More than 6,300 entrants made the first ever WSOP "Millionaire Maker" event a rousing success, as it attracted the largest ever single day turnout for a poker tournament, and today's Day 3 action set the stage for a memorable final table. We began play today with 133 players vying for the chance to take home a first place payday of $1,199,104, and despite the stacks remaining relatively deep as play commenced, the bustouts began occurring early and often.
One by one amateurs and pros alike took turns trying their hand at all-in confrontations, and many large multiway pots defined the days early stages. All told, over 100 runners were tripped up during the first few levels, with a select few players accumulating these discarded chips in steady fashion.
Dan Kelly, who captured his first WSOP bracelet in 2010 by winning the $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max event, emerged as one of Day 3's most dangerous players, and by the end of ten hours of play he had built a stack of (4,130,000) with which to assault tomorrow's ten-handed final table.
Benny Chen bagged and tagged the most chips by the end of the night, leading the way with a stack of 5,865,000, followed closely by Kelly, and Justin Liberto (3,800,000). Below are the final ten players who will comprise that unofficial final table, along with their end of the day chip counts and seating assignments.
Check back with PokerNews tomorrow at 1:00pm PST, as these ten hopefuls take to the felt and compete for the chance to become the first ever WSOP "Millionaire Maker" champion.
Having managed a short stack effectively throughout Day 3's later levels, scoring a few fortunate double-ups from behind along the way, Jeffrey Hagen seemed destined to at least be among those returning for play tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, a misread with 20 minutes remaining to play tonight ended his tournament prematurely.
The action started when Hagen opened for 150,000 out of the cutoff, a bet which Jonathan Gray bumped to 400,000 from the button. Hagen flat called and the dealer spread a flop of across the felt.
When Hagen opted to check, Gray shoved all-in for 1.06 million, a bet which forced Hagen to a decision for his tournament life. It didn't take much thought for Hagen to decide his was good, but when Gray tabled the he found out that his read was off base. The turn of offered no help to Hagen, and the on the river sealed his demise. He will take home $82,205 for weaving his way through this massive field.
As told to us by Robert McVeigh, Thomas Laviano opened from the hijack and McVeigh called from the small blind.
The flop came down and both checked to see the turn. McVeigh bet 80,000, Laviano popped it to 300,000, and McVeigh called. The landed on the river and McVeigh checked to Laviano who shoved for 1.39 million.
McVeigh called with for a flush. Laviano's bluff with queen high came up short, ending his run in 15th place.
During the commotion caused by Anthony Stabile's recent elimination, we missed Ian Park's bustout hand, but he was lucky enough to get his chips in after Stabile was gone, which guaranteed him an extra $11,000+ payout for finishing among the final 18 runners.
With his stack reduced to just 150,000, good for just five big blinds at the moment, Anthony Stabile got it all-in with from the button, and he was called in two spots.
Upsheka Desilva and Robert Mcveigh opted to check it down to the river, hoping one of the hands would be good enough to send Stabile to the rail, and increase everyone's potential payday in the process.
Indeed, after the board of was revealed, Mcveigh rolled over for a full house. Stabile headed to payout desk to collect his $40,931, while the remaining players redrew for the final two tables.
Two consecutive hands saw Sukhpaul Dhaliwal's stack disappear, and with it, his chance at a historic million dollar payday.
First, Dhaliwal raised to 58,000 from middle position, receiving calls in two spots from Upsheka Desilva and Robert Mcveigh. The flop of prompted Dhaliwal to fire a bet of 95,000, which folded Desilva. Mcveigh flopped top pair with his , however, and he elected to reraise to 225,000, a bet which Dhaliwal called.
When the turned, Mcveigh shoved for 493,000 and Dhaliwal made the call with his . His overpair to the board had been cracked by two pair, and the on the river changed nothing.
Theron Eichenberger finished Dhaliwal off one hand later, when his bested the short-stack's .
Dhaliwal earned $40,931 for making it this far, but with so few players between himself and a million bucks, he will likely be thinking about that nine on the turn deep into the night.