$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Eaton Beaten, Welch Wins!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

It took until past midnight but we've found a winner in Event 51 $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em Triple Chance.

It started innocently enough as Ryan Welch made a standard pre-flop bet and Jon Eaton called.

The flop came 9 7 6 and both players checked.

The turn fell T and Eaton fired 225,000 into the pot. Welch called.

The board finished with the K on the river and that's when the real fireworks began.

Eaton fired out a 525,000 bet but Welch responded by moving all-in for approximately 3 million more.

The bet had Eaton covered and the former poker journalist carefully pondered his options.

After agonizing for several minutes Eaton finally announced a call.

Welch jumped out of his short and threw Q J on the table for the stone-cold king-high nut straight.

Eaton was stunned as Welch's large group of fans and family watching went wild.

It's likely that Eaton doesn't feel that great about winning $344,830 for second place but we have a feeling by morning it will start to look a whole lot better.

Meanwhile, Welch picks up the WSOP bracelet and $559,371 in cold hard cash.

Welch had to outlast a tough field that included Tommy Vedes, Will "The Thrill" Failla and of course Jon Eaton so he's definitely earned his bracelet and a celebration with his friends.

PokerListings over and out!

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Eaton with the Double

Eating up a double.
Eating up a double.

It's been interesting 60-minutes of heads-up poker and it's apparent would be could be in for a long, drawn out battle tonight.

Both Jon Eaton and Ryan Welch have been patient enough to pick their spots and they also seem equally matched as they've traded the chip lead back and forth several times.

Although Eaton entered heads-up as the chip leader it was Welch who had the first chance to win the tournament but Eaton managed a pivotal double.

In the hand there were a series of preflop raises and re-raises until Eaton finally got it all-in with A J and Welch called with K Q.

Eaton was in the lead but started sweating bullets when the flop came Q T 8 to give Welch a pair of queens. The turn 6 which mean Eaton had flush outs, straight outs and one overcard.

The river finished with the 9 to complete Eaton and extend this tournament for at least a little while longer.

Eaton has since battled back and is just about tied with Welch in chips.

Buckle in, this could be riveting heads-up match.

Level 27

Blinds: 30,000/60,000 Ante: 5,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Guillaume Surrenders, Heads-Up

Done stacking chips.
Done stacking chips.

The French will have to wait another day for their first WSOP bracelet of 2010.

Guillaume Darcourt had been one of the most interesting players to watch at this final table as his chip stack fluctuated more than the stock market.

Up and then down and now he's finally down for good.

In his final hand Darcourt opened for 125,000 from the small blind and Jon Eaton called from the big blind.

The flop came 9 6 5 and Darcourt kept the pressure on with a bet of 195,000. Eaton, however, woke up and fired 600,000 into the pot.

Darcourt wasn't going anywhere, however, and committed his 1.2 million chip stack to the pot.

Eaton called and showed 7 4 for the open-ended straight-flush draw. Darcourt showed 8 6.

Darcourt was in the lead but Eaton technically had slightly better odds of winning the hand.

The turn came... 8!

Eaton made a straight flush! Darcourt was drawing dead and out of the tournament in third place.

Darcourt will receive $223,459 for coming in third place.

Heads-Up Chip Counts

Here are the chip counts as we enter heads-up play:

Jon Eaton - 5.2 million
Ryan Welch - 3.4 million

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – The Thrill is Gone

Not thrilled.
Not thrilled.

Will "The Thrill" Failla is the latest player to take the long walk to the payout booth.

Failla busted shortly after the dinner break and play hasn't slowed down since then. Jon Eaton continues to play a strong game while Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt has been the human yoyo in this event, building a big stack and then losing most of it in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile dark horse Ryan Welch seems to be building steam and could soon become chip leader for the first time today.

Here's a look at the latest action including Failla's bust out hand:

Thrill Kill (Fourth)

Will "The Thrill" Failla, who was one of the most experienced players left at the final table, has been eliminated after a huge hand against Ryan Welch.

Failla was the short stack and decided to ship it all-in but Ryan Welch, who was next to act, instantly re-shoved.

Everyone else folded and Failla got his first look at what the damage was:

Failla: A 7

Welch: A J

The board rolled out K Q 2 5 6.

Failla will receive $163,532 for coming in fourth place. Failla has had tremendous success on the east coast but has yet to break through with a WSOP victory. This will be his third WSOP cash and the biggest score of his poker career.

Cheering Squad

The final table of the $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em has garnered a raucous group of railbirds in the northern corner of the Amazon Room.

