NAPT Mohegan Sun: Day 3, levels 17-19 (5,000-10,000-1,000)

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6:36pm: Selbst ends day with chip lead
Last year's NAPT Mohegan Sun champion has ended Day 3 with the chip lead after a massive hand against Vincent Rubianes.

It began when Olivier Busquet came in for a raise to 21,000. Rubianes made it 51,000 to play. With the button, Selbst bumped it up to 109,000. Busquet got out of the way, but Rubianes called.

On a flop of 2♣5♦T♣, Rubianes checked-called Selbst's 129,000 bet. On the J♣ turn, both players checked. When the river brought the fourth club, the 3♣, Rubianes checked again. Selbst took her time in betting, but finally settled on 296,000. Rubianes sat tortured. He threw his head back and looked into the ceiling. When he emerged for his tank, he announced a call.

Selbst turned over K♠K♣. Rubianes said, "It's good," and shoved his hand toward the muck.

We're still counting up the chips, but there is little doubt Selbst will enter Day 4 with the chip lead.


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Vincent Rubianes seeks direction

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Vanessa Selbst stacks up her chip-leading chips

Moments later, Leonard Cortellino got K♠Q♣ all in against Sukh Sandhu's pocket fours. The pair held and we were down to the final 24. A full wrap-up and chip counts are on the way. --BW

6.20pm: A quarter left
In short order, we've also lost the short-stacked Gerald Aiello and Eracles Panayiotou, leaving us with 25 players left. One more needs to perish and day is done. -- HS

6.15pm: Rubianas crushes Costa, breaks a million
At the recent break, Vincent Rubianes told reporters that his chip count was 980,000, then nodded agreeably when someone piped up: "Good day." It has just got even better for Rubianes because he has sent one of the other mighty stacks, Ruben Costa, to the rail in a massive pre-flop confrontation, worth more than a million chips.

Eric Froehlich opened, making it 24,000 and Rubianes raised to 55,000. Costa announced that he was all in - a stack of 450,000 - and although Froehlich folded, Rubianes called!

Rubianes: K♦K♠
Costa: [10c][10d]

The board bricked, Costa was sent packing and Rubianes has close to 1.5 million, which puts him massively in the lead. -- HS

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Leading by a mile, Vincent Rubianes

LEVEL UP. PLAYING BLINDS OF 5,000-10,000-1,000 IN LEVEL 19


5.55pm: Level over
That's the end of level 17. There will now be a 15-minute interlude.

5:50pm: Junglen can't beat kings
Joe Tehan came in for a raise to 19,000. Adam Junglen pushed for about 100,000 more. Tehan made the quick call with K♥K♣. Junglen's A♣J♠ was behind and never caught up. Tehan flopped a set that held and sent Junglen out for a $10,500 cash. --BW

5.45pm: Ebanks busts
There are no more details than what you see there in the headline. Joe Ebanks is out. -- HS

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Joe Ebanks

5.40pm: Can anyone stop Vanessa Selbst?
We've said it before and we'll say it again: something about Mohegan Sun agrees with Vanessa Selbst. She is now very close to the chip lead on day three after doubling up to 833,000 through Jean-Philippe Matte.

Selbst flat-called a pre-flop raise from Matte, taking the two of them to a flop of 5♠9♣3♦. Matte checked, Selbst bet 32,000, and Matte called. The pattern repeated on the 6♥ turn. Matte checked, Selbst bet 63,000, Matte called.

And how about one more time? The 3♣ rivered and Matte checked, Selbst moved all in for 296,000, which Matte called. Selbst tabled 7♦8♦ for the turned straight, which had become much better than Matte's pocket jacks.

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Vanessa Selbst: back to back?

Selbst is relentless, we already know that. But back-to-back here would be some achievement even for her. -- HS

5.30pm: Ramdin bites the dust
Vanessa Selbst is the only remaining Team PokerStars Pro in the field, which is the long way to say that Victor Ramdin has been eliminated.

This hand sounds a lot more complicated than it really was, and involved a lot of hand-wringing and chin scratching from four players, before shaking down to be a pair versus over-pair.

It started when Joseph Gibbons opened under-the-gun to 18,000. Adam Geyer called on the button, before Ramdin announced that he was all in for his last 53,500 from the small blind.

Nenad Medic was probably expected to fold his big blind at this spot, but he actually agonised for a good long while before announcing that he was all in too, for 206,000. Gibbons seemed interested, but folded. Geyer never seemed interested, and folded too.

