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WPT Jacksonville, Day 3 Recap
Level 24: 12,000-24,000, 4,000 ante
Photo Recap by BJ Nemeth
Day 3 of WPT Jacksonville began with 42 players, but only 40 of them would finish in the money. The bubble burst rather quickly, and at that point, it was a battle to see who would make the six-handed WPT Final Table.
Here's a photographic recap of the Day 3 action:
By the end of the night, one player had built a huge chip lead -- nearly twice as many as any of the other final tablists. Who was it? You'll have to keep reading.
Vitor Coelho (right) came into the day with a big chip lead, but he ran into some trouble in the first level and lost nearly half his stack. Here, he faces a big bet on the turn from Lisa Hamilton (left).
Hamilton, who started the day near the bottom of the chip counts, had a great first level, passing Coelho as she built up an above-average stack early.
Allan Deguino uses a small Buddha statue as his chip protector, and as his stack dwindled, he would need all the luck he could get. It's a bad sign that his mini-Buddha could hold his entire stack of 74,000.
When action folded to short stack Allan Deguino (left) in the small blind, Dwyte Pilgrim (center) warned the entire table against shoving against him in a blind-vs.-blind situation. Deguino moved all in with AJ anyway, and Pilgrim called him with Q10.
Deguino placed his lucky Buddha on his chips, and it seemed to help as the flop came A43, giving him a big lead with a pair of aces. But the turn was the Q, the river was the 10, and Deguino shouted "No!" as his luck ran out -- Dwyte Pilgrim caught a running two pair to eliminate Deguino in 30th place.
Artie Rodriguez (left) earned his entry into this tournament in a freeroll on ClubWPT.com, and on Day 1, he was just happy to be here. But as each day passed, Rodriguez proved he could hang with the professional players. Once the field reached the money early on Day 3, Rodriguez could focus on trying to become the third ClubWPT qualifier to reach a WPT Final Table.
Dwyte Pilgrim (center) was the last remaining WPT winner in the field, and the only one to finish in the money. Here, Barry Wiedemann (right) bets into him on the river, forcing Pilgrim to fold.
Brian Hawkins stands up, expecting to be eliminated after running his AK into Michael Messick's QQ after a flop of Q87. When the chip stacks were counted down, Hawkins survived with a single big blind, but he was soon after eliminated in 23rd place.
After winning a big pot, Micah Raskin proudly displays his single 25,000 chip in the center of his chip stack. Raskin would make his way to the final two tables, but was eventually eliminated in 15th place.
When the final 18 players redrew for seats at the final two tables, ClubWPT.com qualifier Artie Rodriguez (left) was still hanging with the big dogs. Rodriguez was still smiling even though he found himself out of position to poker pros Dwyte Pilgrim (center) and Darryll Fish (right), both of whom had bigger stacks than he did.
It wasn't obvious at the time, but this photo represents a key moment in the tournament. Benjamin Zamani (left) moved all in preflop with 66, and Anthony Ruberto (right) called from the small blind with AK. It was a race situation which could clearly go either way.
The board came K73Q2, and Ruberto paired his king on the flop to win the pot. Zamani was crippled down to a single big blind, and had to watch Zamani stack the pot as he was effectively forced all in on the next hand -- which would be his last.
As for Anthony Ruberto, this hand would begin a big rush for him, as you'll soon see.
The mysterious John Liu disappeared again on Day 3, this time leaving for the dinner break about an hour early. Like he did the day before, he didn't tell anyone where he was going, he just got up from his seat and didn't return. (On Day 2, he disappeared for about four hours late in the day.)
Liu's chip stack weathered his disappearances, but when he returned after the dinner break, he was eventually eliminated in 13th place, earning $21,280. John Liu used to be a dealer here in the Poker Room at Orange Park Kennel Club.
At the final two tables, Darryll Fish (left) bets big on the turn against Sam Soverel (right). Fish was battling for the chip lead at this point.
Vitor Coelho started Day 3 as the big chipleader with 42 players left, but a rough first level dropped him back to the back. But he built his way back up, and when this photo was taken, he had retaken the lead with 1.9 million in chips.
Darryll Fish can be seen in the background (top right). Even though Fish's stack is considerably smaller in physical size, Fish wasn't far behind Coelho with 1.75 million in chips of his own.
After winning the race with A-K against Benjamin Zamani's pocket sixes, Anthony Ruberto (pictured) just kept steamrolling, winning pot after pot until he took the chip lead.
ClubWPT.com qualifier Artie Rodriguez (standing, right) continued to roll, doubling up thru Michael Messick with 14 players remaining. With the board showing 1054QJ, Rodriguez moved all in on the river with J10 for two pair. Messick called, but didn't show his cards.
When the field was down to 10 players, they redrew for seats at a single table. In seat order: (1) Darryll Fish, (2) Chris Tryba, (3) Anthony Ruberto, (4) Michael Messick, (5) Sam Soverel, (6) Matt Ezrol, (7) Vitor Coelho, (8) Artie Rodriguez, (9) Lisa Hamilton, (10) Alexander Venovski.
While other players were pushing big pots back and forth, Lisa Hamilton was picking her spots and calmly and quietly making her way to the WPT Final Table.
After running AQ into the KK of Darryll Fish, Chris Tryba (left) was crippled down to just three big blinds. A few hands later, Tryba could barely watch as he was all in with J9 against the K10 of chipleader Anthony Ruberto (right).
The board would come KJ4610, and Chris Tryba would be eliminated in 10th place.
Vitor Coelho (left) plays a pot against Darryll Fish (foreground right) with eight players remaining.
The final seven players battle for the six seats at Tuesday's WPT Final Table. In seat order: (1) Darryll Fish, (2) Anthony Ruberto, (3) Sam Soverel, (4) Matt Ezrol, (5) Vitor Coelho, (6) Artie Rodriguez, (7) Lisa Hamilton.
In the final hand of the night, Matt Ezrol (left) moved all in from the button with 66, and Vitor Coelho (standing, right) called from the small blind with KJ. Coelho took the lead when he paired his king on the flop, and Artie Rodriguez (far right) seemed more excited than Coelho as they waited for the river card.
The board came K538A, and Ezrol was the unfortunate WPT bubble boy, finishing in seventh place.
Artie Rodriguez becomes just the third ClubWPT.com qualifier to reach a WPT Final Table, and he hopes to be the first to win an open WPT title. Rodriguez came into this event looking forward to a great experience, and now he's guaranteed at least $46,315, with a shot at $325,928.
Here are the official chip counts for Tuesday's WPT Final Table:
Seat 1. Darryll Fish - 641,000 (26 BBs)
Seat 2. Anthony Ruberto - 4,512,000 (187 BBs)
Seat 3. Sam Soverel - 1,432,000 (59 BBs)
Seat 4. Vitor Coelho - 2,570,000 (107 BBs)
Seat 5. Artie Rodriguez - 797,000 (32 BBs)
Seat 6. Lisa Hamilton - 1,901,000 (79 BBs)
And here's the prizepool that they'll be playing for:
1st place: $325,928
2nd place: $287,762
3rd place: $112,657
4th place: $75,105
5th place: $55,077
6th place: $46,315
The WPT Final Table begins on Tuesday at 12:00 noon ET, with the WPT Live Stream starting at 12:30 pm ET / 9:30 am PT (due to the 30-minute delay).
And yes, the WPT Live Stream will be showing hole cards, along with analysis and commentary from the WPT's Raw Deal analyst Tony Dunst and Jonathan Little, the WPT's Season VI Player of the Year.
10:19 AM, 11/22/11