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World Poker Tour Jacksonville BestBet Open Day 3: Bubble Bursts; Will Failla Leads

Will Failla

On Day 3 of the World Poker Tour Jacksonville BestBet Open, the final 55 players battled it out to get to the money. During the day, James Dempsy busted on the money bubble, two under-21 ballers battled it out for a customized surfboard, and Will Failla amassed enough chips to become chip leader.

The field played through five 90-minute levels Monday on their way to the final table and plenty of pros hit the rail in the first level. Kristin Budreck was one of the first eliminated when Byron Kaverman’s {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} out flopped her {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds}. According to the WPT Live Updates Team, the board ran out {J-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{3-Spades}{K-Hearts}{J-Spades} and Budreck hit the rail. Matt Brady, Andrew Touchette, Brian Hastings (35th - $9,610), Allen Kessler (34th - $9,610), Darryll Fish (24th - $12,124), Matt Giannetti (22nd - $12,124), and Fred Goldberd (20th - $12,124) were also eliminated on Day 3.

James Dempsey was not only one of unlucky the pros to not make Day 4, but also he was unlucky enough to bust right on the money bubble. Dempsey’s day started off rough when he doubled up Matthew Schulte early in Level 15. Matt Giannetti raised on the button, and Dempsey reraised to 20,000 from the small blind. Schulte, in the big blind, then shoved all in for 113,500. Giannetti folded, and Dempsey tanked a while before calling with {A-Spades}{9-Clubs}. Schulte turned over {10-Diamonds}{10-Spades} and they were off to the races.

The board ran out {K-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{8-Spades} and Schulte doubled up while Dempsey was knocked down to 160,000.

The day only got worse for Dempsey when he ran his {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} into Alan Percal’s {A-Hearts}{A-Spades}, just before the money bubble.. The board ran out {9-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{2-Clubs} and Dempsey was knocked down to 16,500 chips — just four big blinds.

With 38 players remaining, Dempsey shoved all in preflop with {8-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} only to be called by Matthew Schulte's {A-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}. The board ran out {Q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{2-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{9-Clubs} and Schulte paired his queen, giving him the win, and making Dempsey the unfortunate money bubble boy.

After the money bubble burst, there were still two under-21 players left in the field — Alan Percal and Robert Gorodetsky. As a part of an under-21 last-longer contest, whichever player was the last standing would win a customized surfboard. The contest ended when Percal was finally eliminated in 21st place by Amelio Amato.

Percal shoved from the cutoff for 100,000 with {A-}{8-} offsuit and Amato called from the button with pocket kings. The {Q-}{10-}{8-}{7-}{6-} board sent Percal packing and shipped the customized surfboard to Gorodetsky, who was later eliminated in 17th place, cashing for $16,263.

Failla amassed most of his chips from Farid Jattin in the middle of the day. The board read {Q-Spades}{9-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{9-Spades} and there was a huge pile of chips in the pot, when Jattin bet 182,000. Failla thought for a second, then moved all in for around 600,000. Jattin then went into the tank, and finally folded. That pot pushed Failla to 980,000. He carried this chip lead for the rest of the day.

Here are the top five chip stacks heading into tomorrow:

PlayerChip Count
Will Failla1,360,000
Peter Campo1,269,000
Daniel Buzgon900,000
Byron Kaverman815,000
David Tuthill687,000

The players will return on Tuesday at 1400 EDT (1900 BST) when the final 16 will play down to the final table of six. Stay tuned to for daily updates from the World Poker Tour.

*Hands referenced from the WPT Live Updates Team.

*Photo courtesy of BJ Nemeth at

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