Day 3 of the PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure was a hectic one as the starting field of 280 was reduced to just 62 within six levels. Praz Bansi picked up right where he left off the day before, but was bested by Harrison Gimbel.
Unlike yesterday, although Bansi built his stack into a fortress of chips before the day ended, he faced stiff competition atop the leaderboard. Gimbel managed to pass him for the overnight chip lead by the time the final horn sounded, stuffing his clear plastic bag with an impressive 2.625 million chips.
The bubble arrived midway through the second level of the day, and it lingered for about 45 minutes as the 225 remaining players anxiously played on for just one elimination. After a couple of short stacks found their double-ups, the moment finally came. In a heads-up pot, Justin Bonomo took the betting lead on a flop of . John Leathart called 20,000 there, and another 45,000-chip bet when the turn brought the . The on the river drew an all-in shove from Bonomo, and his opponent called for his own tournament life, but the table never got to see his cards. “ZeeJustin” showed up for the full house, besting Leathart's mysterious holdings and drawing a large ovation from the remainder of the field now guaranteed a payday of some measure.
From then on, the eliminations came long, hard, and often. Ted Lawson followed the bubble boy right out the door, and Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin was second in line at the payout desk. Kathy Liebert, James “mig.com” Mackey, Ivan Demidov, Carlos Mortensen, and Matt Graham were among the others shown the exit during the small-money period. At one time, when it looked as though Phil Ivey might take control of this tournament, his run-good turned bad during the final third of the day, and he, too, was sent to the exit with nothing more than a small paycheck to show for his efforts.
While the field was crumbling, a few notables were asserting their stacks and vaulting up the score sheet. Bansi righted his floundering ship and worked his count to 2.003 million by night’s end. Eric Froehlich moved his stack steadily upward and also finished near the top with 1.331 million. Barry Shulman, John Duthie, and Amanda Baker were all right there in contention as well, each bagging over one million chips and setting themselves up nicely for a run at the final table.
Bonomo was near the top for most of the day, too, but his stack was decimated in a monstrous confrontation during the final level. Gimbel called Bonomo’s raise to 35,000 before the flop, and the two men watched the dealer spread out . Gimbel called 70,000 there, and another 190,000 on the turn. The river paired the board with the , and Bonomo moved his big stack all in. His opponent called with for the nut flush, and all Bonomo could do was sling his cards into the muck and head for the cashier. That pot launched Gimbel into the chip lead, which he held on to as the night concluded shortly thereafter.
The 62 who managed to stave off elimination today will be back at noon again tomorrow. Day 4 will see the field cut down to the final 24 as things begin to get much more serious. By this time Saturday, we’ll have just three tables of players left, a seat at the final television table fixed firmly in their crosshairs. Join our Live Reporting team as they relay all of the action live and in technicolor straight from the tournament floor.