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Event #20: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
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Eli Elezra and Anthony Zinno Neck and Neck Leading Final Table of Event #20: $1,500 Seven Card Stud

Djinn • Level 22: 12,000-24,000, 3,000 ante
Eli Elezra

Day 3 of the 285-entry Event #20: $1,500 Seven Card Stud was short and frenetic, with under two levels of play required to lose four out of the remaining ten players vying for the first Stud bracelet to be awarded at the 2019 WSOP. Tomorrow’s winner will take home $93,766, with the next player to hit the rail picking up $14,619.

Chip leader Eli Elezra holds that title by the thinnest of margins: only 2,000 chips separate him from Anthony Zinno (1,219,000 to Elezra’s 1,221,000); the big bet currently standing at 24,000 puts that in stark perspective. Between them, the rest of the table are playing a combined total of 410,000 chips – 14% of the total in play - making this one of the most extraordinarily unevenly-stacked finals ever seen at the World Series of Poker.

Rod Pardey Jr was the first player to be eliminated today, coming back as the short stack with 45,000 chips (15,000 more, it turns out, than current six-handed short stack David Singer). When he left to collect his $6,510 10th place prize money, the final nine reconvened on the feature table, remixed by random draw one final time. At this point the chip lead was held jointly by Zinno and Valentin Vornicu. Vornicu took down a lot of the early pots, while Zinno eliminated Timothy Frazin in 9th place ($6,510).

It was during the period immediately following Frazin’s bust-out that Elezra really picked up the pace. He took most of Joshua Mountain’s chips making back-to-back straights, then eliminated Scott Seiver in 8th ($8,337). Two-time bracelet winner Seiver had not enjoyed the best run at the final table, losing a few early pots to Vornicu and Zinno, and was down to just a few big bets by the time his final hand took place.

Elezra was responsible for the final elimination of Day 3 too, that of Joshua Mountain. By the time Mountain was all-in with a pair of nines on third street (Elezra behind him with tens, which improved to a full house), Elezra had caught up with Zinno and the big-stack/tiny stack dynamic was in full force. The other five players (with the exception of middling-stacked Vornicu) could do little but wait for a hand to get it in with or another one of their number to bust. Mountain happened to be the player who found a hand first; he exited in 7th for $10,920.

Elezra did not look like a contender for the final table, let alone the final six on Day 2, when his stack of 30,000 was all-in and called. However, a phenomenal comeback sees him with a good shot at his fourth bracelet; he was in the thick of the action throughout Day 3, and on the winning side of most of it. Experienced fellow finalist Rep Porter also holds three WSOP bracelets, two of them in Seven Card Razz, David Singer two and Zinno one. Vornicu and Phongthep Thiptinnakon are playing for their first piece of WSOP jewellery.

Final table payouts:

SeatPlayerCountryPrize
1  $93,766
2  $57,951
3  $39,830
4  $27,993
5  $19,996
6  $14,619
7Joshua MountainUnited States$10,920
8Scott SeiverUnited States$8,337
9Timothy FrazinUnited States$6,510

Play resumes tomorrow at noon, with streaming following at 1pm on CBS All Access. Live reporting continues right here along with the action.

Tags: Anthony ZinnoDavid SingerEli ElezraJoshua MountainPhongthep ThiptinnakonRep PorterRod Pardey JrScott SeiverTimothy FrazinValentin Vornicu