Just because you did well in the WSOP Main Event once or twice doesn’t guarantee that you will do well every year. Just ask Greg Raymer, Matt Affleck, Adam Levy, and Doyle Brunson, all of whom busted during Level 3 of Day 1A of play. With blinds at a relatively low 150/300, there were still plenty of big pots and big name eliminations. We’ve got the rundown of the Level 3 highlights for you to peruse while the field heads on dinner break until approximately 8:10pm PT:
After getting off to a good start and building his stack to nearly 50,000 in the first two levels, Filippo Candio hit a rough patch and went down to about 40,000 as they hit the mid-way point of Level 3. Candio then played a pot for almost all of those chips as a slight underdog.
Candio held A7 for the nut flush draw as well as a gutshot straight draw on a 432 flop, but was trailing his opponent, who had 43 for two pair. The action was paused as the television crew got into position, and when the J was finally dealt, completing Candio’s flush, Candio gave a slightly more subdued version of the celebrations that made him famous in 2010, simply shouting “Ya!” and pumping his fist as he took a step away from the table. The river Q wrapped up the pot for Candio, who had just over 70,000 after winning the pot. He has since dropped down the counts again though, finishing the level with less than half of that amount.
Doyle Brunson Bows Out
After getting down to under 6,000 chips, Doyle Brunson made his final stand at the ESPN Feature Table with pocket fives when he shoved all-in over the middle position open of Steve Costello. Costello called and flipped over AQ, leaving Brunson in a race for his tournament life. Costello flopped two pair on the AQJ board, leaving Brunson looking for one of the remaining fives to stave off elimination. The 6 turn and 2 river were ne help to Brunson, and he is now the second Main Event winner to hit the rail on Day 1A of play.
Now that Brunson is gone from the feature table, we’ve been told there will be a new line-up at the feature table. Likely candidates include the table featuring Sammy Farha and Lex Veldhuis or the one we mentioned earlier that boasts Vanessa Selbst, Jason Alexander, Matt Glantz, Kevin McBride, and Barry Shulman.
Matt Affleck Will Not Be Going for Three
In the two years Matt Affleck has been playing the WSOP Main Event, he has earned nearly $600,000 and never finished lower than 80th place. Unfortunately for Affleck, there will be no three-peat of his deep run.
Affleck lost about half of his starting stack over the course of the first two levels. Early in Level 3, a player in middle position raised to 725, Matt Affleck called behind him, another player in middle position called, Chris Bjorin called from late position, the player on the button called, and the player in the big blind called as well.
The six players saw a flop of T22 and the player in the big blind led out for 1,800. The initial raiser folded, Affleck called, and everyone else folded. The two players saw the turn bring the 9 and the player in the big blind bet 7,500, leaving a little less than 8,000 behind. Affleck thought for over a minute, as the bet represented more than half of his remaining 14,500 chips. After another minute or so of thinking, Affleck relinquished the hand and the player in the big blind raked in the pot.
As the level wound down, things didn’t get any better for Affleck. He ran pocket tens into pocket jacks with his last 9,000 chips and headed home just before the dinner break.
David Diaz Hungry for Another Bracelet
2011 WSOP bracelet winner David Diaz might be putting himself in contention for another title. Just before the dinner break, Diaz was check-raised after the turn on a board of KJ24. Diaz had initially bet 3,500 and his opponent moved all-in for 20,265. After taking a few minutes Diaz called and tabled AA and his opponent showed J9 for second pair and a flush draw. The 4 on the river was a miss for his opponent and Diaz took down the pot. After the hand Diaz had 122,500 in chips.
Vince Van Patten Tries to Pull a Fast One
World Poker Tour host Vince Van Patten doesn’t play in too many poker tournaments, even at the WSOP, but he does find time to play the Main Event and even finished in the money last year. He is looking to repeat that feat, but hit a bit of a setback after a big hand against high stakes cash game player Len Ashby and Kai Chang.
Chang raised to 800 from early position, Ashby called in the cutoff, and Van Patten called on the button. The flop came down 665 and action checked to Van Patten, who bet 2,000. Both Chang and Ashby called and the action checked around when the turn came T. The river was the T and action again checked to Van Patten, who tossed out a bet of 8,000.
Chang thought for a minute or so before calling and, as soon as Chang’s chips hit the felt, Ashby began to giggle. Ashby shook his head and told Chang, “I was calling him,” gesturing to Van Patten in the process. Ashby continued to mull out loud until the dealer warned him not to discuss the action in the hand.
Ashby asked him, “I’m not allowed to talk? I like to talk during hands, figure stuff out…This is brutal.” He laughed a little more and kept thinking. Chang called the clock on Ashby, who quickly called.
Van Patten instantly shot his hand into the muck and Chang turned over KK.
“Oh wow, I didn’t think you were that strong,” Ashby told him as he turned over 77. Chang took the pot and chipped up to 63,000, while Ashby dropped to 14,000 and Van Patten fell to 16,500.
Adam Levy’s Early Exit
Not much went right for Adam Levy on Thursday, as he struggled to drag a single pot. He got all the way down to 1,650 chips before pushing all-in, which was raised by an opponent in middle position who drove out the rest of the competition. Levy was behind with AJ against KK. The dealer burned and readied the three cards for the flop before the cameras were ready, and Levy told him to wait. “They have to come and watch me bust,” said Levy with a half grin. It wouldn’t be the case, however, as Levy would flop an A to more than double up to 3,750.
A few hands later Levy was all-in again, and the camera crew had not fully packed up and moved on, and Levy waved to them to start filming again. They seemed generally disinterested in this case, and Levy shrugged as his JJ tangled with his opponent’s KQ. A Q on the flop spelled the end for Levy, who will not get a chance to match his 12th place performance of a year ago.
Levy, Affleck, and Brunson were joined on the rail by fellow Level 3 eliminations Tom Schneider, Eddie Blumenthal, Greg Raymer, Jerry Payne, Nick Phillips, and Luis Velador.
Tweet of the Level
Levy summed up his frustrating day at the tables pretty succinctly via @Roothlus:
“Any chance the WSOP is re-entry???”
By The Numbers
9 Number of players at each table by the end of play today. Though play began 10-handed in order to accommodate what will be a large Day 1D field, Tournament Director Jack Effel told BLUFF that the shift from ten to nine-handed tables are well underway and the 10-handed tables will be gone, “long before play ends for the day.”
3 Levels of play in the Main Event before antes kick in. When players return from dinner break, they will once again have two hours of 150/300 blinds, but there will be a 25 ante each hand as well.
1 Remaining WSOP Main Event Champ in the field. After starting the day with four former winners, we are already down to just Johnny Chan, as Brunson, Jerry Yang, and Greg Raymer all hit the rail before dinner.
0 Dollars earned by Doyle Brunson at this year’s WSOP. This is the second year in a row that Brunson, who did play a very limited schedule of events, failed to post a cash at the Rio. Last year, however, he did finish 17th in the WSOP Europe Main Event, so maybe there could be big things for Dolly when the WSOP travels to France in September.
Notable Chip Counts
David Diaz – 122,500
Ben Tollerene – 106,675
Olivier Busquet – 98,850
Josh Brikis – 81,000
Jason Alexander – 72,225
Filippo Candio – 58,725
TJ Cloutier – 36,500
Johnny Chan – 31,000
Soi Nguyen – 30,400
Sammy Farha – 29,000