6865 people began and now, approaching the dinner break of Day 3, less than 1300 players remain on Day 3 of the 2011 World Series of Poker $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship.
Many of our top Canadian players played on Tuesday’s Day 2b, but unfortunately, not all would be making it onto Day 3. 2011 Bracelet winner and “2010 Novemer Niner” Matt Jarvis, WSOP Main Event “first timer” Mike McDonald, and Top 10 Canadian Tournament money earners Gavin Smith and Shawn Buchanan were just a few of the notable names that didn’t end up having things go their way; running out of chips and packing their bags after a long summer at the RIO.
World Team Poker Canadian Captain and 2 time bracelet winner Greg “FBT” Mueller, top Toronto online and live felt crushing Mike “GoLeafsGoEh” Leah made it through to Day 3, enjoying Wednesday’s “recuperation day”; only to run into some hard luck early on when play did resume on Thursday. Mueller had has Pocket Aces cracked for his tournament life by a Queen Jack straight and Leah found his Ace Ten dominated during his short stack all-in, the first and only hand he would play, the two favorites now also free to find greener pastures or golfing greens.
There is still much hope left however, in seeing some poker crushing Canucks make the money on Friday; Alberta’s Doug Lee has steadily moved over the 200k mark, while Edmonton’s Samuel “Poker Kai” Ngai began today with over 280,000 in tournament chips. Ontario professional players Andrew Chen, Peter Jetten and Sorel Mizzi all have better than average chip counts mid way through today’s play, with Jetten creeping into the top 20 spots of the field with over 400k.
Representing the east coast, John Hines of North River Nova Scotia also currently sits in the Top 100, while Canada’s first of 2011 and Saskatchewan’s only bracelet winner Tyler Bonkowski is closing in on the 200,000 mark.
Montreal’s Chris McClung and Marc Etienne McLaughlin are both coasting along at the top of the pack; Marc is still at almost 300,000 after a “cooler” that put a significant dent in his tournament chips stack after already having been over the 400,000 mark
While Ben Lamb, who is currently in second place for the Player Of the Year (POY) title, started Day 3 as the chip leader with over 500,000; pots are getting much bigger, with the France’s Guillaume Darcourt almost double that with just under 900,000.
Lamb is over 600,000 now, making Hellmuth fight to stay alive in this for more than a few reasons; if he busts, it looks like not only will he be out of the Main Event, Ben will have a great shot at robbing him of the lead in the World Series of Poker POY race as well. Hellmuth still has chips though and while today has already been a pretty volatile roller coaster for Phil; he sits with around 100k with blinds and antes at 1200/2400/300.
Also staying in the spotlight and famous even to the “non-poker crowd” from their past appearances on TV are “Seinfeld’s” Jason Alexander and “Survivor’s” Jean- Robert Bellande, both nearing a quarter of a million in their individual stacks. Brad Garrett also started Day 3, but the comedian and actor seems to be either lost in the crowd or having been sent to the rail already.
Play is expected to wrap up before midnight Las Vegas time tonight (PST), with only 4 levels, each two hours long scheduled for today. Only 693 players will make the money, most likely around supper time tomorrow, with the minimum cash being just over $19,000. Check back soon as tomorrow, emotions will run high; after almost a week of play and waiting, friends, family, fans and participants will finally know who is going to make the money and get just that much closer to being the next World Champion.