With the eliminations of Claudia Crawford and Amanda Musumeci on Sunday, Erika Moutinho is officially the last woman alive at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event. Moutinho, a native of Easton, Conn., finished Day 6 with just over 2 million chips and has joined the likes of Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle, Leo Margets and Breeze Zuckerman with the distinction of being the last woman standing in the poker’s most prestigious event.
But Moutinho’s impressive run is made even more extraordinary because her boyfriend — poker pro David “Doc” Sands — is also going strong in the tournament with 57 players remaining.
Sands, a former member of the Brunson 10, bagged up 2,765,000 chips Sunday night after beginning the day with 1.6 million. He and his girlfriend have been enjoying the ride of a lifetime as they’ve each outlasted more than 6,800 players with the hope of attaining poker’s ultimate goal, reaching the November Nine.
And what a story it would make. It can virtually be assured that a couple has never made it this deep together in the Main Event and for both to make the final table would be a dream outcome for not only them, but the entire poker community.
Poker’s emerging “power couple” began facing more media attention on Day 6 and among the many questions asked to Moutinho was how she’d feel about being placed at the same table as her boyfriend of five years.
“He taught me how to play so I kind of know how he thinks so I may have a little bit of an edge there,” Moutinho told Cardplayer’s Rebecca McAdam Sunday evening. “It would be interesting.”
And sure enough, when Sands’ table broke late Sunday night he was moved to Moutinho’s table on the ESPN featured stage, creating a fun dynamic for everyone tuning in. “Oh my god. Look who it is,” Moutinho exclaimed as her beau entered the table. Ben Lamb, a close friend of Sands who was also seated at the table, added, “This is a crazy little thing right here.”
The two lovebirds didn’t tangle during their short time at the table Sunday, but Moutinho watched attentively as Sands got involved in a big pot against Erick Lindgren on the final hand of the day. Lindgren fired a bet of 340,000 on a board of Ac-Qd-3h-3d-6d and Sands moved all in, prompting a quick fold from the poker legend as Sands collected a nice pot to finish the day.
Sands stood up proudly and announced that he’d taken the household chip lead from his partner. “Yeah, Moutinho! Just when you talk about how many nights you had the chip lead,” he teased. Moutinho had more chips than Sands after four of the first five days of the tournament.
ESPN’s Kara Scott spoke with the couple after the day ended and asked them what it was like playing together in the spotlight of the Main Event. “I was excited to be there,” Sands said. “It was a great experience and I think it’s a really unique accomplishment for both of us individually and collectively. She played great and I’m really proud of her efforts and my efforts. It was fun to be able to celebrate that at the end of the day.”
A face-off at the table has to be a distressing thought for Sands and Moutinho, but it could be inevitable as we inch closer to the final table. While they won’t be seated together to begin Day 7, it could very well happen again as the field trims down to 27 on Monday. The November Nine will be decided on Tuesday.
Moutinho is playing in her first WSOP Main Event but got her feet wet in the final $1,000 No Limit Event of the Series earlier this month, taking 416th place for just over $1,800. Sands, meanwhile, has 13 WSOP cashes to his credit, including a pair of final tables. He took third place in this summer’s $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event for $113,383 and finished eighth in a $1,500 No Limit Hold ’em event in 2010.
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily as we bring you continuous coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event from the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.