The record-setting field of 1,795 entries at the 2014 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Showdown was trimmed down to 18 on Monday. American poker pro Jake Bazeley will enter Day 4 with the chip lead after bagging more than 8,000,000 in chips, but several well-known pros are on his heels with eyes set on the $1,081,184 top prize.
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Top 10 Stacks
Day 3 began with 114 players all in the money and looking to make deep runs. Several notables hit the rail during the day, including Roland Israelashvili (96th), Noah Schwartz (83rd), Ylon Schwartz (80th), Tristan Wade (69th), Rep Porter (48th), Eugene Todd (46th), Ryan Eriquezzo (35th), Matt Jarvis (29th), and Shawn Cunix (28th).
Bazeley soared into the lead late in the evening after winning a huge pot against Peter Striano. According to the WPT Live Updates, Bazeley and Striano were looking at a board of with about 1,200,000 in the pot. Striano bet 400,000, and Bazeley raised to 1,200,000. Striano called and tabled the , but he was trumped by Bazeley's for a flopped set.
Bazeley took the rest of Striano's chips a short while later to increase his lead over the field. Bazeley min-raised to 100,000 from early position, and Striano moved all in for 460,000 from the button. Bazeley called with the and was in great shape against the . From there, the board eliminated Striano from the tournament in 21st place.
Bazeley also eliminated actress Sasha Barrese in 22nd place. Barrese, known for her role as Tracy Billings in The Hangover movies, was all in with the on a flop of and Bazeley called with the . The turn and river were no help to Barrese, and she exited with a $25,372 payday.
A major storyline heading into Day 4 will be current WPT Player of the Year leader Mukul Pahuja. The former Wall Street trader turned poker pro will enter Tuesday fifth in chips and in great position to distance himself from the other contenders in the POY race. James Calderaro (second in POY standings) and Mohsin Charania (fourth in POY standings) were eliminated from the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown on Day 3, ensuring that Pahuja will enter the WPT Championship with a sizable lead. He already has three top-eight finishes during Season XII and will look to add another on Tuesday.
Other big names in contention for the Seminole Hard Rock title include Justin Young, Jeff Gross, Matt Stout, Barry Hutter, Matt Glantz and James Mackey. None of the remaining 18 players have won a WPT event before, which means there will be a new name on the WPT Champions Cup on Wednesday.
Day 4 will commence at noon ET on Tuesday, and the plan is to play down to a six-handed final table. Stay tuned to PokerNews as we bring you a full recap of the action upon completion of play.
*Data courtesy of the WPT Blog.