Las Vegas, NV
Today's an important day. More than 50% of the field will go home after almost a week of work with nothing. Zilch. Nadda. The rest? They get to live for one more day... but they're still not guaranteed a cash in the Main Event. If anything, today is about survival for many.
And for the few players who have big stacks? They're looking to maintain their advantage as part of the lead pack, while the pros that are left are hoping to snag a bit of the spotlight as the list of named pros gets smaller and smaller every few minutes.
2,044 players remaining today. We will be playing five levels. The rumors about playing six levels or down to 750 was just bogus and nothing more than bad whispers.
Cards went in the air almost on time. Jeffrey Pollack introduced a former Vietnam veteran... Capt. Tom Franklin. He said the official words, "Shuffle up and deal!"
Here's some quick stats...
Day 3 Main Event Stats:
Players Remaining: 2,044
Chipleader: Amir Lehavot
Top 10 Chip Counts:
1 Amir Lehavot (Weston, FL) - 610,500
2 Peter DeBaene (Shelby Township, MI) - 465,000
3 Troy Weber (West Terre Haute, IN) - 453,200
4 Dan Bilzerian (Tampa, FL) - 439,500
5 Franklin Grigsby (Austin, TX) - 424,400
6 Gabe Walls (Billings, MT) - 417,900
7 Mikael Thuritz (Los Angeles, CA) - 395,400
8 Andrew Gaw (Philippines) - 386,800
9 Eric Cloutier (Quebec ON,Canada) - 383,500
10 Jason Brice (Sugar Land, TX) - 376,100
Notables on Day 3 (Thru Top 420):
17 Ivey, Phil 346,200
33 FBT 287,300
34 Tran, JC 284,600
46 Tran, Kenny 273,000
80 Lisandro, Jeff 229,300
83 Benyamine, David 228,800
86 Saul, Kevin 227,800
93 Bonomo, Justin 223,300
97 Dang, Hac 221,800
103 Lemke, Brian 217,700
107 Black, Andrew 215,700
126 ELKY 207,900
139 Kostritsyn, Alex 202,600
163 Phillips, Lou Diamond 192,300
170 Phillips, Dennis 190,200
178 Borges, Diogo 186,500
182 Alvarado, J.C. 186,000
185 Karam, Marc 185,200
186 Wasicka, Paul 184,900
197 Harrington, Dan 181,400
212 Crowe, Owen 178,000
215 Hougaard, Jesper 176,800
227 Warne, Shane 173,700
239 Sexton, Mike 169,000
246 Mizzi, Sorel 166,400
254 Ludovic, Lacay 165,400
260 Boyd, Dutch 163,600
274 Binger, Nick 161,900
307 Levi, David 154,400
310 Boutin, Burt 153,300
319 Christian, Dragomir 151,600
324 Esquondoles, Marco 151,100
362 Soulier, Fabrice 145,800
371 Nicolas, Levi 144,500
383 Hellmuth, Phil 142,900
404 Kara Scott 139,500
405 Poels, Pat 139,400
406 Brunson, Pamela 139,300
408 Hachem, Joe 138,900
409 Gobbo 138,300
412 Bellande, Jean-Robert 137,700
416 "Mr. Rain" 137,000
420 Lunkin, Vitaly 135,900
Friends of Tao of Poker:
1795 Liz Lieu - 30,500
1733 Shaniac - 34,200
1950 Pinky - 18,800
1976 Louie Cohen - 16,900
12:12pm... Shane Warne and the Ashes
There's a major cricket tournament held every other calendar year between Australia and England called The Ashes. Shane Warne is retired from Team Australia but he was paid big bucks to do color commentary. Since he's still in the Main Event, he skipped out on the first match in this series.
Garth wrote a bit about the potential hot story brewing on his blog. Warne is buddies with Joe Hachem and their friendship is already paying off dividends. Ad if you don't know about Shane Warne, he's like the all time greatest bowler of all time with a spinner... which would be the equivalent of a pitcher who had such a nasty breaking ball that no one could touch it.
Anyway, Warne started the day with 173K and he's looking to extend his American holiday.
P.S. Consider this a pitch to a potential book publisher...a fish out of water American reporter stumbles upon the dark side of the cricket scene while covering The Ashes. Let's make it happen. I'd love to cover the Ashes in 2011. I'd love to write it after the Phish book and before the Mexican drug war book.
