NAPT Venetian: Day 3, levels 19 and 20 (6,000-12,000-1,000)

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10:35pm: End of level
That's 20 levels in the books. Of the 872 who began on Saturday, just 36 remain.

10:17pm: Cernuto survives
"Miami" John Cernuto left for the dinner break after a very tough laydown to an all-in from his opponent, and he was left with less chips than he hoped. His return from dinner came with a promise to be patient, but when he looked down at pocket 8's, he pushed all-in for 217K. He told us that was the first pocket pair he'd seen all day.

Naim Tahan called with A-K, and the two watched the dealer turn over a board of J-4-3-2-7. Cernuto doubled up and continues on with the evening.

10:12pm: Blair builds
Karga Holt decided to put his tournament life at risk with pocket jacks, but Eric Blair woke up with pocket aces and called. The board came K♥ 9♠ 7♦ 2♠ K♣, and Blair raked more chips as Holt departed to pick up his payout.

10:08pm: Rousso rush
Vanessa Rousso continues her rapid climb back, having taken several hands over the last couple of orbits. Just now, she and Ravi Raghavan had built a smallish pot before the flop came J♠A♦8♠. Both checked. The turn brought the 3♠. Rousso bet 50,000, and Raghavan called. The river was the 5♠. Rousso bet 125,000 this time, and Raghavan quickly made the call.

Rousso flipped over K♠9♠ for the flush, and Raghavan mucked. Rousso is up to 1.2 million now, while Raghavan has 780,000.

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Vanessa Rousso

10:06pm: Stein full, Olivier silenced
In a back and forth that went 27,000 to 90,000 to 259,000, to all-in, Sam Stein just managed to make his pocket kings hold all-in pre-flop against Olivier Busquet's big slick. Busquet looks like he just accidentally swallowed poison. Stein looks like he just watched an episode of Three's Company in which there was a big mix-up but everything turned out cool and sort of funny in the end. Also, he has a monster stack of 1.8 million now.

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In the immortal words of Socrates..."I drank WHAT?"

10:05: Standard Chewy
"LuckyChewy alwys has aces. Or kings."

That's what somebody was saying on the rail just a moment of ago. It's funny, because it's true. Shortly after busting Dwyte Pilgrim, Andrew Lichtenberger managed to pick up aces against Helen Martynov's ace-queen all-in. Martynov is gone and Lichtenberger is...well standard Chewy.

10:04pm: Rousso rising
David Paredes isn't very happy with Vanessa Rousso right now. She just cracked his aces for a decent-sized pot. She held king-ten and made trips on the river. Lady Maverick is now up near 800,000 in chips.

9:54pm: Ducks fail Dwyte
A short-stacked Dwyte Pilgrim was all in with 2♥2♣ and ran smack into Andrew Lichtenberger's K♥K♦. The board went 3♠3♦6♣6♥A♣, and Pilgrim is out in 45th place.

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So long, Pilgrim

9:46pm: After-dinner doubles
Upon the players' return from dinner break, there was a flurry of all-in moves, and some of them resulted in double-ups for players.

One of the first was Daniel Sindelar, who doubled through Michael de Gilio to near the 160K mark.

Yunus Jamal doubled through Joshua Fussner when pocket aces held up.

And some of the biggest stacks coming into today took some hits as a result of double-ups. One of them was Steve Billirakis, and it happened at the hands of Sam Stein, who made multiple all-in moves since the dinner break. This time it was with K♣ Q♦ against the 9♥ 7♦ of Billirakis on a Q♥ 6♦ 8♦ board. The 2♣ on the turn and J♣ on the river gave Stein the double-up he sought, while Billirakis was left with little more than 100K in chips.

David Miscikowski suffered chip loss throughout the day, but he was able to get some of it back by pushing all-in with K-J against the A-10 of Jose Alboukrek. The board came Q-A-J-Q-T to give Miscikowski the Broadway straight and the double-up to stay in action.

9:42pm: Fussner out, Marchese marches ahead
Naim Tahan opened with a raise to 31,000 from early position, and Tom Marchese, sitting to his left, made the call. Then Joshua Fussner reraised his below average stack all in. Tahan folded, but Marchese called, showing Q♥Q♣ to Fussner's J♣J♥.

