WSOP Event #3: Rizen at final table updates

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(Other event coverage can be found in updates as well)

Because of TV production necessities, play got started about an hour late. Now things are up and running and ready to go. Here's how they stack up as they start play.

Eric "Rizen" Lynch--455,000
Rocky Enciso--247,000
Rafe Furst--222,000
John Juanda--147,000
Burt Boutin--140,000
Can Kim Hua--122,000
Richard Chase--95,000
Alan Gilbert--88,000
George Bronstein--15,700

3:21pm--We've had the first bust-out already. Once short-stacked, Alan Gilbert has no stack and is gone in 9th place.

3:22pm--While we're waiting for the hot action to get rolling, I thought I'd share this with you. Rizen has already established himself as a hella good poker player. Now, he's making no secret of his status as a family man. People are already talking about the clean-cut father who considers poker his job, but always puts his family first. Witness: Rizen with family in tow, just before his ESPN interview.

Eric "Rizen" Lynch and his family

3:24pm--John Juanda has been eliminated in 8th place.

3:31pm--In case you're checking other sites and freaked out when you saw Rizen had lost half his stack, don't worry. It must have been a typo. Rizen has barely played a pot yet and his stack is intact.

3:52pm--Well, we almost lost Burt Boutin. he got his A2 in against AQ, but spiked his deuce.

3:55pm--While we're on a break, how about an update on other events?

Funniest public address announcment of the day: "Norm McDonald, you still have chips. Norm McDonald, you still have chips. Table 28!"

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI
Norm McDonald, playing alongside another celeb

In other news, Michael Goodman just stopped me to tell me about getting all his chips in with a straight versus a set in Event #5. By the time the river hit, Goodman held a straight flush to his opponent's...QUADS. Nice hand, sir.

In Event #5, Team PokerStars' Vanessa Rousso is looking good (and so is her chip stack).

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI
Beauty and the beast

4:04pm--At the first break, Rizen is still in command:

Eric Lynch--$455,000
Can Kim Hua--$412,000
Rafe Furst--$200,000
Rocky Enciso--$167,000
Burt Boutin--$145,000
George Bronstein--$130,000
Richard Chase--$85,000

4:19pm--Well, here's the bad news. Just back from break and Rizen has doubled up George Bronstein with A9 vs AK. It was a stumble, but Rizen still has well enough chips to play the game that got him where he is today. Rizen wasn't being all that reckless. He'd come in for a standard raise and Bronstein jammed. It wasn't much more for Rizen to call, so he did.

4:55pm--The lack of Rizen updates is indicative of the lack of Rizen action. With the exception of call-folding to a raise from Burt Boutin, Rizen hasn't been in action much. The only action beyond that was Rizen's wife getting booted from the tournament area. Nothing scandalous. Rizen's 17-month-old son is here to see his daddy compete, but the casino frowns on toddlers. Me, I think the kid is adorable. But, I'm not running the show here.

5:01pm--We're about to lose Rick Chase. He's down to so little he won't be able to post the blinds.

5:30pm--Just so you're aware, new media rules preclude me from typing at table-side, so I'm running back and forth from the tournament to the computer. Rizen is still playing pretty tight. He's got some sweaters in the stands. Since I last came back, Rick Chase busted and Rafe Furst scored an insane double-up against Can Kim Hua. Dang it if Rafe didn't have aces against Hua's HAMMER (72o). The hand played out about as odd as you could ever want. Two sevens on the flop put Rafe tragically behind until an ace spiked on the river.

Rizen doesn't hold the chip lead anymore, but he's getting respect at the table. Now, it's just up to him to exploit the respect he's getting.

5:46pm--A 15 minute break in Rizen's event allowed me to walk through today's short-handed event. There's some insanely good poker going on in there. I ran into Joe Hachem, who has about three times the average stack right now. The most fun table right now hosts Isabelle Mercier, Terrence Chan, and Daniel Negreanu. Negreanu has spent the day busting people and building a wall of chips big enough to stretch the Canadian border.

