In most respects, the $3K NLHE tournament was a standard one, playing out as most are expected to. But this had the triple chance label on it, meaning the chip distribution was unique. Since the elimination of rebuy events from the WSOP, the triple chance has become a popular way to split the chips, as 3K were given to players at the start of the event, and each player had the opportunity to use “rebuy” chips to request another 3K - twice - as needed during the first four levels of play. If they didn’t request them, the chips would be given to them at the end of Level 4. And with those rules in place, action began.
When the tournament started on Tuesday, there were 965 players at the tables, which created a $2,663,400 prize pool. Day 1 took the field down to 189 players, but it was on Day 2 that the final 90 players worked their way into the money. By the end of the night, there were only 12 players left to bag their chips, and they did so in preparation of their last day of play.
Day 3 started on Thursday, July 1, as the dozen returned to the Rio with the following chip counts:
|Jon Eaton ||1,678,000 |
|Frank Rusnak ||1,041,000 |
|Tommy Vedes ||984,000 |
|Will Failla ||960,000 |
|Ryan Welch ||932,000 |
|Sergey Lebedev ||917,000 |
|Guillaume Darcourt ||613,000 |
|Noel Scruggs ||553,000|
|Bradley Craig ||340,000 |
|Tad Jurgens ||292,000 |
|Koen Debakker || 259,000 |
|Gregory Ronaldson ||145,000 |
A few eliminations started the day as they inched toward a final table:
12th place: Gregory Ronaldson ($33,026)
11th place: Frank Rusnak ($33,026)
With one more player needing to bust before the table became official, the 10 players gathered to see Koen de Bakker push his last 282K all-in. Vedes called but Welch moved all-in over the top. Vedes got out of the way so de Bakker could show and Welch could turn over his . The flop of gave Welch the set, and the turn and river ended it. De Bakker finished in tenth place with $33,026.
The final table was then set as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Bradley Craig ||633,000 |
|Seat 2: ||Guillaume Darcourt ||1,403,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Sergey Lebedev ||724,000 |
|Seat 4: ||Jon Eaton ||1,933,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Tad Jurgens ||268,000 |
|Seat 6: ||Noel Scruggs ||416,000 |
|Seat 7: ||Will Failla ||1,300,000 |
|Seat 8: ||Tommy Vedes ||597,000 |
|Seat 9: ||Ryan Welch ||1,500,000 |
Things moved right along as Lebedev doubled through Welch to stay alive. And it didn’t take much longer for a monster hand to develop.
Jurgens was down to a stack of 150K and pushed it all-in. Scruggs reraised all-in for his last 415K. Darcourt decided to call both players from the small blind and . Scruggs had , and Jurgens was ahead with . The flop came , and Darcourt got his card and set of sevens. The on the turn and on the river ended that painful hand, as Tad Jurgens accepted $41,842 for ninth place and Noel Scruggs took $53,694 for eighth place.
Darcourt then soared into the chip lead with more than 2 million chips, though Welch did double through Darcourt to stay alive and take a few of those chips.
Vedes then decided to make a move and did it preflop with . Lebedev called with , and the race was on, but only until the board produced . Lebedev developed a full house, and Tommy Vedes had to leave in seventh place with $69,647.
Six-handed action saw Welch double through Lebedev, putting the latter on a very short stack. Darcourt also doubled through Craig.
Lebedev then pushed his short stack all-in preflop with , but Darcourt woke up with with which to make the call. The board of provided no help to Sergey Lebedev, who exited in sixth place with $91,407.
After Darcourt put a dent in Craig’s stack a while before, Craig couldn’t recover. With only 344K remaining, he pushed with , and Darcourt was able to call with . The flop of gave Craig some hope, but the on the turn and on the river ended said hope. Bradley Craig departed in fifth place with $121,451.
The final four then broke for dinner with Darcourt leaving behind the massive stack of nearly 3.8 million chips. Eaton was in second on the leaderboard with 2,345,000, followed by Welch with 1,745,000 and Failla on the short stack with 805K.
And Failla moved just after the dinner break, pushing with against the of Welch. The board of helped no one, and that was the end of the line for Will Failla, who left the final table with $163,532 for the fourth place finish.
Three-handed action saw Eaton climb to the top of the leaderboard, though he and Welch battled for the position of leader.
Darcourt, on the other hand, took a hit at the hands of Welch, and then he got involved with Eaton to see a flop of . Darcourt bet, Eaton raised, and Darcourt moved all-in for his last 1.6 million. Eaton called with , and Darcourt showed . The on the turn gave Darcourt two pair but Eaton the straight flush. The on the river had to be delivered before Guilaume Darcourt took off in third place with $223,459.
Heads-up play started with the following counts:
|Jon Eaton ||5,250,000 |
|Ryan Welch ||3,435,000 |
Over the first half hour, Welch came close to evening the stacks, and he eventually took the lead. Eaton saw his chips slip away until making a solid comeback by doubling with over the of Welch when the board came 8-Q-10-6-9. The straight put the stacks near even again, though Welch stayed aggressive and took the lead back.
Finally, though, the two tangled to see a flop of . They checked to the , and an Eaton bet and Welch call led them to the river card. Eaton bet, but Welch moved all-in. Eaton thought for quite some time, eventually calling all-in. His cards were not reported, but Welch showed for the straight. The stacks were close and required a count, but it was eventually determined that Eaton was going to have to settle for second place, which was worth $344,830.
Ryan Welch won his first bracelet by taking down Event 51, which came with $559,371 and a WSOP gold bracelet.