The day began with 153 players remaining from an original field of 791, each fighting for a piece of the WPT-record $7,593,600 prize pool. With such a large field, typically between 72-80 players would be paid, but as with many aspects of this tournament, organizers decided to do things a little differently.
The LAPC was advertised as having a guaranteed $2 million first prize, a fact that likely contributed to the record number of entries. When a sizeable enough field arrived so as to not require any overlay, organizers decided to stick with the payout structure they had been planning to use, but to simply pay every place more money. Thus, only 54 of the field will be getting paid for this event, and thus, the march down to the bubble was of epic length.
Beginning, as usual, at 3:30 in the afternoon, Day 3 started off fast and furious, with a procession to the rails that included pros and amateurs alike. One of the first to be eliminated was Anthony Mak, whose name you should know because he is Daniel Negreanu's second protégé, or "Protégé 2." Following in Mak's footsteps were the likes of Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Jesse Jones, and Steve Brecher.
After only about three hours of play, organizers decided to call a dinner break, sending the field off for an hour-long intermission before anyone could really work up any steam. Thankfully, the early dinner meant an early after-dinner rush, the casualties of which included Ted Forrest, Erik Seidel, Nenad Medic, Minh Ly, Steve Dannenmann, Andreas Walnum and Joseph Tehan.
The evening wore on with Day 2 chip leader J.C. Tran still maintaining his advantage, but after organizers instituted a $1,000 ante to go along with $3,000/$6,000 blinds, a few other notable names started to make their own moves.
Paul Wasicka, he of the second-place finish in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, accumulated a massive chip stack, thanks in large part to a great read he made of Parimal Parmar, who bet heavily into Wasicka on every street of a board that came A♦ A♥ Q♥ 4♦ 5♦. After a $150,000 bet on the river, Wasicka called with Q♦ 9♣ and, despite a number of possible hands that could have beat him, took down a huge pot.
A little while later, Wasicka utterly bewitched Scott Clements, sending the Much-Decorated One home in 60th place after showing a huge bluff to seemingly destroy Clements' will to live. At one time the prohibitive chip leader, Wasicka would ship some of his chips across the felt to Jason Strasser and ended the day in ninth place overall.
As Wasicka was enjoying his reign of terror, so too was Bill Edler, who found himself breaking the seven-figure barrier after a huge hand against Isaac Haxton. Haxton open-raised to $14,000 from under the gun and after the action folded around to Edler in the small blind, called Wild Bill's $20,000 increase to get a look at the flop.
The players checked down a board that came A♠ 5♠ 3♣ T♥, but after the river card brought the 5♥, the fireworks started in earnest, with Edler pushing all-in and Haxton eventually making the call. Wild Bill had pocket aces for a set, and Haxton mucked immediately to double-up his opponent to over $1 million in chips and knock his own stack down substantially. Haxton would later reveal to PokerListings.com that he had been playing A-2.
By this point, the bubble was nearly upon the remaining players, and action slowed down considerably as everyone tightened up in an effort to stay alive. Denny Lee let his stack dwindle down to his last $6,000, and when Jeff Cabanillas put him all-in with 52o, Lee was so upset to be turning over pocket aces with only one raise in front that he let loose a frightening barrage of profanity, including the dreaded F-bomb.
After Kristy Gazes and a pair of her own aces knocked Andy Scheinman to the rail to burst the bubble bubble, Denny Lee returned from his ten-minute penalty to get all of his chips in the middle against Markus Stranzinger, who showed 10-5 off-suit and appeared primed to double Lee up again when a five hit on the flop to beat Lee's A-10 and send the Foul-Mouthed One packing.
And thus, with the goal of 54 survivors reached, the day was over. Bill Edler managed to retain his chip lead and takes his $696,000 stack into Day 4. In second is Jason Strasser, with $677,000, and in third is Steve Sung with $668,000. J.C. Tran, who played a pretty quiet Day 3, is fourth with $636,000.
The plan is to play down to either 18 or 27 tomorrow, depending on how the first few levels unfold, eliminations-wise. There are a fair number of short stacks out there who will likely hit the bricks early on, so don't be surprised to see a quick day, even if we do play down to 18. As usual, PokerListings.com will be on hand to tell you everything you need to know about the proceedings. Get some rest and we'll see you at 3:30 (PST) this afternoon.