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WSOP: Haxton, former champ Ashton lead final 15 in Poker Players Championship

On Tuesday, the third day of play in Event #62: $50,000 Poker Players Championship (Six-Handed) had World Series of Poker fans sweating the progress of two former champions.

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi has claimed the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy twice previously (2010 and 2012), and despite being short-stacked all day, he was dogged and determined to make yet another deep run.

Per the live updates provided by PokerNews, Mizrachi managed to double himself back from the brink on multiple occasions – including one miraculous win during a hand of Pot-Limit Omaha.

With a flop reading Ad-7c-6s already spread, Mizrachi got the last of his stack in holding As-Kd-5d-5h, good for top pair / top kicker. But in the wild and woolly game of Omaha, there’s always outs to fade, and that was the case when Matthew Ashton turned over Qd-9s-8h-6d for a small pair and an open-ended straight draw.

The 5c arrived on the turn to complete that straight draw, forcing Mizrachi out of his seat as he headed to the exits. He failed to notice that the same five that helped Ashton also gave himself a set of fives, and when the 6c fell on the river for a winning full house, he was called back to the table to continue the game.

In the end, however, Mizrachi’s comeback bid was cut short on the direct money bubble, after he lost two consecutive hands of Limit Hold’em to Isaac Haxton.

That delivered at least a min-cash of $77,320 to the final 15 players, who then bagged and tagged for the evening.

Haxton’s dismissal of Mizrachi helped him hold the chip lead heading into Wednesday’s Day 4, with 3,268,000 chips. He’ll be trailed closely by Ashton (3,220,000), the only former Poker Players Championship winner (2013) left in the field.

The rest of the top five boasts top-tier talent like Shaun Deeb (2,442,000), Paul Volpe (2,315,000) and Daniel Negreanu (2,223,000) – all of whom have multiple bracelets to their credit.

The bracelet in Event #60: $888 NLHE “Crazy Eights” (Eight-Handed) will finally be won on Wednesday, after Tuesday’s action left just two players standing.

Alexandru Papazian of Romania and Kilian Kramer of Germany battled into the early morning hours, before deciding to pack it in and return today to complete their heads-up duel. It’s Papazian’s game to lose, with 50,725,000 chips to Kramer’s 14,225,000, and the winner will pocket $888,888 in prize money.

They’ll be back at 1 p.m. Las Vegas local time, while the Poker Players Championship resumes at 2 p.m.

See poker reviews and WSOP qualifier specials here.

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