Chris Moneymaker remained near the top of the leaderboard as the money bubble burst on Day 3 of the 2021 WSOP Main Event. (photo courtesy: PokerGO)

The WSOP Main Event made the money on Day 3 as 2,362 players were whittled down to just 1,000 as the clock ticked down hand-for-hand in the final level of the day. With players such as Chris Moneymaker, Stephen Song and Chris Dowling all bagging million-plus stacks, it was a dramatic day of action at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Bubble Bursts at the Last in Las Vegas

The WSOP Main Event money bubble is a special atmosphere, the kind that has to be experienced to be believed, but for the 1,000 players who made the cut on Day 3, it was unforgettable.

The day began with the elimination of Phil Hellmuth in a hand that was brutal for the 1989 champion to take, his pocket jacks all-in and at risk against pocket eights only for his opponent to hit and the Poker Brat to depart.

Some time before the actual bubble, one of the most incredible hands of this or any WSOP Main Event took place live on the PokerGO stream at the feature table. Five players went to a flop of 6h4d4s and it was checked through, despite Ugur Ozgur Secilmis holding 6s6d and Chang Liu holding the nuts with 4h4c. the turn of 6c gave Secilmis quad sixes in an amazing turnaround, but despite this, all five checked again to the 5s river.

On the river, Secilmis led for 55,000 and when Liu raised to 225,000, raised to set Liu all-in. The American made the call quickly, flipping over quads and expecting to scoop a vital double-up. Instead, as his Turkish opponent turned over pocket sixes for quads over quads, the table was stunned as Liu busted with quads in the WSOP Main Event.

As ever, the real drama came in the hands just before the bubble burst. One in particular saw the rollercoaster of emotions that players feel writ large as Sebastian Gahl was all-in and at risk with Kc5c on a board showing KdJcTc2d against Randy Ohel’s QhQs.

On the dramatic river card of Qc, nearby players cheered in the mistaken belief that Ohel’s rivered set of queens was the winning hand without spotting that it was a club and therefore gave Gahl the flush. Once players were told of this, the Amazon Room was a chorus of boos instead.

When it was over, the ‘bubble boy’ was Kevin Campbell, who was all-in with AhAd against Chris Alafogiannis’ Ac9c, which managed trip nines on a dramatic board of 9hTc8d7c9s that sent the Rio into raptures. As the room reacted with whoops and cheers, Jack Effel offered Campbell a chance to play the WSOP Main Event in 2022 and one player had the temerity to capture the moment in a slightly different way.

With everyone locking up $15,000 min-cash, the chip leader at the close of play ended up being Jessica Cai, who bagged up 1,796,000 chips, marginally more than Thailand’s Phachara Wongwichit (1,773,000). Players such as Stephen Song (1,557,000) and Chris Moneymaker (1,432,000) will both be hoping it is their year, with the latter going for the title 18 years after his era-defining victory of 2003.

Plenty of big names busted before the bubble burst, with Anthony Zinno, Justin Bonomo, Ben Lamb, Ole Schemion, Greg Mueller, Faraz Jaka, Andy Black, Niall Farrell, Jerry Yang, Liv Boeree Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Pat Lyons, Joseph Hebert, and Chris Hunichen

WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 WSOP Main Event Top 10 Chip counts:

  1. Jessica Cai – 1,796,000
  2. Phachara Wongwichit – 1,773,000
  3. Joshua Paige Remitio – 1,671,000
  4. Ehsan Amiri – 1,574,000
  5. Stephen Song – 1,557,000
  6. Neel Choksi – 1,552,000
  7. Andreas Kniep – 1,509,000
  8. Chris Dowling – 1,485,000
  9. Chris Moneymaker – 1,432,000
  10. Johan Martinet – 1,365,000

Solitro, Alache, and Jackson Star on Day 2 of Little One for One Drop

A busy day of action on Day 2 of the Little One for One Drop event saw three Day 1 flights combine into a massive second day of action. With the $1,111-entry event seeing the 3,797 field reduced to just 229 players, with some superstar names at the top of the leaderboard.

