Martin Staszko began the final table on Sunday with the chip lead, coming in at 40.175 million in chips. That's only an increase of 6.29% from the stack he came in with, but Staszko has done well to lock himself up $4,021,138 and has a chance for a lot more.
Staszko didn't go too crazy early on, but did chip up a bit in the early goings. He climbed near the 50-million mark and held onto the chip lead until the 43rd hand of play, when Pius Heinz took over the top spot. Still, Staszko didn't rattle and kept playing a solid, tight-aggressive style.
On the 67th hand of the final table, Staszko eliminated Bob Bounahra in seventh place. Martin Staszko raised to 1.7 million and Bob Bounahra reraised all in for 4.475 million. Staszko called with the and was dominating Bounahra's . The flop, turn and river ran out and Staszko won the pot to move to nearly 46 million after dropping back to around 40 million.
Matt Giannetti moved into second place and Staszko fell to third, but he was still right in the pack of the top three for most of the day while the players behind him fell much further down the ladder.
After Eoghan O'Dea was crippled by Ben Lamb in a very pivotal hand, Staszko send O'Dea to the rail on Hand #99. O'Dea was all in for his last 2.3 million with the . Staszko held the . The board ran out to send O'Dea out the door.
During four-handed play, Staszko fell to the bottom of the group. He hovered right around the 20-million mark, but was able to selectively pick good spots to three-bet shove. Every time he did so, he added a couple million chips to his stack while hanging in there.
On the 156th hand of play, Staszko doubled through chip leader Pius Heinz. Staszko three-bet jammed for 21.525 million over a 2.1-million-chip raise from Heinz. Heinz called with the and was up against Staszko's . Staszko flopped trip eights on the hand and went on to hold up from there in order to get back to 44.65 million. That's right about where he ended the day roughly 20 hands later.
The first day of the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event final table saw 178 hands played and six players eliminated. PokerNews took the time to crunch some numbers over the hands we recorded here in the live reporting blog to reveal how many hands each play saw and how they acted preflop during those hands.
PF 3B %
PF 4B %
Pius Heinz was far and away the most active player at the table, although it took him the longest to win a pot at the start of play. Once Heinz found himself harnessing the chip lead, it was raise, raise, raise. Although Ben Lamb was the player who performed the most three-bets against his opponents, Heinz was the only play to four-bet on the day -- doing so twice over the course of the 65 hands he choose to voluntarily play.
Eoghan O'Dea kept himself very active during the time he was at the final table, playing nearly 25% of the hands he saw and coming in with a raise or three-bet over 80% of the time. Bob Bounahra was also very active before bowing out in seventh place. Anton Makiievskyi went out in eighth place and only played five hands out of the 59 he saw. On every one of those hands, Makiievskyi came in raising, usually with a preflop shove.
Also of note is that the ever-active Heinz attacked Lamb's big blind plenty of times. He rarely limped in from the small blind and often raised despite having to act out of position against Lamb post-flop. Lamb didn't play back at Heinz too much, but that should create an interesting dynamic for today when the two will be in many more blind-versus-blind situations.
Phil Collins played nearly a fifth of the hands he saw, but had a very low preflop raising percentage. Why? Well, the majority of the time when Collins entered a pot, he came in with a limp, rather than a raise. He did try the limp-three-bet play against Heinz once, but that only results in one of Heinz's two four-bets.
These numbers should provide a nice look at how the dynamic of the final table played out. It was clearly Heinz who was the most active, as he was constantly putting his big stack to use. It's going to be interesting to see if he keeps his foot on the accelerator today and how his opponents, Lamb and Martin Staszko, react. We know Lamb is capable of three-betting a lot, but Staszko did three-bet his opponents nine times over the first 178 hands and seemed to be very correctly selective in picking the right spots to do so.