1:30pm... Sediel and Hungry Like de Wolfe = Busto
Chip Leaders: Andrew Gaw, Phil Ivey
Recent Eliminations: Erik Seidel, Micon, Eric Morris, Roland de Wolfe, Jesse Jones, Jason Young, and Bill Gazes.
Bryan Micon is busto and he immediately tweet'd... "Going to play Venetian $500. Yes I am king of all Degenerates."
Kara Scott added a few chips when her aces held up.
I found Shane Warne and the Donkey Bomber playing in the Brasilia Room. They have already broken an entire section of that room and they're on the cusp of breaking down tables in another section. DonkeyBomber's table got broke. He was sitting with a short stacked Tim Phan.
Warne pulled a rock star move when he left Las Vegas on Day 1 and flew to the UK to play in a cricket match for the Queen. He hopped back on a plane and arrived late to Day 2 before he finished out the day strong.
1,900 players remaining...
2:30pm... 1,680 and Counting...
Chip Leaders: Andrew Gaw and Phil Ivey
Recent Eliminations: Nicolas Levi
Jason Alexander recently doubled up according to Change100. The former Seinfeld actor is sitting in front of the table where she's set up. I watched him pick up one pot with Jacks up.
Nicolas Levi wandered up to the press box and sadly told Benjo his elimination hand. Today will be the worst day of the year for 1,200 or so players as they go home busto.
Shane Warne's table was moved from Brasilia to Amazon. The floor guy said, "Congrats gentleman on making the final... room."
One guy asked how far they were away from the money.
"If you don't make it to the end of the day it won't matter."
Warne needed a change of scene. He spewed over 200K in chips yesterday like a drunken Scandi. He's on life support with under 50K and needs to get his shit together. Otherwise, he'll be booking the 5pm flight to London on Virgin Airlines so he to cover the Ashes as a TV commentator.
One of the tables in the Brasilia Room included Jesus seated next to the guy in the Indian headdress. As I left the room, I passed Carlos Mortensen's table. He had all of his chips perfectly stacked and each marking aligned. Anal retentive? Bored? Or a true artist?
3:30pm... Mayor Gus
Chip Leaders: James Akenhead, Amir Lehavot, and Elky
Recent Eliminations: Ilya Gorodetskiy, Jen Harman, Ville Wahlbeck, Freddy Bonyadi, Matt Hawrilenko, Steve Brecher, Rizen, and Christina Lindley.
Who smokes during the middle of the levels? Andy Black and Chau Giang. They sneak out at special times to get their fix before sprinting back to play.
Ilya Gorodetskiy from Moscow is out, He stopped by the press box to tell me his bustout. Theo Tran took him out with set over set in a 350K pot. Flop was Q-9-2. Tran's Queens held against Ilya's nines. You can catch Ilya's doing the Russian commentary on EPTLive.com.
Ludovic Lacay is pushing towards 314K. I overheard him tell his chipcount to Benjo. My French is improving. I actually knew the proper numbers. At Lacay's table there was a woman who unnecessarily called a clock on player when she wasn't in the hand. She totally pulled a Tiffany Michelle. Supposedly karma swung back her way and she busted out when she shoved with Kings into Lacay's Aces.
I made the rounds and sweated the action from the rail. Luckily the Big Randy and DonkeyBomber are right next to each other at adjacent tables. The Big Randy is also my client, so I'm hoping he goes deep and we can make some big bucks from the local stripclubs and Icelandic sports books.
Gus Hansen is the mayor of the Amazon Ballroom. He was signing t-shirts and one old lady stopped him for his photo. It was cute, she even asked the Great Dane to cop a feel and he obliged. Afterwards, Gus wandered over to Phil Hellmuth's table and the two talked some smack.
"How many bracelets you got?" Hellmuth ego screamed across the room.
"Zero," said Hansen's penis. "But I threw up on eleven models since breakfast."
1,540 players and counting... and I think Shane Warne is busto. He's MIA.
4:20pm... Smoke 'em if you got 'em!
Chip Leaders: John Hammer and gabe Walls - over 600K each
Recent Eliminations: Terrance Chan, Bill Edler, Dario Alioto, Sammy Farha, Andre Akkari
I watched in astonishment as Chau Giang got his armpit massaged by an unlucky masseuse. I wonder if she made farting sounds for him and gets paid extra to work on those obscure areas of the human body. If Tony G can get his feet massaged at the tables, then Chau can get his armpits rubbed.
Phil Ivey was moved to Elky's table. Should be an interesting battle... if they decide to play against each other. Or they decide to avoid each others' big stacks and carve up the table between the two of them.