Mathew Solitro (2,300,000) bagged up the chip lead, closely followed by Day 1c chip leader Oscar Alache (1,980,000) and David Jackson (1,935,000), with players like Sorel Mizzi (1,280,000), Melanie Weisner (610,000) and Joe Cheong (510,000) not too far back. With other legends such as Phil Laak (500,000), 2019 WSOP Main Event winner Hossein Ensan (345,000), and 2021 bracelet winner DJ Alexander (320,000) all making Day 3, there are sure to be some very exciting moments as the next day of action brings us closer to finding out who the next bracelet winner will be.

WSOP 2021 Event #68 $1,111 Little One for One Drop Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Mathew Solitro – 2,300,000
  2. Oscar Alache – 1,980,000
  3. David Jackson – 1,935,000
  4. Jan Wagner – 1,720,000
  5. Idris Ambraisse – 1,605,000
  6. Lingkun Lu – 1,590,000
  7. Chris Vickrey – 1,565,000
  8. Edward Pak – 1,475,000
  9. Masaki Nakamura – 1,450,000
  10. David Singontiko – 1,450,000

Event #69 Sees Dozen Remain in Bracelet Hunt

The $1,500-entry Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Event #69 has just 12 players remaining in the hunt for the latest WSOP bracelet and bracelet winners John Racener (1,220,000) and John Monette (1,165,000) who lead the way heading into the final table of the event.

With other bracelet winners of the past Carol Fuchs (940,000) and Norwegian player Espen Sandvik (255,000) still in the hunt, a dramatic final day is in the offing on Friday night as the final dozen will return to battle for the bracelet and $113,459 top prize.

WSOP 2021 Event #69 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. John Racener – 1,220,000
  2. John Monnette – 1,165,000
  3. Esther Taylor – 1,100,000
  4. John Hoang – 1,065,000
  5. Peder Berge – 962,000
  6. Carol Fuchs – 940,000
  7. Jermaine Reid – 725,000
  8. Joseph Ranciato – 705,000
  9. Espen Sandvik – 255,000
  10. Joseph Kupresanin – 240,000

Negreanu Loses to Royalty, Calvin Anderson Sits Top 5

Daniel Negreanu suffered a bad beat as he busted from the $1,500-entry Bounty PLO Event #71. All-in with two pair, the Canadian busted to Colossus winner Anatolii Zyrin. The Russian had a flush draw and got there on the turn, but even worse/better was to come for the video blog-filming Kid Poker, as the ten of diamonds on the river gave his opponent a royal flush.

At the end of play, Mourad Amokrane held the chip lead, with 1,066,000 the only seven-figure stack in the room. Jaime Lewin (712,000) and Nikolay Yosifiv (674,000) were Amokrane’s nearest challengers, with Calvin Anderson (525,000) the biggest name in the top 10 on a day when players such as Ryan Laplante, Ryan Hughes, Ian Steinman and Avi Cohen all missed out on bagging an end-of-day stack.

WSOP 2021 Event #71 $1,500 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Mourad Amokrane – 1,066,000
  2. Jaime Lewin – 712,000
  3. Nikolay Yosifov – 674,000
  4. Miltiadis Kyriakides – 578,000
  5. Calvin Anderson – 525,000
  6. Paulo Villena – 483,000
  7. Ryan Coon – 468,000
  8. Matthew Mlsna – 465,000
  9. Blake Napierala – 461,000
  10. Manuel Ruivo – 448,000

Jon Aguiar highlighted the difference between a 40 big blind stack in 2008 and 13 years later in 2021.

GGPoker ambassador may have lost the last longer bet for the remote control against his wife, Natalie Hof Ramos, but he couldn’t help wishing his love good luck as the German progressed to Day 4.

Finally, few of us will ever get to experience it, but for everyone feeling a little FOMO at not being in Vegas, we’d look away now if we were you. This is how it feels to make Day 4 of the Main Event, whoever you may be.