3 Alaskans still in running for the richest prize in poker

Three Alaskans remain in the hunt for the most lucrative and prestigious prize in poker.

Cary Marshall of King Salmon, along with Jason Baer and Kima Kimura of Anchorage, were among fewer than 300 players still alive Friday night in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker, which drew 6,352 players and will reward the winner with $8.36 million.

The Main Event, a No-Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament that requires a $10,000 entry fee, or buy-in, is the last event in an extravaganza of nearly seven weeks of uninterrupted poker at the Rio in Las Vegas. It is the last of 62 separate events in the WSOP.

The Main Event prize pool of $59.7 million rewards roughly 10 percent of entrants, or 648 players, and 162 of them will earn at least $50,000. Seventy-two players will bag at least six figures and the top seven finishers each make $1 million or more. The Main Event lasts 10 days in Las Vegas, where the field is whittled down to nine players, who in November return to Sin City to convene for the final table.

With 298 players left in the Main Event field as of 10 p.m. ADT Friday, the three Alaskans were each guaranteed to make at least $32,242. The field was expected to play perhaps another two hours into Saturday morning before calling it a night and picking up play Saturday.

At least four Alaskans will cash in the Main Event because Lawrence Hill of Anchorage on Friday was eliminated in 544th place, which earned him $21,495.

Marshall, Baer and Kimura have all previously cashed at WSOP events.

Marshall last summer placed in two WSOP tournaments and racked $38,777. And last November he won a WSOP circuit event in Lake Tahoe to bag $139,260.

Baer earlier in this WSOP won $2,898 in a tournament. Kimura, who earned money in two WSOP events in 2010, earlier in this WSOP won $1,631 in a tournament.

Hill was the 21st Alaskan to cash in a WSOP event this year and Marshall will become the 22nd.

Kimura at one point Friday went all-in -- that is, she put all her chips at risk -- and her opponent called her bet. Kimura revealed she held a pair of aces and her opponent showed a pair of jacks. That put Kimura in strong position to survive and significantly boost her chip total.

But her opponent seemingly had the hand won, and Kimura dispatched, when the flop -- the first three community cards of the five the dealer eventually reveals -- provided her opponent a third jack.

Yet the final card revealed by the dealer -- that card is known as "the river'' -- was an ace, which allowed Kimura to more than double her chip total and remain in the hunt.

Anchorage Daily News