The penultimate tournament day of Event #29: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship saw 20 players out of a field of 172 entries return to their seats in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, all in their pursuit to get one step closer at having a shot at the top prize of $425,347 and the coveted gold bracelet at the 50th World Series of Poker.
After yet another marathon session at the tables, it was Dario Sammartino that bagged up a commanding lead for the seven-handed showdown the following day. The Italian has 32 WSOP and WSOPE cashes for more than $3 million to his name, but the elusive bracelet has escaped from him thus far.
Dubbed as the “The Super Dario Show” by Craig Chait, the late stages of Day 3 were a masterclass of aggression and run good that vaulted Sammartino into prime position to scoop his maiden bracelet on his seventh WSOP final table appearance.
Sammartino will return with a stack of 5,030,000, nearly half of the chips in play. Chait follows in second place with 1,630,000 and they will be joined by three players that already have at least one WSOP bracelet to their name: Scott Clements (1,355,000), Greg Mueller (985,000) and Daniel Ospina (985,000).
Mikhail Semin (215,000) and Matthew Gonzales (130,000) will return to fewer than two big bets when the action resumes at blinds of 30,000/60,000 in Hold'em and limits of 60,000/120,000 in the Omaha and Stud games. Semin survived several critical all in situations in which he doubled or tripled up to get as far.
Seat Assignments for the Final Day
Action of Day 3
The cards were barely underway in the Amazon Gold section when Sampo Ryynanen was eliminated by Dario Sammartino in a Razz hand. For Justin Bonomo, the end came soon after when his rolled up queens in a Stud Hi-Lo hand saw Mike Ross go runner-runner for a set of aces to oust the three-time WSOP champion.
David Brookshire started as one of the middle stacks but nothing went his way and he bowed out much earlier than he'd hoped for. Ville Haavisto also came up short of the two table redraw and Jen Harman was eliminated in a three-way pot of former bracelet winners that all had an ace in a Hold'em hand. Harman found no help with ace-queen against the ace-king suited of Brian Hastings and had to settle for 16th place.
Nick Guagenti and Tom Koral headed to the rail within a few minutes from each other and Yehuda Buchalter's roller coaster ride ended in a Razz hand with Galfond.
What followed was an endurance challenge on short-handed tables. With increasing limits, two streets of value could take a massive toll on the stack and send former big stacks into the danger zone. Brian Hastings, who started Day 3 in the lead, was among those to get short and he bowed out in a big three-way Razz hand that sent Anthony Zinno from shorter stack to second in chips on a table dominated by Dario Sammartino.
Mike Ross saw his stack decimated and he came up short of the unofficial final table, as was Zinno after losing several pots in quick succession and doubling up a now short-stacked Galfond. The final nine combined to one table and Sammartino was in a commanding lead already, having won the vast majority of hands he entered throughout the entire day.
It was just a matter of time to see one of the short stacks succumb to the high limits. Marco Johnson lost the remainder of his stack in a Stud hand against Greg Mueller, who made a set of aces to reduce the field to the final eight. Eventually, Galfond bowed out in 8th place when he failed to hold up with pocket tens against the four-trey of Craig Chait. It was the second event of the series that Galfond entered and he reached his second final table.
The final seven will return to the main feature table at 12 p.m. local time on Friday 14th June to play down to a winner with the action streamed live on CBS All Access and PokerGO as of 1 p.m. local time. The PokerNews team will provide all the action of this mixed game highlight until a champion is crowned.