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2011 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 3: Julius Leads; Will Esfandiari Repeat?

Esfandiari w/ the Royal Flush Girls

The World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, which began with a field of 413, continued on Thursday with Day 3 as the field played down to the final 49, cracking the money bubble at 100 players in the process. At the end of the day, Kyle Julius emerged as the chip leader with a healthy stack of 1,457,000. He is joined in the top three by Soi Nguyen (1,380,000) and Antonio Esfandiari (805,000), with the latter intent on defending his title.

According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, Julius got most of his chips during Level 15 when Jason DeWitt opened from early position and a middle-position player called. Alexander Debus then three-bet to 18,000 and Julius four-bet to 85,000 from the blinds. The first two players to act folded to Debus, who moved all-in for 450,000. Julius made the call, and suddenly there was a million-chip pot on the line.

Julius: {Q-}{Q-}
Debus: {A-}{K-}

It was a classic flip as the flop came down {5-}{3-}{2-}, which was no help to Debus. The {6-Clubs} turn meant a four would chop the pot, but the river was a brick. Julius’ queens held and sent Debus to the rail in 61st place ($12,937).

While Julius constructed a stack by winning big pots, Esfandiari took the more traditional route of collecting modest pots throughout the day. He won a hand toward the end of the night when Shawn Klasson moved all-in from under the gun for 50,000. Esfandiari called from the big blind, and they were off to the races.

Klasson: {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds}
Esfandiari: {10-}{10-}

The {9-}{2-}{2-} flop was no help to Klasson, and neither was the {A-Spades} turn. That meant he needed either a king or jack on the river, but it was not meant to be as a {10-} spiked, giving Esfandiari a set and dispatching Klasson in 51st place ($12,937).

It was a disheartening bustout for Klasson; however, he earned some cash for his exit. Not everyone was lucky enough to make the money. Early eliminations included Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Randal Flowers, Eli Elezra, Annette Obrestad, and Jason Mercier.

The unfortunate bubble boy, who was eliminated in 101st place, was Brent Sheirbon. It happened when Matt Glantz opened for 6,000 from middle position and Sheirbon three-bet all-in to 37,600 on the button. John Krpan then moved all-in from the big blind for 93,000. Glantz the showed his {A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} before folding, leaving the action heads up:

Krpan: {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}
Sheirbon: {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds}

Sheirbon was in a bad spot because his pair was dominated by the overpair of his opponent, and things didn't improve as the board ran out {10-Clubs}{5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}. As the bubble boy, Sheirbon lost his buy-in while everyone else in the tournament was guaranteed at least $11,942.

Some players who went on to cash in the event included Randy Dorfman (97th - $11,942), Will Failla (93rd - $11,942), Ted Lawson (77th - $11,942), Isaac Baron (74th - $11,942), Carlos Mortensen (71st - $11,942), Eric Baldwin (63rd - $12,937), and Andrew Robl, who followed up last year’s runner-up finish by taking 56th for $12,937.

Day 4 gets under way at 1200 PST (2000 GMT) on Friday. Here’s a look at the top ten chip counts when play resumes:

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Kyle Julius1,457,000
2Soi Nguyen1,380,000
3Antonio Esfandiari805,000
4Larry Wells704,000
5Scott Clements563,500
6Madison Bergeron554,000
7Andrew Lichtenberger530,500
8Matthew Glantz506,000
9Rudy Maarek486,500
10Jeffrey Frerichs439,500

*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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