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This is it! With Day 8 of the WSOP Main Event taking place right now, we are mere hours away from seeing the 2011 November Nine. When the day is finally over, nine lucky poker players will leave the Rio with changed lives and the knowledge that they will be back again in a matter of a few months.

Just 22 players started Day 8 of the Main Event, which means that 35 people were eliminated yesterday. Let’s take a look at the notable eliminations and stories of Day 7.

Day 7 started with four PokerStars pros remaining: Tony Hachem (Joe Hachem’s brother), Sebastian Ruthenberg, JP Kelly, and Andrew Brokos. Of the four pros, Sebastian Ruthenberg was the first to hit the rail. He got it in with just over 15bb with AQ preflop, but he was unlucky enough to run into Guillaume Darcourt’s KK. He could not find an A and was eliminated in 55th place for $130,997.

Brokos was next. After 3-betting and then calling a jam with AK, he flipped with Andrey Pateychuk’s 99 and couldn’t pull out a win. Brokos busted in 53rd place for $160,036, making this the fifth time he’s cashed the WSOP Main Event in the last six years! That is truly an amazing accomplishment.

Hachem had a short stack for most of the day, and it is safe to say that he was in an almost panic situation with 500,000 chips at blinds 50,000/100,000. He went all-in with this stack in early position with 87s, and he was called by Kenny Shih and AJ. The flop came down ATT which was very bad for Hachem, and the turn left him drawing dead. He left the Main Event in 37th place for $196,174.

Tony Hachem talks to the floor during the WSOP Main Event. Photo courtesy of PokerNews.

This meant that Kelly was the last PokerStars pro remaining, but he couldn’t make it to Day 8, either. Despite a strong Day 7 at the tables, he eventually got short stacked and was forced to push in early position with JT. He unfortunately ran into the AA of Andrey Pateychuk and was unable to suck out. Kelly busted in 26th place for $302,005, which is significantly better than last year’s 111th for $57,102.

The last woman standing in the WSOP Main Event always receives a large amount of publicity. This year it was Erika Moutinho, but the story was made even more interesting as her boyfriend, David “Doc” Sands, was also in the field for Day 7. To make it even more interesting, they were eventually moved to the same table, side by side!

Erika Moutinho appears to be having a good time while David Sands is all business. Photo courtesy of PokerNews.

At one point Moutinho actually shoved blind versus blind, but Sands folded. She turned over an ace before mucking, which hopefully prevented any arguments away from the poker table!

Sands was the first of the pair to bust after shoving with JT and getting called by AJs. After shaking hands with everyone at the table, he proceeded to give Moutinho a hug along with words of encouragement before leaving.

Sometimes words of encouragement just aren’t enough, however. Moutinho was the very next elimination, getting it in with QTs against AQ. She ran no better than her boyfriend and also hit the rail. With Sands 30th and Moutinho 29th, the pair of them cashed for $242,636 each.

Ben Lamb is another amazing WSOP story. So far he is at the top of the leaderboard for Player of the Year, thanks to four cashes and three final tables. With a bracelet, a runner up finish, and now a deep run in the Main Event, it’s going to be tough for anyone to catch up to him when it comes to Player of the Year.

His incredible ability was highlighted during yesterday’s Day 7. He was near the top of the leaderboard for almost the entire day, and this was despite some major coolers. In one hand he went post flop with KK versus AA and managed to lose the minimum. In another he got it in preflop with JJ in late position versus KK and lost. Each time he shrugged off the loss and just grinded back his chips. He finished the day with a 5th place stack.

A further big name in the field was Erik Lindgren. Well respected by his peers as a phenomenal player, Lindgren has played the last ten WSOP Main Event tourneys and has not even made it past Day 2 in any year until 2011. Talk about running bad!

Lindgren fought hard to stay alive during Day 7, but the cards didn’t go his way. He lost a flip with 88 against T9s which crippled him. He was then forced to push in late position in 44 with his short stack, but he ran into a monster as Steve Brecher had JJ in the big blind. Lindgren couldn’t find a 2-outer and he busted in 43rd place for $196,174.

Erik Lindgren cashes his first Main Event in 10 years! Photo courtesy of PokerNews.

Day 7 ended with Anton Makievskyi as the chip leader with 21,045,000 chips. Will he be able to translate this stack into a berth in the November Nine? Will Ben Lamb be able to continue his WSOP amazing run and make the final table? Stay tuned for more WSOP coverage on FTR as Day 8 of the Main Event continues and we wait for the November Nine to form.