Such has been the dramatic thinning of the High Roller field in the early stages that we’ve already lost half the players. From the 54 survivors who returned for Day 2 just three levels ago, only 28 remain across four tables. A $25,000 buy-in event it may be, but no one is clinging on for dear life; it’s all about chipping up or getting out.
Nick Yunis is one of those with a stack who likes to play a lot of hands. He just busted Chino Rheem, but it was the hand before which made this situation a little more noteworthy. Yunis had open raised to 8,500, only for Team PokerStars Pro Ville Wahlbeck to three-bet. Yunis, not a man who particularly enjoys folding, was forced to let it go.
Very next hand, and Yunis open-raised again, this time to 9,000. Now it was Rheem in the very next seat who three-bet to 27,000. Was Yunis raising light in an effort to reclaim instantly his losses to Wahlbeck? Did Rheem think this was the case and was trying it on himself? Both were entirely possible in a field like this. But in the event, neither was the case. Yunis moved all-in, covering Rheem, who looked a little concerned but made the call anyway for his remaining 98,000. His tournament life was on the line.
Yunis turned over A♠Q♠, and was in a race with Rheem who showed two red tens. Yunis shot ahead instantly on the 9-7-A flop. The turn was a 3 but now there were two spades on the board, meaning Rheem just had one out. A 10♠ would not help him as that would make Yunis’ flush – and that’s exactly the card that fell on the river. At first, Rheem thought he had spiked a winning set, but then he realised he had been beaten by the nut flush.
So Rheem departed, none too chuffed, and the High Roller lost yet another powerful player. While this rate of elimination pleases us no end, things are sure to slow down as the bubble approaches. Sixteen players will be paid, with the lowest spot being $58,020. That’s quite an expensive bubble to explode in your face.