Perhaps it's the fact that the final table is quietly tucked away in the corner away from the main ESPN table but fans seem to be losing their inhibitions.

On one side you've got a fervent group of French supporters that start shouting loudly every time Guillaume Darcourt rakes a pot while Ryan Welch has a group of Canadians and Brit Chris Moorman who are yelling things like, "Ryan is my hero!"

Meanwhile there are a few Jon Eaton fans in the mix but he seems to be his own biggest supporter as he's had a huge chip lead for most of the day.

Level 26

Blinds: 25,000/50,000 Ante: 5,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Last Supper Finished

Can anyone stop Darcourt?
Can anyone stop Darcourt?

All four players have returned from their last dinner break of the tournament and will now focus on settling a WSOP bracelet winner.

Good luck with that!

Level 25

Blinds: 20,000/40,000 Ante: 5,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Triple the Action!

No WSOP title for Tommy Vedes
No WSOP title for Tommy Vedes

The final day of $3k No-Limit Hold'em has been anything but boring.

In the last hour we saw Tommy Vedes, Sergey Lebedev and Bradley Craig all fall to the rail as the rip-roaring pace continues at the final table.

Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt has finally overtaken Jon Eaton as the chip leader and we should have one hell of a finale in this tournament.

Here's the action leading up to four-handed play:

Craig Cut (Fifth)

Bradley Craig's stack was in serious trouble after getting crippled in a hand against Guillaume Darcourt where he held A J and Darcourt had A Q, and Craig decided to shove shortly thereafter.

Craig decided to put it all on the line with A 8 and it proved to be a mistake as Darcourt once again found a good hand with 9 9.

The board came J 8 4 6 7 and that was enough to send Craig quietly out into the Vegas night.

Craig earns $121,451 for coming in fifth place while Darcourt looks absolutely unstoppable as we head into four-handed play.

Sergey Lebedev
Sergey Lebedev

Sergey Le-Busts (Sixth)

Sergey Lebedev was short-stacked and shoved with A J. Guillaume Darcourt had no problems calling with A K and Lebedev was going to need some major help from the board.

Instead, it ran T T 9 T K to emphatically eliminate Lebedev.

Lebedev picks up $91,407 for coming in sixth place.

Tommy Gunned (Seventh)

Tommy Vedes didn't have a great run at the final table.

The WPT title-holder was forced to make some big laydowns and the cards simply didn't go his way today.

In his final hand Vedes open-shoved from the big blind and Sergey Lebedev was the only caller.

The players revealed their hands:

Lebedev: A 9

Vedes: 8 8

It was a tight coin flip with Vedes' tournament life on the line.

The board came 5 5 3 5 J, which finished Vedes off.

Vedes will receive $69,647 for coming in seventh place.

Dinner Bell

Players are now on a 60-minute dinner break.

Level 24

Blinds: 15,000/30,000 Ante: 4,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Darcout Busts Jurgens, Scruggs

Darcourt back when he won his WPT Bucharest title.
Darcourt back when he won his WPT Bucharest title.

It's madness in the Rio right now as Frenchman Guillaume Darcourt just busted Tad Jurgens and Noel Scruggs in a potentially tournament-defining hand.

Jurgens open-shoved for 148,000 in early position and Noel Scruggs, who was directly on his left, re-shoved for 428,000.

Action folded around to Darcourt who was in the big blind.

Darcourt seemed to be in pain as he weighed out his options. At one point he even said something to his French fans on the rail, at which point the tournament director instructed him that only English can be used at the table.

Finally Darcourt, who had over 1.5 million, decided to put in the call.

The cards were on their backs:

Jurgens: Q Q

Scruggs: A Q

Darcourt: 7 7

Short-stacked Jurgens was in the lead, but would have to dodge a lot of cards.

The flop came 9 7 3 and Darcourt's crowd of railbirds went wild. The flopped set of sevens was well in the lead.

The board finished with the 2 and then the 4 and Darcourt jumped up from his chair and ran to the rail where he passionately made out with an attractive blonde woman on the rail.

Jurgens is out in ninth place and will receive $41,842 while Scruggs picks up $53,694 for coming in eighth place.

Darcourt leaps into the chip lead with 2.1 million.

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Final Table Locked, Loaded

Vedes bleeds chips.
Vedes bleeds chips.

And just like that we have our final table of nine players.

Koen de Bakker will be the only player at this table not listed as one of the official final table of nine.

Jon Eaton continues to crush, although Guillaume Darcourt is now hot on his heels.

