WSOP Main Event Day 3: Where have I seen you before?
It's difficult to believe, but less than five years ago you would still hear established poker professionals talking in disparaging terms about "internet players" as if the online tanks were merely propagating fish.
These days it's largely the other way round. The sharks swimming around the PokerStars tables are chomping through those old school folk at a spectacular rate - so much so that many can no longer use the term "professional" with any sense of accuracy at all.
Today in the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms, there is the usual battalion of PokerStars qualifiers in the mix, and some of them are already proven forces at the very highest levels of the game. Nicolas Chouity, for instance, is a PokerStars qualifier here, and he won the EPT Grand Final only a few months ago.
You probably also know this man: Yevgeniy Timoshenko. He is a steps qualifier in Vegas this year, but he is far from a rookie. He won the WCOOP Main Event on PokerStars in 2009, outlasting 2,144 players and winning $1,715,200. That came only a few months after he crushed the Five Star World Poker Classic at the Bellagio, earning $2,149,960. Some year.
Previously, Timoshenko had won a nice half a million bucks on the Asian Poker Tour in Macau - a location that was also friendly to another PokerStars qualifier at the World Series today, Victorino Torres.
Torres was the man who sent Chris Moneymaker back home, and he is having a great year. He earned $418,026 at the APPT Macau Main Event in May, qualified for the World Series Main Event in a $33 re-buy tournament, and is still with a big stack deep on day three. Long may that particular roll continue.
We spoke a little on day one about Aaron Gustavson, a PokerStars qualifier from the United States. We spoke a whole lot more about him late last year when he won the EPT London title and more than $1.3 million.
Gustavson beat Peter Eastgate to that title and came to his first World Series this summer in excellent form, having picked up his Main Event seat in the $350, 200-seats-guaranteed on the eve of the tournament. He has already cashed three times in Vegas and was on the final table of a $1,500 no limit event.
Kristoffer Thorsson is better known as "sumpas" and is among the top handful of Scandinavian pros destroying the online game. And boy has his graduation to the live tables been a successful one. He won the Master Classics of Poker for $944,948, made the final table of the EPT Deauville High Roller event and cashed again in Copenhagen. He also picked up two gongs at the Nordic Poker Awards in February and is fierce.
All those guys are very well set to go much, much further here. And who would bet against a PokerStars qualifier winning the Main Event again? Ever heard of Raymer and Moneymaker?
HAND OF THE
We picked this hand on the turn which is when one of the bigger pots of the day developed. We're told Billy Kopp came in for a raise, PokerStars qualifier Nicolas Babel re-raised, Kopp four-bet, and Babel called. The flop came out with two eight and a four. We aren't sure of the betting on the flop, but on the turn, an ace, they got it all in. No surprise, as Kopp held pocket aces and Babel held...yep, those are pocket eights for quads. Babel is now in contention for the chip lead with around 600,000 chips.
STATISTICS OF THE HOUR
Total Main Event players: 7,319
Approximate number of players remaining at dinner break of day 3: 1,485
SELECTED CHIP COUNTS OF THE HOUR
Nicolas Babel 600,000
Gabe Wallks 475,000
Max Gurevich 455,000
J.P. Kelly 355,000
Angel Guillen 330,000
Johnny Lodden 310,000
Davis Assouline 270,000
Aaron Gustavson 225,00
Humberto Brenes 210,000
Eric Buchman 162,000
Greg DeBora 160,000
Marcin Horecki 95,000
John Shipley 45,800
Thor Hansen 33,000
ELIMINATIONS OF THE HOUR
Joe Cada, Amanda De Cesare, Dan Heimiller, Steve Paul, Bill Chen, Vanessa Rousso.
FASHION STATEMENT OF THE HOUR
Humberto Brenes' new method of keeping track of how many people he busts? Gold skull pins on his hat. He currently has four of them.
TWEET OF THE HOUR
@JasonMercier: Just cold 4 balled all in for 56 bbs over a 3x open a flat and a 3x 3bet. Fold fold fold uhhohhh up to 145