World Series of Poker enters third round with 279 players left - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

The day of finishing in the money arrived at the World Series of Poker.

With the field slashed, almost all of the players left going into Monday will end up taking home at least $12,500. Of the 5,619 entrants who began play, most walked away empty handed - only 560 make money.

But for many players lucky enough to survive the first four days of the no-limit Texas Hold em event, the minimum payout - enough to cover the required $10,000 buy-in plus some expenses - is not likely to satisfy their gambling appetites.

Theyll be shooting for a spot at the final nine-person table in which the first one out will take home $1 million and the winning player will collect a record $7.5 million in first-place money.

In the running was patent lawyer Greg ``Fossilman Raymer, the 2004 champ, who was sitting on about $700,000 in chips and second place as the field was narrowed to 272 late Monday night.

Raymer is the only former champion of the World Series of Pokers main event still standing out of the 14 who started in the tournament. Huck Seed (1996) was the last to leave when he busted out Sunday.

The late chip leader was Rod Pardey Jr. of Las Vegas with about $702,000 in chips. But lurking among the remaining players were some top-notch pros, such as Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, John Juanda, Paul Darden, Layne Flack, Howard Lederer. Sam Farha, who finished second to Chris Moneymaker in 2003, ran out of luck Monday night and was knocked out.

But Juanda and Darden engaged in a costly battle Monday afternoon. Both went all-in before the flop. Juanda showed two queens and Darden had an ace-king. The flop and turn, or fourth street, revealed two aces, giving Darden an edge.

But the river, or fifth street, doomed Darden when the dealer turned over a queen. Juandas full house of queens over aces beat Dardens three aces and nearly doubled his original stack of $141,000.

Women also are trying to make history by winning the 36-year-old event. The 1995 fifth-place finisher and the only woman to make it to a final table, Barbara Enright, busted out late Monday. Olga Varkonyi, wife of 2002 winner Robert Varkonyi, was still in the game, one of seven women left.

Former Miss Teen Oklahoma and pro Clonie Gowen exited the tournament Monday afternoon when her ace-queen lost to two aces.

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