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2013 WPT Borgata Winter Open Day 3: Hwang Leads; Serock, Salsberg Still in Contention

Joe Serock

Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Poker Open wrapped up early Thursday morning with just 28 of the original 1,042 entrants still in contention for the $750,032 top prize. The end-of-night chip leader was Andy Hwang with 3,039,000 chips. He is joined at the top of the leaderboard by Jeremy Druckman (2,598,000), Sam Taylor (2,390,000) and Taylor Paur (2,080,000).

WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Day 3 Top 10

PlacePlayerChips
1Andy Hwang3,039,000
2Jeremy Druckman2,598,000
3Sam Taylor2,390,000
4Taylor Paur2,080,000
5Ryan Paluf1,630,000
6Joe Serock1,578,000
7Mark Wahba1,490,000
8Russell Crane1,477,000
9Mike Gogliormella1,173,000
10Anthony Zinno1,173,000

Day 3 began with 171 players eyeing the money bubble and beyond as the top 100 finishers would secure a minimum payday of $6,637. The money bubble arrived during the third level of the day, and several short stacks were in danger of going home empty-handed. Ryan D'Angelo, Travell Thomas, Irving Pimentel and Scott Matte were among the players hanging on by a thread. Matte put his tournament life at risk on the bubble with {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts} against Lawrence DiChristina's {K-Clubs}{K-Spades}, but the {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs}{10-Spades}{3-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} board allowed Matt to double to a more comfortable 85,000 chips (20 big blinds).

After more than two hours on the bubble, it was high-stakes regular Paul Volpe who took the infamous honor of bubble boy. According to the World Poker Tour Live Updates team, Volpe moved all-in for his last 27,000 chips (3.5 big blinds) with {K-Hearts}{6-Hearts} and Russell Crane called with {3-Spades}{3-Hearts}. The flop rolled out {9-Spades}{8-Spades}{7-Spades}, giving Volpe outs to a straight and Crane a flush draw, and the {9-Diamonds} turn and {9-Hearts} river improved Crane's hand to a full house. Volpe made his exit, and the remaining 100 players were in the money.

Russell Crane (Seat 2) dominated the money bubble
Russell Crane (Seat 2) dominated the money bubble

Crane continued his onslaught throughout the day and even spent much of the evening as chip leader. He increased his stack in Level 21 by eliminating three-time World Series of Poker champ Matt Matros in 77th place. Matros moved all in preflop with {A-Clubs}{10-Clubs} but was dominated by Crane's {A-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}. A jack hit the flop, and that was the end of Matros. Crane also eliminated Matt Glantz in 36th place for $12,942.

Other big names eliminated in the money on Day 3 were Cherish Andrews (95th — $6,637), Tony Cousineau (92nd — $6,637), Nick Mitchell (91st — $6,637), D'Angelo (88th — $6,969), Jonathan Roy (80th — $7,632), Jonathan Little (72nd — $8,296), Allen Kessler (70th — $8,296), Ravi Raghavan (51st — $10,287), Bryn Kenney (38th — $11,615), Ana Marquez (34th — $12,942), and Day 1 chip leader Mark Ketteringham (28th — $12,942).

Hwang was the first to cross the 3 million chip mark late in the night when he put in a four-bet preflop against Nathan Tuthill, who opted to lay down his hand. That pot added around 140,000 to Hwang's stack. Hwang also scooped a big pot from Mike Gogliormella when he turned a set of sevens against Gogliormella's flopped set of fives, resulting in him raking in a pot worth around 560,000.

Some of the notables joining Hwang on Day 4 will be Crane, Taylor Paur, Jamie Kerstetter, Chris Reslock, Matt Salsberg, and reigning WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock who enters Thursday's action sixth in chips with 1,578,000. Serock, who recently took third in the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, quietly chipped up during the day without getting involved in any big pots and is in good position to claim his first WPT title. Last year, Serock had two third-place results in WPT events, along with a 10th-place finish in the WPT World Championship.

Day 4 of the Borgata Winter Poker Open will commence at noon ET on Thursday, and the day won't end until the final table of six is set. We'll continue to follow all the highlights from the tournament, so stay tuned to PokerNews for a full recap.

Photos courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.

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