Level 25: 15,000-30,000, 5,000 anteSorted In: Featured Blog, ClubWPT Player of the Day, Jessica Welman, James Dempsey, Tony Dunst, Season X, bestbet Jacksonville
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 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
Photo: Will Failla (foreground, right) sweats the river card with James Dempsey (foreground, center) as he faces elimination by Matthew Schulte (foreground, left).
In a hand that began before Brian Haas was eliminated in 38th place, James Dempsey is all in preflop with 88 against Matthew Schulte's AQ.
The board comes Q42109, and Schulte pairs his queen on the flop to win the pot and eliminate Dempsey in 37th place. That makes Dempsey the unfortunate Bubble Boy for this tournament..
James Dempsey - Out in 37th Place ($0)
So the money bubble burst before it even began, and the rest of the field was pleased that they were already in the money, and could avoid the slow pace and near-constant waiting of hand-for-hand play.
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
James Dempsey min-raises from UTG+1 to 8,000, Alan Percal moves all in for 170,000, and Dempsey calls with KK. But Percal turns over AA, and the two players are nearly even in chips.
The board comes 99872, and the pocket aces hold up for Percal to win the pot. The chip stacks are counted down, and Dempsey is left with just four big blinds.
Alan Percal - 360,000 (90 BBs)
James Dempsey - 16,500 (4 BBs)
Percal is one of the two remaining 18-20 year olds in the field competing for the bonus prize -- a customized surfboard. Percal is nearly even with fellow under-21 player Robert Gorodetsky (320,000).
Level 15: 1,500-3,000, 500 ante
Matt Giannetti raises on the button and James Dempsey reraies to 20,000 out of the small blind. Matt Schulte is in the big blind and announces he is all-in for 113,500. Giannetti folds and Dempsey thinks a spell before calling.
"I folded ace-ten," Giannetti tells the table.
Schulte turns over 1010 and Dempsey winces as he shows A9. The K93 flop does give Dempsey a pair, but it keeps Schulte out front. The 4 on the turn changes nothing. The river is the 8 and the tens hold to give Schulte the pot and the double up.
Matt Schulte - 235,000 (78 BBs)
James Dempsey - 160,000 (53 BBs)
Level 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Darren Elias started Day 2 as the overall chipleader with 213,600. At the end of the day, Elias was still near the top of the leaderboard, second in chips with 636,000.
In one of the craziest situations in World Poker Tour history, Zack Bird (not pictured) moved all in blind from the button -- before the cards were even dealt. Bird was serious, and a floorperson ruled that the action was binding unless someone raised the big blind ahead of him.
Matt Brady (third from left) woke up with QQ and doubled up thru Bird's J10. As the dealer was counting down the chip stacks, Bird got up to leave. The dealer told him he still had some chips left, but Bird said he didn't want them. Bird abandoned his stack (worth five big blinds), and it blinded off without him.
Read the full details of this crazy hand by clicking here.
Day 2 began with five players under the age of 21 still in the running to win the customized surfboard. Barnes started the day as chipleader in that demographic (and fifth overall) with 145,600. Unfortunately, Barnes had a rough Day 2, and was eliminated before the dinner break.
Daniel Buzgon (center) is practically an old man compared to Robert Gorodetsky (left) and Glenn Fishbein (right). Buzgon is 27, while Gorodetsky and Fishbein are two of the remaining 18-20 year olds competing for the customized surfboard.
Allen Kessler (right) looks bored as he waits for the big blind (foreground, left) to call or fold to the all in of Tony Dunst (center). The board showed 873103, and the big blind eventually folded. Dunst showed Q9 -- a queen-high bluff.
Reigning WPT Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger (left, in blue) got to see this year's POY race play out in front of him as he shared a table with Joe Serock (top right, in black) and Will Failla (foreground, right).
Failla has led the POY race for most of the season, but Serock passed him last week with his second straight third-place WPT finish. Serock was eliminated late in the day, but Failla survived to Day 3, and will pick up more POY points if he cashes.
Brian Hastings (left) had flopped a set of kings on a board of AK3, and Richard Grant moved all in dark before the turn card hit. Hastings waited to see the 8 hit the turn before he called, and Grant turned over 33 for a lower set. The set of kings held up for Hastings, and Grant was eliminated.
After the hand, James Dempsey (right) asked Hastings why he waited to see the turn card before calling. "Brian, what turn card do you fold to?" Hastings laughed along with everyone else.
