He has three runner-up finishes under his belt, but the elusive WSOP bracelet is still missing from his showcase. Now he's making another push to change that and finally take home the gold. Shawn Buchanan is pacing the eight-handed final table in Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em, with $537,710 and a bracelet lying at the top.
Buchanan will bring 2,580,000 into the final day, equaling 64.5 big blinds. He had a rocket start into Day 3, dispatching Arne Ruge and Ran Ilani in the same hand, vaulting to the lead. And while he lost the pole position for a certain period, he restored his lead on the very last hand of the day when he knocked out Patrick Truong in ninth place.
It was a fast-paced tempo right off the bat. It took only five hours of play to see the 24-player field dwindle to just a third. David Peters was one of the shortest stacks but he quickly established himself near the top. He doubled through Kenny Smaron thanks to an ace on the river and then eliminated Kristen Bicknell in 24th place.
Bicknell's exit kicked off a bustout festival with Buchanan in the epicentre, scoring the aforementioned double knockout. Star players such as Seth Davies and Stephen Chidwick were sent to the rail while Asi Moshe and Truong battled on another table in preflop raising wars.
Moshe was pulling the strings on the last two tables with his big stack, but he'd eventually fall short of the final table. He bluffed a huge part of his stack in a clash against Jeremy Wien, overbetting the river with ace high. Wein picked him off with top two pair. Moshe's farewell bid came shortly after he ran with top two into a bottom set of John Amato which cost him almost all of his chips.
The players were originally supposed to unite at the last table with 10 players left, but Michael Gagliano busted simultaneously with Moshe, so they combined at nine. The official final table continued for another 30 minutes (or 12 hands).
It might seem that Buchanan has a preferable seat on the table, sitting directly to the left of Peters who is third in chips (1,925,000). But it isn't as comfortable position as one would think, with David Laka directly to Buchanan's left. Laka is an accomplished Spanish pro and being squeezed between such great players is never a walk in the park.
However, Buchanan himself is one of the most decorated players in online poker history. He's been regularly rubbing elbows with the toughest competition for a decade. On top of that, 2018 saw him in fine form as he's already notched a second place in the PCA Main Event.
But Buchanan will surely aim higher than for a silver medal this time, trying to finally scratch his name off of the annual list of the most talented players without a bracelet.
The final table continues June 11 at 12 p.m. local time and PokerNews will be on the ground to provide hand-for-hand live updates until the champion is crowned. So make sure to tune back before noon.
Seat Assignments for the Final Day
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Richard Tuhrim||United States||625,000||16|
|2||John Amato||United States||1,005,000||25|
|3||Eric Blair||United States||1,825,000||46|
|4||Jeremy Wien||United States||2,455,000||61|
|5||Jake Schindler||United States||880,000||22|
|6||David Peters||United States||1,925,000||48|