The survivors of all the starter flights in this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event combined Friday for the first time, with 1,796 starters, a field diluted to 1,051 by the dinner break in some frenetic action as the 1,000 player money bubble approached.
When it broke, ensuring that going forward every player earns at least $15,000 in the $10,000 buy-in competition, it was Dubai player Roy Daoud who just missed the cash, but gets a free entry into next year’s Main Event.
Once the excitement of the bubble was over, play resumed a more steady progress with some notable exits in Amir Lehavot, Allen Cunningham, Dan Kelly, internet high stakes whizz Dan “Jungleman” Cates, former WSOP main event champ Scotty Nguyen and Lee Childs.
Earlier on, comedians Brad Garrett and Ray Romano in the celebrity category busted out, but cricketing legend Shane Warne is still in the game with 112,000 chips, as is Olympian Fatima Moreira and singer-actor Patrick Bruel.
The man many thought had a chance to become one of the youngest main event champions yet, WSOP Europe and EPT Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos (21), was eliminated but cashed.
One of the most remarkable players, 94-year-old US Navy retiree William Wachter, is still very active with a respectable chip stack of 160,000.
Among the eliminations for Day 3 were three previous November Niners in Dennis Phillips, Billy Pappas and Antoine Saout.
Former WSOP main event champion and poker ambassador Greg Raymer, and this year’s Ladies Champion, Jacqueline Scott, were also ousted, along with big names like Dan Colman, Mike Matusow, Daniel Alaei, Hoyt Corkins, Michael Binger, Cyndy Violette, Sorel Mizzi and Blair Hinkle.
When Day 3 action came to a close and the chips were bagged, just 661 players were left standing, with Amar Anand holding the chip lead for the second day running at 1,139,500, chased by Joseph McKeehen on 1,052,000.
There are still five former main event champions active: Joe Hachem, Jim Bechtel, Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess and Jonathan Duhamel.
Other notable names still in the running with big stacks include Brian Hastings, Daniel Negreanu, Brandon Adams, Justin Bonomo, George Danzer, Christian Harder, Scott Montgomery and David Sands.