Day 3 from the Race and Sports Book at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas began with the final 40 survivors converging on the felt at noon Pacific Time, intent on continuing what they'd started two days previous when the full field of 309 ponied up $10,000 per person in hopes of emerging a millionaire.
Chip leader going into the day was Darrell "Gigabet" Dicken, who came in with almost double the chips of second-place John D'Agostino and found his A♦ J♦ unable to take down J-Dags' pocket tens. Thus was the money bubble burst and every remaining player assured at least $17,292.
After the seat redraw, PokerListings.com team of pundits entered a wager with a rival organization that saw us betting against a Canadian being the first player eliminated. With only four Canucks still in the running and three of them (Carroll, David Matthew, Haralabos Voulgaris) with comfortable stacks, it seemed like a decent wager, but no sooner had we placed the bet than did Rene Angelil, Mr. Celine Dion himself, get all-in with A7o and fall to Matthew's pocket kings. We shipped the chips, but we sure weren't happy about it.
Shortly thereafter, Jared Hamby found himself taking the walk of shame when he pushed all-in with four to a club flush on Darrell Dicken and Phil Ivey. Dicken called with trip sixes, but the turn was a club, seemingly giving TheWacoKid new life. The river paired the board, however, and Gigabet filled up, sending Hamby to the rail in 26th place.
Haralabos Voulgaris finished in 25th place after getting into a bit of a spat with Amnon Filippi that eventually saw Voulgaris ship the last of his stack with A♥ K♥ to Filippi's pocket kings. The board couldn't help "Bob" and he headed to the rail with $17,292 of his own (all paid eliminations today would receive the same prize money).
After Voulgaris dropped out, the eliminations came quick and painfully, with a short-stacked Chul Kim falling to the Dickensian machinations of Gigabet, Laith Salem busting at the hands of Jonathan Little, who rivered a ten with K♦ T♦ to earn the check mark over Niyazov's A♣ 8♠; Gabriel Alarie, who found himself on the wrong end of a hand with Gigabet when he pushed with middle pair and a gutterball straight draw against Dicken's overpair; and finally Mark Ketteringham, who lost a race with A♠ K♠ to Richard Kirsch's pocket sevens.
Just like that, the final two tables of the Mirage Poker Showdown were determined and play was halted for the day. Chip leader at the bag and tag was Darrell Dicken, who clearly continued his dominance on Day 3 by posting a $1,167,000 chip count. By comparison, his closest competitor in Cory Carroll could muster only $697,000. Third place is Richard Kirsch with $610,000, while notable names still in the field include Amnon Filippi, Phil Ivey, Alan Goehring, Jonathan Little, John D'Agostino, Jon Friedberg, Nam Le, and David Matthew.
Clearly, the field is as jam-packed with pros as ever, and the possibilities for the final table are pretty intriguing. Action will resume tomorrow at noon Pacific Time and play until only six competitors remain. PokerListings.com will be at the scene, well-rested and probably tanned from the hotel pool, and though we won't have any pictures of our well-bronzed skin, we will have live updates galore. Tune in as we play down to the final table!