6:04pm--How about some pictures of our guy and what he's playing for?

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

6:09pm--Rizen is currently second in chips, behind Rafe Furst who has been on a bit of a rush. Still, the way the chips are stacked, it is anyone's game.

6:22pm--Can Kim Hua is gone in fifth place. Rocky Enciso just doubled through Burt Boutin. And on the Rizen front...well, you know in movies when they say, "It's quiet...too quiet" and then the monster comes in? Well, it's quiet.

Too quiet.

6:30pm--And in walks the monster. HUGE hand for Rizen.

6:31pm--Okay, let me preface this by saying Rizen sucked out...but it wasn't a donley suck out. Boutin moved in from the button. Rockey and Rizen called from the blinds. When the flop came down K74...the fireworks started. Every bit of the money went in. Rizen had 74 for bottom two. Rocky had K7 for top two. Then...holy canoli...

A four spiked on the river.

6:34pm--Wow. Poker. See, with the blinds the way they are right now, everybody (except maybe Rocky) knows Rizen had to get his money in there. No question. Yeah, he got unlucky and then very lucky. But, as they say, that's poker.

6:36pm--Oh, yeah. And in case you didn't figure it out, Burt Boutin is gone in firth place and Rizen has the chip lead again.

6:39pm--Well, the suckouts are coming. Bronstein just turned a set of sixes against Rizen's nines.

6:56pm--Well, that was tense. In a battle of the blinds, RIzen came in for a raise, Rafe came back over the top, and Rizen pushed all in. Rafe took five minutes to fold. In that time, I sweated off about two pounds and gew three more gray hairs in my beard. I would think that hand moved Rizen into the chip lead again.


Rizen's AK vs George's TT, all in pre-flop. The door card is an ace and that's all she wrote.

7:20pm--Well, this is shaping up to be quite a little match. As predicted, Rizen opened up when it got four handed. Prior to this big double-up, Rizen had doubled up Rafe. Now, it's pretty clear, RIzen is the chip leader. Heads up with Rafe? Well, I guess we'll see.

7:37pm--As we head into the dinner break, George Bronstein has been eliminated in fourth place. When we return at 9pm, Rizen will take on Rafe and Rocky...

How about that...Rizen vs. Rafe vs. Rocky.


7:50pm--So, what does it feel like to hit a two-outer on the river to keep fighting for a bracelet?

How about this?

Copyright Rob Gracie - IMPDI

The face of a man who just hit a two outer

9:26pm--The worst split pot in the history of man. Rafe all-in against Rizen. Rizen holds AK to Rafe's A8. Board comes JT6...6...J. Railbirds coule be heard to say the tournament was already over. Instead, we're still three handed.

9:43pm--It was the hand of the tournament so far, I think, although we never saw the opponents' cards. Rizen potted it from the button, Rafe re-potted it from the small blind, and Rizen called. The flop was little-little-little and Rafe moved all-in. Rizen mucked.

9:45pm--(relating to above) Okay, maybe not the hand tournament, but it was certainly a hand that Rizen may wish he had played differently. Or not. He's the genius, I'm not. Still, he's not dominating this thing anymore.

9:47pm--Rafe now has 2/3 of the chips in play.

9:51pm--Rizen is out. After facing a raise from Rocky, Lynch moved all in with A7. He mighta been good, but Rafe woke up with AK and Rocky called with KQ. Rocky ended up making two pair and Rizen is out, cashing for $104,544.

Poker is a rough game. You look back at it and Rizen was lucky to have survived when he his his two-outer earlier. However, Rafe got lucky to chop the pot with Rizen in the AK vs A8 hand. If Rizenn wins that pot, chances are he would've quickly dispatched Rocky. Now, it's not to be.

Still, Rizen deserves a worldwide round of applause for this accomplishment. I know he has to be exhausted.

Thanks for making it fun, Rizen.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker