A little commotion at a table in the center of the room -- a floor supervisor was summoned to switch out a deck for multiple bent cards. It seems that one or more of the players at the table were (inadvertently?) bending the cards quite badly when peeking to check their hands.
One Asian player at the table became quite animated, jabbering away in a tongue we couldn't place and pointing several times at the ceiling. We're not really sure what he was on about, but the deck was swapped out and play continued.
We stopped by J.C. Tran's table to ask him what a guy who gets severely short-stacked in the early-going of a major tournament listens to on his iPod while he's grinding his stack back up. While we were there, a player led out for 1,250 on a flop of and was raised by Tom Hall to 3,650. The small blind called.
Both players checked the turn and the river, with Hall showing down for a rivered set of jack that beat his opponent's turned pair of queens, .
For what it's worth, Tran is listening to some R&B. Currently in the rotation are Craig David and Ginuwine. He said he has Eminem but it's more for when he's rocking the big stack.
"You won't catch me listenin' to Hannah Montana, that's for sure," said Tran.
Chong Wing Cheong is known for his bold, aggressive style at the table. He mixed it up with Peter Nguyen in a recent hand and Nguyen came away worse for the wear.
All of the chips were in the middle on a flop of . Nguyen had flopped a huge hand with -- top pair top kicker and the nut flush draw. Cheong was in there with , bottom two pair. The board blanked out from there and , forcing Nguyen to double up Cheong to the tune of 17,375 chips.
Joe Hachem has been silent so far today. His stack has been cut in half in the first two-and-a-half hours. He was in position in a battle of the blinds for a flop that came . His opponent bet 1,100, drawing a raise to 3,500 from Hachem. But it wasn't enough pressure to do the job for Hachem. He snap-folded to an all-in re-raise, dropping his count to about 10,000.
It was a quick series of raises that saw Josh Pang Ang's opponent all in before the flop for 4,075. Ang called with and was in rough shape against his opponent's . No help arrived on board, forcing Ang to double up his opponent. He drops to about 17,000 in chips.
We're ten minutes into Level 3 and just witnessed the eradication of J.J. Liu from the tournament. She was heads-up on the river with one opponent. There were 11,000 chips in the pot and on the board. Liu's opponent acted first and moved all in, effectively putting Liu all in for about 6,800 if she called.
Liu studied her opponent and started to shake her head. "Oh," she said with a sigh. She peeked back at her cards and shook her head a second time. "Did you flop a set?" she asked. There was no response.
"Ok, if you got me you got me," Liu declared. She threw the rest of her chips into the pot. Her opponent did indeed flop a set with , improving to sevens fulls of jacks on the river. Liu flashed the but had no full house of her own. She's out.