Doyle Brunson in Contention as 2013 WSOP Main Event Day 3 Ends

Doyle Brunson continues to prove that Father Time has no place at the WSOP (Jay Newnum photo).

Doyle Brunson continues to prove that Father Time has no place at the WSOP (Jay Newnum photo).

Five days ago the WSOP honored Doyle Brunson with a bronze bust to recognize the 10-time bracelet winner’s “retirement” from the WSOP. After Day 3 of the 2013 WSOP¬†Main Event, Brunson’s retirement is going about as well as Jay-Z’s did following the release of Fade to Black. Brunson, who hasn’t cashed in the Main Event since 2004, finished Day 3 with 626,000 chips, good enough for a top 20 stack.

Also still in the hunt is the defending champ. Greg Merson had a bit of a roller coaster day, but wound up just ahead of his 2012 Day 3 chip stack of 365,000, finishing with 390,500. BLUFF Senior Writer Tim Fiorvanti followed Merson throughout Day 3.

Max Steinberg also emerged as a real threat on Day 3. The 2012 bracelet winner, who already has a runner-up finish this summer, eliminated Phil Ivey in a set-over-set confrontation on the ESPN main stage to crack the one million chip mark. Steinberg finished the day with 987,500, the third biggest stack. Despite being focused on his own table, Steinberg is more than aware of what Brunson’s doing a few tables away.

“I have so much respect for Doyle. He was the poker player who before there were coaching sites, he figured out how to play poker well, by himself. He created ideas that lasted years and years,” said Steinberg. “He didn’t have computer programs to tell him anything, like hard math. I have all the respect in the world for him.¬† He has a lot of chips. If I get out, I’m cheering for Doyle.”

End of Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Maxx Coleman – 1,071,500
  2. Josh Prager – 993,000
  3. Max Steinberg – 987,5000
  4. Dick van Luijk – 940,000
  5. Vladimir Geshkenbein – 900,000
  6. Nick Schwarmann – 893,000
  7. Matthew Huey – 885,500
  8. Chris Johnson – 862,000
  9. Umang Dattani – 848,000
  10. Kevin Williams 808,500

Greg Mueller Won’t Show

After a raising war with the button and the small blind Greg Mueller annoucned he was all in from the big blind. The button got out of the way and the small blind asked for a count.

With the ESPN cameras at the table, Mueller counted out 424,500 and the small blind folded.

“Show one,” a player not in the hand said.

“Ok, ok. Who wants to see it?” Mueller said and three players at the table plus the camer crew raised their hands. “Next time.” Mueller said.

“Come on, show one,” a player said.

“No, I can’t show one.” Mueller said

Phil Galfond’s Stack Slashed Then Taken

A player in early position limped in, another player raised and another called before Phil Galfond three-bet to 32,500, to which the limper folded. The initial raiser went into the tank and moved all in, while the next player to act thought for a moment before folding.

Galfond called and turned over A Q, while the initial raiser turned over 9 9 for the race.

As the dealer rolled out the J 4 3 flop, the player who folded to the all in bet jumped in his seat and slapped the forearm of the player on his left.

Galfond couldn’t improve as the board ran out with the 6 and 8 and the player who folded said he mucked K Q, which would have won the pot.

Ike Dodges the World to Double

At the table next to Galfond’s, Isaac Haxton moved all in for 88,000 over the top of an 8,500 raise.

Mark Kroon counted out his entire stack several times before folding, and the initial raiser quickly called Haxton’s shove.

Haxton turned over Q Q while his opponent showed A K. While still ahead on the T 9 3 flop, Haxton had a lot to fade. Any ace, king or heart would send him home without pay. But Haxton faded the huge draw on the 9 4 run out.

Carlos Mortensen Doubles Up

Carlos Mortensen moved all in from middle position for 64,500 and found a call from a player in late position. Both hands were tabled and Mortensen’s tournament life was at risk. He was in good shape though when he turned over AK and was up against his opponent’s AJ. The board ran out Q9872 and Mortensen rivered a flush to double up to 139,000.

Donald Swartz Creeping Up Towards 1 Million

After a flop of AJ8, action checked to Donald Swartz in the cutoff, who bet 26,000. There was one fold and a call from Ryan Hughes in the hijack seat. The turn was the 3 and Hughes check-called 50,000. The river was the 7 and Hughes checked one last time. Swartz fired 70,000 into the middle. Hughes thought for a while before pushing out a call. Swartz tabled J8 and Hughes mucked his hand.

Swartz is creeping towards the one million chip mark sitting on 930,000 in chips while Hughes slipped to 490,000.

John Hennigan Busts Near Money Bubble

John Hennigan didn’t want to hang around and hope for a min-cash, and it cost him dearly as he was eliminated about 50 players from the money in the WSOP Main Event. Hennigan four-bet shoved with A-K only to have his opponent snapcall with pocket kings. No ace on the board and it’s back to the cash games for Hennigan.

Dealer Fist Bumps Winning Hand

“Floor 421!” cried the dealer who found himself in the midst of of a controversial upcard.

On the river, with about 40,000 in the middle, Raj “BadCardsAA” Vohra announced “one pair” from the big blind, and as his opponent said, “you’re good,” Vohra turned over A 3 for bottom pair on the T 8 3 Q 6 board.

As Vohra’s opponent tried to muck his cards, one bounced off the dealer’s hand and flipped up. It was the 6, which gave him a better pair than Vohra.

A tournament supervisor called to the table ruled that the hand was live. Vohra objected, the supervisor stepped away from the table, made a quick call and returned. “Push him the pot,” the supervisor said, pointing at Vohra’s opponent.

“How is that possible?” Vohra said to no avail.

Benjamin Pollak Flops a Monster

With the board reading K J J the player Under the Gun+1 checked and Benjamin Pollak bet 18,500. Under the Gun+1 called and the 5 opened on the turn. Under the Gun+1 check-called Pollak’s 25,500 bet and the Q was revealed on the river. Under the Gun+1 checked once again and Pollak fired out a bet of 61,500. Pollak’s opponent went deep into the tank, pinching the bridge of his nose and shaking his head. Several minutes passed before he ultimatley called and when he saw what he was up against, he shook his head some more. Pollak flipped over K K for a flopped full house kings full of jacks and stacked up to 385,000.

Ryan Hughes Continues to Slide

Ryan Hughes opened to 9,000 from the hijack seat and got a fold from Donald Swartz in the cutoff before Nick Hicks three-bet to 24,000 from the button. Hughes quickly tossed out two green 25,000 chips as he four-bet to 59,000 which sent Hicks into the tank.

“I can gamble it up,” said Hughes. “You can’t three-bet me that much.”

Hicks moved all in for 158,000 and Hughes quickly called. It was a race as Hicks showed 9 9 and Hughes tabled A K. The board ran out J 72 4 2 which kept Hick’s nines in the lead and give him the well-timed double up while Hughes slid down to 395,000.

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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