That left the two of them:

Ramdin: [10c][10d]
Medic: J♦J♠

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Victor Ramdin sees the bad news

"I need a ten," said Ramdin, but it soon proved that that was the last thing he really wanted. The flop came Q♣A♠K♦ and Ramdin quickly corrected himself. "I want a jack." But verbal declarations are binding, and the [10s] turned, as Ramdin has first desired, but it now gave Medic a decisive straight.

The 3♠ was not one of the chop cards, and Ramdin hit the rail. -- HS

5.15pm: Gibbons doubles, Junglen slips
It is going nuts now out there with huge pot following huge pot and players milling all over the place as they try to consolidate the final 32 around four tables. Ad Dan Shak et al heaved their mighty stacks over from their broken table, Adam Junglen and Joseph Gibbons were involved in a pot, which bucked the general bust out trend. In fact Gibbons doubled up.

Vincent Rubianes started it, raising to 25,000. Gibbons called from a couple of seats to his left and, in the small blind, Junglen eaised to 64,000. Rubianes folded but Gibbons moved all in for 145,500, which Junglen called after a moment of thought.

Junglen: J♦J♥
Gibbons: K♥Q♥

The flop sent Gibbons fist-pumping to his rail. It came 7♣4♠Q♠. The A♥ turn changed nothing, and neither did the [10c] river.

Gibbons now has about 300,000. Junglen is down to 140,000.

About two seconds after this, Matt Matros bust from another table, bringing us down to 31. -- HS

5:14pm: Royalty no match for Geyer
Bryan Leskowitz did all he could today, but his all-in with K♠Q♦ couldn't outrun Adam Geyer's pocket tens. The board ran out 8♠9♦A♥[8♣A♦ and Leskowitz headed to the cage in 33rd place. --BW

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Bryan Leskowitz

5:12pm: Rubianes running the table
With the board reading T♣4♦K♦J♠ on the turn, Vincent Rubianes checked to Adam Junglen, who bet 32,000. Rubianes called, and the J♥ hit the river. Rubianes checked again, Junglen bet 48,000 and Rubianes raised to 212,000. Junglen folded with a small sigh, saving the 280,000 he had behind while Rubianes moved into the chip lead with 785,000. --KB

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Vincent Rubianes on day three at Mohegan Sun

5:10pm: Mermelstein is going to Mexico
It looks like Andrew Mermelstein will make that wedding in Mexico after all. After opening from the button, Mermelstein faced a three-bet from Dan Shak in the small blind. Mermelstein called, and they saw a J-T-8 flop. Shak moved all-in, having his opponent covered and Mermelstein made the call, turning up J-8 for top and bottom pair. Shak showed pocket aces. Mermelstein, however, was drawing dead on the turn when Shak spiked another ace to make top set. Shak filled up on the river when the board paired tens and Mermelstein was off to the payout desk, then the airport.

The pot took Shak up to 525,000.--KB

5pm: Tryba ousts Kirkwood, back beyond 300,000
The day one leader Chris Tryba is still in this one, and has now knocked out Christopher Kirkwood, all but doubling up in the process.

Joe Tehan opened the pot to 18,500 and Kirkwood moved all in from the cut-off, a total of 140,000. Tryba, in the blinds, woke up with queens and snap-called. (Tehan did not.)

It was pair versus pair, but Tryba's queens were better than Kirkwood's sevens. The board bricked and Kirkwood was sent packing. There was only the odd 40,000 difference between the stacks but Tryba's was the bigger and is now at 300,000+.

* Please note, the reporting of this hand was butchered the first time around. It is now correct. -- HS

4:58pm: Geyer smells a rat, Weisner smells the rail
On a 7♦6♦5♠ flop, Andrew Weisner moved all in for 92,500. Geyer thought for several minutes before making the call with K♣5♦. Weisner turned up the flush and straight draws with A♦4♦. Somehow, the pair of fives held and Weisner is gone. --BW

4.55pm: Right back at ya
The problem with three bets is that sometimes people four bet right back at them - as Taylor von Kriegenbergh could no doubt attest. It happened to him in back-to-back pots against Olivier Busquet and then Ruben Costa, costing him about 100,000 chips total.

First up, Busquet opened to 20,000 from early position and Von Kriegenbergh, in the big blind, made it 55,000. Busquet now four bet to 96,000, which left Von Kriegenbergh smiling and muttering: "That's an illegal bet" as he folded.

On the next hand, Costa raised from the button to 17,000 and Von Kriegenbergh bumped it to 45,000. Costa slid out 100,000 straight, and Von Kriegenbergh was forced to fold again. Costa showed K♥8♥.

