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Robert Butt

Day 3 Roundup

Day 3 of the World Series saw the bubble burst. We started with 1159 players and 873 were scheduled to be paid. Some players were just lookin to get into the money at any cost - if they got there with one chip they would be very happy. Two who weren't in this frame of mind were Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey. Negreanu had a pretty dreadful day of it, his stack going from one of the largest in the room to only 20,000 at one point. He did eventually recover to make the cash and return for Day 4. Ivey wasn't so lucky, the favourite before the cards were in the air a few days ago, he made a move with Q8 suited and got called by A9. The ace played and that was it for his WSOP this year. Layne Flack and Freddy Deeb other big name players eliminated.
 
A new innovation at this year's World Series is that play near the bubble is round-for-round rather than hand-for-hand. The idea behind this is that it prevents stalling and speeds up what is otherwise and incredibly slow part of the tournament with 87 tables waiting on each other to finish each hand. Some players are in favour, others not. What it did mean is that there is no strict number of players paid. In the event, 876 rather than 873 were paid as several people were all eliminated in the round-for-round bubble stage, each receiving $10,616 - not a very impressive return on $10,000 and 3 days of player, especially if you bought directly in.
 
Eliminated in the money proper, just after fellow Europeans Paul McCaffrey and Donna Wilson, was Barny who got $14,597. There was such a flurry of all-ins from short stacks looking to become competitive or go out trying. Play actually had to be be stopped as the payouts were processed. Carlos Mortensen didn't make it to the money but Cecilia did. John Gale who had been sitting with an above average stack most of the tournament managed 522nd and $22,266 whilst Tony Bloom was out 10 spots later collecting the same. Snooker pro Steve Davis got his first WSOP cash out in 579th. Play was supposed to continue down to 600 players but when this was reached it was decided to continue play. Many of the players who had been looking forward to a relatively early finish were not pleased about this, although rumour has it that the hope is to be able to add another day off at some point during the tournament. Probably a sensible idea, but no doubt saves a few dollars in staff bills as well. More importantly, changing the rules or structure midway through a tournament without consultation is never going to go down too well.
 
Jon Lace finished the day chip leader with 654,000 with Dmitri Nobles a close second - just 4,000 less. Albert Padilla and David Chiu were next from the top with 640,000 and 632,000 respectively. Richard Gryko was well above average with 438,500. Reigning champion Joe Hachem made it through with 139,000 unlike Greg Raymer was knocked out (and called back by the ESPN cameras to exit the room a second time after they missed his original exit). Hans Lund, a great player with a great record despite not being as well known as many, still in with 105,500.
 
So 481 players return to the Rio, their dreams of the $12,000,000 top prize still intact. We'll have to wait and see if it's one of the hundreds who qualified online and, at least for the moment, are unknowns in the poker world, or if it will be one of the remaining pros such as Alan Cunningham, Annie Duke or David Chiu who fulfill that dream.
 

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