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WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown, Day 3 Recap
Level 16: 2,000-4,000, 500 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Note: To view the official seating assignments and chip counts, click here.
Action began on Day 3 with 102 players, all battling to get their name engraved on the WPT Champions Cup. The Cup is one-of-a-kind, and it travels from event to event on the World Poker Tour so players and fans can see the Cup engraved with every WPT winner in the 10-year history of the tour.
The winner will receive a WPT Champions Trophy, which is theirs to keep. The Trophy has a similar design, but without the large base that has all the winners' names engraved.
Abbey Daniels (right) finished fourth in this event last year, and was still alive in hopes of a repeat appearance at the WPT Final Table. Early on Day 3, she moved all in against Byron Kaverman (left) after a flop of K105. Kaverman tanked for a while before he folded to Daniels.
During the second level of the day, Bill Brown (left) called bets from Andrew Lichtenberger all the way on a board of Q722A. Lichtenberger showed KK, but Brown turned over AK to win the pot worth 150,000 with his pair of aces on the river. This pot catapulted Brown up among the chipleaders.
ClubWPT.com qualifier Don Gehrling interviews with the WPT cameras after his elimination in the middle of Day 3. Gehrling said he had a great time, especially at the WPT's Player Party the previous night, hosted by the Royal Flush Girls.
Ebony Kenney (left) and Matt Waxman were having fun early in the day, but the good times faded as they were both eliminated late in the day.
The Royal Flush Girls Social Bar (on the right) anchors the tournament area as the field is down to the final nine tables (about 80 players)
On Day 2, the Royal Flush Girls hosted a beach volleyball tournament, and on Day 3 they hosted a WPT Scavenger Hunt for the players and fans, including Tony Dunst and ClubWPT.com qualifier Don Gehrling.
The scavenger hunters were divided up into two- and three-person teams that had to scour the Seminole Hard Rock Casino searching for a variety of items and clues.
Tony Dunst and Tugba Ercan were the first team to return to the Royal Flush Girls Social Bar, where they had to check in to see if they correctly solved the clues and got the required items. Ercan holds up a casino chip that was on the list of items.
After their last item was approved, Tony Dunst and Tugba Ercan were declared the winners of the first-ever WPT Scavenger Hunt and celebrated with a hug. Each team won a prize and got to keep the souvenirs that they collected along the way.
Former WSOP November Niner John Dolan (pictured) has been at or near the top of the leaderboard since Day 1, and that trend continued here on Day 3 as he jockeyed back-and-forth with Bill Brown for the lead.
Bill Brown (right) was the first player to reach 400,000, the first player to reach 500,000, and the first player to reach 600,000 in chips. There were times when he seemed unbeatable, like when Robert Georato (left) four-bet it preflop to 50,000, only to see Brown five-bet all in. Georato tanked for several minutes before folding A-K face up -- Brown showed AA as he collected the pot.
WPT Champions Club member Tommy Vedes (right) watches as Fred Goldberg scoops a pot after busting a player in the final level of the day. Goldberg would finish the day fifth in chips with 607,000, while Vedes survived but was much further back in the pack with 140,500.
WPT Champions Club member Lee Markholt (top right) was crippled late in the day, and finally got his last three big blinds all in with Q10 against the A8 of Kenny "Super Tuan" Nguyen (foreground, left). Nguyen paired his ace on the turn and unnecessarily rivered a flush to eliminate Markholt from the tournament.
Joe Serock, who finished third at WPT Bay 101 last month, surged late in the day to finish second in chips. He won this pot after flopping top set in a three-way pot, and got it all in against Tim Miles, who was coolered with bottom set.
Bill Brown steadily built his chip stack throughout the day, finishing in the lead with 772,500 as the field advances to Day 4 just five spots from the money.
Day 3 came to an end after five more levels with 32 players remaining, and an average chip count around 272,000. Here's a look at the top five heading into Day 4:
1. Bill Brown - 772,500 (193 BBs)
2. Joe Serock - 702,000 (175 BBs)
3. John Dolan - 685,500 (171 BBs)
4. Ravi Raghavan - 667,500 (166 BBs)
5. Fred Goldberg - 607,000 (151 BBs)
Day 4 begins Saturday at 12:00 noon ET. Return to WPT.com for continuing live coverage of all the action.
03:39 AM, 04/21/12