After six opening flights and two Day 2s, the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event wound up drawing a total of 6,650 players to create a whopping prize pool of $62,011,250. Over 2,000 players were able to advance through to Thursday’s Day 3, but only 1,000 players were left standing by the end of a long day of play. Those 1,000 survivors have all locked up a minimum cash of at least $15,000 and will be playing for the tournament’s top prize of $8 million.
Jessica Cai leading the way, Chris Moneymaker not far behind
Jessica Cai found herself leading the pack with a bag of 1,796,000 chips when the dust settled on Day 3. Cai is hoping to become the first woman since 1995 and only the second woman in Main Event history to reach the final table of this event. Barbara Enright is the only woman to have accomplished the feat to date with her fifth place finish in the 1995 WSOP Main Event. Other female players still in the mix with big stacks include Dragana Lim (1,539,000) and JJ Liu (765,000).
2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker was at the PokerGO featured table all day and was on the right side of a bunch of big hands throughout the day. Moneymaker opened the day with 531,600 chips and finished with the 12th biggest stack in the tournament as he bagged 1,432,000 chips. 2016 Main Event winner Qui Nguyen also advanced to Day 4 with 659,000 chips and 2014 Martin Jacobson survived with 142,000 chips.
Stephen Chidwick (1,258,000), Toby Lewis (1,010,000), Nick Petrangelo (860,000), Chance Kornth (787,000) and Tim Reilly (770,000) were among the notable names to move on to Day 4 with big stacks. Plenty of well-known players hit the rail prior to cashing including Justin Bonomo, Niall Farrell, Faraz Jaka, Ben Lamb, Greg Mueller, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Jerry Yang and Anthony Zinno.
Crazy hands galore
In one of the most discussed hands of Day 3, Ugur Secilmils eliminated Chang Liu from the WSOP Main Event in a remarkable quads vs. quads situation. Secilmils held pocket sixes and Liu held pocket fours as the board ran out 6-4-4-6-5. Both players had slow-played their hands to the river, but all the chips got in on the final street and Liu was on the wrong side of one of the worst bad beats you will ever see.
The stone cold bubble was also burst in wild fashion as Kevin Campbell got the last of his chips in with pocket aces. He was miles ahead of his opponent’s ace-nine before the flop, but a 10-9-8-7-9 runout gave Chris Alafogiannis trip nines and eliminated Campbell one spot ahead of the min-cash.
While far less dramatic, Felipe Ramos saw his day end in a kings vs. aces spot late on Day 3. But after outlasting his wife Natalie Ramos who was eliminated a few hours earlier, Ramos now holds control of the family’s remote control until next year’s Main Event.
End of Day 3 Top 10 Chip Stacks
1. Jessica Cai: 1,796,000
2. Phachara Wongwichit: 1,773,000
3. Joshua Paige Remitio: 1,671,000
4. Ehsan Amiri: 1,574,000
5. Roman Valerstein: 1,560,000
6. Neel Choksi: 1,552,000
7. Stephen Song: 1,551,000
8. Dragana Lim: 1,539,000
9. Jordan Jayne: 1,525,000
10. Andreas Kniep: 1,509,000
Featured Image Credit: Twitter – CMONEYMAKER