LAS VEGAS -- The last woman left in the World Series of Poker main event was eliminated on Wednesday as players begin a final stretch to determine the tournament's final table.
Leo Margets of Barcelona, Spain, was eliminated in 27th place on Wednesday when her A-7 didn't improve against an opponent's A-10. She won $352,832.
Margets was already an underdog when she risked the last of her chips, but found herself even further behind when one of the first three community cards paired her opponent's 10.
About 3 percent of the tournament's 6,494 players were women, tournament officials said, less than in previous years.
Margets, a part-time poker player who works as a marketing manager for an Internet casino site, started Wednesday with the second shortest chip stack among those left in the tournament.
Last year, actress Tiffany Michelle was eliminated 17th from a field of 6,844 to win $334,534 -- the best finish for a woman in the no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event since Annie Duke finished 10th in 2000.
A revised pay structure made Margets' payday the highest for a woman in the tournament despite Michelle's higher finish last year with more players.
Seven players were eliminated Wednesday 2½ hours into their eighth session of play.
Play was expected to go well into the night, with breaks every two hours, as each elimination brought the tournament closer to its final nine players.
Also eliminated on Wednesday was Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari, who bet more than 3 million chips with pocket 5s and was called by an opponent who made a pair of 10s on the flop.
Esfandiari, who also won $352,832, was one of only two prior World Series of Poker tournament winners left as play began Wednesday, along with seven-time gold bracelet winner Phil Ivey.
Ivey started the day fourth in chips with 11.35 million and had dropped to 7.4 million two hours later. He dropped to 5.4 million chips after the first break when he lost a bid to eliminate another player and win back some chips.
After the final table is determined, each of the nine players left will be paid $1.26 million on Thursday, ninth-place money. Harrah's Entertainment Inc., the private casino operator that owns the tournament, will put the rest of the prize money into a conservative interest-bearing account until the day before the final table starts Nov 7.
That will push the prizes for the first through eighth-place finishers even higher. Top prize right now is $8.55 million.
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