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WSOP: Multiple-bracelet winners in running for top prizes

When the cards start flying Friday at the World Series of Poker, a few of the game’s most accomplished bracelet hunters will be in the mix looking to bag the game’s biggest prize.

Event #41: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha heads into the third and final day of play, having played down from 820 runners to just 18, and a pair of six-time bracelet winners are still in contention.

At the tender age of 77, tournament legend T.J. Cloutier hung with the young guns to build a stack of 449,000 entering Day 3 – good for sixth on the leaderboard.

Despite having six gold bracelets to his credit, Cloutier is best known for his near misses at the WSOP Main Event – where he’s finished in the top five on four occasions. In two cases (1985 and 2000), Cloutier was one opponent away from reaching poker’s pinnacle, but he fell just short in both heads-up matches, falling to Bill Smith and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, respectively.

Cloutier is still the consummate grinder in his sunset years, as a check of his Hendon Mob tournament results record shows. Just a few days ago, he placed eighth in the Rio’s $185 Daily Deepstack event, adding another $654 to his more than $10 million in lifetime earnings.

Today, he’ll be chasing chip leader Loren Klein (719,000) and others for the $231,483 first-prize payout.

So will Jeffrey Lisandro (121,000), a fellow six-time WSOP champion looking to stretch his bracelet count to seven. The Australian pro will have work to do, however, as he sits at the bottom of the counts.

Over in Event #44: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., 156 survivors from the 399-strong field have been sent through to Day 2.

Brazil’s Andre Akkari leads the way with 110,100 chips, but the leaderboard is littered with big-name pros who have won multiple bracelets.

Jeff Madsen (85,000) has four WSOP wins on his record, while Scotty Nguyen (84,300) and reigning Player of the Year Jason Mercier (76,400) have five.

Mike Matusow (50,000), owner of four bracelets, continues his torrid run at this year’s WSOP, alongside his longtime nemesis on the felt Daniel Negreanu (44,900) – who will be searching for his seventh bracelet.

Day 2 of the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. kicks off at 2 p.m. Las Vegas local time, and you can follow live updates from the floor of the Rio provided by PokerNews to catch all the mixed-game highlights.

See poker reviews and WSOP qualifier specials here.