Day Three of Event #10, $2,000 No Limit Hold 'Em, got underway on Friday at 2pm PDT, with Justin 'ZeeJustin' Bonomo leading the charge toward WSOP gold and a first-place cash of $566,916. Having survived a field of 1,531 players, he led the nine players at this table ready to their shots at becoming 2007's next WSOP bracelet winner.
The final table started off with a bang as two players were eliminated within the first 15 minutes of play. Ronnie Hofman was busted in ninth place when he pushed his stack with A-Q against Hunter Frey's A-9. The flop came 9-10-9, giving Frey a set of nines, plus all of Hofman's chips. Hofman earned $32,880 for finishing ninth. The second player to bust was eighth-place finisher Gil George. George thought he had the best of it when he woke up with pocket kings, but his cowboys were no match for Todd Terry's pocket Aces. George won $43,190 for his play.
There was plenty of action after the two bustouts as the remaining field made runs at chip leader Bonomo. Frey was the first to make a move on Bonomo when he hit runner-runner to complete a full house and seven minutes later, William Durkee doubled through Bonomo as well.
Although Bonomo was under heavy fire, it was Walter Brown and Stan Weiss that were eliminated next. Brown busted seventh when he moved all-in with his Q-3 and was called by Bonomo who held A-J. Brown got no help from the board, ending his day's efforts. He earned $58,515 for finishing seventh. Weiss also fell victim to Bonomo as he moved in with 10-8 offsuit. Unfortunately for Weiss, the gamble backfired when he was called by Bonomo and his . The river made Bonomo's A-high flush and ended Weiss's run. Weiss earned $78,020 for his play.
The next to hit the rail was Michael Banducci, who earned $105,884 for finishing in fifth place. In a battle of the blinds, Banducci's two pair wasn't good enough as Durkee's higher two pair sealed Banducci's fate. Check out how this hand played out in our PokerNews.com Featured Hands Simulator.
As play continued on, it took less than 20 minutes for the next bust as Bonomo's fortunes turned sour, especially when his pocket kings failed to improve against Durkee's pocket aces. Two minutes late, Bonomo was gone when he pushed with a K-10 offsuit and was called yet again by Durkee, who this time held pocket sevens. Durkee flopped a seven for the set and that was all for ZeeJustin. Bonomo earned $150,040 for finishing fourth.
Following ZeeJustin out of the tournament was third-place finisher Hunter Frey. Thanks to Bonomo's surprising elimination, Frey backed his way up the board a spot and earned $231,373 for outlasting all but two players. With a monster chip lead, Durkee then applied the pressure to second-place Todd Terry. A newcomer to WSOP play, Terry did his best to fend off Durkee, but it wasn't meant to be for the WSOP rookie as Durkee busted him when both players got it all-in and Durkee hit a straight. Terry earned $353,875 for finishing second.
For Durkee, the 24-year-old Northwestern University grad, his fourth WSOP cash is by the biggest of his career.