Day Three of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship, began with 52 of 148 players still alive, with a tight leader board featuring 52 players and plenty of big names at the top. John Hanson started the day on top, but players such as Toto Leonidas, Day One leader Eli Elezra, Allen Cunningham, Mike Matusow, Phil Ivey and Amnon Filippi were all in the top ten. At the end of the day Filippi surged to the top of the standings, as he closes in on a possible fourth cash during this year's WSOP and what could be his first bracelet.
With blinds already reaching a damaging level, early eliminations came in bunches. Cyndy Violette and David Sklansky went out in the first round, followed soon after by Scotty Nguyen and defending champ Chip Reese. Reese went out against Eli Elezra in the first Stud Hi/Lo level of the day when his () bricked up for the low and was beaten by Elezra's () for the high. Elezra's tens up eliminated Reese in 47th spot.
Annie Duke got all her money in the middle early in the Hold 'Em round with pocket queens, but Rob Hollink made top pair on the board of , and when Duke didn't improve on the turn or river, she was eliminated, leaving Isabelle Mercier the last woman standing in the field. Mercier would hold on to 31st place before being eliminated by Gabe Kaplan.
Freddy Deeb made a charge mid-day during a Razz segment by taking down two huge pots, one against Robert Mizrachi and Isabelle Mercier, the other against Andy Bloch. Those two pots were worth over 500,000 in chips and propelled Deeb high on the board. "Can we play another level of Razz?" joked Deeb as the game changed to Stud Hi.
After Phil Hellmuth proclaimed that he had not won a pot all day, slowly bleeding blinds and antes, he came charging back during the later Stud Hi round to take down a big pot against Huck Seed. With enough chips to be comfortable at the table again, Hellmuth went back to his needling ways, telling Thor Hansen, "I'll get you. I promise. And I never make promises. You wanna be a calling station? Great. I've won plenty of tournaments thanks to calling stations. I'm not going to try to get your chips. You are just going to give them to me." All this came after Hansen drew out his gin card on seventh street to win a big pot off Hellmuth.
The Stud rounds were less friendly to Erick Lindgren and Robert Mizrachi, who were eliminated during that span. After the Stud Hi portion, the redraw created an all-star table featuring Freddy Deeb, Isabelle Mercier, Gabe Kaplan, Toto Leonidas, Greg Raymer, Andy Bloch, Mark Gregorich and Max Pescatori, which was then selected as the feature table. The feature table didn't stay intact long, with Noah Jefferson being brought in to replace the quickly-eliminated Bloch and Mercier.
Dewey Tomko and David Singer emerged from Day Three as the only 2006 final tablists remaining in the contest. Singer needed help to get there, catching an inside straight on the river in a hand against Daniel Negreanu that would have crippled him otherwise. When the river brought a six to fill his seven-high straight, Singer jumped to 590,000 in chips and surged to finish the day among the top ten chip stacks.
Eli Elezra's early days of success went sour here. On his last hand, Elezra turned a set of tens, but Thor Hansen rivered a straight with his pocket 6-6 to send the 2007 bracelet winner to the rail. Tuan Le, Huck Seed and Mike Wattel were eliminated as the dinner break approached to set up a redraw at three tables. Once players were assigned their new positions, the tables looked like this:
Seat 1: Bruno Fitoussi
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu
Seat 3: Justin Bonomo
Seat 4: Greg Raymer
Seat 5: Amnon Filippi
Seat 6: Mike Matusow
Seat 7: Dewey Tomko
Seat 8: Max Pescatori
Seat 1: Mark Gregorich
Seat 2: Pat Pezzin
Seat 3: Steve Wolff
Seat 4: Kenny Tran
Seat 5: Chris Reslock
Seat 6: Phil Hellmuth
Seat 7: David Singer
Seat 8: Rob Hollink
Seat 1: Tim Phan
Seat 2: Noah Jefferson
Seat 3: Toto Leonidas
Seat 4: Gabe Kaplan
Seat 5: Barry Greenstein
Seat 6: Freddy Deeb
Seat 7: Thor Hansen
Seat 8: John Hanson
Here's the WSOP recipe for gourmet poker entertainment. Take one Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow, add one 'Kid Poker' Daniel Negreanu. Add in a healthy serving of television cameras and sprinkle it all over the largest buy-in event at the World Series of Poker. Cook until a golden brown and broadcast. Oddly enough, tablemates Justin Bonomo, Max Pescatori and Amnon Fillipi were more interested in playing poker than the 'Sing Along with Mike and Danny Show,' putting on their headphones to escape the din.
In Day Three's last hour of play, three more eliminations occurred: Rob Hollink, Toto Leonidas and Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth was crippled right before the end of the Omaha Hi/Lo round, and he, Hollink and Leonidas all were eliminated during the last round of Stud Hi, setting a lineup for today that looks like this:
Seat 1: Bruno Fitoussi — 1,248,000
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu — 149,000
Seat 3: Justin Bonomo — 295,000
Seat 4: Greg Raymer — 504,000
Seat 5: Amnon Filippi — 2,343,000
Seat 6: Mike Matusow — 696,000
Seat 7: Dewey Tomko — 248,000
Seat 1: Mark Gregorich — 386,000
Seat 2: Pat Pezzin — 102,000
Seat 3: Steve Wolff — 263,000
Seat 4: Kenny Tran — 1,959,000
Seat 5: Chris Reslock — 536,000
Seat 6: David Singer — 1,017,000
Seat 7: Max Pescatori — 81,000
Seat 1: Tim Phan — 889,000
Seat 2: Noah Jefferson — 167,000
Seat 3: Gabe Kaplan — 625,000
Seat 4: Barry Greenstein — 650,000
Seat 5: Freddy Deeb — 963,000
Seat 6: Thor Hansen — 537,000
Seat 7: John Hanson — 1,215,000
Action resumes at 2pm PDT. Join PokerNews.com's 'Live Reporting' of Event #39, $50,000 H.O.R.S.E., for the latest updates.