The second-biggest World Series of Poker Main Event has seen a field of 8,569 entries cut down to the final 1,286 hopefuls as the money bubble burst in the final minutes of the fifth level on Day 3, securing each remaining player of the $10,000 buy-in Main Event a payday of at least $15,000.
All those that bagged and tagged for the night will return at noon local time to their allocated seats in the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and at least five levels of two hours are scheduled for Day 4.
Preben Stokkan is the chip leader as the only player above two million, claiming 2,184,000 to his name. It could have been an entirely different story, however, as Stokkan was down to one chip in the first break of the day.
“I started the day with 93,000, I had a pretty good start, I was up to like 180,000 pretty early in the first level. But I blew it all on a huge bluff, but I saved myself one chip. I almost went all-in but he over shoved, and I folded. So, I had 5,000 left on the first break and spun it up from there," Stokkan said at the end of the night.
The rise of the poker pro from Norway culminated in the final level of the night as his hot streak continued in a big pot, and Stokkan provided the following details.
"I had a pretty crazy hand against a French guy on my table where I opened from under the gun and he had 600,000 behind. I had him covered, it was right before the bubble. He three-bet me to 40,000, I four-bet to 100,000 with aces. He called. The flop came ace-nine-deuce rainbow. He check-called 40,000. The turn was a four, rainbow board still. He checks, I bet 120,000, he jams! I had top set and he had pocket sevens. Yeah, that was a crazy hand."
Behind Stokkan, Andrew Brokos once again had a decent day at the tables. Heading into the day as one of the biggest stacks when all survivors of the previous days combined for the first time, Brokos spent most of his day in the Pavilion room and will enter Day 4 with a stack of 1,906,000. Other big stacks and notables include Ryan Dodge (1,800,000), Galen Hall (1,658,000), Cassio Pisapia (1,646,000), Chris "BigHuni" Hunichen (1,618,000), Pavlo Veksler (1,596,000), Julian Pineda (1,467,000), Mark Zullo (1,455,000), Jean-Robert Bellande (1,126,000), and Joseph Cheong (1,068,000).
Three former WSOP Main Event champions are still in the mix for a repeat victory in Chris Moneymaker (681,000), Qui Nguyen (669,000) and Johnny Chan (498,000). While Moneymaker returned with a short stack and consistently added more chips throughout the day, Nguyen went from a fairly big stack to below the average, only to bounce back at the very end of the day.
Former champs Scotty Nguyen, Jim Bechtel, Joe Hachem and defending champion John Cynn were among the thousands of hopefuls that had to leave empty-handed. Cynn saw his title defense come to an end in the final level of the night when his trip sixes ended up second-best to the rivered flush of Julian Sacks.
Many other notables such as John Esposito, Loni Harwood, Asi Moshe, Phil Hui, Nick Schulman, 2018 runner-up Tony Miles, Benjamin Pollak, and Igor Kurganov were among those to run out of chips throughout the five levels of two hours each and won't be adding another WSOP Main Event cash to their resume.
The one elimination that let the players in the Amazon and Pavilion room erupt in celebration was the one of Ryan Pochedly, who ended up as the bubble boy. Pochedly turned top pair and top kicker with ace-king, but Julian Pineda rivered trips sevens when the majority of the chips went in. Pochedly won't leave empty-handed, as he receives an entry to the 2020 WSOP Main Event.
The 2019 WSOP Main Event in Numbers
|Day||Players Starting||Players Late Regging||Players Total for Day||Players Total Cumulative||Players Surviving|
The cards will be back at noon with 6:26 minutes remaining in level 15 at blinds of 3,000/6,000 with a big blind ante of 6,000. The PokerNews live reporting team will be there every step of the way as the players go from having cashed in the Main Event to trying to make the latter stages of the event itself.