Heres how it all went down:

Bakker Baked, Welch Way Up

Koen de Bakker opened shoved for his last 270,000 and Vedes opted to flat-call from the button. Ryan Welch changed the hand dramatically for shoving for an extra 620,000 from the small blind.

The big blind folded and action was back on Vedes.

Vedes carefully weighed out his options but finally felt he couldn't make the call. He later implied he had jacks.

Welch and Bakker revealed their hands:

Welch: J J

Bakker: 8 8

The board rolled out Q J 4 5 T and that was it for Bakker. He earns $33,026 for coming in ninth place.

Darcourt vs. Vedes

Guillaume Darcourt, who actually won WPT Bucharest earlier this year for €125,846, just raked a huge pot to close the gap between Jon Eaton and the rest of the field.

Darcourt opened for 52,000 from early position and Eaton called from mid. Action folded around to Tommy Vedes in the big blind who also called.

The flop came Q 7 6 and Guillaume bet 80k and Vedes called.

The dealer peeled the T as the turn and both players checked.

Finally the river finished with the T and that's when the real action began. Vedes fired 84,000 and Guillaume popped it up to 264,000.

Vedes thought for a minute or two and finally flashed Q as he mucked.

After the hand Darcourt was up to 1.5 million.

From the Felt

"I didn't realize Matt Stout was here until I heard him laugh."

-Jon Eaton on railbird Matt Stout

Level 23

Blinds: 12,000/24,000 Ante: 3,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Bam! Down to 10

The "Thrill" is still alive.
The "Thrill" is still alive.

It took just one level to sort out our pseudo final table of 10 players.

As with all WSOP nine-handed No-Limit Hold'em events, the players will be moved to a single table of 10-players.

That table is not the "official" final table, which starts at nine players, but it is indeed the last table of this tournament.

Here's a look at the last hour of action:

Rusnak Snapped

Frank Rusnak started Day 3 with more than a million chips and he now has zero.

How did this happen you ask?

Rusnak lost several pots early and with his stack battered down to under 200k he decided to shove with K Q.

Unfortunately for Rusnak, Koen de Bakker called with A Q.

Rusnak would need a lot of help from the board if he hoped to survive but instead there was an ace on the flop but bricks the rest of the way.

Rusnak is out in 11th for $33,026.

Ronaldson McDonald'ed

Gregory Ronaldson entered Day 3 of the $3k Triple Chance with what we like to call a Verne Troyer-size chip stack and did not last long.

Ronaldson picked up Q J and that was all it took for him to get his stack in the middle. Action folded to Will Failla who re-shoved. Everyone else got out of the way and Failla showed a heart-crushing A A.

The board rolled out Q T 7 4 7 and even the flopped pair of queens wasn't enough to save Ronaldson's tournament.

He's out in 12th place and picks up $33,026 for his efforts.

From the Felt

"I ain't no chip leader and I don't wanna be the chip leader."

-Will Failla

Level 22

Blinds: 10,000/20,000 Ante: 3,000

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$3k NLHE Triple Chance – Day 3 is Now!

Ready to eat some chips!
Ready to eat some chips!

Yesterday we saw big names like Tom Dwan and James Akenhead fall to the rail but today Jon "sketchy1" Eaton, Tommy Vedes and Will "The Thrill" Failla will have the chance to achieve WSOP glory.

A total of 175 players entered play yesterday but by the end of the night only 12 warriors remained.

Eaton leads the 12 remaining players with an impressive 1.6 million. Frank Rusnak is the closest competition with just over one million chips. Vedes has 985,000 and Failla is right behind him with 950,000.

The rest of the players aren't exactly big names although you might recognize Vegas local Ryan "gutshtallin" Welch and consistent WSOP casher Tad Jurgens.

Today the final two tables will begin in the north corner of the Amazon Room but as soon as they're down to the final 10 they will be moved to one of the many feature tables in the Rio.

The tournament director just hurried over and instructed the dealers to shuffle up and deal.

We are once again live from the Rio so keeping checking back for the best live updates this side of the Golden Nugget.

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Event Name Event 51 - $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em
Date 29 June 2010
Final Day 1 July 2010
Buy In $3,000
Entrants 965
Prize Pool $2,663,370
First Prize $559,371

Ryan Welch

Event 51 - $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em

Top Money Finishers Prize
1. Ryan Welch $559,371
2. Jon Eaton $344,830
3. Guillaume Darcourt $223,459
4. Will Failla $163,532
5. Bradley Craig $121,451
6. Sergey Lebedev $91,407
7. Tommy Vedes $69,647
8. Noel Scruggs $53,694
9. Tad Jurgens $41,842
10. Koen Debakker $33,026