The World Poker Tour World Championship resumed on Tuesday with 98 players having made it through to Day 3. After five levels of play, 35 players remain in the hunt to capture the prestigious title. Emerging at the head of the chip counts was Shawn Buchanan, leading the field into Day 4 as they play another five levels on Wednesday.
Buchanan began the day second in chips and added to his stack by eliminating Joe Cassidy and Cody Slaubaugh, both in preflop race situations. Perhaps the biggest hand of the day for Buchanan was a key pot against Brandon Cantu at 2,500/5,000/500. Buchanan was in the cutoff with and raised 2.5x to 12,500. Cantu called on the button and they saw a flop of . Buchanan check-called 21,000 from Cantu and the turn fell the . Buchanan led a small amount with his set and Cantu popped it up, leading to a Buchanan three-bet. Cantu called and the hit the river. Buchanan's river bet was called by Cantu, who saw the bad news when Buchanan turned over his turned set. In the last level of the day, Buchanan finished off Cantu when he flopped a straight against Cantu's aces after Cantu flatted Buchanan's preflop raise.
While Buchanan has the lead by nearly 100 big blinds, Heather Sue Mercer has played solid poker to this point and is second in chips. She won a nice pot against Ralph Perry when, after a series of raises preflop, she had Perry on the ropes with against his . The board ran out and Mercer vaulted to over 1.1 million, ending the day with over 1.35 million.
Among those who will be returning on Wednesday include Matt Stout, WPT Player of the Year front-runner Faraz Jaka, Phil Hellmuth, David Williams, and David Benyamine. All are among the top ten stacks. Also still in the mix are Scotty Nguyen, Eric Baldwin, Cliff Josephy, and defending champion Yevgeniy Timoshenko.
Failing to make it past Day 3 were past WPT champions Prahlad Friedman, Hoyt Corkins, and Jonathan Little. Others who also won't be returning on Wednesday include Justin Bonomo, Kathy Liebert, John Juanda, and Dwyte Pilgrim. Play resumes Wednesday at noon local time in Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at the top ten remaining stacks:
1. Shawn Buchanan - 1,841,500
2. Heather Sue Mercer - 1,364,500
3. Robert Cooper - 937,000
4. Matt Stout - 919,500
5. Billy Baxter - 887,500
6. Faraz Jaka - 852,000
7. Todd Terry - 817,500
8. Phil Hellmuth - 807,000
9. David Williams - 757,000
10. David Benyamine - 731,000
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