When Event No. 40, the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em (Six-Handed) event, reached heads-up, there were still three hours of play remaining. Thus did it seem we'd learn tonight if either Justin Filtz or Matt Jarvis would be earning his first WSOP bracelet. But the pair's heads-up duel lasted the rest of the allotted time, and so to Day 4 we will go.
Just 20 from the starting field of 732 made it through to today's Day 3. Daniel Negreanu returned to a short stack today, and early on he saw fit to put those chips at risk with . Mauro Stivoli called Kid Poker with , a nine flopped, and two cards later Negreanu was the day's first elimination. Five more players would follow Negreanu to the rail during that first hour, including Jonathan Duhamel in 15th. It would more than an hour for the next elimination, coming in a hand in which Robert Merulla scored a double-knockout of Brendon Rubie (13th) and Russell Carson (14th) to push into the chip lead with two tables remaining.
As more players were eliminated, Wesley Pantling began to gather chips, as would Jarvis and Filtz, while the field was trimmed to nine by the dinner break. Shortly after the players returned, Mauro Stivoli was eliminated in eighth and Dan O'Brien in seventh, and the final six-handed table had been reached.
Both Matt Vengrin and Tore Lukashaugen began the final table on the short side, and they were soon eliminated in sixth and fifth, respectively. Robert Merulla had pushed into second place and looked as though he might be the primary challenger to Filtz' chip lead. But his stack began to slide, and soon Merulla found himself all in with against Filtz' , and five cards later he was out in fourth.
When three-handed, Filtz and Jarvis had both chips and aggression on their side, and after conceding a number of hands, Pantling committed his short stack with versus Jarvis' . When Jarvis turned a queen, Pantling was out in third.
From there ensued an epic heads-up battle between Filtz and Jarvis, the first half of which was marked by Filtz maintaining momentum and the lead, then Jarvis grabbed the advantage during the latter stages.
However, Filtz would double through and retake the lead in an all-in preflop hand in which Filtz' survived versus Jarvis' . Then he'd have Jarvis all in with his tourney life on the line with against Filtz' . The flop brought Jarvis more ways to win, coming . Then the brought him a needed pair, and after the river Jarvis was back in front.
The clock wound down with the pair playing small pots, then on the very last hand of the night Filtz reraised all in before the flop, but Jarvis declined the offer to try to end it tonight.
So, on to Day 4! Jarvis will return to a healthy advantage with 8.645 million to Filtz' 2.345 million. Play will resume at 2:30 Vegas time. Check back here at PokerNews to find out who takes the bracelet for Event No. 40.