Qing Liu bagged the top stack and leads the pack, while Michael Wang and Ryan Laplante are among the six remaining players in Event #5: $1,640 No-Limit Hold'em of the Stairway To Millions at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.
Josue Aguirre, Mikael Andersen, and Charles Capobianco round out the players returning for the final day. Liu bagged the chip lead at the end of the first day of Event #3 and ultimately finished in fourth place, while Andersen finished in sixth place in that same event. Both players will attempt to improve upon that when play resumes at The Venetian on Tuesday, September 13 at noon to play to a winner.
The field of 73 entrants created a prize pool of $109,500, and the top 11 finishers earned a piece of it. All players who made it into the money received prize money in addition to a $2,740 seat into Event #7. The top three finishers will skip a step and receive a $5,350 seat into Event #8, and the eventual winner will claim $22,986 along with the seat.
The pace of play started to slow near the bubble when 14 players remained, before Skip Wilson and Kao Saechao were knocked out and hand-for-hand play began. Shortly after, John Yelaney, winner of Event #2, ran queens into kings and was eliminated on the money bubble. Jim Agate was then ousted in 11th when he lost the rest of his short stack, and Philip Shing was gone in 10th when he couldn't win a flip against Wang.
The remaining players converged on the unofficial final table, and Michael Rossitto was the first elimination there in ninth place after losing his remaining short stack to Liu after getting it in as a small favorite. Maria Konnikova held the chip lead near the bubble, but she found herself in an unfavorable seat position with big stacks to her left on the final two tables, and she wasn't able to continue her earlier momentum as she ultimately hit the rail in eighth place when she couldn't improve against Aguirre's better ace.
It took nearly an hour until the final elimination of the day as multiple doubles transpired, including one hand where Wang made a royal flush on the river. Eventually, it was Victoria Livschitz to make her exit in seventh place when she ran her short stack into Aguirre's big slick, and the six surviving players bagged for the night. Although she was eliminated short of the final day, Livschitz cashed for the second consecutive tournament, and she will return in Event #7 to attempt to further ascend the stairway.
When play resumes, there is 7:47 remaining in Level 16 with blinds at 25,000/50,000 with a 50,000 big blind ante.
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 #5, along with updates from the entire Stairway To Millions series from The Venetian Resort Poker Room.