The two remaining players, Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff, were exhausted and decided to call it quits for the day after playing through 10 long levels. With less than 20 minutes remaining in Level 31, Morgan and McNiff started discussing, and quickly agreed, that they should just finish their battle the following day.
“It’s been a long day, man,” Morgan said to the Tournament Director.
The event began on Saturday and 1,914 players paid the $1,500 registration fee to create a prize pool of $2,583,900. By the end of Day 1, just 212 remained and the players were only 14 spots from the money. It took less than an hour to burst the bubble and then players started dropping from the tournament quickly. By the end of Day 2, 15 players bagged up chips to go into what they thought would be the final day.
Some big name players made the money including Vinny Pahuja, who is experiencing a great series. Pahuja cashed for the fifth time since the series began, finishing 12th for $27,337 on Day 2. Other in-the-money finishes came from Roberto Romanello, Randal Flowers, Harrison Gimbel, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Loni Harwood, Thomas Muehloecker, Barry Greenstein, Max Silver, Owen Crowe, Joe Serock, Shawn Buchanan, Jackie Glazier, Jeff Madsen, and Sofia Lövgren.
Notables making an appearance and busting on Day 1 before the bubble burst were William Reynolds, Amanda Musumeci, Humberto Brenes, Tony Dunst, Ami Barer, Andy Frankenberger, Dave Ulliott, Mark Radoja, Vladimir Geshkenbein, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Dominik Nitsche, Antonio, Esfandiari, and Marvin Rettenmaier.
The unofficial final table was set a few hours into Day 3 and it took over an hour for the 10th-place finisher to be eliminated. The unfortunate honour went to Brandon Ageloff who had come into the day as the chip leader with the only player holding over a million chips. He lost a few big pots and then got it in with trip nines against Morgan’s full house on the turn. The river bricked and he left to collect $27,337.
After that, they started to bust out quickly. Michael “Maddog” Anselm was next to go in ninth for $35,063, followed by Ryan Spittles, the lone non-American on the final table from UK, who earned $45,554 for eighth.
Joseph Iarussi was knocked out in seventh for $59,920, and then Robert Chorlian was eliminated in sixth for $79,842. Bryan Dillon was the first player to earn more than $100K when he finished in fifth place for $107,800, followed by Ray Foley in fourth for $147,463. The heads-up match was set once Jason Johnson, who also final-tabled the Millionaire Maker earlier in this series, busted in third place and earned $204,464.
The heads-up clash between Morgan and McNiff began at 7:30 p.m. local time, and it was almost six hours later that they bagged up their chips one last time. It took only 78 hands to go from a final table of nine to the final two, but there has been just shy of 200 hands of heads-up play already and the winner has not been settled yet.
Morgan and McNiff ended the day with very even chip stacks, so this event can very easily go either way. They will return at 1 p.m. to determine who will earn the gold bracelet and the top-prize money of $478,102.
Check back with the PokerNews Live Reporting blog to follow the final hands on Tuesday.