WSOP TODAY: July 15; Aussie David Balkin is 19th with 27 left in Main Event

Highlights from day 50 of the 2012 WSOP (July 15)

David Balkin is poised to join a select group of Australian poker players to have run deep into the WSOP Main Event after the Sydneysider finished day six 19th in chips with just 27 players still in the running for the 2012 title of No Limit Hold’em world champion.

Aside from Joe Hachem’s victory in 2005, few Aussies have ventured this deep into the world’s biggest poker tournament.Last year, Andrew Hinrichsen placed 23rd for USD $302,005 while back in 2006, Jeff Lisandro finished 17th which earned the five-time WSOP bracelet winner USD $659,730.

Balkin is already assured a payout of USD $294,601 but it’s the USD $8,527,982 for first prize that is in the back of the mind of all 27 survivors.

Australia’s other day six participant, Lawrie Gibson, will return to his home in Perth with USD $73,805 after finishing 83rd. With thanks to, here are the details of Gibson’s bustout hand:

“Eric Buchman raised from early position to 85,000. Casey Yontz called before Lawrie Gibson four-bet to 240,000. Eric Legoff then cold five-bet to 455,000. Buchman folded and Gibson called. After the Qc-8h-7s flop Gibson moved all-in and Legoff snap-called. Gibson showed As-Qs but found he was behind the red aces of Legoff. The 5s turn gave Gibson some hope but the 3h river was no help and Gibson was eliminated 83rd place.”

There may be 19 players from the USA in the top 27, but it’s Canada’s Marc Ladouceur (pictured, with thanks to who leads the field into the final day before the November Nine are decided for 2012. He finished 63rd in the Main Event two years ago, but has much bigger fish to fry this year.

Two female players are also poised to join Barbara Enright as the only other woman to reach the final table of the WSOP Main Event – Norway’s Elisabeth Hille and Frenchwoman Gaelle Baumann, who’s been prominent in the tournament since day three.

Germany’s Nicco Maag held the chip lead five minutes before the dinner break on day six but ended 27th place out of 27 players. There are three German players still in the field, which is second in number only to the United States.

In contrast, Daniel Strelitz, seized the chip lead moment before the last hand before dinner. He rocketed to 9 million in chips, becoming the first player to hit that mark. He ended the day ranked second in chips. Two WSOP gold bracelet winners also remain alive – Steven Gee, Greg Merson.

Notables KOed during day six included Gavin Smith, Erik Cajelais, Isaac Baron, Kyle Bowker, Eric Buchman, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Somerville, David Baker, Sam Holden, Leo Wolpert, Amit Makhija, Amnon Filippi, and Taylor Paur.

2012 WSOP Main Event (USD $10,000 + $600 buy-in, 6598 players, 666 players paid, prizepool USD $62,021,200, 27 players remaining, end of day 6 chip count)

1 Marc Ladouceur (Canada) 15,875,000
2 Daniel Strelitz (USA) 12,790,000
3 Robert Salaburu (USA) 10,915,000
4 Russell Thomas (USA) 9,985,000
5 Elisabeth Hille (Norway) 9,770,000
6 Yuval Bronshtein (USA) 9,735,000
7 Jamie Robbins (USA) 8,750,000
8 Robert Corcione (USA) 8,745,000
9 Cylus Watson (USA) 8,500,000
10 Jeremy Ausmus (USA) 8,300,000
11 Scott Abrams (USA) 8,080,000
12 Greg Merson (USA) 7,400,000
13 Jesse Sylvia (USA) 7,385,000
14 Jacob Balsiger (USA) 7,330,000
15 Michael Esposito (USA) 7,045,000
16 Percy Mahatan (USA) 6,750,000
17 Jan Heitmann (Germany) 6,390,000
18 Danny Wong (USA) 6,360,000
19 David Balkin (Australia) 6,330,000
20 Gaelle Baumann (France) 5,530,000
21 Roland Israelashvili (USA) 5,525,000
22 Steven Gee (USA) 4,830,000
23 Robert Buckenmayer (USA) 4,410,000
24 Andras Koroknai (Hungary) 3,125,000
25 Wilfried Haerig (Germany) 2,665,000
26 Paul Volpe (USA) 2,650,000
27 Nicco Maag (Germany) 1,300,000

Results for Australian players

83 Lawrie Gibson $73,805
284 Jackie Glazier $38,453
580 Paul Birman $21,707
582 Paul Spiteri $21,707
585 Michael Weiss $21,707

• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla,

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