As you may remember from yesterday's installment, it was Ricky Chow calling the shots as things got rolling earlier today. With an impressive edge over the rest of the field he must have had his sights set on Day 4 and a possible victory. Chow is now part of the way there at least, entering the final table in great shape, albeit a few chips short of the lead.
If Day 2 had Ricky's name on it, Day 3 was all about Jonathan Little both busted in this span and when we hit the cash it looked like Little's fellow ShipItHolla Balla Andrew Robl would be leaving with the dubious title of bubble boy.
As we would soon see this wasn't the case, thanks to a rule here at the Wynn that the players seemed to react negatively to. The norm in poker tournaments when on the bubble is to play hand-for-hand until the final player busts. This means that each table begins to deal a hand and they all pause when finished until every table is ready to begin the next hand. If two players bust on the same hand, the one with the bigger stack when the hand started finishes in the money.
This system works perfectly and is especially efficient when there are a small number of tables playing, as we saw today. Here at the Wynn, however, they do not subscribe to the hand-for-hand model. Instead we played round-for-round, which is to say that each table had to complete an orbit before the next round of hands would begin. Along with this was the amendment that if two players busted in the same round, they would split 18th-place money.
And so Andrew Robl went broke, flopping a set and running into a rivered straight. He left empty-handed and unhappy, unaware that another player was soon to bust in the same orbit. David Singer was relatively short-stacked at this point but could have easily lasted a few more hands until the round was over and been guaranteed the full $22,189.
In all fairness he was the victim of an asinine rule. Nevertheless, when Singer went broke that round, he relieved Robl of the burden of being bubble boy and chopped the payout in half.
Once in the money the pace maintained its plodding determination. The blinds were low, and the stacks deep, so there was plenty of room to play poker. While there were plenty of big hands, quickly swinging the advantage to a fortunate player, there was also the gradual accumulation of chips that comes with the small-ball style employed by many of these players.
For a rundown of both, along with everything else we witnessed today, click through to the Live Updates. We're especially proud of our photos so make sure to bask in their gentle glow over on the Photo Page.
As we got closer and closer to the day's goal of a final table the quasi-friendly rivalry between Mike Matusow and Ryan Young continued to fester. Matusow seemed bent on using his gift of gab to win the match, when in the end it was the cards that dictated his elimination. Getting his entire stack in with pocket sevens and running into the bullets of Larry Wright, Matusow admitted after the hand had played out that he had been card-dead for much of the day.
Matusow made the final here last year but will not be back this time around. Chris Moore, however, is making a repeat appearance, having finished third here in 2007. Larry Wright, Matusow's executioner, has surpassed his result of 12th from a year ago and enters the final table as one of the big stacks.
So, we expect you to spend the time between now and noon tomorrow immersing yourself in the live updates from the past three days. After all, it's all been leading up to this, when the big cash kicks in and we ramp up the coverage for this event's conclusion. Everything you've come to expect from PL.com will be there: live updates and photography but mostly just links to random youtube videos.