated on the river. No headphones were thrown.
But the most impressive thing we saw was Joe Hachem folding kings preflop on the feature table just five off the money. “I just know you got it”, he said as he flipped his cards face up. “You’re a sick man,” said his opponent, who flipped aces.
In the end, it came down to cracked aces. Maryline Valente doing the dirty with a flopped set of jacks. It meant ultimate sadness for Tyler Hirschfeld.
💥 An absolutely heartbreaking finish for @tslate21 on the stone bubble of the @WPT World Championship.— Poker Org (@pokerorg) December 17, 2023
Tyler Hirschfeld was all in with the best hand in poker, and was ousted by Valente Maryline.
GG ❤️ pic.twitter.com/CmPq1rosUx
Spare a thought for Tyler. It’s tough listening to everyone else celebrate when you’re at your lowest.
Carrion had faded from the top of the chip counts by this point. Here are the unofficial top five stacks.
1. Alessandro Siena – 3,035,000 (202bb)
2. David Levy – 2,605,000 (174bb)
3. Jacob Ferro – 2,600,000 (173bb)
3. Julien Martini – 2,600,000 (173bb)
5. Ade Olonoh – 2,520,000 (168bb)
We’ll be back tomorrow at noon for another five levels, and if they’re anything like today’s, we’re going to be in for another wild ride. You can catch all the big moments as they happen on PokerOrg Instant, which will also house the live stream when that kicks in around 2pm.