Level 20: 5,000-10,000, 1,000 ante
By BJ Nemeth
The money bubble burst on Day 3, though it happened so quickly there was no need for hand-for-hand play. In a twist, players who made the money were paid by having bills stapled to their foreheads.
No, not really.
At the end of the day, Will Failla once again organized a $100 pool where players bet on which card would be drawn with 10 minutes left to see how many more hands would be played. But when James Calderaro won, Failla was reluctant to pay off his $100, so he stuck it to his forehead until Calderaro came over from the other table to claim it.
Farid Jattin (pictured) entered the day with a big chip lead, but it looked like he was going to take a big hit in the first level when Jaspreet Panchhi got it all in with KK against Jattin's QQ. But a queen on the flop gave the pot to Jattin to push him to nearly a million in chips.
WPT Raw Deal Analyst Tony Dunst (center, standing) was all in early, but he had the best of it with QQ to the JJ of Andrew Touchette. The best hand held up, and Dunst doubled up to an above-average chip stack.
In addition to the WPT's Raw Deal segment, Dunst is also the lead commentator for the WPT Live Stream, which shows all the action at WPT Final Tables -- with hole cards -- on a 30-minute delay. Of course, Dunst can't be in the sequestered booth watching hole cards if he is also at the final table -- and Dunst is still alive with 16 players left.
James Dempsey (foreground, center) began the day near the chip lead, but took a few hits before he got it all in with KK. Unfortunately for Dempsey, Alan Percal had AA. The best hand held up, and Dempsey was crippled down to four big blinds with 38 players remaining -- and only 36 would get paid.
A few moments later, Brian Haas was eliminated at another table, and it was time to begin hand-for-hand play on the money bubble. But Dempsey's hand had already begun, and when he looked down to see 88, he moved all in. But he'd have to survive against Matthew Schulte's AQ.
Will Failla (foreground, right) came over to sweat the board with Dempsey, but Schulte paired his queen on a board of Q42109 to win the pot, and Dempsey became the unfortunate Bubble Boy before hand-for-hand play even began.
With the board showing AK8J9, Tony Dunst (left) bet 81,000 into Robert Gorodetsky, who tanked for a while before he called with KJ for two pair, kings and jacks. But Dunst turned over A9 for a higher two pair, aces and nines.
At this point, Gorodetsky was one of two remaining under-21 players in the field, along with Alan Percal. Whichever one lasted longer would receive a customized surfboard.
WPT Champions Club member and recent WSOP November Niner Matt Giannetti gave a brief interview to the WPT cameras during the second break. Giannetti was holding strong at this point, but would have a rough time after dinner, busting out in 22nd place.
Daniel Buzgon (pictured) was short-stacked after dinner, and moved all in for 99,000 (16 big blinds) after Fred Goldberg and Matt Giannetti entered the pot. Both players called, and when Goldberg bet 100,000 into a dry side pot after a flop of 875, it looked like Buzgon was in trouble.
Giannetti sensed that Goldberg had a big hand, so he folded JJ face up. He was right, because Goldberg turned over AA. Buzgon was in trouble with his 1010.
But the turn card was the 10, and Buzgon tripled up to 314,000 with a set of tens. Buzgon went on a rush after that, and in less than an hour he built his stack from 99,000 to 1,000,000.
Will Failla (left) clashed in a couple of big pots against start-of-day chipleader Farid Jattin (right). Failla won a very large pot earlier by check-raising all in on a board of Q9889, but Jattin won this one by five-betting all in preflop.
Matt Marafioti (top) studies Tony Dunst (foreground, right) during a hand in the final level of Day 3.
With the board showing 1073A on the turn, David Tuthill (right) three-bet all in against Darren Elias (foreground, left). Elias would call with A10 for top two pair, and Tuthill turned over A8 for top pair with a spade flush draw.
Elias was on the verge of contending for the lead with 1.1 million in chips, but the 4 on the river gave Tuthill his flush -- and a big double up.
