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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

$50K HORSE Day 3 – Nearing the Critical Stage

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More than half of the players in the $50K HORSE event were not able to return for Day 3, as only 67 players survived the first two days of the five-day tournament. And though the tournament had taken a serious tone thus far, players were about to enter the critical zone.

With 100K in chips given to each player to begin the tournament, play was a bit on the slow side on Day 1 with only eight players eliminated in the five levels played. But the second day was an entirely different story, as the field dropped from its starting number of 140 all the way down to 67. As blinds rose and players felt more comfortable, and quite possibly as the vivid memory of plunking down $50,000 faded a bit, more than half of them left the field.

Day 3 began with those 67 players who took their seats in their ever-shrinking portion of the Amazon Room. And within the first 30 minutes, the day’s first casualty had been recorded, as Max Pescatori started by losing a hold’em pot to Ralph Perry and went out on a subsequent hand via Brandon Adams.

Jeff Lisandro was out the door soon after, as was Allen Kessler, Steve Sung, Tad Jurgens, Douglas Ganger, and Lee Markholt. John Hanson, third place finisher at the 2007 $50K HORSE event, was eliminated just before the first break of the day, which left only four players with the opportunity to repeat a final table appearance for the second consecutive year – Kenny Tran, Barry Greenstein, and Thor Hansen. And by the end of the night, Greenstein was last of those to remain standing.

Throughout the evening, the tension notably rose in the air around the handful of tables. As some of the most respected players in the game were forced to take their leave, a short sigh of relief came over the faces of those still seated, but they were acutely aware that the pressure just increased as well. The fewer players, the closer to the money, the closer to the coveted title…

The sometimes light-hearted banter between players decreased to an almost non-existent level. Visitors like previously-eliminated Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow stopped by in the evening hours in an attempt to chat up the remaining players, but those still in the game were not interested in making small talk; they were in the battle of the year, and there was no time for the Mike and Phil show. The two attention-loving players finally just talked to each other and soaked up the attention they received from the numerous railbirds.

Speaking of fans, they were out in force in the Amazon Room. Throughout the entirety of the day, while some came and went, there was never less than a full rail, sometimes two- and three-persons deep. Not only did they attempt pictures from the sidelines but tried desperately to catch the players at breaks. Despite the players being tense and strapped for time at breaks, Brunson and Greenstein could always be seen taking time to sign autographs and pose for photos, not matter their obvious longing to simply get to the bathroom or the VIP room for some privacy. But even when players couldn’t get to their favorite players, it seemed to be enough to simply watch and point, whispering, “There’s Daniel Negreanu!”

The fans and visiting players aside, the tournament ended for the day with only 24 players left. In that group, Barry Greenstein was attempting to cash for a third year in a row and possibly make his second final table in a row – a feat previously accomplished by David Singer. Scotty Nguyen is trying to redeem himself, probably in his own eyes and mind, from his 11th place finish in the 2007 WSOP main event. Daniel Negreanu is hoping to follow up his fourth bracelet win only weeks ago with a title and prize that would catapult him into position as the highest ranking tournament money winner of all time, overtaking Jamie Gold in that position. And Doyle Brunson, who quite possibly in his heart alone, would like to win this one for his deceased best friend in whose memory the trophy is named, Chip Reese.

End-of-day chip counts were released as follows:

Michael DeMichele 1,351,000
Barry Greenstein 1,311,000
Daniel Negreanu 1,226,000
Ralph Perry 1,043,000
Scotty Nguyen 1,033,000
Lyle Berman 939,000
Patrick Bueno 806,000
David Bach 801,000
Doyle Brunson 777,000
Michael Mizrachi 701,000
Joseph Michael 647,000
Matt Glantz 521,000
Erick Lindgren 485,000
Mike Wattel 474,000
Raymond Davis 438,000
Andy Bloch 421,000
Farzad Bonyadi 365,000
Gabe Kaplan 360,000
Brandon Adams 290,000
Edwin Ting 261,000
Huck Seed 190,000
James Mackey 151,000
Phil Ivey 145,000
Chad Brown 81,000

Players will return on Day 4 at 3pm to play toward the money, which will hit at the 16-player mark, and to the final eight players who will sit at the most prestigious final table of the poker year. Stay tuned for all of the details…

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