Kao Saechao bagged the top stack with 35% of the chips in play and leads the six remaining players in Event #7: $2,740 No-Limit Hold'em of the Stairway To Millions at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.
Wu Zhou is in a distant second, while Dave Lin sits third in chips. Two-time Stairway To Millions winner Chance Kornuth, Samy Dighlawi, and Victoria Livschitz round out the final six. Zhou, Dighlawi, and Livschitz have all secured their third cash of the series, and all will have their eyes on the title when play resumes at The Venetian on Thursday, September 15 at noon to play to a winner.
The field of 92 entrants created a prize pool of $230,000, smashing through the $100,000 guarantee, and the top 12 finishers earned a piece of it. All players who made it into the money received prize money in addition to a $5,350 seat into Event #8. The top three finishers will skip a step and receive a $10,200 seat into Event #9, and the eventual winner will claim $45,373 along with the seat.
Saechao accumulated chips throughout the day and rocketed up the leaderboard when he eliminated Katie Lindsay on the money bubble. Both players rivered a flush in a battle of the blinds, but Saechao's eight-seven of diamonds took the pot over Lindsay's five-deuce of diamonds.
Philip Shing got his short stack in and was looking for an ace to triple, but found no help and was eliminated in 12th, although he did pick up his third consecutive cash. Jim Agate was the next to go in 11th when his inferior ace couldn't improve, and Gus Kalathakis got it in good on the turn after using up all of his time extensions, but Saechao rivered a flush to eliminate Kalathakis in 10th.
The remaining nine players then converged on a single table, and Joe Curcio was eliminated in ninth place when he ran sixes into Saechao's kings. Qing Liu was left with dust after doubling Kornuth, and he was gone in eighth place soon after, although Liu also secured his third consecutive cash.
Bill Klein was the final elimination of the day when he got it in as a favorite on a flop with top pair against Saechao's flush draw and overcard. Saechao improved to a flush on the turn to leave his opponent drawing dead, and Klein made his exit in seventh place, while the six surviving players bagged for the night.
When play resumes, there is 33:18 remaining in Level 16 with blinds at 25,000/50,000 with a 50,000 big blind ante. The button is on Samy Dighlawi and there's a dead small blind with Victoria Livschitz in the big blind.
Play will resume at 12 p.m. PT and the PGT.com Live Reporting Team will be providing updates until a winner is crowned. Stay tuned to follow the action through the end of Event #7, along with updates from the entire Stairway To Millions series from The Venetian Resort Poker Room.