The money bubble has burst in the largest World Poker Tour main tour main event in tour history.
The $10,400 buy-in WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas drew a record field of 2,960 entries, building a prize pool of $29,008,000 that was paid out among the top 371 finishers. Only the top 370 were slated to cash, but with two simultaneous eliminations taking place during the final deal of hand-for-hand action, the 370th-place prize of $17,400 was split between Yi Klassen and two-time bracelet winner, WPT champion, and WPT commentator Tony Dunst.
Day 3 of the main event began with 399 contenders remaining, which meant that the bubble arrived late on the first level of the day. Shortly before Dunst’s top pair was outrun by an open-ended straight draw and Klassen’s pocket aces were cracked by the pocket tens of Freddy Deeb, Soheb Porbandarwala won a big pot that saw him move into the chip lead.
Porbandarwala, a WPT champion and bracelet winner, raised from early position with A5 and Edmund Chan called from middle position with AK. The player in the big blind also came along and the flop came down 742. Porbandarwala bet and Chan was the only player to call. The 3 turn saw Porbandarwala check. Chan bet 80,000 with his newly-found nut flush draw. Porbandarwala check-raised to 280,000 and Chan shoved for 830,000, and Porbandarwala called with his turned straight. The river was the 9 and Porbandarwala won the hand to eliminate Chan just before the bubble.
“That was a huge pot. He just thought that I was just making the move on the bubble, maybe, and I might have been, but I just happened to have the nuts there. So that’s nice,” Porbandarwala told Card Player in a video interview. “It’s been a convenient day so far, basically. No complaints.”
Check out the full chat with Porbandarwala below:
Porbandarwala ended day 3 with 6,300,000, good for third place among the 128 players heading into day 4. He trails only second-ranked Lucas Foster (7,095,000 ) and chip leader Benny Glaser (7,565,000).
Glaser is a four-time bracelet winner with nearly $3.7 million in prior live tournament earnings to his name. The UK native will be looking to outdo his previous top finish of 11th in a WPT event, which he achieved in the 2020 WPT Online Championship.
Other big stacks heading into day 4 include WPT champion and two-time bracelet winner David ‘ODB’ Baker (4,665,000), bracelet winner Frank Funaro (4,265,000), recent WSOP Circuit main event winner Frank Lagodich (4,230,000), bracelet winner and WPT champion Pat Lyons (3,935,000), WPT champion Asher Conniff (3,615,000), two-time bracelet winner Andriy Lyubovetskiy (3,260,000), bracelet winner Igor Kurganov (2,800,000), and two-time WPT champion and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (2,400,000).
While WPT talent Tony Dunst was knocked out on the bubble, two other ambassadors of the tour are still in with a shot. Longtime WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin bagged up 650,000, while popular vlogger and WPT ambassador Brad Owen ended the night with 2,085,000.
Plenty of big names were eliminated after the bubble burst, including high-stakes tournament regular Chris Brewer (299th), four-time bracelet winner Ben Yu (296th), bracelet winner Kathy Liebert (288th), Card Player contributor and two-time bracelet winner Steve Zolotow (285th), WPT ambassador and popular poker vlogger Andrew Neeme (284th), reigning WSOP main event champion Espen Jorstad (262nd), three-time bracelet winner Ryan Leng (243rd), bracelet winner and WPT champion Dan Smith (194th), four-time bracelet winner John Monnette (191st), three-time bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva (168th), two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (160th), top Card Player Player of the Year race contender Adam Hendrix (158th), WPT champion Taylor von Kriegenbergh (155th), five-time bracelet winner Jeremy Ausmus (148th), and WPT champion and two-time bracelet winner Freddy Deeb (144th).
Day 4 begins at noon on Saturday, Dec. 17. The schedule calls for six 90-minute levels to be played, with a dinner break following the fourth level of the day. The remaining contenders have all locked up at least $29,450. For a full listing of payouts, check out the event info tab in our tournament database.
Photo credits: World Poker Tour.
Here is a look at the chip counts and seat assignments heading into day 4:
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