Live Tournament Updates
Shawn Buchanan Keeps Dominating on Day 3
Level 15: 3,000-6,000, 500 ante
When Shawn Buchanan won the Mandalay Bay Poker Championship in Season Six, he never ended a day of play less than third in chips. Now he is trying to best that performance here at the WPT Championship by going wire to wire. So far, he is 3-for-3 when it comes to being at or effectively tied for chip leader at the end of the day in this event, finishing up Day 3 here with 1,841,000.
That amount is enough to give Buchanan a nearly half a million chip advantage over Heather Sue Mercer, who was the only other player to end day with more than a million chips, bagging and tagging 1,364,000. Others who ended the day with big stacks included Robert Cooper (937,000), Matt Stout (919,500), Billy Baxter (887,500), and Faraz Jaka (856,000).
Buchanan, Mercer, Jaka and Stout all spent some time at what was arguably the most active table in the room and most certainly the one with the most chips on it. As Buchanan dispensed of players like Joe Cassidy, Cody Slaubaugh, and Brandon Cantu, their empty seats were filled with the likes of Stout and Yevgeniy Timoshenko and none of the players at the table seemed afraid to put some chips in a pot. As a result, Buchanan, Mercer, Stout and Jaka were all able to amass big stacks while many of the players around them headed for the door.
Most of the 98 players who started Day 3 of play did not survive to the end of the day and only 35 players will return to the Fontana Lounge tomorrow. Over the course of the day players like John Juanda, Erik Seidel, Mike Watson, Kathy Liebert, Justin Bonomo. Jonathan Little, Tommy Vedes and Hasan Habib hit the rail as tables broke left and right to accommodate the shrinking field.
The WPT Player of the Year race is starting to take shape, but there are still 11 players capable of claiming this year’s crown. Frontrunner Jaka is still in the field, which means it is currently his race to lose, but he'll need to finish in second place to clinch a tie for the award on his own. If Jaka can reach seventh place (where POY points are awarded), he'll begin making it much more difficult for his pursuers to catch him.
Over the course of Day 3, we were constantly reminded that, when it comes to these tournaments, truly anything can happen, whether it be the quick demise of a chip leader or a freak tsunami courtesy of the Bellagio fountains and a gusty wind. Players like Cantu and Bonomo went from top ten chip counts to out of the event, while others, like JJ Liu and Cliff Josephy, found ways to double up at the right time to both stay alive and amass a stack.
Day 4 will really be make or break time, as the money bubble is just around the corner and everyone will be buckling down with their eye on the final table and the more than $1.5 million first place prize.
Here are the top ten chip counts from the end of Day 3:
1. Shawn Buchanan – 1,841,000
2. Heather Sue Mercer – 1,364,000
3. Robert Cooper – 937,000
4. Matt Stout – 919,500
5. Billy Baxter – 887,500
6. Faraz Jaka – 856,000
7. Todd Terry – 817,500
8. Phil Hellmuth – 806,500
9. David Williams – 757,000
10. David Benyamine – 731,000
02:42 AM, 04/21/10