According to Terrence Chan's twitter feed... he's out. Bill Edler is no longer as well. Liz Lieu avoided elimination... but she's still short.
A Scandi reporter in a NY Yankees cap chatted with Thor Hansen for a significant amount of time. I could only wonder if Thor was giving him advice on who to bet on in Swedish soccer or he was recanting a wicked bad beat.
As always, today's 4:20 smoke break is brought to you by... PokerStars!
* * * * *
Chip Leaders: Gabe Walls and James Akenhead
Recent Eliminations: former champions Greg Raymer and Carlos Mortensen, Shane Warne, Adam Junglen, Adam Schoenfeld, Jean-Robert Bellande, and Darus Suharto
Average stack is around 140K.
Chainsaw Kessler might get some ESPN face time since Jordan Farmar is playing at his table. The cameras have been keeping an eye on that table.
Joe Sebok's lady friend Amanda stood on the rail with Joe Stapleton, who chowed down on McDs while sweating his Poker Road companion. Stapes devoured McNuggets drenched in BBQ sauce, while Sebok nursed a supershort stack.
Kristy Gazes is in the middle of a massage while two tables away lurks Phil Ivey and Elky's table. Squeezed in the middle of those two? David Levi to make it even tougher. And in the 5 seat? A dude in a PokerStars t-shirt who looks like he shit his pants. Elky is sporting his usual garish hoodie.
A guy on the rail pointed towards the red section, "This is so fuckin' cool. Look? Phil Hellmuth is there and Phil Ivey is here. Get out your camera and take a picture!"
"This just doesn't do it for me," she sighed as she dug through her purse.
The catatonic Hevad Khan stacked his chips in a peculiar manner, but he has so many that it doesn't matter.
The DonkeyBomber and the Big Randy are both in. DonkeyBomber has Tim Phan still at his table, while the Big Randy's table included Greg FBT Mueller, who attracted ESPN cameras.
Up on the featured TV table, Joe Hachem and Jeff Lisandro sat across from each other. Two Aussies. One the former world champion and the other? A three time bracelet winner in 2009 and Player of the Year winner.
Maridu is sporting a teal-colored bandana with white skulls. Like most Brazilians who worship a hybrid of Catholicism and Voodoo, she has summoned her deceased ancestors to guide her through any rough spots on Day 3.
6:20pm... Chainsaw Nevermore
Chip Leaders: Ludovic Lacay, Gabe Walls and James Akenhead
Recent Eliminations: Gobbo, Chainsaw, JohnnyBax, Marco Traniello, Pamela Brunson, Thomas Koo
Ludovic Lacay is over 570K after he dragged a pot with 9c-7c against pocket Kings.
DonkeyBomber is over 200K and looking good after taking a bit of Tim Phan's stack.
Chainsaw Kessler is out. When I told the pressbox about his departure, Benjo shook hos head and said, "No min-cash for Chainsaw."
Also gone? Gobbo and JohnnyBax.
Bobby Baldwin is sitting near the press box. I asked Nolan Dalla is anyone atthe table knew who he was? Or his legendary past? Maybe he likes it that way so he can fly under the radar. Young gun Steven Levy is sitting across from Baldwin. I dunno if he was even born when Baldwin won his Main Event crown.
According to his twitter feed, The Big Randy put "FBT on a little FBT!"
Players are heading out to a dinner break shortly. We're well above 1,150 or so players...
8:35pm... Ludovic = New Chipleader; Joe Sebok Springs Back to Life
Chip Leaders: Ludovic Lacay
Recent Eliminations: Alexia Portal, Kent Senter, Raymond Rahme, Tony Hachem, Mark Teltscher, Miami John, Liz Lieiu, and Paola Martin
The BigRandy had over 200K until he lost a pot to FBT Mueller. He was barely above average at the dinner break.
Joe Sebok has been ill for the last few days. He caught the nasty bug that has been going around the last week or so. When I got back from Phish tour, several people wee already sick and it hit me for a few days last weekend. Poker players are not the most healthy types in the world and with all of these germ infested chips in play, I'm shocked that no one has acquired Hepatitis B yet.
Anyway, Joe Sebok won two heady pots after the dinner break and is up to 150K.
Ludovic Lacay is now over 600LK and closing in on 700K and the chiplead. Benjo said that his fellow Frenchman will be the first player to reach 1 Million in chips. It was a bold prediction and if players continue to bust at their rapid pace (like 200 per hour at one point), he very well might be around that much.
