Money bubble bursts in WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship

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Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: June 20, 2023 13:53 PDT

An hours-long money bubble defined action on Day 3 of Event #43 of the 2023 World Series of Poker, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The PPC, one of the WSOP's showcase events, drew 99 entrants, up solidly from one year ago. 32 players made Day 3 and 15 were scheduled to make the cash and share $4,727,250 in prize money.

Most events tighten up significantly as the money bubble looms and the PPC, a mixed-games event, was no exception. Several hours in the middle of Day 3 action found 17 players remaining in the hunt, with two players destined to depart with nothing to show for nearly three days of work. The player at the bottom of the heap rotated over time, with John Racener, Phil Hellmuth, John Monnette and others taking turns as the shortest stack in the field.

Even the shortest stacks had room to maneuver, which was a contributing factor to the bubble's length. Eventually, though, someone's luck had to run out. That happened first to Racener, just after an all-in Phil Hellmuth had doubled up to escape immediate danger of elimination. Racener's demise came in a hand of 2-7 triple draw, when he made an 8-low but was eliminated by Kristopher Tong, who took one card on his final draw and made a better 8 to send Racener off in 17th spot.

Then, as occassionally happens, it was one of the medium-short stacks, and not the true shorties, who busted on the stone bubble. That happened to Nacho Barbero, who exited in 16th spot, sending the rest of the field into the money. Barbero's exit was a two-step process. He first lost most of his stack in a razz hand versus Brian Rast, leaving him as the then-shortest stack with a little over 300,000 chips. The rest of Barbero's stack went away a short time later in a PLO hand against Talal Shakerchi, when Barbero's nut-flush draw bricked out on the turn and river.

A short while after Barbero's departure, John Monnette became the first in-the-money bustout. Monnette's 15th-place bustout was worth $84,255. Monnette's exit also trimmed the field to its final two tables, with Phil Ivey and Daniel Alaei at the top of a tightly bunched pack. A few more hours of play remains before the chips are bagged for tomorrow's Day 4 in the PPC. Two-time defending PPC champ Daniel "Jungleman" Cates busted late on Day 2, roughly 20 spots short of the money.