July 11 (Bloomberg) -- France’s Gaelle Baumann is leading the World Series of Poker’s main event as she tries to become the second woman in the tournament’s 43-year history to reach the final table.
About half of the 4,344 players who advanced to Day 2 of the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship, known as the main event, have completed play. Baumann, 29, has 505,800 in chips to lead Canadian Mark Demirdjian’s 499,900, while 840 others advanced to Day 3. The other half of the field will play Day 2 today and then both surviving groups will be combined.
The tournament, which will award $8.5 million to the winner, has drawn 6,598 entrants, making it the fifth-largest live poker tournament in history. There were 211 female entrants, or 3.2 percent.
The only woman to reach the final table of the main event was Barbara Enright, who finished fifth in 1995, when there were 273 overall entrants.
The 61-event World Series of Poker is being held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The tournament will play down to nine competitors on July 16. Those remaining will return in late October to crown a champion.
Baumann finished 15th in an earlier World Series event, the $1,000 buy-in Ladies Championship, winning $7,716. She also won $5,265 with a 123rd-place finish in a $2,500 buy-in event.
Jeremy Wien, an options trader at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., advanced to Day 3 for the fourth straight year. He has 24,400 in chips remaining.
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