For the first time in this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event, the entire field will be assembled on the same day, as Thursday’s Day 3 brings back 2,472 hopefuls from the original 7,221-player pack.
The current chip leader is Artan Dedusha, a pro out of Nottingham, England who will be looking for his first WSOP cash – and his first in-the-money finish on American soil, for that matter.
The rest of the top 10 is filled out as follows: Lawrence Bayley (618,000), Mickey Craft (608,100), Richard Gryko (564,800), Michael Krasienko (561,300), Marcin Chmielewski (561,000), Scott Anderson (560,000), Sergio Castelluccio (548,500), Sonny Franco (546,700), and Michael Sklenicka (540,600).
Among the big names to advance to Day 3 are Marvin Rettenmaier (359,100), Connor Drinan (315,000), Sam Grafton (314,900), Natasha Mercier (218,000), Cate Hall (114,100), Mukul Pahuja (98,100), and Dominik Nitsche (53,800).
And for fans looking for a former world champion to make another deep run, 1998 Sportsbook Scotty Nguyen (147,600), 1987 and 1988 Sportsbook Johnny Chan (96,100), 2009 Main Event champion Joe Cada (93,200), and 2001 champ Carlos Mortensen (34,200) are all in the mix.
Unfortunately, fellow champs Phil Hellmuth (1989), Ryan Riess (2013), and Joe McKeehen (2015) were all cut down on Day 2C.
For Hellmuth, the descent from a 100,000+ stack sitting on the ESPN/PokerGo feature table to elimination was highlighted by his usual theatrics. Per the PokerNews live updates team, Hellmuth lost his cool on multiple occasions, even telling a recreational player “This is the f---ing Main Event!” after being shown a semi-bluff. He never recovered after that and bled most of his stack away in short order.
The “Poker Brat” was joined on the rail by stars likes Griffin Benger, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertand “Elky” Grospellier, Gus Hansen, Maria Ho, Men “The Master” Nguyen, Max Steinberg, JC Tran, Paul Volpe, Anthony Zinno – and Daniel Negreanu.
It was a short-stack grind for “Kid Poker” through much of the day, but his demise came courtesy of two consecutive hands. First, he folded the As on an Ad-5d-2d flop after a tricky opponent led out. The bettor then showed 6h3d for a ragged semi-bluff, to which Negreanu exclaimed “That had me as confused as I’ve ever been in my life.”
He shoved on the very next hand with pocket sevens, and looked to be in good shape against pocket sixes, but a four-spade runout sent the pot to John Allan Hinds instead.
Those with chips still left to work with will be playing their hearts out, each looking to survive long enough to make the final 1,084 players and secure a $15,000 min-cash. But of course, the prize that everybody in the Rio will have their sights set on is the $8,150,000 payout to this year’s world champion.
Coverage of Day 3 from the WSOP Main Event begins streaming on the PokerGo app at 2:30 p.m. Las Vegas time.