It took three Day 1 flights and two Day 2 flights for players to finally come together on the same day, but eventually they got there and Day 3 of the Main Event got underway. And it wasn’t that big of a surprise to see Phil Ivey steal the show as he has done in so many tournaments before.
Ivey finished Day 1C among the chip leaders, but yesterday he was on an absolute tear and finished the day with 505,000 in chips. That chip total is big enough to grab the overall lead heading into today when 822 of Tuesday’s survivors combine with 1,049 still standing after yesterday. Coming back in second place is Tuesday’s chip leader Timothy Stansifer with 481,500, followed by Raul Mestre and his chip count that is just shy of 478,000.
Amongst other big names to survive yesterday was John Henningan, winner of this year’s Players Championship. Hennigan has had a great series so far as he booked another runner-up finish and starts tonight with about 343,000 in chips. Jason Koon and Nick Schulman made it through as well, together with Kory Killpatrick. Daniel Negreanu also made it through, albeit with a short stack. KidPoker started the day strong, doubling up soon after the cards were in the air and improved his chances for a deep run.
Former champions in the field did not do so well yesterday. Phil Hellmuth returned with a workable stack, but wasn’t able to get things going and was sent to the rail. Joe Cada and Joe Hachem experienced the same fate and lost their chance for a repeat performance. Jonathan Duhamel did not fare any better when he ran his Ace-King into the set of Eights of his opponent on an Ace-high board.
Reigning champion Ryan Riess, however, earned his seat yesterday and returns today with an above average stack. His hopes of successfully defending his title remain alive. Unlike Riess, many other notables had their dreams of winning the big one crushed including JC Tran, Gus Hansen, Matt Stout, Scotty Nguyen and Sylvain Loosli. Tran stated after his elimination that he would pay $30,000 to have his starting stack back.
The field of 1,870 players continue their efforts tonight as the money bubble slowly approaches. Finishing in the money is more than a thousand eliminations away, but every new bust out allows those still in to get one step closer to cashing. With the Main Event being the tournament that attracts so many amateurs and poker fans from across the globe, making money is way more important than in the other $10k events that take place year-round.