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Friday, May 29, 2015 2:26 PM Local Time
Seat 1: Carl Westcott
Seat 2: Joe Ebanks
Seat 3: Long Nguyen
Seat 4: Jason Wheeler
Seat 5: Steve Merrifield
Seat 6: Bryn Kenney
Seat 7: Rong Li
Seat 8: Alex Bolotin
Seat 9: Amir Lehavot
Seat 1: Barry Hutter
Seat 2: Artur Koren
Seat 3: David Sands
Seat 4: Nam Le
Seat 5: Byron Kaverman
Seat 6: Jack Schanbacher
Seat 7: Greg Merson
Seat 8: Michael Brenden
Seat 9: Michael Wang
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:23 PM Local Time
Action folds around to the button where Kevin MacPhee peeks down at . That's plenty good enough to move all in for just less than 150,000 total. Long Nguyen is in the big blind, and he quickly calls with his .
"That's a bad flop," MacPhee realizes as the dealer spreads out . The turn is the . "Worse turn," he says, as Nguyen makes a straight.
MacPhee can't catch up on the river, and he's been eliminated in 19th place.
Long Nguyen - 1,325,000 (110 bb)
Kevin MacPhee - Eliminated
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:20 PM Local Time
Sitting in the hijack, Barry Hutter opens to 28,000 and Joe Ebanks, in the big blind, calls.
On the flop , Ebanks checks and Hutter fires 33,000. Ebanks calls and the turn comes . Both players check and see a river. After a check from Ebanks, Hutter bets 68,000. Ebanks calls and Hutter flips for a rivered flush. Ebanks mucks his hand and now sits with about 16 big blinds.
Barry Hutter - 750,000 (62 bb)
Joe Ebanks - 194,000 (16 bb)
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:14 PM Local Time
Corrie Wunstel and Long Nguyen just tangled in a big heads-up pot that ended with the demise of Wunstel.
The board shows on the river, and there is close to 500,000 already in the pot. Nguyen moves all in with his covering stack, and Wunstel has about 300,000 chips left in front of him. He calls, showing down for two pair. But it's no good. Nguyen uncovers his , and his seven-card straight sends Wunstel off in 20th place, propelling himself into the chip lead in the process.
Long Nguyen - 1,150,000 (95 bb)
Corrie Wunstel - Eliminated
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:07 PM Local Time
From middle position, Steve Merrifield opens to 24,000, and Carl Westcott three-bets to 56,000 from the small blind.
"Nice hand, Carl," Merrifield says as he folds, flashing the . "I'm intimidated."
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:06 PM Local Time
Nam Le begins the day with the shortest stack in the room, and that makes him the primary target at Table 451. In one of the first hand, action folds around to the blinds, where it's Jason Wheeler versus Le. Wheeler barely peeks at his cards before shoving in, and Le can't call this time.
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:01 PM Local Time
The 20 players are in their chairs, the cards are in the air, and Day 3 is under way.
Friday, May 29, 2015 2:01 PM Local Time
Friday, May 29, 2015 4:08 AM Local Time
2012 Main Event Champion Greg Merson sits in third place as the final 20 players return for Day 3 of the $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event.
This is Event #2 on the young 2015 WSOP calendar, and it attracted 422 entries when it began on Wednesday. Darryl Ronconi led the 171 survivors at the end of Day 1, but he would bow out short of the money during a ruthless Day 2.
Merson had quite a productive day yesterday, entering with 100,000 chips and exiting with 800,000. It wasn't without a scare or two though, including the need to hit a five-outer on the river in a big knockout pot against Tommaso Briotti. But, for the most part, it was relatively steady sailing, and the two-time bracelet winner is showing good form to start the summer.
David Sands will begin the new day right behind Merson with 704,000 chips, though he too needed a lifeline in a big pot yesterday. It was just a flip against Byron Kaverman, but Sands' king-queen was able to overcome a flopped set of nines, running down a straight to give himself another toehold on the leaderboard. Sands is arguably among the most dangerous players without a bracelet, and he'll be a real threat to change that over the next 48 hours.
The chipleader is a less familiar face to the poker community, but someone perhaps better known in grander circles. Born in 1939, Carl Westcott is the most senior member of the final twenty players, and the only one who has won an award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. That puts him in the company of people like Bob Hope and Maya Angelou, though he's likely more concerned with joining the bracelet club at this moment. This is, in fact, his very first bracelet event, his only other appearance at the Rio coming in 2007 when he took third place in the Ante Up For Africa charity event. He begins Day 3 with 1,066,000, just 4,000 chips in front of Artur Koren.
Bryn Kenney, Amir Lehavot, Ebanks, or Alex Bolotin could potentially win their second bracelet this weekend, while Jason Wheeler, Nam Le, and Kevin MacPhee are all looking for their first. Though they're close enough to smell it now, those last two will begin with the two shortest stacks and the longest uphill climbs in front of them.
Action resumes at 2:00 PM PDT and will continue until they reach the final table of nine. Over $466,000 goes to the eventual winner, along with one of the first bracelets of 2015. Blinds will be 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante.