Day 7: Final table in sight at World Series of Poker's Main Event – Peoria Journal Star

Wes Huett

Playing your way through to the final table of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event often is a once-in-a-lifetime feat.

Three players still in the hunt late Monday night are looking to beat those odds.

Recent Main Event top finishers Ben Lamb, Antoine Saout and Michael Ruane are among the final 14 players remaining in the 2017 $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold-em championship at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The field was scheduled to play late into Monday night and Tuesday morning until it reaches nine players, who return to the Rio on Thursday. This year’s field of 7,221 was the third-largest in the history of the 48-year Main Event. Each player at the final table will earn at least $1 million, with the champion taking down $8.15 million and the gold bracelet awarded to poker’s world champion.

Lamb, third place in the 2011 Main Event, was sixth in chips when play resumed 11 p.m. Peoria time Monday. Saout, third in 2009, was seventh. Ruane, fourth just last year, was 12th.

Chip leader is Jack Sinclair, who has 62.4 million in chips — 24 million more than second place John Hesp. 

The 64-year-old Hesp, a likable Brit who sports a fedora and garish jackets, is the sentimental favorite of the remaining players. 

“Utterly in love with John Hesp,” poker pro Liv Boree said on Twitter.

Tweeted fellow pro Max Silver, who took 45th in the Main Event: “Best of luck to John Hesp in the main! Playing some sweet, sweet poker.”

Hesp told PokerNews.com he’s been receiving text messages from around the world, from people he doesn’t even know. 

“It’s unbelievable, it’s indescribable,” Hesp told the site. “I tried to get some sleep last night and my phone’s going ping-ping-ping as get messages coming from

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