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The WSOP on ESPN: Kevin Pollak, Jason Somerville Featured as Day 3 Ends

Kevin Pollak

ESPN continued its coverage of the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event Tuesday with more action leading up to the final table, which will air near-live on ESPN on Oct. 30. Last week, ESPN aired the first two hours of its Day 3 coverage, and the second half of Day 3 was aired in this week's two one-hour episodes.

Tuesday's coverage picked up with 1,229 players remaining and chip leader Ben Alcober commanding a stack of 911,300 (allegedly ... we tried counting his stack and it was tricky). Here were the top ten chip counts, according to ESPN, at the start of the episode:

Day 3 Top 10 to Begin the Episode

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Ben Alcober911,300
2Armando Fernandez853,400
3AJ Jejelowo751,900
4Dane Lomas723,600
5Greg Merson718,100
6Sean Rice672,300
7David Randall663,600
8John Leathart619,500
9Jason Somerville593,100
10Jacob Balsiger586,400

Last week, the ESPN feature table changed mid-episode, but this week Kevin Pollak held down the fort for all two hours. Here's a look at how his table stacked up to start.

ESPN Feature Table

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Kevin Pollak170,200
2Bruno Kawauti152,000
3Lance Keating137,900
4Thomas Czyszczon112,100
5Justin Oliver86,500
6Sebastion Saffari82,100
7Erik Von Buxhoeveden66,800
8Alejandro Anaya56,500
9Jed Dickerson52,100

Pollak Working the Angles: With the blinds and antes at the 1,500/3,000/400 level, action folded to Kevin Pollak in the hijack and he opened to 6,000 with {Q-Spades}{8-Diamonds}. Alejandro Anaya defended his big blind with {Q-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} and the flop fell {Q-Clubs}{9-Spades}{6-Spades}. A check from Anaya led to a bet of 7,000 from Pollak. Anaya, though, put in a raise to 17,000, which Pollak tried to call; however, he only put in 15,000 chips. The situation was described to floorman Jordan Cutter and he ruled that Pollak would have to min-raise to 27,000. Anaya called Pollak's reraise to see the {7-Clubs} turn. "Nice angle, Kevin," joked tablemate Lance Keating. With the pot at 71,100, Anaya bet 21,400. Pollak, and then, with a straight draw to go along with his top pair, called. The {10-Diamonds} river was checked by Anaya, who ultimately folded to Pollak's bet of 40,000.

The Pro Analysis segment featuring Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari took a look at the hand and both agreed that after Pollak's mistake when he tried to call (but re-raised), Anaya should have reraised.

Spotlight on Somerville: The secondary feature table was highlighted by Jason Somerville. By this time, he had lost about 160,000 from when the coverage began, but he took down a solid pot to move his stack back in the right direction. Somerville min-raised to 6,000 from the hijack. Kevin Song called from the big blind with {A-Spades}{7-Clubs} and the flop came down {9-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{5-Hearts}. Song opted to lead for 8,700, but that didn't shake Somerville. The {9-Spades} hit the turn and Song slowed down with a check. Somerville bet 16,500, Song called, and the {7-Spades} completed the board. Song finally hit a piece of the board and check-called 18,500 from Somerville who tabled {9-Hearts}{8-Clubs} for a straight (previously top pair, and trips), to take down the pot.

A short feature was aired about Somerville and his decision in February to reveal to the world on his blog that he is gay. Talking about making it public, Somerville said, "I honestly expected a mild reaction from the poker community, and instead what I got was an overwhelmingly positive reaction. I got like 1,000 messages in the 48 hours after I wrote the blog post, all of whom supported me, and here I am six months later very happy."

Ben Lamb Eliminated: After an amazing run at the 2011 World Series of Poker, the reigning WSOP Player of the Year bowed out at the end of the first episode. The cameras started rolling following the turn of a {7-Spades}{2-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} board. Lamb was all-in preflop with {5-Hearts}{5-Spades}, but had fallen behind in his race against the {A-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} of Chris Moorman. The {J-Diamonds} river was no help to Lamb, ending his quest for back-to-back Main Event final tables. Read about the hand in its entirety here.

Tuchman Sniffs Out Esfandiari's Triple-Barrel Bluff: Picking up the action after a {6-Hearts}{5-Hearts}{3-Hearts} flop, Antonio Esfandiari bet 13,500 into a pot of 36,500 with {A-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}. Poker broadcaster David Tuchman called with {7-Diamonds}{7-Clubs} to see the {5-Spades} turn. Esfandiari bet 36,000 this time, but still wasn't able to shake Tuchman who called again. The {10-Hearts} river fell and Esfandiari fired a third bullet, this one for 86,000. Tuchman stood from his chair and went into the tank, ultimately deciding to make a daring call, and he took down the pot. Tuchman upped his stack to about 420,000.


Main Event Champ Goes Down to October Niner: 1995 Main Event champion Dan Harrington was riding a short stack and committed his last chips with {Q-Spades}{5-Diamonds}. October Niner Russell Thomas looked him up with {A-Hearts}{2-Hearts} and eliminated Harrington when the board rolled out {9-Clubs}{7-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{4-Clubs}.

Fireworks: Ben Alcober was the chip leader during the late stages of Day 3 and was, therefore, moved to the Blue Section where the camera crew could keep closer tabs on him. It's a good thing, too, or else this doozy of a hand may have been missed. With the blinds and antes at the 2,000/4,000/500 level, Nghi "Henry" Van Tran opened to 10,000 in middle position with {3-Clubs}{2-Hearts}. Alcober picked up {K-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} in the small blind and three bet to 25,000. Tran, though, came back over the top with a raise to 43,000. Alcober called and led out 32,000 following the {9-Clubs}{7-Spades}{4-Diamonds} flop. Tran fired back with a raise to 65,000. Alcober called, and the {9-Spades} hit the turn. Both slowed down and checked to see the {2-Diamonds} river. Alcober fired 165,000, but with his rivered pair of deuces, Tran made an exuberant call to win the pot.

End of Day 3 Top Ten

PlacePlayerChip Count
1David D'Alesandro1,100,000
2Sean Rice1,076,000
3Jacob Balsiger1,065,000
4Leo Wolpert1,003,500
5Ben Greenberg963,000
6AJ Jejelowo928,500
7Daniel Rudd834,500
8Jonathan Seelbach824,000
9Michael Ferrell821,000
10Paul Volpe820,000

Tune in Next Week: Every Tuesday leading up to the end of October, ESPN will air episodes of the 2012 WSOP Main Event. Be sure to either check your local listings or come back next week for our recap of the action. Next week, Day 4 will begin with the money bubble in sight.

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