Day 3 completed
The Amazon Room is quiet once more, only broken by the constant hum of the janitor’s vacuum cleaner and the distant clanking of chips as they are taken out by the dealers and floor staff to the cage. It’s certainly been another stellar day here at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, and naturally, it means that it’s that time of the night where the PokerNews Live Reporting Team wrap things up.
For the 1,864 players that took to the felt here in either the Amazon or Pavilion Rooms today, they can consider themselves part of poker history. For the very first time, ESPN beamed the major action live to poker fans all over the world. It only seems fitting that the “big dance” become a “big show” – and what a star-studded spectacular it was, full of color, drama and the occasional bit of slapstick.
2011 World Series of Poker Event #35 champion Jason Mercier was amongst the first wave to hit the rail, with Dan Shak, Matt Matros and Greg Mueller also taking their leave within the first level of play. Due to the ESPN production schedule, play was quickly back underway after a break and the intensity certainly didn’t let up. In fact, Anton Ionel turned that dial up to 11 when he flopped a set of kings against an opponent’s aces to move up to almost 600,000 in chips – and that wasn’t even the dinner break yet!
However, two WSOP Main Event champions were lost during that second stanza – Tom McEvoy and Joe Cada -- but the shocking pink hair of Guillaume Darcourt didn’t go unnoticed, and neither did his stack, as he took the chip lead into the break with over 880,000 in chips.
21-year-old Max Heinzelmann then stole the show (and Shaun Deeb’s chips) in one of the first hands after the break inside The Mothership, but then Daryl Jace took down an even bigger pot to move up to almost one million before dinner. Darcourt, Chris Bonita and Patrick Poirier weren’t far behind, but Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, Mike Caro and Noah Boeken were nowhere to be found at the dinner break.
2007 WSOP Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad was then ousted early in the post-dinner session, as was 1996 WSOP Main Event champion Huck Seed. Peter Jetten also began to chip up, but Poirier was the first past that coveted one-million chip mark.
The final two hours of play marked the resurgence of German pro Sebastian Ruthenberg, but it also marked the end of Billy Kopp, Ryan D’Angelo, Patrik Antonius and renowned poker tournament director Matt Savage. However, Daniel Retallick came out hard in one of the final hands of the night to bag up 850,000 after a massive double-up.
As it stands though, our chip leader is indeed Patrick Poirier with 1,328,000 in chips. He’s not the only one in the millionaire’s club – Daryl Jace is also up there with 1,282,500. Chris Kwon (944,500), David Barter (917,000), Scott Smith (896,500), Sebastian Ruthenberg (889,000), Christopher Bonita (859,000) and Aleksandr Mozhnyakov (813,000) will also be the ones to watch tomorrow. It should be noted that at the same time last year, James Carroll was the only one to take more than 800,000 in chips into Day 4.
Other notable players to have survived the day include Guillaume Darcourt (681,500), Peter Jetten (657,000), Bryan Devonshire (596,500), Ben Tollerene (595,500), Amanda Musumeci (528,500), JP Kelly (492,000) and Kevin Saul (392,500). Joseph Cheong, the sole 2010 November Niner in the field, will also be returning tomorrow with 410,500 in chips.
As for Phil Hellmuth? It was certainly a day he rather wouldn’t have had to begin with, but he’s ridden that rollercoaster through to bag up 77,000. All the world will be watching when he returns tomorrow – and perhaps, by the power of Greyskull, score that elusive 12th WSOP bracelet on the grandest stage of all.
All we can say is that there’s no way to script a saga like this, so you’re just going to have to lock your browsers back onto PokerNews tomorrow from 12 PM PST (GMT -7) as we bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of all the big names, big hands and big stories from the 2011 WSOP Main Event.
That’s all we have time for – until then, good night, drive safe and may the flop be with you!
The tournament staff is running around handing out bags and slips for the players while also doing a color-up of the black T100 chips in play. We'll have a recap of the day coming shortly. Stay tuned.
Action folded to the player in the hijack seat. He raised to 8,000 with a little less than 150,000 behind. The player on the button, flat-called with approximately 68,000 behind. Then play folded to Ronnie Bardah in the big blind. Bardah, who finished 24th in this event last year for over $317,000, paused to think and then reraised to 27,000. The hijack seat folded, but then the button went into the tank.
The button broke down his stack to count it out, having just under 68,000 left. He then stacked up in one tower and slid them into the middle, announcing, "I'm all in."
"Call!" snapped off Bardah.
Bardah tabled the and had his opponent's crushed. The board ran out clean for Bardah with the falling and he won the pot.
Bardah had bluffed off some chips prior to this hand to lose about 80,000 of his stack, but this pot put him right back at about the 300,000 mark as the night closes out.
Guillaume Darcourt, chip leader for part of Day 3 and near the top of the counts throughout the afternoon and evening, has taken a hit here in one of the last hands of the night.
An opponent with 202,300 managed to get all of his chips in the middle versus Darcourt preflop with against the Frenchman's . The flop came all clubs -- -- though a club wouldn't help Darcourt as his opponent held the king. The turn was the and river the , and Darcourt falls back to 690,000.
We joined the action on the turn as the dealer dropped the fourth card onto the board. The gentleman in the one seat checked, and Ruben Visser bet 20,400 into a pot of just less than 30,000. His opponent then check-raised all in for 128,400 total, and Visser sunk in his chair. He asked for the count, but he made the call before learning the total.
Visser: ... ... ...
On seeing his opponent's flush, Visser just went ahead and mucked, and the dealer completed the board with the . A frustrated Visser has been forced to pay off a big double up, cutting his stack nearly in half as the Dutchman falls to about 215,000 on one of the final hands of the night.
It was a few minutes ago now, but we're just catching up to the elimination of a familiar face around these parts. Matt Savage was down to just 17,500 when he shoved his chips in with . His ace ran right into the bigger of an opponent, and the board is the last one Savage will see at this 2011 Main Event.
There were already a lot of chips in the middle of the table when we walked up to catch the turn card on a board. The player in position bet a little more than 85,000, and Daniel Retallick put him all in for about 220,000 total. The call came, and the cards were on their backs.
Almost all of Retallick's chips were committed to the pot, too, and it sounded like someone said they folded one of his outs. No matter, though.
We believe "Bink!" is the word for that. Mr. Opponent spun away from the table in disgust, gritting through the words, "I can't believe I just got one outed..." before he trailed off in a mumble. Retallick was pretty shocked too, and he was a few steps away from the table gathering himself as the opponent departed. When he came back to his seat, he rested his head on the rail, a bit overwhelmed by the river card he'd just spiked. He could barely stack up or even talk, but we'll eyeball him at an impressive 850,000 as he drags that near-double.