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2013 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Day 3: Giannetti and Salsberg Aim for 2nd Title

Matt Giannetti

The 2013 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open continued on Monday with Day 3 action from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The remaining 36 players from a 369-player field returned to action with 4:44 left in Level 17 (2,500/5,000/1,000). After nearly nine levels of play, the field was whittled down to the final table of six with Matt Giannetti and his stack of 3.005 million leading the way.

WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Final Table

*SeatNameChip Count
1Matt Giannetti*3,005,000 (75 bb)
2Lily Kiletto860,000 (21 bb)
3Darryll Fish2,660,000 (66 bb)
4Matt Salsberg*980,000 (24 bb)
5Hayden Fortini1,620,000 (40 bb)
6Danny Shiff1,930,000 (48 bb)

*Denotes member of the WPT Champions Club.

No significant action took place in the waning minutes of Level 17, but a bunch did in Level 18 when the blinds hit 3,000/6,000/1,000. It was during that level that Victor Clanelli (36th), Dana Kellstrom (35th), Filipp Khavin (34th), Mohammed Jaafar (33rd), Gordon Battle (32nd), Jerri Thomas (31st) and Justin Zaki (30th) were all eliminated, each taking home $7,795.

According to the WPT Live Updates Team, Zaki’s elimination came when he was all-in from the small blind with the {6-Hearts}{6-Spades} and primed to double against Evlys Gutierrez, who held the {3-Hearts}{3-Spades} on the button. The {q-Hearts}{j-Clubs}{5-Hearts} flop and {10-Diamonds} turn were safe for Zaki, but the {3-Diamonds} spiked on the river to give Gutierrez a winning set. It was a heartbreaking river card for Zaki, who has cashed in five of the seven WPT events held in Florida.

From there, the eliminations continued and included: Mike Beasley (29th - $7,795), Leif Oskarsson (28th - $7,795), Scott Zakheim (27th - $8,994), Todd Jacobson (26th - $8,994), Youssef Bejjani (25th - $8,994), Gutierrez (24th - $8,994), Marsha Wolak (23rd - $8,994), Larry Sharp (22nd - $8,994), Sean Posner (21st - $8,994), Stephen Bokor (20th -$8,994), Elan Branas (19th - $8,994), Chris Bolek (18th - $10,793), Sheddy Siddiqui (17th - $10,793), Danny Schechter (16th - $10,793) and Antonio Sozinho (15th - $12,592).

In Level 21, with the blinds at 6,000/12,000/2,000, WPT Season X Player of the Year Joe Serock opened for 28,000 from the cutoff only to have David To three-bet to 80,000 from the big blind. Serock responded by moving all in for nearly 470,000, and To snap-called with the {K-Hearts}{K-Clubs}. Serock then tabled the {7-Spades}{7-Diamonds} and was in need of some major help. Unfortunately for him, the board ran out a dry {j-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{6-Clubs} and he was eliminated in 14th place for $12,592.

After a dinner break, the final 13 players returned to action. Seven more players needed to hit the rail before the official WPT final table was set. After Ronald Sullivan and Mark Darner were eliminated in 13th and 12th place for $12,592 and $15,590, respectively, a big hand developed that resulted in the elimination of a WPT Champions Club member.

Things happened when Ben Tarzia opened for 55,000 from the button and Tony Ruberto, who won the Season X WPT Jacksonville, moved all in for roughly 500,000 from the small blind. Tarzia called with the {10-Hearts}{10-Spades} and was well out in front of Ruberto’s {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. The {k-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}{5-Spades} flop was no help to Ruberto, and neither was the {A-Diamonds} turn. Ruberto needed a nine on the river, but it was not in the cards as the {10-Clubs} peeled off. With that, Ruberto’s run at a second title came to an end in 11th place for $15,590.

After Vincent Spadavecchia (10th - $15,590), Evan Teitelbaum (9th - $20,387) and To (8th - $28,182) all hit the rail, the final table TV bubble was in full effect. It took awhile for that bubble to burst, but it happened in Level 26 (20,000/40,000/5,000) when Danny Shiff opened for 85,000 from the hijack, and Tarzia moved all in from the cutoff for 560,000. Shiff called with the {7-Clubs}{7-Spades} and it was off to the races as Tarzia turned over the {A-Clubs}{10-Hearts}. While the money got in on a flip, the {q-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} flop gave Shiff a set and a hammerlock on the hand. The {10-Diamonds} turn left Tarzia drawing dead, and after the {4-Hearts} was run out on the river for good measure, he was eliminated in seventh place for $38,976.

The final table of six will be an exciting one. Leading the way is 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event fourth-place finisher and 2011 WPT Malta champion Matt Giannetti, though he faces some stiff competition from Darryll Fish and Matt Salsberg — the latter of which is the other WPT champion at this final table. Interestingly, Salsberg made the final table of the 2013 WPT Borgata Winter Open earlier this month, which means he’s accomplished the rare feat of making back-to-back final tables on the tour.

Play will resume on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. The winner is set to take home $323,804, including a $25,500 seat in the WPT World Championship, so stay tuned to PokerNews where you can watch the live stream of the final table by clicking the banner on the front page. We'll also have a final table recap from the event following the completion of play.

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