Today was set to be one of the biggest days in the poker careers and lives of many of the 2,044 players who returned to the felt of the Rio Hotel and Casino for Day 3 of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. Today that number would be slashed by more than half, as by the end of the day, the players would be within striking distance of the cold hard cash.
Australia was well represented with at least 35 players still in contention including several well-known professionals and many amateur APL players who were performing well on the biggest stage of them all.
Day 3 was highlighted by the clash of Joe Hachem and Jeff Lisandro on the ESPN feature table, and while updates were hard to come by due to the limited access to the media, the double up of Hachem’s ace-queen through Lisandro’s pocket sixes was one of their rare clashes during the day.
Tim “luckshades” Horan crashed and burned in the early stages, as did Tony Hachem and Steve Topakas, while Shane Warne had a day on the felt that he’d rather forget. Warne flopped a flush only to see his opponent improve his set to a full house on the river, and shortly after ran his pocket eights into an opponent’s pocket aces to collapse quicker than the English batting order. Meanwhile Manny Stavropoulous, Chris Levick, Paren Arzoomanian and Daniel Neilson continued to work their way through the enormous field.
It was a day highlighted by some of the biggest names in the game, with Phil Ivey prominent early, Phil Hellmuth involved in some big action, while Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier was the first player to crack the magical one million chip mark. Other notable players making deep runs in 2009 include Kenny Tran, Kara Scott, Justin Bonomo, Christian Heich, Blair Rodman, David Benyamine, Greg Mueller, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Harrington, JC Tran, Chris Ferguson, and 2009 final tablists Kelly Kim, Dennis Phillips and eventual champion Peter Eastgate.
When the chips were finally bagged and tagged just before 1am local time it was Grospellier given the honour of unofficial overnight chip leader. Charlie Elias and Tian Shou are likely to be Australia’s best with over the 500,000 mark, as Arzoomanian, Neilson and Hachem are amongst the estimated fifteen or so Aussie survivors, as Lisandro and Levick were late casualties. We’ll have the complete list available when it comes to hand.
Approximately 800 players will return at 12 noon tomorrow for Day 4, where the bubble will burst, the money will be reached and we’ll start to have a clear idea of who our true contenders are!
As always, stay locked into PokerNews.com for your live updates and PokerNetwork.com for coverage of the Aussie flying the flag proudly in the City of Sin!
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Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier Leads the WSOP Main Event
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