Petar Kalev tops the leaderboard after Day 3 of the PSPC Main Event

Petar Kalev
Terrance Reid
Posted on: February 01, 2023 15:42 PST

The excitement in the air was intense. The nerves were real. At the start of Day 3 of the $25,000 PokerStars Players Championship Main Event, 678 players took their seats, knowing they would reach the money today. There was still work left to do to get there.

A minimum cash of $33,100 was waiting for 175 of them, we just had to find out who they would be. Of course, over $4 million is sitting up top for the winner here at Baha Mar in The Bahamas.

The arduous money bubble burst about midway through the day. Play went hand-for-hand with 178 players, three away from the money. That wait for three players to bust felt like it lasted hours, but eventually, it was Mauricio Ferreira Pais who bubbled after being forced all in when in the big blind.

When play was over for the day, it was Bulgarian Petar Kalev who led the field with 3,360,000 chips. He's already cashed in two other events here in The Bahamas, but this will by far be the biggest. In fact, his largest live cash ever was just over $173,000, according to Hendon Mob, so he has a great chance to improve upon that score in this event. He'll return with 84 big blinds to try and maintain his chip lead.


Just behind Kalev is American Blake Bohn (2,665,000). The traveling Minnesotan tournament grinder is no stranger to deep runs with over $3.5 million in live tournament earnings. Some other big names in the field include Dominik Nitsche (2,360,000), Sam Grafton (1,590,000), Jeremy Ausmus (1,470,000), Fedor Holz (970,000), and Chance Kornuth (810,000).

One of the most heartwarming stories of the day was that of Glen Craigen. He found a way into this incredible event through a freeroll and turned that entry into a $46,500 finish. He plans to take the summer off of his construction job and consider playing poker more regularly after this score.

Only 52 players remain in the hunt. They'll return tomorrow at 12:00 pm local time to play even closer to the final table. We'll keep you updated throughout the day as that final table draws near. The plan is to find our winner on Friday, we'll see how close we get on Day 4 tomorrow.

Thanks for being with us poker fans. Until tomorrow, have a great night. Be sure to follow our live ticker Poker Instant as we see this tournament to an exciting finish.