Phil Iey's table broke and he was moved near Change100's work station. She said that as soon as he walked into the Blue section of the Amazon Ballroom, he was bombarded with autograph requests. Although Ivey doesn't say much, he accommodated and filled every single request.
ESPN cameras have been hanging out at the table in front of the press box with Antonio Efiandari. Also at his table? The Brother of the Grinder and someone who I think is Arnold Spee.
1,071 players returned after the dinner break, and about twenty or so minutes in, there's around 1,050 to go.
9:35pm... Owen Crowe & ELKY = Million Dollar Man
Chip Leaders: ELKY, Ludovic Lacay and OCrowe
Recent Eliminations: Joe Awada, Taylor Caby, Jose Barbero, John Juanda, Lee Watkinson, Luca Pagano
Players Remaining: 999
Ludovic Lacay raced passed 900K easily as he inched closer to 1 million in chips. Owen Crowe was not far behind and ended up the first North America player to pass the 1 million barrier. Elky snagged close to 1.2 million.
Lacay's fellow members of Team Winamax, Patrick Bruel and Julian Brecard (team manager), are on a different table, but seated right next to each other.
Bobby Baldwin doubled up according to Benjo. And Joe Sebok was on Death Watch for most of the day with a super short stack and since then he's gone from low 30s to over 250K.
10:35pm... 900 More Bust Outs Until the November Nine
Chip Leaders: ELKY, Ludovic Lacay and OCrowe
Recent Eliminations: The Brother of the Grinder, Martha Herrera, Amit Makhija, Dutch Boyd, Nam Le, Joe Reitman, and a bunch of Eurodonks.
Players Remaining: 909
The Big Randy is under 200K. He's slightly below average. The average stack on the bubble will be around 300K. I did that math quickly in my head, so I really have no clue. It just sounded right.
Lou Diamond Phillips, Jason Alexander, and Scott Ian from Anthrax are all still thriving among the celebrity category. In the lovely ladies department... Kara Scott and Kristy Gazes are both alive. Kara is chipping up while Kristy is card dead.
At this pace, we'll end up a round under 800 or players. That's the magical over/under today. I have the over and Benjo has the under.
I wandered over to the Miranda Room and they were in the process of breaking it down completely and removing all tales and chairs and plasma screens used as clocks. The Brasilia Room is also empty but they are keeping those tables until Dream Team Poker finished their event. It starts on Sunday and ends on Monday.
Photo by Mean Gene
11:35pm... Two Frenchies, One Cup... and George COstanza = Busto
Chip Leaders: ELKY and Ludovic Lacay
Recent Eliminations: Jason Alexander, Ivo Donev, Krazy Kanuck, and Josh Arieh
Players Remaining: 860
The two Frenchies are atop of the leaderboard after Owen Crowe took a hitand slipped out of the top spot.
Jason Alexander took a wicked beat on the river over at the featured TV table. His jacks got snapped off by trip sixes. The anti-Christ. Alas, the Sumemr of George has come to a close.
Out on the floor, Kristy Gazes was moved to Mike Sexton's table. While Jeff Lisandro moved next to ZeeJustin.
I watched Kevin Saul pick apart an online qualifier. Saul opened and the online satellite winner from Omaha decked out in a PokerStars shirt and a PokerStars hat re-raised from the button. Saul didn't even think twice before he announced that he was all in and nonchalantly slid out a intimidating tower of orange chips. The online qualifier nearly hit an egg roll and went into the tank, while Saul riffled his chips several times in succession. The online player took off his sunglasses and placed them on his cards while he counted out his meager stack. He exhaled and shook his head before he folded.
12:35pm... Day 3 Complete; 784 Players Remaining
Chip Leaders: ELKY and Ludovic Lacay
Recent Eliminations: Jeff Lisandro
Players Remaining: 784
By Midnight, all of the tables in the red section or cash game section were broken. The WSOP champion is somewhere in the orange, blue, or green sections as the field is down to under 800 players.
The Big Randy and DonkeyBomber from Team Pokerati both survived and advanced to Day 4. They'll have a shot at the money.
Player of the Year Jeff Lisandro's run is officially over after John Myung took him out.
Hellmuth was seated at the same table as young Russian Alex Kostritsyn, but the two avoided each other. Hellmuth is cruising with about 420K.
The top 648 players win prize money (min cash is $21,365), which means the money bubble should break around 4:20pm. Sweet. 134 til the money. 784 to go.
Stay tuned for official numbers and end of day chip counts.
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