WSOP Main Event: Day 3 Wrap-Up

PokerStars qualifier Dmitri Nobles continues to lead 2006 WSOP
PokerStars players cash in Day 3

by Brad "Otis" Willis

As a poker writer, I would give up every moment of action I ever see in tournaments to experience a continuous loop of what happened today. There is no greater poker tension than the moments leading up to the explosion of the money bubble in the main event of the WSOP.

Even greater, though, is the joy that comes in the seconds after players make the money. Sure, whoever wins this thing will enjoy an individual elation that few people will ever know. However, the pure energy that explodes from more than 860 people reaching the money is undeniably better. It's just pretty damned rare to see 800 people in one room being happy at the same time.

Surviving the Bubble

As Dr. Pauly wrote in Bubble Time :

The bubble is when the psychological aspects of money comes into play for the first time in the tournament. For almost a week, the players had one goal in mind: make it to the end of the day. When everyone woke up today, their goal changed to: make the money.

With more than 800 players set to make the money, it became a monumental task for tournament directors to figure out who would cash out and who would not. Even though play slows down, it's hard to keep track of who is busting and who is still alive.

Finally, though, the announcement came over the loudspeaker. Everybody still left in their seat was in the money. Suddenly, the line to cash out was as longer than the line to get in and see the players still in action. Dr. Pauly then took on the task of tracking the PokerStars players who finished in the money. You can see the list by visiting the PokerStars WSOP Winners (Day 3) page.

Also see:

Beyond the Bubble (by Wil Wheaton)
A Pause in the Action (by Wil Wheaton)

PokerStars qualifiers continue to rock the leader board

Funny thing. Two days ago, I Googled Dmitri Nobles' name. The results barely filled the first page. By Friday afternoon, there were more than five hundred results, nearly all of them about Dmitri Nobles' chip-leading performance at the 2006 WSOP.

Photo copyright IMPDI
Dmitri Nobles

There were quite a few people who viewed Dmitri's loose and aggressive style of play as too reckless to maintain his spot on the leaderboard. Today, Nobles' proved everybody wrong. Though his stack went up and down faster than a NASCAR piston, he ended the day... at the top of the leaderboard...

Wow. What a finish.

Dmitri says he was on tilt. He told his new table (after moving) that he wasn't happy. They hardly believed him considering the near 500,000 in front of him. Then he explained how he had doubled up 10 players already and was once at 770,000.

On the last hand of the night, Dmitri announced, "I need to bust someone here."

That story was written by Team Blog's resident luckbox, C.J. Hoyt, who has been sweating Dmitri for the past several days and spent all day long filing reports on the man 2nd in chips. You can read the end of that story and all of his reports on the Dmitri Nobles updates page.

Photo copyright IMPDI
Dmitri Nobles waits for a flop

Wunderkind Jason Strasser continued to roll today. While he seemed a little disappointed to not have a half million in chips at the end of the day, he still sits among the leaders in the WSOP.

Read all about how Strasser sees his game in Craig Cunningham's Jason Strasser showers and takes off.

Photo copyright IMPDI
Team Blog's Craig Cunningham with Jason Strasser

Craig has also been keeping track of the developing story of PokerStars qualifier Debra Lalor. She currently has more than half a million in chips and has more chips than any woman (and almost everybody else) in the tournament. Craig will have an interview with Lalor in tomorrow's reports.

Debra Lalor

Also read:
The European March (by Howard Swains)
Viva Espana (by Mad Harper)
Looking at the extremes (by Craig Cunningham)
Daniel Pelletier on a rush (by C.J. Hoyt)
Decision Time on the Bubble for Johan Beckfjard (by Craig Cunningham)
Super Dario Minieri (by Howard Swains)
Will the real Chris Martin please stand up? (by Mad Harper)
In Search of the Big Story -- Humberto Brenes (by Wil Wheaton)

A champion's game

There's something about Joe Hachem you may not know. While he may seem like the calmest man in the world, he is not without emotion. While the 2005 WSOP was a slow and steady build to the greatest poker emotion of all, this year's main event has been like a riding a Tilt-A-Whirl after a night of college drinking. A moments, nothing could be finer. At other moments, you just want to puke.

Photo copyright IMPDI

While I could attempt to re-create the day (and may someday ask Joe for permission to report a private conversation we had), the story is best told by reading reports from Team Blog's Ali Lightman. She tracked Joe Hachem's Day 3 at the WSOP from beginning to end and tells the up and down story as well as it can be told.

Photo copyright IMPDI
Joe Hachem

While Hachem may be the most recent champion, there is another one in the field. Team PokerStars Tom McEvoy has been chipping away at his opponents all day long and remains in the fight for his second bracelet. Before the day began, Dr. Pauly wrote Tom McEvoy: Unsung Hero. It is certainly worth a read.

Making Day 4

Now, it's time to move on to Day 4. While the field has been falling apart faster than tournament officials expected (less than 500 players remain), we're expecting some long days to come. With more than 87,000,000 chips in play, the blinds are not going to be much of a threat to the monster stacks. There is going to be a lot of deepstack poker going on. Of course, Team Blog will be on hand to report all the action as it unfolds.

Selected Day 3 Chip Counts
WSOP Day 3 Photo Gallery
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker