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WPT L.A. Poker Classic, Day 3 Recap
Level 17: 2,500-5,000, 500 ante
By BJ Nemeth
Once again, the big story of the day was Phil Ivey, but not in the way you might expect. Stay tuned to find out what happened to the player who had all eyes on him, both in the room and online.
Greg "FBT" Mueller started the day third in chips, but was eliminated about halfway thru the day.
During a lull in the action, Erick Lindgren (center) chatted with Shaun Deeb at back-to-back tables. Lindgren was wearing a t-shirt inspired by the TV show "Breaking Bad" -- it looks like a legal ad, and reads, "In Legal Trouble? Better Call Saul!"
Lindgren and his wife Erica (formerly Erica Schoenberg) just had their first child in early November. There was a possibility that Erica would bring young Jake for an appearance if Lindgren made the final table, but he was unfortunately eliminated on Day 3.
Royal Flush Girl Brittany Bell checks out the field on Day 3.
Day 3 started with both Hachem brothers (Joe and Tony) in the hunt, but Tony's elimination on Day 3 meant that Joe Hachem (pictured) would have to go on without him. Hachem won't have an easy path on Day 4, with a chip stack that's only half the average.
After a flop of 742, Andrew Lichtenberger (foreground, right) raised all in against Vanessa Rousso (left). Rousso tanked for several minutes before she pushed her chips forward to call with 99 (overpair).
Rousso had the best of it as Lichtenberger turned over QJ (queen high), but a queen on the river put a bad beat on Rousso and gave the pot to Lichtenberger. Rousso was knocked down to 13 big blinds, and eliminated a short while later.
Phil Hellmuth had a rough time on Day 3, suffering some bad beats early, but he seemed to feel that his final hand was the most painful. With the board showing AJ210 on the turn, Hellmuth bet, and Danny Illingworth called. The river was the 3, Hellmuth bet, Illingworth moved all in, and Hellmuth called with A10 for two pair.
But Illingworth showed 54 for a five-high straight.
Hellmuth was livid, saying, "What does he have? A wheel? He paid eight thousand to draw to a three?" Hellmuth then kept repeating, "Is this a joke? Is this for real?" as he left the tournament area.
With nearly 100 players remaining, Sorel Mizzi (right) was crippled down to just 700 in chips -- less than 1/3 of a big blind. But Mizzi managed a miraculous comeback to stay alive and reach the money. Mizzi begins Day 4 with a short stack of just 124,000, but his comeback has already made at least a $21,080 difference. (The amount of a min-cash.)
With the board showing AQ462 on the river, Jason Somerville (top left) check-raised all in against Andrew Lichtenberger (foreground, right). The two players were nearly even in chips, and Lichtenberger thought for a while before he called. Somerville showed QQ for a flopped set of queens, and Lichtenberger flashed his cards to Shaun Deeb before tossing them into the muck, eliminated.
Deeb confirmed that Lichtenberger had 4-4 for a flopped set of fours. Lichtenberger was out of the tournament, and Jason Somerville catapulted to the top of the leaderboard with more than 500,000 in chips.
Liv Boeree was eliminated shortly before the dinner break, and stopped at Nick Binger's table to chat with him for a bit on her way out of the tournament.
Noah Schwartz (right) looks at the cards dealt to the empty seat next to him, which belongs to Barry Woods. Woods was complaining of severe abdominal pain, and went to the hospital during the dinner break, where he was diagnosed with a distended hernia.
Woods had more than 200,000 in his stack when he left, but his chips were blinding off, and it wasn't clear whether or not his stack would reach the money if he didn't return.
With fewer than 60 players remaining, Brian Brubaker (left) was all in preflop with AJ against the AK of Phil Ivey (right). The best hand held up, and Brubaker was eliminated as Ivey built a cushion of nearly 50 big blinds as the field neared the money bubble.
Larry Lipman (left), known as "The Tomato King," rechecks his cards after A.J. Jejelowo (right) five-bets all in before the flop. Lipman would lay the hand down, forfeiting the pot to Jejelowo.
After a flop of J72, Dan O'Brien (left) check-raised all in, and Tuan Phan (foreground, right) tanked for a while before calling with J9 (top pair). O'Brien turned over A9 for the nut flush draw, but missed his outs and was eliminated from the tournament.
Tuan Phan had been near the top of the leaderboard for much of the tournament, and he took the lead with more than 900,000 after eliminating O'Brien. He would finish the day as chipleader, the only player with more than a million in chips.
After missing nearly two full levels at the hospital (as explained five photos ago), Barry Woods (left) reclaimed his seat in the tournament next to Noah Schwartz (right). Woods immediately counted his chips to see what kind of shape he was in -- he had 170,000, or about 42 big blinds.
Woods would go on to reach Day 4, and the money (at least $21,080), with 129,500 in chips.
Joe Tehan built up a big stack on Day 3, finishing third in chips with 831,500.
Shortly before hand-for-hand play began on the money bubble, A.J. Jejelowo (foreground, left) four-bet all in with 66, and Phil Ivey called with A10. Jejelowo won the race as the board came K984Q, and Ivey would enter the money bubble with just 14 big blinds.
It didn't take long for the money bubble to burst.
Phil Ivey open-shoved preflop with 6-6, and David Baker called with K-K. The dealer spit out the board with lightning speed, the sixes never improved, and Ivey disappeared just as quickly. There was none of the usual drama of a big hand on the money bubble, but the other 54 players were happy to hear that the day was over -- and they had all reached the money, guaranteed at least $21,080.
Jason Somerville finished the day second in chips with 860,000, and was named the ClubWPT.com Player of the Day.
Day 3 came to an end when the bubble burst with Phil Ivey's elimination, and the final 54 players were guaranteed to earn at least $21,080 as they advanced to Day 4. Here's a look at the top of the leaderboard, with an average chip count around 305,000:
1. Tuan Phan - 1,140,000 (228 BBs)
2. Jason Somerville - 860,000 (172 BBs)
3. Joe Tehan - 831,500 (166 BBs)
4. Casey Stewart - 791,000 (158 BBs)
5. Larry Greenberg - 707,000 (141 BBs)
6. Noah Schwartz - 685,000 (137 BBs)
7. Larry Lipman - 571,000 (114 BBs)
8. Tom Marchese - 530,000 (106 BBs)
9. Bob Bounahra - 469,500 (93 BBs)
10. David "Doc" Sands - 463,500 (92 BBs)
Day 4 begins Monday at 12:00 noon PT, and the field will play down to the final 18 players (two tables). Stay tuned to WPT.com for live coverage of all the action.
10:20 AM, 02/27/12