Late in the day, James Dempsey (left) and Shawn Cunix were side-by-side and both near the top of the leaderboard -- Dempsey with 425,000, and Cunix with 377,000. While Dempsey stacked his chips high, Cunix went for shorter stacks spread out over a wide area.
With the board showing K427, Matt Giannetti (left) checked, and Byron Kaverman (right) bet 85,000 into a pot worth about 130,000. Giannetti tanked for five full minutes before he folded, and Kaverman took the pot. This photo may as well be video, because both players sat silent and motionless the entire time.
With 10 minutes left at the end of the day, the tournament clock was stopped and a card was drawn to determine how many more hands would be played. Will Failla organized a small pool where players bet $100 each on the number of hands. The card was the 5, and as you can see by his celebration, that was Failla's number.
In one of the final hands of the night, Danny Shiff was all in preflop with KK against the A4 of Tony Parille. It was a roller-coaster hand, as Parille flopped a flush draw and turned a pair of aces, only to see Shiff saved by a king on the river.
Alistair Melville (left) survived the day with a short stack, and showed a little chip-stack envy as he took a cellphone pic of James Dempsey's tower of chips. (Dempsey finished the day with 404,500.)
Farid Jattin emerged as the chipleader heading into the dinner break with 484,000 -- at a time when only one other player had reached 300,000 (David Tuthill had 310,000). Jattin's momentum continued after dinner, and he finished as chipleader with 718,000.
Day 2 came to an end with about 55 players remaining. Here are the top 10 from the leaderboard:
1. Farid Jattin - 718,000
2. Darren Elias - 636,000
3. Shawn Cunix - 411,000
4. James Dempsey - 404,500
5. David Tuthill - 381,000
6. Peter Campo - 341,500
7. Will Failla - 335,000
8. Byron Kaverman - 292,000
9. Barry Hutter - 275,000
10. Matt Giannetti - 274,500
Day 3 begins tomorrow (Monday) at 2:00 pm ET. Once again, it is NOT a noon start, so players can sleep in a little longer if they'd like. The field will play five 90-minute levels, with a one-hour dinner break after the third level of the day.
Return to WPT.com for live coverage as the field bursts the bubble on Monday as they get closer and closer to Wednesday's televised WPT Final Table.
Level 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
A player limps in from middle position and James Dempsey raises to 8,000 from the cutoff. The limper calls and they go heads-up to a flop of A73. Dempsey's opponent checks, Dempsey bets 11,000, and Dempsey's opponent calls.
The turn brings the 4 and the player check-calls a bet of 20,000 from Dempsey. The river is the 5 and the other player checks a third time. Dempsey bets 27,000, then his opponent min-raises to 54,000.
"I wouldn't try bluffing you again," he tells Dempsey.
"I have a really big hand," Dempsey replies.
"What do you have?"
"Ace with a big card," Dempsey tells him. "Why didn't I check?" Dempsey takes a new tact. "Will you show me if I fold?" The player shakes his head no.
"Wait wait," Dempsey tells the table. "This always works...Do you want me to call?" The other player says nothing and Dempsey gives him a good long look before telling him, "You win."
Dempsey folds his A-J face up and his opponent shows him A6 for a seven-high straight.
James Dempsey - 430,000
Level 14: 1,200-2,400, 400 ante
James Dempsey is in middle position and his opponent is in the big blind when they see a flop of AK8. The player in the big blind checks, Dempsey bets 7,000, then the player in the big blind check-raises to 25,000 total. Dempsey calls.
The turn brings the 7 and the player in the big blind checks.
Dempsey is confused. "You check raise, then you check?" Dempsey then bets 25,000. The other player folds and Dempsey takes the pot.
James Dempsey - 445,000
Level 13: 1,000-2,000, 300 ante
Four players see a flop of Q73. Danny Shiff is in the small blind and checks. The player in the big blind bets 2,000 into a pot of 18,000 or so. James Dempsey is in middle position and raises to 8,000. The player on the button folds.
Shiff then check-raises to 23,000 total. The initial bettor folds and Dempsey gets a count of Shiff's remaining chips before he does so as well.
Danny Shiff - 217,000
James Dempsey - 251,000
Level 12: 800-1,600, 200 anteSorted In: Featured Blog, Jessica Welman, James Dempsey, Season X, bestbet Jacksonville