All three players still have between 350,000-450,000, so there's no need for panic just yet. -- HS

4:48pm: Updated chip counts
Get 'em while they're fresh! Chip counts on all 36 of our remaining players are up on the NAPT chip count page. Over the last level, Steve O'Dwyer moved into the lead with 770,000 while Victor Ramdin is the shortest stack in the room right now with 66,500. --KB

4.40pm: Take a longer break
First hand back after the break, and Vincent Rubianes has sent David Weisberger back to the hall. Rubianes raised to 19,500 pre-flop in late position, Weisberger shoved behind him and Rubianes snap-called.

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David Weisberger

Rubianes had aces; Weisberger had A♦J♥ and could not catch up. Weisberger is our 37th-place finisher. -- HS

LEVEL UP. BLINDS 4,000-8,000-500


4:24pm: A vulture's view of Victor Ramdin
It all began when Adam Geyer opened for a raise and Victor Ramdin moved all-in. He only had A♦T♣, but it was probably going to be enough to beat Geyer. The problem was Gerald Aiello in the big blind who woke up with pokert queens. Aiello had 54,500 in his stack and Ramdin was left crippled.

Ramdin laughed and told Aiello, "That was a raise and a re-raise. You were supposed to fold!"

That's when the vultures started to circle. Ramdin would be gone soon, and his demise would be late afternoon snack.

Ramdin was all-in on the next hand for 7,500. Called in two spots, Ramdin looked ready to find something to do tonight. The Team Pro was holding ace-king and didn't improve. His opponents couldn't beat ace-high.

"Oh, baby," Ramdin declared. "Ship that cheese!"

On the next deal, Ramdin was under the gun and all-in again. "Here we go. This is a real hand, folks." Play folded around to the big blind. "Don' fold," Ramdin implored. "You're pot-committed. Just call dark. I'm not going to be pissed."

Ramdin got the fold he wanted. "Thank you," he said. "I had eight-high." He showed it. It was Vanessa Selbst's 8♦4♦

Now in the big blind, Ramdin warned, "You guys know I'm pot-committed, right?"

Everything Ramdin says is a lie. Or the truth. It's hard to figure out which or when. He folded to a raise, and then folded to a raise in the small blind. With 30,000 in his stack, he pulled the button in front of him and folded to a raise. He did the same when he was in the cutoff.

"If I bust here, I'll go ship the Super Tuesday," Ramdin said.

"Victor," I interrupted. "Today is Monday."

"I'll have to stick around then," he said.

Finally, on the last hand before the break, Ramdin pushed out 28,500 in chips. "All of it, guys," he said. "This could hurt your stack."

One player folded. "Nit," said Ramdin.

Another player folded. "Another nit," Ramdin said.

Andre Weisner was having none of it. He moved all-in.

"Show me ace-queen," Ramdin said. Weisner turned over A♠Q♠.

Ramdin tabled pocket threes. The board tan out J♥T♣2♥7♣T♠ and Victor Ramdin was back where he started.

"Oh, baby," Ramdin said again. "I love this game." --BW

4:20pm: Heimowitz hits the road
Once again, ace-queen has yielded quite a nice pot for Adam Junglen. This time, Lonnie Heimowitz shoved for his last 80,000 from the button with A♥9♥ and Junglen made the call from the big blind with A♦Q♥. Junglen's kicker played on the A♣J♥3♣4♥K♦ board and Heimowitz exited in 38th place.

Junglen, meanwhile, is up to 540,000. --KB

4:12pm: Nenad Medic doubles
With the action folded around to him on the button, Christopher Kirkwood opened for 14,500 and Nenad Medic moved all-in for 106,000. Kirkwood didn't take long to make the call, turning up A♥T♦ to Medic's 8♠8♣. The eights were safe on the Q♣3♥2♣4♣6♦ board and Medic doubled to just short of 225,000. --KB

4.10pm: Kenney trims the beast's claws
Olivier Busquet described Joe Ebanks as "a beast" earlier on today, referring to Ebanks' ability to cling on to tournament life when times are bad and then suddenly burst forward to earn bundles of chips when the opportunity arises. Ebanks has been a short stack for a couple of days, but then suddenly had more than 200,000 on a recent trip round the room.

He pushed Eric Froehlich off a couple of pots to get those chips, but just as it seemed he could do no wrong, along came Tyler Kenney to stop him in his tracks.

Ebanks raised to 13,500 from the hijack, something he's been doing from all positions on regular occasions. Kenney called in the cut off. The flop came J♥7♥6♣ and Ebanks bet 18,000. Kenney called. The turn was 9♥ and Ebanks led 41,000 at that, which spurred Kenney into gear.

