David Vamplew Leads Final 3 in $1,500, Benyamine Atop $50K

Brian Rast is among the top 10 in chips heading to Day 3 of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. (Photo by Jay Newnum)

Brian Rast is among the top 10 in chips heading to Day 3 of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. (Photo by Jay Newnum)

A $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event stopped just short of a bracelet at the 2013 WSOP, with three players still battling. Meanwhile, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, filled with elite players, saw some big names sent to the rail.

Event 55: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

David Benyamine, with 729,000 chips, lead the remaining 78 players who bagged up at the end of Day 2 in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.

The eight-game event started with 132 players and the top 16 get paid at least $111,893.

At one point Monday, Greg Mueller was given a one-hand penalty for exposing his hand and raising.

A few hands later, he was explaining the situation to others at the table, while in the midst of playing an Omaha Hi-Lo hand.

The board showed K J T 9 7, Mueller bet the river and his opponent, Don Nguyen, called.

He paused the explanation of the penalty hand to bet the river, continued the story and got a call.

“You called? Royal flush,” Mueller said and turned over A Q for the best possible hand.

Mueller ended the day with a chip stack just below average. Others still in the hunt include Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein, Huck Seed, Joe Hachem, Jason Mercier, John Juanda and Erick Lindgren.

Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Matusow, Gus Hansen and Phil Galfond were eliminated Monday night.

Hellmuth was overheard saying that busting the event was worse than the Main Event. He later tweeted: “I busted in one of greatest tourns of 2013: $50,000 #WSOP Players Championship. Bad day: Feeling unlucky + Snake bit + angry + sulking.”

Galfond, who finished second in the $25,000 No Limit Hold’em Six Max event a day earlier, tweeted: “I’ve still been thinking over last night and probably didn’t play my best today. A little break will be nice.”

Here’s a look at the top 10 stacks going into Day 3:

  1. David Benyamine — 729,000
  2. Jonathan Duhamel — 666,100
  3. Matthew Ashton — 635,500
  4. Troy Burkholder — 623,000
  5. Jean Gaspard — 600,100
  6. Don Nguyen — 528,000
  7. Brian Rast — 489,500
  8. Justin Smith — 456,000
  9. Shaun Deeb — 453,600
  10. Adam Friedman — 436,600

Event 53: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em

Three players are still fighting for the bracelet in the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Event 53, with David Vamplew holding a slight chip lead over Brett Shaffer while Arttu Raekorpi is not too far behind.

Loni Harwood, who claimed a sixth place finish in Event 31, $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, made the deepest run of any woman in an open event, finishing in fourth place and earning $210,456. Bluff Player of the Year leader Mike Watson arrived at the final table with the chip lead, but finished in fifth and took home $153,850.

Here are the chip stacks:

  1. David Vamplew — 5.345 million
  2. Brett Shaffer — 5.285 million
  3. Arttu Raekorpi — 2.055 million

Event 54: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em

Day 2 of the last $1,000 event of 2013 came to a close with Barry Hutter, 2.045 million, leading the field of the final 14. Meanwhile, Dana Castaneda, 382,000, and Molissa Farber, 188,00, were still chasing the year’s first bracelet awarded to a woman in an open event.

Top prize for the event that attracted 2,883 players is $454,382.

Amanda Musumeci, Rocco Palumbo, Matt Salsberg and Gabriel Nassif were knocked Monday.

Event 56: $2,500 No Limit Hold’em

The surprisingly large starting field of 1,736 for the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event played down to 243, not far from the 198 who would see a pay day sometime Tuesday.

Among those still alive: Jesse Sylvia, David Peters, Dan Smith, Matt Marafioti, Erik Seidel and Josh Arieh.

Annette Obrestad, Allen Cunningham, David “ODB” Baker, Antonio Esfandiari, Lauren Kling and William Reynolds busted the event before action closed for Day 1.

Looking Ahead

The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event starts at noon Tuesday, marking the last five events before the Main Event. The $50,000 Poker Players Championship resumes at 2 pm for Day 3, while the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event returns at 1 pm.


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