2007 World Series: Starting the Run to the Money

797 players playing down to 621 for the money, that's how we begin Day 3. Harrah's has suffered with their facilities, yet half the Amazon Room is now empty save for a few cash games.

For the dozens of PokerStars qualifiers, starting tables and your stack have a big impact on how the day will proceed.

Shannon Hudson arrived at Table 206 only to find that he and his meager 20k in chips was headed to the ESPN Feature Table. "My buddy owns a bar, and he told me I am a terrible online player," Shannon said. "I bet him $1,000 that I would win two seats to the Main Event, and I did just that. So I'm ahead regardless of what happens." Joining him was the chip leader in the room, Gus Hansen, as well as 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Juan Carlos Mortensen and Gavin Smith. Shannon moved all-in with pocket fours, and Mortensen called with pocket fives. Shannon didn't improve, and it was a quick time at the ESPN Feature Table for him.

PokerStars qualifier Daniel Snowden hasn't had an easy table yet, and he starts the day above average with 230k in chips. "I've got another great table," Daniel said. It included Cliff "johnnybax" Josephy (346k) and JC Tran (185k). Daniel has done very well at the tougher tables, he might not know what to do if he found a soft table.

Tables are breaking in the satellite area first followed by a row up the middle of the tournament area. PokerStars qualifiers Jeff Norman and Cody Slaubaugh started the day in the satellite area. "I ran 40k into 244k on Day 2, so I'm in good shape headed into today," said Cody. The Minnesota native played the aggressor at the table for the fifty minutes before it broke. He headed to Table 62 to join fellow qualifier James Campbell and pro Dan Heimiller. Jeff moved to join PokerStars qualifier Kitai Davidi at a perfect table: an average stack of 200k, no known pros, lots of opportunity to accumulate chips. He took his backpack off and shook hands with his new competitors, ready to chip up as play tightens up close to the bubble.

Alex Melnikow (480k) and Nicolas Atlan (420k) are both in the Top 25 in chips, and both are sitting at Table 14. The first hour saw a flurry of activity at their table, with Dapo Fadeui being moved into the table as well as a couple more substitutions. Alex went from chip leader to well back in the pack when he got involved in a hand with Rodney Knight. On a board of A-Q-J-4-9, showed Kc-10s for the flopped straight and a bid double up. Alex was down to 180k, now covered by four players at the table. Stacks can change rapidly as the cash bubble comes into view on the horizon.

Alex Melnikow

Nicolas Atlan

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in