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Thursday, June 21, 2018
open/closeVin Narayanan
Vin Narayanan

Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

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Day 3 success doesn't guarantee big money at the WSOP Main Event

LAS VEGAS -- Grabbing the chip lead, or sitting on one of the top chip stacks after Day 3 of the World Series of Poker Main Event, doesn't guarantee you'll reach the November Nine. It doesn't guarantee you'll finish in the top 50. But it does give you a really good chance of winning at least $65,000.

An analysis of the top-10 chip end of Day 3 stacks from 2011, and the top-five end of Day 3 stacks from 2010 (the top 10 wasn't tracked in 2010) shows eight of the 15 players at the top of the leaderboard went on to win at least $65,000.

All players cashed. Five players won more than $100,000. And one player, Filippo Candio, reached the November Nine and won $3,092,545. Only four players had top-50 finishes.

Benjamin Alcober was the first player to crack the 1-million chip barrier. But he ended the night with 789,500.

Benjamin Alcober was the first player to crack the 1-million chip barrier. But he ended the night with 789,500. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

So a massive chip stack at the end of Day 3 almost guarantees a cash, but it doesn't guarantee big money. And that's a lesson that the chip leaders after Thursday's Day 3 action should take to heart.

Day 3 of the Main Event is typically one of the most exciting of the tournament because you finally see big stacks of chips. Players get to show off their chip-stacking skills and survival instincts as they position themselves for either a minimum cash or a deep run in the tournament. This year's Main Event winner will collect $8.5 million. The player finishing in 666th will win $19,227. The player finishing 667th doesn't win any prize money.

Benjamin Alcober became the first player to cross the 1-million chip threshold. He finished with 789,500 for the day.

While Benjamin Alcober had a big day, it didn't compare to the hand of the night, which saw about 980,000 chips go into the middle of the table.

Daniel Rudd looks at the 980,000-chip pot he just won.

Daniel Rudd looks at the 980,000-chip pot he just won. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

I caught this hand involving Daniel Rudd on the river and here's what happened: On a board reading As-2c-2h-9h-9d, Rudd's opponent bet 167,000. Rudd moved all in for 97,000 more, which put about 980,000 in the middle of the table, and his opponent called. Rudd turned over Ax-Kx while his opponent tabled Ax-Qx. Rudd's opponent thought they had chopped. But she didn't realize the kicker played and Rudd had won the pot. As his dazed opponent tried to stay composed (and let's face it, most of us would struggle if we'd just lost a pot worth nearly one million chips, though she did have some left), Rudd carefully stacked his chips knowing he was now among the tournament leaders. Rudd ended the night sixth in chips with 834,500.

Other players near the top of the leaderboard include Dave D'Alesandro (1.1 million), Sean Rice (1.076 million), Leo Wolpert (1.003 million), Ben Greenberg (963,000) and A.J. Jejelowo (928,500).

Top pros Vanessa Selbst (814,000), Jason Somerville (637,000) and Shaun Deeb (598,000) are within striking distance of the leaders.

Check out the mountain of chips in front of A.J. Jejelowo. He ended the day with 928,500.

Check out the mountain of chips in front of A.J. Jejelowo. He ended the day with 928,500. (photo by Vin Narayanan, Casino City)

Daniel Negreanu struggled Thursday and finished with 109,000. He started the day with 277,200.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo ended the night with 92,000 while actor Kevin Pollak finished with 233,000.

More than 1,700 players entered play Thursday. Only 720 survived. The Main Event started with 6,598 players.

Phil Galfond
Dan Harrington
Jason Lester
Ben Lamb
Nick Schulman
Eugene Katchalov
Alex Outhred
Jerry Yang
Nam Le
Gabe Kaplan
Marco Traniello
Vicky Coren
Barry Greenstein
Jeff Shulman
Pius Heinz

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