At the beginning of day three, we had 131 players on 15 tables. The reason there were 15 tables was that there were 15 'stars' left in the tournament, each with a $5,000 bounty on their heads. So, each table left had a chance at $5,000 if they could bust the star at their table.
The stars that were left in the tournament when cards when in the air were
Table 1 Scotty Nguyen
2 Erik Seidel
3 Phil Hellmuth
4 'Miami' John Cernuto
5 John Juanda
6 Tom McEvoy
7 Howard Lederer
8 Paul Darden
9 Men 'The Master' Nguyen
10 Antonio Esfandiari
11- Jennifer Harman
12 Gus Hansen
13 Chip Jett
14 Josh Arieh
15 Barry Greenstein
Several bounties were short stacked, so we knew it wouldn't be long. The first bounty out was Barry Greenstein. Barry found a pair of tens, and moved in. Barry was called by AK, and when an Ace came on the flop, Barry was done. Barry arranged for $25,000 to go to his favorite charity, and played well for three days .He deserves a hand.
Next up was Howard Lederer, who had no choice but to put his money in with deuces. He ran into Chau Vu's sevens, and was done. Vu happily took the $5,000, and Howard had plenty of time to catch a flight home.
The flurry of activity you would expect to get kept coming, as before Lederer's bustout was complete, Erik Seidel was done. Erik ran into pocket nines, and ran out the door before the $5,000 bounty was paid out.
Next up one star busted another. Movie star Jennifer Tilly called John Juanda's all in with AK suited, and John flipped over A4. A flop of K 10 10 made Juanda's day complete, and Jennifer Tilly was paid a $5,000 bounty, and flashed a movie star smile as Matt Savage paid her the dough.
The comical moment of the day occurred when Anotnio Esfandiari was all in with about 8,000 chips, and got two callers. Since there were two other players in the pot, the cards were not exposed. The flop was 4 J 10. When a nine hit the turn, Antonio jumped into the arms of Marko, the owner of Bay 101. This killed any further action on the hand, and the river was an Ace, and the cards were flipped up. Antonio had indeed made a straight on the turn, but was given a 10 minute penalty for violating the "no jumping into the arms of the owner" rule. Tournament Director Matt Savage felt that by Jumping into Mario's arms, Antonio had disclosed the strength of his hand.
Speaking of antics, the next player out was Phil Hellmuth. Phil was short stacked, and made a move from the button with KQ. Young Pham, who had had a great first hour of the tournament, had a ton of chips, and A5 in the small blind, called. A King hit the flop, but so did an Ace, and Phil was out the door, and Young was the envy of many players in the room, by being paid $5,000 for busting Phil, while Phil looked on.
The "Magician" was the early candidate for high wire act of the day, being all in and surviving four times in the first 90 minutes of the tournament. His last feat was a river five outer, and Antonio was turning from magician to acrobat. Antonio continued to walk the high wire, but he was at his peak of about 25,000 chips when he looked down, found AK, and re-raised Phi Nguyen all in. Phi had 99, and called. Antonio caught an Ace, and was now over 50,000 in chips, and the high wire act was put on hold for now.
Tables continued to break, and table 3 became the good/bad table good because there were three bounties to be had .bad because four of the nine at the table were Gus Hansen, Chip Jett, Ron Rose, & Paul Darden.
Speaking of Darden, he was the next to go. He was getting short, and moved in with J 10 on a flop of Q 10 3. Ron Rose called him with QK. No help for Darden, and the bracelet, and WPT titleholder was out the door, and Ron Rose had another $5,000 to throw on his pile.
Table 3 was quickly thinning out, as Josh Arieh was the next to go out. Josh moved in preflop with two nines. Young Pham, who still had a monster stack, called from the big blind with K6 of hearts. The first card off was a King, and there were no miracles for Josh. Young was paid $5,000. Josh Arieh finished in 71st place.
Next to go from the bounties was Jennifer Harman. Jennifer moved in preflop with JJ, and was called by Jay Martin with AJ of spades. Jennifer didn't like it before the cards were turned over, but she felt pretty good about it after the cards were turned up. Unfortunately, there were five more cards to come. Two spades on the flop gave Jay even more outs. The river was an Ace, and Jay had picked up $5,000 for his suckout. Jennifer was a good sport, and even stayed around for the photo op with Martin, as he proudly displayed his "I busted Jennifer Harman" T-Shirt. Jennifer Harman finished 66th place.
Scotty Nguyen had held on as long as he could. Not a lot of hands, or a lot of luck for Scotty, and he was compelled to put his remaining chips in with a pair of sixes. Ming La had a pair of eights, and after a bit of a think, he called Scotty. La flopped a full house (10 10 8), and Scotty was dead to running sixes. The turn was another 10, which actually gave Scotty one out for a chop pot (the case 10). No case 10, and Scotty was out looking for a case of beer. Ming La picked up $5,000 for knocking Scotty out. No word whether Ming picked up Scotty's bar tab. Scotty Nguyen finished 61st place.
The next bounty out was 1983 Champion Tom McEvoy. Tom's pocket Jacks were an overpair to the board of 865. Tom moved in, and was instantly called by Ian Kalman, who had flopped a set of sixes. Tom was out the door in 54th place, and none too happy about it. Ian was $5,000 richer, and very happy about his luck.
Bubble Boy was a very unlucky Ron Rose, whose all in with pocket Kings was called by Antonio. Antonio made a straight, and Ron headed straight for the door. If you had broccoli with you, you could have put it over Ron's head, and had some nice steamed broccoli.
The bad beat of the day award belonged to Danny Nguyen. Danny took his Aces against Jason Berligen's pocket tens. Danny was cruising along, Nguyen all of a sudden a ten spiked on the river, and Nguyen was left asking 'why?'. Berligen doubled up, and Danny won the bad beat of the day award.
The plan was to play down to 36, but something strange happened on the way to that plan. Three (yes, three) players were eliminated on the last hand of the day, and we will start with 34 players tomorrow.
At this point, the 'stars' still in are 'Miami' John Cernuto, Men 'the Master' Nguyen, Antonio Esfandiari, Gus Hansen, and Chip Jett and speaking of chips, we'll have counts up in the morning.