Day 3 of Event #6: High Roller for One Drop - $111,111 No-Limit Hold'em began with 23 players remaining from the starting field of 130 entries. After more than four levels of play, only nine players remain in hopes of capturing the first-place prize of $3,686,865 and a prestigious World Series of Poker bracelet.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier began Day 3 as the chip leader and quickly extended his lead when the money was reached, eliminating Igor Kurganov, Charlie Carrel, and Scott Seiver to reach the 17-million-chip mark. He dipped slightly below that mark by the time play ended, but still commands a sizable chip lead for Monday's action.
ELKY: "IT FEELS GREAT TO BE BACK ON THE MAIN STAGE."
"It's an awesome feeling," he told PokerNews. "I'm a huge chip leader. I think have about 25 percent of the chips. It feels great to be back on the main stage especially in one of the biggest events of the summer. I've been running pretty good, but I've been focused as well. I've been playing really well. The field is very tough so it's still going to be a really tough final table. The toughest is obviously coming up."
Martin Jacobson will begin the final day second in chips. The 2014 WSOP Main Event champion has already thrived on poker's biggest stage and is looking to add another prestigious title to his list of poker accomplishments.
"This is the biggest event I play all series besides the Main Event so it's definitely huge," Jacobson said. "I actually got sixth in this a few years ago. I've made the final table before but hopefully I can improve on that."
Here's the table and seat assignments for the unofficial final table of nine players:
Only 20 players made the money in this event, and it was Dan Shak who landed on the bubble. Shak committed his short stack with ace-jack against the jack-five held by Seiver, but running straight cards delivered a devastating beat to Shak and sent the remaining players into the money.
Among those who busted afterward were former Big One for One Drop Champions Dan Colman and Antonio Esfandiari.
JACOBSON: "I'VE MADE THE FINAL TABLE BEFORE BUT HOPEFULLY I CAN IMPROVE ON THAT."
Unable to gain any traction before the money was reached, Colman steadily dropped down the leaderboard before committing his remaining 11 big blinds with pocket deuces. Chris Moore looked him up with ace-jack, and a jack on the flop sent the 2014 Big One for One Drop Champion to the rail in 16th place. Esfandiari made an ill-timed move with a jack-high flush draw and ran into Rainer Kempe's aces and ace-high flush draw, ending the 2012 Big One for One Drop Champion's tournament in 11th place.
Down to 10 players, 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and Haralabos Voulgaris exchanged turns as the short stack. Ultimately, it was Hellmuth who bowed out in 10th place and bubbled the unofficial final table. Hellmuth committed his final five big blinds with ace-four, but Jacobson woke up with ace-king and ended Hellmuth's bid for a third One Drop final table.
Others still in contention for the $3.7 million top prize are Dario Sammartino, Rainer Kempe, Michael Kamran and fan favorite Doug Polk, who stuck around for interviews and some video blogging afterward.
POLK: "YOU ARE A PIECE OF POKER HISTORY BY WINNING THIS EVENT."
"I feel good," Polk told PokerNews. "Obviously when you start the World Series every summer, you're like, 'Okay, there's kind of the One Drop and the Main Event and everything else.' Those are really the two big tournaments. Obviously the Main is the dream, but the One Drop is the second-best tournament to final table. So I'm really happy to get this opportunity. You are a piece of poker history by winning this event. I have a long way to go for that, but I'm excited."