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2016 WPT Five Diamond Day 3: Ryan Hughes Chip Lead Grows as Bubble Approaches

Ryan Hughes
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  • Ryan Hughes stretches his lead after Day 3 in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic as the bubble looms.

On Dec. 7, the 2016 World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at the Bellagio concluded its third of six days with seven more levels of play. With 75 players remaining, just about everyone entering Day 4 earned the minimum cash of $22,251 with 72 players getting paid.

However, most players have their eyes on the top prize of $1,938,118 (includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions), which was made possible by the tournament generating the most amount of entrants in WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic history with 791 entrants including reentries. The tournament's field size also ties a WPT record for events with a $10,000 buy-in with the 2007 WPT L.A. Poker Classic, an event won by Eric Hershler for $2,429,970.

While the chip counts won't be official until before the start of Day 4, the Day 2 chip leader, Ryan Hughes, is still dominating at the end of Day 3 by bagging up the biggest stack of 1,212,500 chips (202 big blinds) or almost 50 percent more than Christian Harder in second place with 829,500 chips (138 big blinds), according to WorldPokerTour.com.

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event Day 3 Top 10 Chip Counts

RankPlayerChipsBig Blinds
1Ryan Hughes1,212,500202
2Christian Harder829,500138
3James Romero771,000129
4Justin Bonomo767,500128
5Yan Lavrovsky720,500120
6Tony Utnage678,000113
7Chris Klodnicki586,50098
8Christian Christner565,00094
9Ron Paolucci529,00088
10Sergi Reixach528,00088

Hughes, who began the day with 364,400 chips, was consistently ahead of the pack during Day 3 and appeared to never lose a pot regardless of its size. Near the end of the night with blinds at 2,500/5,000 and an ante of 500, Hughes put a dent in the stack of Ty Reiman after he fired out a bet of 40,000 when the action was check to him on a board of {10-Hearts}{9-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{K-Hearts} and the pot at already 65,000. Reiman tanked before calling and mucked his hand after Hughes turned over {K-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} for the straight.

Reiman, who was left with 390,000 chips after this hand according to the WorldPokerTour live reporting team, was apparently able to recover a bit as he unofficially ended the night with 512,500 (85 big blinds). This places him in 13th place entering Day 4 just behind Ryan Tosoc (521,000 - 87 big blinds) and Dzmitry Urbanovich (513,500 - 86 big blinds) and significantly above the 315,000 (53 big blinds) average stack.

Meanwhile, Harder, who began the day with just 61,500 catapulted to a second-place chip stack thanks to a hand near the end of the night that eliminated two players as the money bubble approached. The hand began with a player from the button jamming all in for 29,500 before Jason Koon from the small blind went over the top by shoving his remaining chip stack of approximately 320,000. Harder quickly called from the big blind with pocket-aces.

Harder: {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds}
Koon: {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}
Button: {K-Spades}{Q-Spades}

Harder's hand was able to hold after the board ran out {J-Spades}{7-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{3-Diamonds} and the field size was reduced to 75 players where it remained as the day ended.

Many big names remain in the field of 75 to start Day 4 including three past WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event winners. However, they are all short-stacked with 2006 champion Joe Hachem with 70,000 chips (12 big blinds), 2010 champ Antonio Esfandiari with 97,400 chips (16 big blinds) and 2013 champ Dan Smith with 84,400 (14 big blinds).

Also still in the field are Justin Bonomo (767,500 - 128 big blinds), David Pham (224,300 - 37 big blinds), Chris Klodnicki (150,200 - 25 big blinds), JC Tran (142,400 - 24 big blinds), Mike Matusow (112,400 - 19 big blinds), Barry Hutter (73,400 - 12 big blinds), David "Doc" Sands (71,100 - 12 big blinds), three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour (55,100 - nine big blinds), Aaron Massey (47,300 - eight big blinds) and Dan O’Brien (24,400 - six big blinds).

Among those eliminated on Day 3 included Cliff Josephy, Daniel Colman, 2004 champion Daniel Negreanu, David Williams, Jason Mercier, Jennifer Tilly and Phil Laak.

Day 4 is set to kick off at 12 p.m. local time with blinds at 3,000/6,000 and an ante of 1,000 with seven blind levels. By the end of the day, tournament organizers expect the event will be down to its final two tables.

*Lead image and data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com

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