Play gets tense at WSOP as money bubble approaches



LAS VEGAS (AP) — Players are getting anxious and intense about each hand at the World Series of Poker as the money bubble approaches — the line between a payday for a week of poker or nothing for a $10,000 entry.

Play slowed to a crawl Friday as 730 players remained in the no-limit Texas Hold ’em tournament after two hours. The top 693 players get at least $19,000 each, while the winner gets $8.71 million in November.

Eleven-time bracelet winner and 1989 champ Phil Hellmuth exited just after the day’s first break, shoving the last of his 100,000 in chips with a pair of threes. He was behind as his opponent had flopped a queen and didn’t catch up.

Berry Johnston was also eliminated, leaving just one former champion in the field.