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PokerNews Cup Event 3, Day 1: Roy Bhasin Leads as Final Table Set

PokerNews Cup Event 3, Day 1: Roy Bhasin Leads as Final Table Set 0001

The Crown Poker Room in Melbourne was host to an action junkie's wildest dream as Event 3 of the 2008 PokerNews Cup Australia kicked off on Monday, Australia time. The Pot Limit Omaha tournament, Event #3, featured some big names and more importantly, some big rebuys. With unlimited rebuys for the first three levels, several players were spotted with rebuy chip stacks at least as large as their tournament chip stacks. One table, featuring Mark Vos, Sam Khouiss, Sam Youssef and Harris Pavlou featured a whopping 86 rebuys! All told, the 96 players combined for a total of 547 rebuys, building a prize pool of $73,900.

Roy Bhasin got off to a great start to Day 1 as he tripled up on the first hand of the tournament. Holding {6-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{a-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}, he made two pair on a board of {q-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{9-Clubs} to send two opponents reaching for rebuys. Bhasin won the $5,200 Pot Limit Omaha event at the 2008 Victorian Poker Championships, and finished Day 1 of this event with a significant chip lead over the rest of the final table.

After the rebuy period, play slowed significantly and the field began to thin. Sam Khouiss was one of the most profligate rebuyers, but he went out soon after the rebuy period ended when he and Mark Vos tangled on a board of {6-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{8-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}. Vos tabled {7-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds} for the nut flush, and Khouiss was eliminated.

Vos himself was eliminated later in a three-way hand with Roy Bhasin and Bruno Portaro. The flop came down {3-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{j-Hearts}, and all three players got their chips in the middle. Portaro held a narrow lead at that point with {4-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{6-Spades} to Vos' {8-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{k-Spades}-J. Bhasin held {k-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{6-Clubs} for the flush draw, but the {6-Diamonds} on the turn gave Portaro a full house. Vos was drawing dead at that point, but the {5-Clubs} on the river made a bigger boat for Bhasin and busted both opponents.

Other late eliminations included Karib Karib, Dennis Huntly and Jimmy Siu. Siu made a straight to the queen on a board of {j-Spades}{q-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{9-Spades}{8-Spades}, but his {j-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{7-Spades}{6-Diamonds} was no good to Paul Triandafillou's {3-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}, as Triandfillou's king-high straight sent Siu packing not far off the bubble.

As play grew late, the decision was made to halt play for the evening once the final table was set (and the money bubble burst) at nine players. Vince Moro became the unfortunate bubble boy when he got all his chips in preflop with {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{k-Clubs} to Paul Triandafillou's 9-8-7-5. The flop gave Triandafillou a straight as it came down {7-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Spades}. He improved to a full house on the {7-Spades} turn, but a king would still save Moro. The {5-Clubs} on the river gave Triandafillou the checkmark and burst the money bubble at Moro's expense.

Roy Bhasin finished the day with a commanding chip lead, but several other tough opponents made the final table, including Jamie Pickering and Manny Rodrigues. The last nine chip stacks looked like this as play ended for the day:

Roy Bhasin - 238,000

Koray Turker - 90,500

Jamie Pickering - 83,000

Anthony McNamara - 65,500

Paul Triandafillou - 59,000

James Kronos - 56,000

Abel Cabrera - 46,000

Con Tsapkounis - 40,000

Manny Rodrigues - 14,500

Join PokerNews at 4 PM Tuesday Melbourne time for all the live updates from the final table.

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