July 9, 2019 (Las Vegas) - The money bubble has burst and the remaining 1,286 players in the World Series of Poker main event are now focused on continuing to survive and advance as they make their case to be the next main event champion.

Ryan Pochedly was the bubble boy. He was eliminated by Julian Pineda. Pineda rivered trips to send Pochedly home. He will receive an entry to the 2020 main event.

Today was the first day when all flights were combined and 2,880 players returned. Julian Milliard-Feral was the chip leader, brining in a hefty 947,900. He ended down on the day, bagging 1,200,000.

It was Preben Stokkan from Norway who bagged the unofficial chip lead when Day 3 finished He will be bringing 2,184,000 into Day 4. He managed to build his stack up from a single 5,000 chip.

The Day 3 chip leader has had varied results over the past ten years of the WSOP main event. For reference, Kenny Hallaert was the Day 3 chip leader in 2016 and went on to finish in sixth place.

The second-best finish by a Day 3 chip leader was Maxx Coleman in 2013. He finished 21st place.

Here is a list of the past ten years of main event Day 3 chip leaders and how they finished.

2009 - Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier finished 122nd

2010 - James Carroll finished 96th

2011 -  Patrick Poirer finished 200th

2012 - Dave D’Alesandro finished 62nd

2013 - Maxx Coleman finished 21st

2014 - Andrew Liporace finished 159th

2015 - Amar Anand finished 55th

2016 - Kenny Hallaert finished 6th

2017 - Pawel Brzeski finished 122nd

2018 - Sun Geoum finished 400th

A few familiar faces have positioned themselves well heading into the next phase of the tournament. The surprise big stack from Day 1B, Allen Kessler continued to grow his stack and will enter Day 4 with 516,000.

A couple main event champions are still going strong as well. Chris Moneymaker (2003 Champion) bagged 681,000. Qui Nguyen (2016 Champion) bagged a healthy 669,000 as well. The defending champion, John Cynn was eliminated in the middle part of the day.

Joseph Cheong, who captured his first WSOP bracelet this year in the $1,000 Double Stack bagged a solid stack with 1,068,000.

Kathy Liebert’s best main event finishes came in 1998 and 2000 where she finished 17th place both years. This year she is into Day 4 with a big stack and room to move deeper into the main event.    

When it comes to familiar faces, Kelly Minkin has became a fan favorite last year, making a deep run and becoming the last woman standing for the second time in the WSOP main event. Today, she spent a lot of her time at one of the outer feature tables. She found herself with a pretty big stack going into the final level of the day and heading toward the money bubble.

“I just try to pace myself. I’ve been here a few times before so I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Having a lot of chips early really is meaningless. It’s about surviving and maintaining your chips so you can afford to lose hands and still survive. So that’s really my goal is to just play the best I can and not bust.”

Minkin finished 50th in last year’s main event. In 2015, she finished 29th. She may have had a healthy stack, but she knows that there is still a long way to go. Coming back to the main event after a reasonably successful run last year, she feels she is more prepared than ever.

“I think every year I play I get better. I’m better than I was last year and I think I can make less mistakes and I have a better chance of winning the tournament.”

Part of the deal for players who make deep runs, former champions, or some of poker’s most famous faces is being on the feature table. Quickly after the break, Minkin asked to move out the tournament area to do interviews and take photos with fans. She says the lights are pretty hot and wanted to cool down.

“You know it’s a high pressure scenario cause there’s ten-million dollars on the line. I do enjoy having the people that follow me, that they’re able to watch me play, so yeah I enjoy it.”

Now that the players are going to be in the money, many players have suggested that the fun nature of the main event moves into the background. Minkin is ready to take the next steps seriously, but sees a lot of value in people enjoying their experience when playing with her.

“I want people to have a positive impact when they play with me. I try to do that as much as possible. It’s a little bit more difficult when we’re like deep in the main, I don’t really talk that much. In the early stages I enjoy having some fun table banter and I very much enjoy getting to know the players.”

The remaining 1,286 players will return for Day 4 and, since the tournament is in the money, the eliminations are expected to come quickly as the field whittles itself down to the next main event champion over the next six days.


Live Updates for Day 3
Chip Counts and Seating Charts for Day 4