Kenney, sitting the other side of the dealer, asked Ebanks how much he was playing behind. Ebanks mutely pushed his chips forward a little for Kenney to see. "How much is that?" Kenney sought confirmation. The dealer did the necessary and said Ebanks had about 164,000 more.

Kenney thought for a while but then cut out a raise to 93,000, which sent Ebanks deep into the tank. He dwelled for a good long while before folding. "You going to show?" Ebanks said.

Kenney didn't seem that he had intended to, but was persuaded to flip over a 7♠. Ebanks nodded and on they went. -- HS

3:54pm: Sweeney's swan song
Ara Melikian opened for 13,500 and the action was folded around to Joe Sweeney, who moved all-in for only a few thousand more. Melikian quickly called with A♥K♥, while Sweeney's tournament life was at stake with Q♥T♥. The T♣6♥2♥ flop was juicy for both players, Sweeney hitting top pair while Melikian picked up the nut flush draw. The turn was the 8♣, but the A♠ spiked on the river to send Sweeney home in 39th place. --KB

3:45pm: Keeping up with the carnage
If you'd like to keep up with the carnage in a bit cleaner form, we're also keeping up with the bust-outs over on our NAPT Mohegan Sun prizes and winners page.

3:39pm: Adieu, Lachance and Whalen
On back-to-back hands we've lost Ludovic Lachance and David Whalen. Lachance got his last few chips in with A♠Q♣ vs. Matt Matros' J♦9♣. The board, 6♦8♥5♦7♦A♦, ran out a straight for Matros, and Lachance was gone.

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Ludovic Lachance busts NAPT Mohegan Sun

One table over, David Whalen was shoving with A♦T♦ to Ara Melikian's A♥K♥. Melikian held, and Whalen is gone. --BW

3:32pm: Markholt finally falls to Selbst
Vanessa Selbst seemed to be making a habit of doubling up Lee Markholt today. It happened more times than we could count. Nonetheless, at some point in the last half an hour, Markholt somehow lost a majority of his chips.

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Lee Markholt out of NAPT Mohegan Sun

Just now, his last few antes went in the pot. Both he and Selbst had a jack. Markholt's deuce kicker couldn't hold up against Selbst's eight and he's gone. --BW

3.30pm: Two (vaguely) interesting facts
The day one and day two end-day chip leaders, Chris Tryba and Aaron Overton, are sitting next to one another.
Jacobo Fernandez and the aforementioned Overton are now out front alone, with about 780,000 apiece. -- HS

3:25pm: Junglen busts Papola
Jeff Papola took a coinflip for his tournament life, getting the rest of his chips in the middle before the flop with pocket sevens against Junglen's A-Q. Big Chick once again proved to be a lucky hand for Junglen (it cracked Nick Binger's aces in the first level), as he rivered the Q♠ to eliminate Papola in 43rd place. --KB

3:20pm: Plouffe flops the nuts
Phillipe Plouffe opened for a 13,500 raise from the hijacks, Matt Matros three-bet to 35,000 and Plouffe made the call. Both players checked the K♣6♣5♣ flop and checked again when the A♦ fell on the turn. The river was the 3♠ and Plouffe led out for 45,000. After a minute or so in the tank, Matros made what looked to be a reluctant call.

Plouffe showed A♣Q♣ for the flopped nut flush and Matros mucked.

"If it had been a low flop, you would have got it all," Matros said as Plouffe stacked up the pot. Matros is down to 215,000 while Plouffe is hovering around the 400,000 mark. --KB

3:15pm: Steve O'Dwyer and the anti-slowroll
Following an opening raise from Steve O'Dwyer, Michael Quibble moved all-in, and with the following declaration, O'Dwyer beat him into the pot.

"I have aces, I call."

O'Dwyer's A♣A♥ held up against Quibble's 7♠7♦ on the K♣9♥T♠4♠K♥ board and O'Dwyer vaulted to 556,000 in chips while Quibble departed in 44th place. --KB

3.05pm: Leaders
We enter level 17 with 45 players remaining. Aaron Overton started today out front, and he remains there still with close to 800,000 in chips. However there are a few other players creeping up behind him, including the following:

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Jacobo Fernandez (685,000)

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Ruben Costa (532,000)

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Jean-Philippe Matte (470,000)

Players who have cashed already (that's a nice way of putting the fact that they're out) can be found on the prizewinners' page. - HS

Reporting team: Kristin Bihr, Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Photography: Joe Giron.