When 19-year-old Alan Percal was eliminated in 21st place, Robert Gorodetsky (pictured) officially won the bonus under-21 prize -- this customized surfboard. Unfortunately, Gorodetsky was eliminated himself in the final minutes of the day, finishing 17th.
A smile like this can only mean one thing -- Will Failla is crazy. But he is also the chipleader with 16 players remaining, and if he finishes 8th or higher, he will also retake the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. Failla is also trying to become the first player since Season III to win two WPT titles in the same season.
Here are the official chip counts for the final 16 players:
1. Will Failla - 1,360,000 (136 BBs)
2. Peter Campo - 1,269,000 (126 BBs)
3. Daniel Buzgon - 900,000 (90 BBs)
4. Byron Kaverman - 815,000 (81 BBs)
5. David Tuthill - 687,000 (68 BBs)
6. Amelio Amato - 666,000 (66 BBs)
7. Farid Jattin - 618,000 (61 BBs)
8. Matt Marafioti - 617,000 (61 BBs)
9. Shawn Cunix - 555,000 (55 BBs)
10. Tony Dunst - 459,000 (45 BBs)
11. James Calderaro - 423,000 (42 BBs)
12. Blake Purvis - 346,000 (34 BBs)
13. Justin Conley - 335,000 (33 BBs)
14. Robert LeBeau - 304,000 (30 BBs)
15. Darren Elias - 262,000 (26 BBs)
16. Tony Parille - 131,000 (13 BBs)
Day 4 begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:00 pm ET. The field will play as many 90-minute levels as it takes to get down to six players for Wednesday's televised WPT Final Table.
Return to WPT.com for continuing live coverage, including hand-for-hand updates starting with the final ten players.
Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Robert Gorodetsky raises from middle position to 18,000, and Matt Marafioti calls from the big blind.
Both players check to the turn on a board of 7752, Marafioti bets 22,000, Gorodetsky raises to 45,000, and Marafioti calls. The river card is the 9, Marafioti bets 24,000, and Gorodetsky raises to 94,000. Marafioti goes into the tank.
Marafioti asks, "How much you got behind there, Chief?" Marafioti guesses about 200,000, and Gorodetsky nods. Daniel Buzgon, who has a better angle, corrects the amount to 235,000.
Marafioti asks, "What do you want me to do?" Gorodetsky shrugs and says, "I don't know." Marafioti thinks a few moments longer, and then moves all in.
Gorodetsky folds, and Marafioti takes the pot.
Matt Marafioti - 630,000 (78 BBs)
Robert Gorodetsky - 235,000 (29 BBs)
Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Three players see a flop of KJ7. Blake Purvis is in the big blind and checks, Matt Marafioti checks from middle position, and Shawn Cunix bets 29,000 on the button. Purvis calls, then Marafioti check-raises for an additional 65,000.
Cunix folds and Purvis follows suit. As Marafioti rakes in teh pot, he turns over KK for top set.
Matt Marafioti - 290,000 (36 BBs)
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Matt Marafioti raises under the gun to 11,000, Byron Kaverman reraises from middle position to 18,500, and Marafioti tanks for a while before he moves all in.
Kaverman quickly folds, and Marafioti takes the pot.
Matt Marafioti - 200,000 (50 BBs)
Byron Kaverman - 495,000 (123 BBs)
A few minutes later, Marafioti plays a relatively small pot against Will Failla on a board with three 9s and three clubs, with the third club hitting on the river.
Marafioti checks the river, and Failla checks behind. Marafioti says, "Quads," and shows a 9 to win the small pot with quad nines. Failla mucks, claiming he had A-Q of clubs for a flush.
Another player makes a comment about Marafioti running good, and Marafioti laughs and says, "Run good? One day when I run good, you'll all run for the fucking hills."
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Richard Davis moves all in for 46,000 from middle position, Matt Marafioti raises to 102,000 from the small bling, and the big blind folds. Marafioti takes back his additional 56,000.
Marafioti leads before the flop with AQ against Davis' A3.
The board is 108772, offering no help to Richard Davis who is eliminated in 33rd place ($9,610).
Matt Marafioti - 185,000
Richard Davis - eliminated in 33rd place ($9,610)