Yesterday’s Day 3 marked perhaps the most important few levels in the Main Event as players still alive in the tourney got closer to the money bubble. Action was fast and furious as the day’s starting field of 1,871 dwindled down to around 1,000 by the dinner break and the pace continued thereafter until just 746 players were left with chips in front of them.
The WSOP staff decided to stop play for the day as players were getting dangerously close to the bubble. A total of 693 will be cashing this year and with about an hour of play left on the clock it was a real possibility that that number would be reached before the end of the day. The reason for quitting early was simple: the organizers want to have ESPN cameras present for the epic moment that is going to take place early tonight when play resumes.
When it was announced that it was time to bag and tag, two players were over the one million chip mark. Current chip leader Andrew Liporace has 1,128,000 in his stack while a close second place belongs to Mehrdad Zousefzadeh with 1,124,000. Raul Mestre is in third place just short of a million with 988,500.
The chip leader to start the day, ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, failed to hold onto his lead but successfully managed to get through the day with a very respectable stack. He will return tonight to continue his chase for the elusive Main Event title.
As for former champions, they did not fare so well. Ryan Riess, Chris Moneymaker, Johnny Chan and Robert Varkonyi were all sent to the rail, leaving only Huck Seed to defend the colors of the winners. However, as Day 4 started, he too has recently been eliminated without making the money and there are now no former Main Event champions left in the field.
Other big names who also fell short yesterday include Daniel Negreanu, who still had an amazing summer, as well as Erik Seidel and Antonio Esfandiari. Players with title dreams still alive are Dan Smith, who ended the day with a great stack, Griffin Benger, Ali Eslami, and Jared Bleznick.
With players on the first break now, the bubble is just ten eliminations away. Short stacks are holding on firmly to their chips and chairs, big stacks are comfortably applying pressure. Everybody participating and sharing in the excitement hopes to finish in the money of the Main Event!