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
Photo: David Tuthill (right) has moved all in on the turn, and is waiting for Darren Elias (foreground, left) to call or fold.
Darren Elias and David Tuthill go heads-up to a flop of 1073. Elias checks from the big blind, Tuthill bets 21,000 from middle position, and Elias calls.
The turn is the A and Elias checks again. Tuthill bets 34,000 and Elias check-raises to 96,000 total. Tuthill spends a couple of minutes thinking before he announces he is all-in for an additional 298,000.
Elias verifies the amount, then calls with A10 for top two pair. Tuthill holds A8 for top pair and the nut flush draw.
The river brings the 4, completing Tuthill's flush and he takes the massive pot to double up.
David Tuthill - 860,000 (108 BBs)
Darren Elias - 285,000 (36 BBs)
Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
With the board showing 9543K on the river, David Tuthill bets 28,000 from middle position, and Farid Jattin raises from the cutoff to 132,000. It's an additional 104,000 to Tuthill, and he only has 212,000 left behind.
Tuthill tanks for nearly two minutes before he calls, and Jattin shows 77 for a pair of sevens. Tuthill turns over A9 to win the pot with a pair of nines.
David Tuthill - 460,000 (57 BBs)
Farid Jattin - 675,000 (84 BBs)
Level 19: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
David Tuthill raises under the gun to 18,000, and Fred Goldberg moves all in from the cutoff for about 115,000. Tuthill calls with AQ, and Goldberg turns over 88.
The board comes Q42710, and Tuthill pairs his queen on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Fred Goldberg in 20th place.
David Tuthill - 310,000 (38 BBs)
Fred Goldberg - Out in 20th Place ($12,124)
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
David Tuthill raises to 9,500 from middle position and Shawn Cunix reraises to to 22,000. Tuthill calls and they go heads-up to a flop of Q1010. Tuthill checks, Cunix bets 25,000, and Tuthill calls.
The turn brings the 7 and both players check. The river is the 9 and Tuthill bets 42,500. Cunix takes some time before calling.
Tuthill tells him nice call and starts to muck his hand. Cunix turns to Will Failla on his left and tells him something to the effect of "You won't believe this call." Cunix then rolls over 89 for a rivered two pair, nines and tens.
Cunix jokes to the dealer, "Do you have a towel? I think I just peed myself."
Shawn Cunix - 470,000 (118 BBs)
David Tuthill - 295,000 (74 BBs)
Level 15: 1,500-3,000, 500 ante
With the board showing J32Q on the turn, Byron Kaverman checks from middle position, and David Tuthill bets 28,000 from middle position. Will Failla calls from the cutoff, and Kaverman calls as well.
The river card pairs the board with the 2, and it's checked to Failla, who bets 60,000. Kaverman folds, and Tuthill thinks for a while before he calls.
Failla turns over QQ to win the pot with a full house, queens full of deuces, and Tuthill mucks.
Will Failla - 605,000 (201 BBs)
Byron Kaverman - 463,000 (154 BBs)
David Tuthill - 412,000 (137 BBs)