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Aces Cracked Leaves Kevin Campbell as the 2021 WSOP Main Event Bubble

kevin campbell wsop main event

At around 1:25 a.m. PT on Day 3 of the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, Kevin Campbell busted in 1,001st place, one spot shy of reaching the money, after suffering a bad beat. In doing so, although he won't be going home with cash, he became the infamous bubble of poker's most prestigious annual tournament.

Dozens of players, media, and spectators hovered over Campbell's table inside the jam-packed Amazon room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino as they patiently awaited Jack Effel signal to the dealer to deal the community cards while the tournament was hand-for-hand.

Tough Way to Go Out

When Effel asked the players to turn their cards over, Campbell showed {a-Hearts}{a-Diamonds} and was at risk preflop for 93,000 against the {a-Clubs}{9-Clubs} of Chris Alafogiannis. Mike Matusow, who was seated at the table, expressed his disappointment when seeing the hands turned over, although he called Campbell's exact hand prior to the cards being exposed.

But this is a cruel game sometimes, and Campbell would learn that the hard way when the board ran out {9-Hearts}{10-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}{7-Clubs}{9-Spades}, giving Alafogiannis trips and leaving Campbell completely out of chips one spot from cashing. His table mate Paul Mattioda captured the carnage on his phone and tweeted it for the world to witness first hand what a Main Event bubble feels like.

He won't go home empty-handed, however, as Effel informed him that he'll receive free entry into the 2022 WSOP Main Event.

A few hours earlier in the session, Chang Liu busted within striking distance of the bubble in one of the most cruel ways. He ran quad 4's into the quad 6's of Ugur Secilmis in a 200 big blind pot.

Who is Kevin Campbell?

Kevin Campbell is a professional poker player from New Jersey who came out to Las Vegas like many others hoping to win a bracelet in poker's most prestigious event.

"I've been playing professionally for about a decade," Campbell told PokerNews moments after busting. "I mostly play online mostly though in Jersey."

Day 3 was a rough session for the Main Event bubble. He just couldn't get anything going and then had a golden opportunity to double at the end, but ran into some horrible luck.

"I ran great the first two days, and then today, the first level was good, I ran it up to 300,000, and then I went over to this table," he said, pointing to his final table.

Kevin Campbell
Bubble carnage

Campbell busted on the first hand he played at that table. Despite suffering a rough bad beat, he was in good spirits afterwards and took it in stride.

"S**t hurts, trust me, but I'm just so tired right now that I don't care," he said.

Campbell has over $178,000 in live tournament cashes, six coming in World Series of Poker bracelet events. He said he'll be back playing poker on Friday and is going to shrug off the bad beat and move on with his life.

As for the other 1,000 players in the 2021 WSOP Main Event, they're all guaranteed at least $15,000. Day 4 will begin at noon PT Friday. PokerNews' live reporting team will cover the session, and the entire World Series of Poker, from start to finish.

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