People may say they play poker for the money and the bracelet, but when you break down the day to day of a poker tournament, really only one thing matters: chips. So, we have decided to take a look at each day of this year's Main Event strictly by the counts to see what history has taught us, what the future may hold, and how this year's event stacks up. Since we always tell you the top ten counts, let's have a glance at the top ten stack stories from Day 3 of the 2013 WSOP Main Event:
1. The Millionaire’s Club
Each year, Day 3 is the point in the tournament where we see a player jump into seven-figure territory. This year, we saw Dick van Luijk crack the million-mark first shortly before dinner break. Shortly after dinner break, he was back in six-figure territory and it was bracelet winner Max Steinberg alone in the seven-figure club. However, even he couldn’t maintain and he fell back under the mark as well. The one player who did get over the hump was Maxx Coleman, who only got there on the last two hands of the day, bagging up 1,071,500. This is the first time since 2010 that multiple people haven’t bagged up seven-figure stacks. In 2010, the chip leader, James Carroll, wasn’t even over a million chips, he ended the day with 803,000.
2. 3, 6, 9
It is always interesting to track which November Niners put together runs at another final table appearance. Last year, both Joseph Cheong and Sam Holden made a push for the final table, only to come up short. This year, we have six November Niners who advanced to Day 3. Of those, four are from last year’s crew. Reigning World Champ Greg Merson hopes to best Peter Eastgate’s 78th place run in 2009 after winning the event in 2008. Joining Merson from his class are Russell Thomas, the biggest of the Day 3 stacks with 562,000, Steve Gee, and Rob Salaburu. The player who finished second to Eastgate, Ivan Demidov, is still in the running, as is Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi.
3. Corn-Fed Poker Players
Once again, the top ten chip counts belonged predominantly to American players. Once again, no Canadians finished the day in the top ten either. Eight of the top ten stacks belong to Americans, but what is even more interesting to note is the dominance of Midwestern players on Day 3. Chip leader Maxx Coleman hails from Kansas, bracelet winner Max Steinberg (who started the day third in chips) is originally from Iowa, and Jonathan Lane calls Menasha, WI home. We saw several Wisconsin players thrive early in this series. Perhaps we will see that success carry over to the final table?
4. The Curse of the Day 3 Chip Lead
While the early chip lead is a notoriously dubious predictor of Main Event success, the Day 3 leaders have an exceptionally poor track record when it comes to making deep runs over the past five years. While we have seen both Day 1 and Day 2 chip leaders make it to the final table since the inception of the November Nine, we’ve never seen a Day 3 leader even come close to the final table. In 2010, Tony Dunst did the best of the bunch with his 50th place run, while 2011 Day 3 chip leader Patrick Poirier fared the worst, taking 200th place.
5. Annette Obrestad Eyes History
Annette Obrestad took the poker world by storm back in 2007 when she became the youngest bracelet winner ever and the first woman to win an open-field No Limit Hold’em event by taking down the inaugural WSOP Europe Main Event. Now, she is the top performing female headed into Day 4, bagging up 540,000 chips—good enough for 59th in the counts.
6. You’re Not Getting Any Older
Yesterday, the presence of Mark Kroon and Dirk van Luijk in the top ten pushed the average age of the big stacks up to 35.8 years. Today, we’ve got a much younger crowd at the top. Chip leader Maxx Coleman is just 23 years old and van Luijk is the only player over 40 in the bunch. As a result, the average age of the top ten stacks came in at 29.1 years old.
7. The Sign of the Devil
We ended Day 3 of play with 666 players, just 18 away from the money. It is the closest the field has gotten to the money on Day 3 in several years. In 2008, the players actually reached the money on Day 3, but since then we have always brought back more than 50 players who would leave Day 4 without a payday.
8. Three Repeaters
Greg Merson isn’t the only Main Event Champ still in this field. The improbable run of Doyle Brunson is one of the biggest stories of this event, which is not surprising considering Texas Dolly isn’t just surviving, he is putting together a dominating run. He ended the day 37th in the counts with 626,000 and managed to do it and still skip the last 20 minutes of play in order to beat the rush to the door. The 2001 Champ Carlos Mortensen is in less great shape. He bagged up 173,000, which puts him below average, but still gives him plenty of chips to build his signature sculptures.
9. Let the Discussion of the Average Stack Begin
Day 3 is usually the time when players tend to glance at the clock trying to figure whether or not they are above or below average. Going into Day 3, the average stack was 286,126—roughly 57 big blinds. There were 279 players above average at the start of Day 3, but that is not to say the majority of the field was short-stacked. In fact, only 19 players came back with less than ten big blinds.
10. And Then There Were Two
Even with the average stack in the tournament at 286,126, there are still two players in the field who came back with less than the 30,000-chip starting stack