We’ve seen some dramatic bubbles over the years. Whether it be huge sums of money on the line, big name players falling at the final hurdle or prolonged periods of nervous tension.
This bubble didn’t have any of those, but it had just about everything else. We saw coolers, huge hero calls and a brutal bad beat in one of the most remarkable bubbles in recent memory.
It started over on Table 26 where Liam O’Rourke was cruising along comfortably until disaster struck. It was everyone’s worst nightmare – set over set. Joe Reina turned a set of eights to better O’Rourke’s flopped set of deuces. It was an unfortunate end for O’Rourke, just two places from the money.
While that was unfolding Corey Kempson was deep, deep, deep in the tank in a hand against overnight chip leader Vincent Chua on Table 27. The board read J♦7♥3♦2♥2♠ and Chua had moved all in to put Kempson to the ultimate test.
The minutes ticked by and a crowd started to gather as, by this stage, we were on the stone-cold bubble and play had been paused on the other tables.
Kempson appeared to be enjoying the attention, rocking back in his chair and talking it up for the audience.
“I’m pretty light,” said Kempson to no one in particular as the pressure mounted.
Another five minutes ticked by before Kempson finally reached for two red 500-denomination chips. He held them out in front of himself, paused for dramatic affect for a good ten seconds and then dropped them onto the felt. Call!
Chua sheepishly revealed 10♠8♠ for a busted straight draw as Kempson slammed his 9♠7♠ down on to the felt.
“Three streets! On the dry bubble!” yelled Kempson triumphantly as his bubble hero call netted a remarkable double up.
The story of the bubble didn’t end there. Attention shifted to Table 28 where Mike Fraser moved all in with A♠A♣ against Michael Chrisanthopoulos who made the call with A♥Q♥. Fraser was all set to double up but the dealer fanned a 8♦J♠10♦ flop. The aces were in front but the early warning signs were there as Chrisanthopoulos flopped a dangerous double-gutter. The turn was a safe 6♦ but the river was the K♣ to give Chrisanthopoulos a Broadway straight to take the pot!
A very unlucky Fraser was eliminated in brutal fashion as our bubble boy as Chrisanthopoulos claims the tournament chip lead with over 550,000 in chips.
With that, we can all catch our breath as normal tournament play resumes. The exception is that now our 63 remaining players have each padded their back pockets by a minimum $3,100 pay day.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.