Main Event Day 3 begins for Ivey, Tran, Benyamine

David Benyamine

Phil Ivey, J.C. Tran and David Benyamine entered Day 3 of the 2009 WSOP Main Event as three of the chip leaders in a field that still includes 2,044 players.

Play began at 12 p.m. in the Rio with five levels of play scheduled for the day.

There is a slim chance that the money bubble, which starts at 648 players remaining, will burst today but in all likelihood players will return tomorrow to make it into the coveted money spots.

Numerous pro poker players are still in the hunt with Kenny Tran, Bertrand Grospellier, Kevin Saul, Paul Wasicka, Dan Harrington, J.C. Alverado, Marc Karam, Joe Hachem, Noah Boeken, Nick Binger and Eugene Katchalov all looking to become the first pro to win the Main Event since Carlos Mortensen did in 2001.

Full Tilt Pro Phil Ivey might have the best chance to perform that feat as of Day 3 because he led his fellow pros with 346,000 chips.

Joining the pros will be a group of celebrity players including actors Jason Alexander, Lou Diamond Phillips, Patrick Bruel in addition to athletes like the NBA's Jordan Farmar and international cricket star Shane Warne.

The chip lead to start the day belongs to the relatively unknown Amir Lehavot who somehow amassed 610,000 on Day 2b thanks to a last minute monster pot.

There are several intriguing table matchups with Joe Hachem and Jeffrey Lisandro forced to face each other at the TV feature table while Finnish poker superstar Ville Wahlbeck will have to contend with Kenny Tran at the secondary feature table. will be live updating the event throughout the day with all the biggest hands, bustouts and breaking news. Check out the updates here.

Here are the top 10 chip leaders to start the day:

Amir Lehavot610,500
Peter DeBaene465,000
Troy Weber453,000
Dan Bilzerian439,000
Franklin Grigsby424,000
Gabe Walls417,000
Mikael Thuritz395,000
Jason Brice376,000
John Hammer359,400
Phil Ivey346,200

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