Bellagio Cup III offers players a second chance

Kristy Gazes
Kristy Gazes busted late in Day 2.

For all, it was a second chance at tournament victory coming off the disappointment of busting out of the Main Event. But for most, the World Poker Tour's Bellagio Cup only brought further frustration as the bust outs came fast and furious from the $10,000 event.

No sooner than some of the biggest names in poker made their way to the Bellagio's Fontana Room Tuesday than players such as Men "the Master" Nguyen, Kido Pham and Scott Fischman headed home after being eliminated on Day 1a.

The first day of the tournament raised some eyebrows after drawing just 136 registrants who'd drifted over from the World Series of Poker. By Day 1b, the playing field was bumped to 305 players as the migration from the Rio continued.

Even so, numbers fell short of the 800 entrants expected by Bellagio Cup organizers. In an effort to catch some of the bust outs from Day 2b, tournament director Jack McClelland announced the addition of a third Day 1 that would allow more player yet adhere to the original five-day schedule.

Phil Ivey took advantage of the extra day by making it to Bellagio midway through the third level of Day 1c. Despite a plum seat at the televised feature table, Ivey was out by suppertime, preceded by Phil Hellmuth.

Dressed in a golden racecar driving suit, the Poker Brat announced he was impatient and appeared distracted at his table on Day 1c. Choosing to gamble with his short stack, Hellmuth pushed all in, lost to a set of kings, and headed for the rail without the fanfare afforded him at the WSOP.

For Day 2, poker action moved from the Fontatna Room to the Da Vinci Ballroom as organizers decided to play down to the remaining 27 people from the final count of 535.

Thanks in part to the addition of the extra day the prize pool grew to $5.2 million with 100 players cashing in the event. Places 51-100 pay $15,490. Each of the top six finishes earn six figures and the tournament's winner takes home $1.3 million.

To get in on the rest of the action unfolding at the Bellagio Cup III, please visit the live tournament section, where Owen Laukkanen is watching the cards turn and reporting back to you.

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