You would think Josh Turner would be sick of the Harrah's Cherokee Events Center, but it is amazing how chipper the prospect of a six-figure payday can make you. Just three days removed from his third-place finish in the Global Casino Championship for over $150,000, Turner is once again mowing over the competition, this time in the Harrah's Cherokee Main Event.
Even though he has spent five of the last six days in this poker room, Turner was ready to play all night, both because he had a flight he needed to reschedule and because he was on a roll during the last two hours of play, ascending from the middle of the pack to end the evening with 2,080,000 chips and the chip lead with 13 players remaining.
Turner's heater began when he doubled through fellow Global Casino Championship participant TJ Thondup to get into seven-figure territory, and continued as he opened a number of hands. Thanks to his aggressive style, he turned that million into another million to end the day on top and in position to make another final table this week.
Turner isn't the only Global Casino contender making the most of the other big tournament on the schedule. David Aker (900,000), James Juvancic (1,155,000), and Steven Snyder (2,005,000) are also still in the hunt. Snyder is second in chips and the only other player over 2 million.
Rounding out the top three in chips is Russell Sullivan with 1,870,000, but the pack is pretty close together with two not-full tables remaining. Moreover, the action was fast-paced and the pots were big late in the day, so player like Ricardo Eyzaguierre saw themselves go from the bottom of the counts to the chip lead then back to the bottom again so no one, not even Turner, is guaranteed a seat at the official nine-handed final table.
When play began on Day 2, there were 138 hopefuls still in the running, but by first break, the 80-person money bubble was near. In the early levels of play, the likes of Casino Champion frontrunner Kevin Davis, David Hubbard, BJ McBrayer, Shawn Rice, and Tommy Ly, who began the day second in chips, all exited before the paydays were doled out.
Roger Jones burst the money bubble by busting the 82nd-place finisher, ensuring each remaining player would take home at least $3,003. Some of the notables who finished in the money, but failed to survive the day include Johnny Landreth (78th), Maurice Hawkins (58th), Neil Scott (56th), bracelet winner Chris Bell (55th), Ken Aldridge (45th), Brad Albrinck (43rd), Sal DiCarlo (39th), Sean Berrios (28th), Peter Vitantonio (26th), Cody Pack (24th), and John Holley (20th).
The final 13 players will be back in action at 12pm on Monday and play down to a new Champion who will take home over $240,000 and the first seat in the 2017 Global Casino Championship.
Here is a look at the chip counts of the remaining players. Live updates of Day 3 will be available on WSOP.com:
1. Josh Turner - 2,080,000
2. Steven Snyder - 2,005,000
3. Russell Sullivan - 1,870,000
4. Scott Stewart - 1,680,000
5. Matthew Higgins - 1,570,000
6. Eric Liebeler - 1,175,000
7. James Juvancic - 1,155,000
8. Roger Jones - 1,115,000
9. David Aker - 900,000
10. Zach Caldwell - 780,000
11. Greg Yeager - 650,000
12. Ricardo Eyzaguirre - 585,000
13. Trey Walton - 570,000