The Hollywood Poker Open Season 3 Charles Town Regional Main Event drew 118 entries to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia, on Saturday. After 14 levels of play, just 12 players remained in the hunt for a $35,803 first-place prize. The winner will also see himself walking away with a $2,500 seat in the Championship Event at M Resort Casino and Spa in Las Vegas this June.
Fort Valley, Virginia's Ronald "Rooster" McDonald jumped into the chip lead early and held onto it for most of the day, making hand after hand and becoming the first player over 300,000.
A late charge from 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion and HPO ambassador Chris Moneymaker saw him take over into the last level of play, however, it was not meant to be for Moneymaker. He lost heaps with a straight against Mike Axen's runner-runner flush before ending up on the wrong end of a huge full-house-over-full-house hand versus Leesburg, Virginia's Carl Garland nearing the end of play. As a result, Garland bagged the overnight chip lead with Axen closely in tow and Moneymaker somehow going from hero to zero in short order, busting out minutes before the day was done.
Final 12 Players
After doubling through McDonald with aces over kings, Chris Grove ended the day on a strong note as well, bagging a little more than McDonald. Meanwhile, the bottom end of the leaderboard is highlighted by 2015 HPO Grantville champ Steven Gurney-Goldman, who will return to play Sunday with over 100,000 in chips and a legitimate shot at a second title in this third season on the tour.
Play will resume at 12 p.m. local time Sunday, and the 12 remaining players will return on the money bubble.
The PokerNews Live Reporting team will be back tomorrow to provide live updates of all the action from start to finish as they play down to a champion here in Charles Town, so stay tuned to see who walks away $35,803 richer.