The board went 2♠9♥7♥A♠[10h], and Fussner is out. Marchese now is challenging the leaders with a stack of 1.35 million.

9:40pm: Chip count update
We've managed to get a complete chip count on the remaining players. You can find it HERE.

9:28pm: No win for Nguyen
Our first casualty following the dinner break was Men "the Master" Nguyen. Nguyen has his below average stack all in with A♠Q♣ and was up against Kyle Zartman's J♦J♥. The board came nine-high, and Nguyen hit the rail.

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Bye, Men!

9:17pm: We're back
Level 20 is underway, with the blinds 6,000/12,000 and 1,000 antes.

8:06pm: Dinner break, and a fearsome foursome
As we near the one-hour dinner break, we're seeing four players all of whom appear to be right around the 1.5 million chip mark: Andrew Lichtenberger, Eric Blair, Steve O'Dwyer, and Thomas Fuller.

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Steve O'Dwyer

We'll be rounding up the latest counts for all remaining 47 players during the break for the start of Level 20 about one hour from now. Meanwhile, check the prize pool and winners page for the latest to cash.

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Thomas Fuller

7:51pm: Wong moves on
Danny Wong is out, at the hands of Blair Hinkle, who's now up to 815,000.

7:44pm: And speaking of seven tables...
We have just returned from the draw party for tomorrow's $25,000 Bounty Shootout. The kind of match-ups we'll see tomorrow are the stuff of dreams. Wanna see who will be playing at these seven tables? Check this out: NAPT Venetian $25,000 Bounty Shootout table draw.

7:39pm: 50 remain
And they are seated around seven tables.

7:32pm: I shove, you shove, we all shove
Three-way all-in, with Michael Binger raising, Corey Hochman reraising all in, Michael De Gilio shoving as well, and Binger making the call.

Binger K♦K♥
Hochman A♣[10d]
De Gilio Q♣Q♦

The flop came 8♥Q♠2♠, putting De Gilio way in front and prompting a frustrated response from Binger. The turn was the 4♥ and the river the 6♠, and Binger took a little walk to recompose.

Hochman is out, Binger is down to 220,000, and De Gilio trips up to about 750,000.

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Binger, depressed

7:22pm: Bruno bounced
The knockouts keep coming. The latest -- Danny Wong has eliminated Bruno Martin.

7:19pm: Gone but not forgotten
Players Nam Le and Fabrice Soulier were seen in the payout line. And their spots at the tables no longer had chips. And their identification numbers were missing. We're no scholars, but we believe those two players are now gone.

7:16pm: Vu evacuated
Tommy Vu put his tournament life at risk with pocket fours, and he found himself up against the pocket jacks of Daniel Sindelar. The board came T-7-T-T-Q to give both players full houses, but only one that was the winner. Tuan Vu was eliminated.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day3_JoeGiron_IJ76589.jpgVu in happier times?


7:07pm: Cordova crushed
Alex Cordova raised to 35,000 from under the gun and it folded to Steve Billirakis on the button. Billirakis asked how much Cordova had left -- about 300,000 -- and decided to raise to 80,000. The blinds got out, Cordova shoved, and Billirakis thought a bit before making the call.

Cordova K♠K♦
Billirakis A♦Q♦

Flop looked good for Cordova -- 8♣5♦5♠. But the turn and river didn't -- [10d]J♦. All those diamonds gave Billirakis the flush, ending Cordova's tourney. "Sorry," said Billirakis while complimenting Cordova for his play today.

Any lasting regret soon dissolved as Billirakis began restacking his chips. He's up around the million-chip mark again.

6:57pm: Hinkle moving in the right direction
Blair Hinkle has had himself a fine Day 3 thus far. He started the day as one of the short stacks with just 68,000, but has steadily increased his stack all day and now sits with 665,000 as we begin Level 19.

6:54pm: We're back
There are 61 players returning. One more level and then a one-hour dinner break.

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NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, Brad Willis and photographer Joe Giron.