Francis Anderson won the final hand of the night to bag a fairly sizable chip lead as six players remain in Event #1: $460 No-Limit Hold'em of the Stairway To Millions at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. Joining Anderson at the final table are Wu Zhou, Jerry Dababneh, Galstyan Karapet, Danny Chi, and Thomas Henry. They will return to The Venetian on Friday, September 9 at noon to play down to a winner.

The field of 93 entrants created a prize pool of $37,200, breaking well through the $25,000 guarantee, and the top 14 finishers grabbed a piece of it. All players who made it into the money received cash in addition to a seat into the $900 buy-in step of either Event #3 or #4. The top three finishers will skip a step and receive a seat into the $1,640 buy-in step of either Event #5 or #6, and the eventual winner will claim $6,702 along with the seat.

Players battled it out on the felt for roughly seven hours before Ori Hasson was eliminated on the money bubble to send the remaining 14 players into the money. Those who made it into the money but fell short of the unofficial final table were Roberto Marin (14th), Sven Toth (13th), Gladys Landegger (12th), Chris Ashoff (11th), and Lam Dang Nguyen (10th). Nguyen had found a good spot for a triple-up when his ladies were up against the ace-jack of two opponents, but a two-outer ace on the turn sent him to the rail.

The remaining nine players then converged on an unofficial final table, before Dannah Kamp fell in ninth place after running into Karapet's big slick. Roland Israelashvili was the next casualty in eighth place when he ran into Anderson's cowboys, and that sent Anderson to the top of the leaderboard as the players went on a short break.

Daniel Sepiol won Event #1 in the inaugural Stairway To Millions earlier this year and was looking for an improbable repeat, but he found himself needing to improve against Anderson's superior ace in a battle of the blinds. Sepiol was briefly an equity favorite as he flopped flush and straight draws, but found no further help and was eliminated on the final hand of the night in seventh place, while Anderson took the huge pot and a sizeable chip lead as the six remaining players bagged for the night.

Event #1 Final Table

Seat  Name Country Chip Count
1 Jerry Dababneh United States 1,815,000
2 Thomas Henry United States 550,000
3 Danny Chi United States 670,000
4 Francis Anderson United States 3,500,000
5 Galstyan Karapet United States 785,000
6 Wu Zhou United States 1,850,000

When play resumes, there is 22:45 remaining in Level 16.

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Venetian Las Vegas, Francis Anderson, Jerry Dababneh, Thomas Henry, Danny Chi, Galstyan Karapet, Wu Zhou