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Cracked Aces Breaks WSOP Main Event Money Bubble as Hellmuth Falls and Matusow Advances

November 12, 2021

Image courtesy of PokerNews.com

A nice, round one thousand players are in the money at the 2021 WSOP Main Event, the money bubble bursting last night with the almost inevitable cracked aces the deciding hand on a day that had already seen Phil Hellmuth bust out...

With more than $62million in the prizepool and a monster $8million up top to go with the most coveted title in the game, most players first thought was surviving to the paid spots.

That moment, always dramatic at the Main Event, occurred in level 16, and Kevin Campbell was the “unfortunate” bubble boy...

♥ ♦ ♠ ♣

Kevin Campbell: A♥ A♦
Chris Alafogiannis: A♣ 9♣

If the flop gave the gathered crowds reason to pay attention...

Flop: 9♥ 10♣ 8♦

...then the turn really gave them something to “ooh!” and “aah” about...

Turn: 7♣

There was a certain inevitability about what was about to happen, and as the river hit...

River: 9♠

The drama ended with cracked aces, a loud cheer, and Campbell shrugging “It's all good. What are you gonna do?”

The reason “unfortunate” warranted inverted commas? One bust out earlier and Campbell would have left empty handed apart from a bad beat story, whereas the traditional bubble-boy prize came from WSOP Vice President Jack Effel with a 2022 Main Event seat to ease Campbell’s pain.

That dramatic hand ended day 3 but there had been plenty of action to keep the fans thrilled along the way. Joining Hellmuth on the rail, for example, were Justin Bonomo and Chris Hunichen – the pair hitting the headlines for a Covid spat on Twitter just last week.

Others who failed to make the top 1000 and a return on their $10k buy-in included Allen Kessler, Dara O’Kearney, Hendon Mobster Barny Boatman, Liv Boeree, and Todd Witteles.

The fortunes of former champions, Hellmuth aside, were mixed - 2007 Main Event champ Jerry Yang crashed out, as did 2005 winner Joe Hachem.

Martin Jacobson, victorious in 2014, made it through, as did 2017 champ Qui Nguyen, while Chris Moneymaker, who did so in some style, bagging one of the biggest stacks as day 3 drew to an end.

Hand of the day probably belongs to the following beast, which somehow saw five players make it to the river...

♥ ♦ ♠ ♣

Ugur Ozgur Secilmis: 6♠ 6♦
Chang Liu: 4♥ 4♣
Vito Distefano: A♦ J♦
William Benson: A♠ 10♠
Omer Gabay: K♥ Q♥

Flop: 6♥ 4♦ 4♠
Turn: 6♣

Quads over quads and the chips finally went in, the other three getting out of the way as Chang Liu saw his Main Event dreams shattered in brutal fashion, with the river...

River: 5♠

...a mere formality.

Jessica Cai will be returning for day 4 in the chip lead, one of 36 players who topped the million-chip milestone, some of the most notable listed below.

Notable stacks entering day 4

  • Jessica Cai 1,796,000
  • Chris Moneymaker 1,432,000
  • Stephen Chidwick 1,258,000
  • Toby Lewis 1,001,000
  • Chance Kornuth 787,000
  • Qui Nguyen 680,000
  • Jason Koon 574,000
  • Mike Matusow 510,000
  • Kitty Kuo 410,000
  • Bertrand ElkY Grospelier 400,000
  • Barry Greenstein 317,000
  • Marle Spragg 315,000
  • Roberto Romanello 280,000
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