Kevin Eyster Leads Final 21 Players at Seminole Hard Rock Showdown

Paul Volpe is still tied with Matt Salsberg for WPT Season XI Player of the Year.

Paul Volpe is still tied with Matt Salsberg for WPT Season XI Player of the Year.

Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown concluded with 21 players remaining and Kevin Eyster in the lead with just under 2 million in chips. To chip up to the top Eyster had to last through five levels of play, the money bubble and the elimination of 35 other players all while growing his stack.

Tony Ruberto, the Jacksonville Season X champion, finished the night second in chips with 1,500,000 and Faraz Jaka was close behind with 1,470,000. James Joyner jumped in to the top ten after a double elimination hand, trailed by Nancy Birnbaum, David Tuthill, Zo Karim, Jeff Madsen and Mike DeGillio. Matt Slasberg, who is currently tied with Paul Volpe for Season XI Player of the year, edged his way in to round out the top ten.

The WPT Player of the Year race remained in a deadlock at the end of Day 3, but Salsberg is in position to take over the lead due to Paul Volpe’s 27th place elimination. Both Salsberg and Volpe came in to the tournament tied with 2,350 POY points and the lead. Volpe technically held the tie breaker for having won more money on the season.

Players at the WPT Seminole are calculated to earn 50 POY points for finishing 19-54, and as such the two still remained tied with 2,400 points each. However, if Salsberg finishes in 18th or better on Day 4 or later, he will take the lead in the WPT Season XI POY race. Volpe will drop to the second spot with the next closest player currently being Paul Klann who has 1,800 points after his LAPC fist place finish and his Bay 101 11th place finish.

Volpe was eliminated when he shipped his short stack to the middle with A6 from the hijack. Eyster called from the cutoff and was way ahead with AQ. Volpe picked up a flush draw after a flop of T32 and additional outs for a gut-shot straight draw after the 5 opened on the turn. But none of Volpe’s needed outs appeared on the river which instead was the T and he was eliminated as the 27th place finisher for $16,558.

The money bubble was burst when Christian Harder flopped a set of tens only to be bested by Corey Burbick’s turned Broadway straight. With the board reading AT2J and about 55,000 already in the pot, Ben Tarzia checked from the small blind. Corey Burbick made it 27,000 to go from under the gun and Christian Harder moved all-in for 78,000. Tarzi tanked before eventually folding his hand, but Burbick called with KQ for the turned Broadway straight. Harder needed to pair the board, but it was the K that turned up on the river and eliminated Harder. With Harder gone the remaining 54 players were in the money and guaranteed no less than $10,190.

Andy Philachack was the first player to bust in the money, finishing 54th for $10,190. Season X POY Joe Serock and Day 1B and Day 2 chipleader Shaun Deeb were eliminated in 40th and 41st respectively and each took home $11,463.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts

  1. Kevin Eyster – 1,904,000
  2. Tony Ruberto – 1,500,000
  3. Faraz Jaka – 1,470,000
  4. James Joyner – 1,378,000
  5. Nancy Birnbaum – 1,033,000
  6. David Tuthill – 1,013,000
  7. Zo Karim – 932,000
  8. Jeff Madsen – 805,000
  9. Mike DeGillio – 780,000
  10. Matt Salsberg – 746,000
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