NAPT Venetian: Day 3, levels 21 and 22 (8,000-16,000-2,000)
1:12am: Day 3 concludes
With that last flurry of eliminations, Day 3 swiftly comes to a close. The remaining 24 players are starting to bag up their earnings thus far, but all well know there's still a long way to go to that $827,648 first prize.
1:06am: Rousso hits rail in 25th
Down to 205,000, the table folded around to Vanessa Rousso who shoved all in, and Tom Marchese called from the big blind. Rousso showed K-6, which Marchese had pocket sevens. The board went [10s]3♥J♦A♣J♣, and Rousso -- the last Team PokerStars Pro alive -- has been eliminated in 25th place.
12:55am: Buffington bounced in 27th; Seth served in 26th
Blake Buffington was just all in with Q♦Q♥ and up against Jonathan Aguiar's K♠9♥. The flop came 7♣K♦2♣, putting Aguiar ahead. The turn was the J♠ and the river the 8♥, and Buffington hit the rail. That hand put Aguiar up around 610,000.
Andy Seth followed Buffington shortly thereafter, having fallen victim to the chip-accumulator Eric Blair. Blair is up to about 3.5 million at present.
12:45am: O'Dwyer o-out in 28th place
It happened on the first hand of the return from break, as Steve O'Dwyer pushed all-in with J♠ J♦, but Eric Blair couldn't help but call with A♥ A♣. The board delivered T♦ K♣ 9♣ T♥ 2♥, and O'Dwyer took his leave of the tournament.
12:44am: Binger busto in 29th place
A person can only be in one place at a time...so we just missed the quiet bustout of Michael Binger, who was eliminated by Daniel Cossette in 28th place.
12:28am: Smoke 'em if you got 'em
It's been a long day. What say we take ourselves one more break? 29 players will return either to play one more level or until the field reaches 24.
12:25am: Sinistaj out in 30th, Clemente climbs
Tom Sinistaj was all in for almost 350,000 with [10c][10d] and was racing against Daniel Clemente's A♥J♦. Clemente -- who had Sinistaj covered by just 50,000 -- liked the flop 5♠J♠A♣. And his hand held through the 5♣ turn and Q♠ river. Sinistaj is out in 30th place, while Clemente moves up to about 800,000.
12:20am: Sam Stein, the new NAPT Venetian chip leader
Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger isn't always lucky. He just sent a substantial portion of his substantial stack two seats to his right and into the possession of one Sam Stein. While we're unsure of what Lichtenberger held, we know it was no good against the rivered Broadway straight on the 8♠J♦7♣T♠K♦ board. After betting 335,000 on the river, Lichtenberger called 1,136,000 more from Stein to see Stein's ace-queen. Lichtenberger is now down to half a million chips, while Stein is up over the three million mark.
12:05am: The pain prolonged...Sindelar out in 31st place
It started with David Paredes moving all-in with Q♣ J♠, and Daniel Sindelar coming over the top with pocket nines. John Franciosi took a long time to consider the options but eventually folded. The dealer revealed a 6♦ 7♦ J♦ K♣ T♠ board, which gave Paredes the double-up but left Sindelar crippled.
Sindelar was ready to make his exit but had to await the deal of the next hand. With J♣ 8♣ on the button, he made the all-in push, but Mark Ketteringham woke up with pocket queens in the big blind. The board only brought another queen for Ketteringham, and Sindelar was eliminated in 31st place.
12:01am: Cody's roller coaster ride over - 32nd place
Cody Slaubaugh risked it all with A♠ 9♣ preflop, but Tom Marchese called relatively quickly with K♣ Q♣. The board produced 7♦ T♦ 3♣ 2♥ Q♥, and Slaubaugh was sent packing in 32nd place.
11:59pm: Twice as nice
A few double-ups caused a little excitement as play resumed after the redraw. John Franciosi and his pocket fives doubled through Joseph Cutler. And Yunus Jamal took his pocket aces into battle against Daniel Clemente and won, doubling to stay alive.
11:54pm: Change of plans
The plan at the beginning of the day was to play down to 24 players tonight, quoting here, "no matter what." Normally, the 24-player mandate is a function of television production logistics. However, because the TV crews will be otherwise occupied with the $25,000 Bounty Shootout on Tuesday, cooler heads have prevailed in the Main Event. So...the tournament directors have decided the players will continue to battle until the end of the next level -or- when we hit 24 players (bet the former, even if you have to give odds). Either way, we're not getting an early night.
With only 32 players remaining, players are redrawing to be seated at the final four tables.
11:36pm: Ravi to the rail in 33rd place
The hand happened quickly, but Ravi Raghavan was eliminated in 33rd place by Steve Billirakis.
Jonathan Aguiar decided to put his tournament at risk preflop with A♠ 9♥ but began to regret that decision as soon as Eric Blair called and showed A♣ J♠. Aguiar was preparing to leave.
But the dealer produced a board of K♠ J♥ K♥ A♦ T♦ to split the pot, and Aguiar returned to his seat, satisfied to continue play.
11:27pm: Albourkrek all done in 35th; Klaus canned in 34th place
Jose Albourkrek was recently eliminated in 35th. And now Klaus Pautrot, the last Frenchman left in the field, has left the chalet.
Pautrot pushed all-in with Q♦ J♥, but Kyle Zartman made the call holding K♣ Q♠. And Zartman solidified his lead in the hand when the flop came K♥ 4♦ T♣, and finished the job with a 6♣ turn and 4♥ river. Pautrot headed to the cashier cage for his 34th place reward.
11:21pm: How many beats does she have to take?
This title is an homage to a recent quote from Vanessa Rousso in which she asked, "How many beats do I have to take?" The most recent beat nearly resulted in this blogger nearly catching a swinging fist to the jaw. Rousso got pocket queens all-in against A♠9♠. The flop? A♣4♣9♣. Though she had the club and queen outs, she didn't catch. She is, speaking quite honestly, fairly furious, and now down below 500,000 in chips.
11:04pm: Binger in the tank
Michael Binger started the hand with a raise to 50K, and Klaus Pautrot reraised from the small blind all-in, which was about 120K more. Binger went into the tank. Seriously. He talked to himself quietly, seemingly running physics problems in his mind, until finally Joseph Cutler called the clock.
Binger joked about it, knowing that he was taking an extraordinary amount of time with the decision. "Can I phone a friend?" he asked the floor person. The answer was no, so Binger continued to think, in a somewhat animated manner, before letting the clock run out and mucking his cards.
10:59pm: Double-up central
in the first of several double-ups, David Paredes pushed all-in with pocket jacks, but Steve Billirakis called with Q♥ T♥, and the queen fell on the flop. The entire board read K♥ Q♦ 4♠ 5♣ K♣, and Billirakis scored the double.
Daniel Clemente was all-in with A♦ 7♣, but Michael De Gilio called all-in with 9♦ 8♦, which scored a pair of nines on the 2♦ 7♠ 9♠ flop. The board completed with 4♣ on the turn and 3♠ on the river, and De Gilio doubled to stay alive.
10:57pm: Joseph Cheong eliminated
On one of the first hands back from break Andy Seth four-flushed Joseph Cheong with pocket-sevens. Cheong is out in 36th place. We're eleven eliminations from the end of the day.
10:51pm: Back in business
Players are back in their seats. 36 of them. And they'll keep fighting until they get down to 24 tonight.
NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, Brad Willis and photographer Joe Giron.