The leaderboard is starting to take shape at the Party Poker Premier League IV, with the third heat being won by David Benyamine on Sunday. He defeated PartyPoker online qualifier Giovanni Safina for the win, added 16 points to his total and now sits second overall with 24 points.
Things moved much more slowly on Sunday than they had been in previous heats, taking until after the dinner break for any players to be eliminated. The slow movement probably occurred because certain players whose point totals are low need to ensure at least a fourth or better finish to give themselves a shot at the final table. When players did start getting knocked out, it was Roland De Wolfe to exit first, followed by Vanessa Rousso and Phil Hellmuth.
Hellmuth was busted by one of his biggest critics, Daniel Negreanu, whose out-flopped Hellmuth's all-in preflop. Hellmuth left quietly after shaking the remaining players hands. He has six points overall.
Negreanu, however, was next to go after amassing a stack that was close to 1 million. He lost three pots in a short time and was eliminated in fifth place. The first loss was to David Benyamine who was all in holding against Negreanu's . The flop brought Negreanu's queen, but the river was cruel, bringing the case ace (hole cards showed two other aces were folded) out of the deck and on to the felt. Negreanu then shoved from the small blind with and was called by Safina holding . Safina's hand held, and Negreanu was out the door in fourth place with four points.
With blinds getting higher, and stacks getting shorter it was a fast-paced finish. Ian Frazer was knocked out in fourth and Yevgeniy Timoshenko in third place leaving the online Italian qualifier to battle high-stakes cash wizard David Benyamine. Safina gave Benyamine a battle but was unable squeak out a win, thanks in part to some good fortune on the final hand for Benyamine.
David Benyamine limped on the button with the and then Giovanni Safina raised from the big blind to 140,000 with the . Benyamine made the call, and the flop came down , both players flopping top pair. Safina bet 150,000 with the best hand, and Benyamine raised to 340,000 before Safina moved all-in. Benyamine made the call, and Safina was the player at risk with the shorter stack. The turn was a miracle for Benyamine when the fell, catapulting him to the lead and pushing Safina just about out the door. The river card was the and that was it.
After three heats, here is what the standings look like.
1. Phil Laak – 32 points
2. David Benyamine - 24 points
3. JC Tran – 17 points
4. Yevgeniy Timoshenko – 16 points
5. Giovanni Safina - 15 points
6. Roland De Wolfe – 14 points
T-7. Vanessa Rousso – 8 points
T-7. Ian Frazer – 8 points
9. Phil Hellmuth - 6 points
T-10. Luke Schwartz – 4 points
T-10. Daniel Negreanu – 4 points
12. Tony G - 2 points
Another heat is set for today at 12:00 p.m. local time. PokerNews will be covering all the action from The M Resort & Casino.
*Photo Credit - Mickey May, Matchroom Sports