WSOP wins for Michael Linn, Chance Kornuth and Ryan Welch

Three more gold bracelets have been awarded to players at the 41st World Series of Poker over the past twenty-four hours as the world's biggest poker spectacular closes in on the much-anticipated Main Event 57.

Michael Linn bested an entry field of 2,543 in event 49, the last of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em contests this year, in Day 3 action. The field was reduced to 290 players by the end of Day 2, and just 23 started Day 3, with Linn holding the overnight chip lead.

Taylor Larkin shone on Day 3 of the competition, taking out much of the opposition and entering the nine man final table as chip leader, facing Michael Linn, Mikhai Manole, Benjamin Smith, along with Tyler Cornell, Erle Mankin, Justin Zaki, Alexander Kuzmin and Chadwick Grimes. The last five players all busted out within two levels as the action mounted.

Cheered on by uncle Barry Greenstein, Linn ultimately entered the heads up late Wednesday night against Larkin in a close-fought and exciting finale in which Larking almost managed to snatch the game despite having to fight back from two crippling losses.

Larkin's 2nd Placing was worth $378,905, whilst Linn claimed his first WSOP bracelet and the $609,493 main prize.

In event 50 - a $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha competition, Chance Kornuth (24) emerged triumphant from a tense final table when he dispatched Kevin Boudreau to the rail after a heads-up battle in which at one point, Boudreau threatening to call the clock if Kornuth didn't stop thinking and make a move. The tactic misfired when Boudreau was told that Kornuth was still within the limits, and it appeared to motivate the winner to take his challenger out.

31 players had earlier started the final day of action in the event, with Robert Mizrachi in the lead and some very competent players still in the running. By the time the final table was reached, most of them had been eliminated, although Mizrachi remained a threat.

With the elimination in third place of Danny Smith, Kornuth and Boudreau commenced the lengthy heads up, notable for its at times aggressive dialogue between the two players. Boudreau suffered a massive loss late in the clash and in the end it was Kornuth who claimed his second WSOP cash, his first bracelet and the main prize of $508,090.

Boudreau's runner-up prize was worth $313,792.

Event 51, the $3,000 buy-in Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em competition entered Day 3 Thursday afternoon with just 12 players, all that was left of the original field of 965.

Jon Eaton held the chip lead, well ahead of his nearest rival Frank Rusnak. By midnight Thursday the winner was not one of the bigger stacks at the start of the day; Ryan Welch, who had begun play on Day 3 around fifth or sixth on the chip list, won his first bracelet and the $559,371 first prize.

When Guillaume Darcourt was sent packing in third place for $223,459 it set the scene for the two hour heads up between Welch and Jon Eaton, a clash that turned out to be more than a little exciting.

Although starting at a 1.5 to 1 disadvantage, Welch clawed his way back into the game as the two players went up and down in chips, vying for the top spot. Around halfway into the heads up Welch began to gain the ascendancy, but by the final hand the players were almost even again.

Welch then initiated a big river shove to force the rest of Eaton's stack into the pot just slightly covered. When he turned over the nuts he ran over to his delighted wife on the rail, leaving Eaton with the second placing consolation of $344,830.

Late Thursday night there were still 20 players slugging it out in event 52, the $25,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed contest, after a day which started with 69 survivors from the original field of 191.

Alexander Gruibem started the day with the chip lead, pursued by Jason Sommerville and Sam Trickett - all ahead of a hungry pack intent on making the money bubble at position 18, with pros like Isaac Haxton, Daniel Negreanu, John Juanda, Frank Kassela, Vanessa Rousso, Sorel Mizzi, Barry Greenstein, Scott Seiver and Phil Galfond still in the running.

Late night Thursday level 19 had been reached and the money was in sight as 20 players battled to stay in at least as far as position 18, where the cash kicks in at $58,699 in this expensive tournament.

Holding the lead on 2 million was Bryn Kennedy, chased by Abe Mosseri on 1.47 million and Frank Kassela (1 million). Average chip stacks over the field were 716,250.

The action was still in progress late Thursday night after event 53 - the $1,500 buy-in Limit Hold'em Shootout went into Day 2 that afternoon with 63 players following a disqualification on which no information was made available. 548 players registered for the field originally.

The objective - to reduce the field to just 8 on a final table.

By late night Thursday all but one of the final table positions had been decided, with the list as follows: Michael Schneider, Jonathan Little, Terrence Chan, Sijbrand Maal, Ben Yu, Brendan Taylor, Joseph Mcgowan. Vying for the final place were Brian Tate on 200,000 and Feming Chan on 160,000. One of the two will go home while the other will advance to the final table

The last of the popular $1,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em events, number 54, predictably attracted a massive entry field which will be run off in two Day 1 heats initially.

Day 1a, which started Thursday afternoon saw 2,340 entrants taking their seats with almost every recognisable name in international poker among the field.

By late night Thursday the surviving 350 had reached level 9 when Day 1a was wrapped - a remarkable attrition rate of around a player every four minutes.

Leading the Day 1a field is Eelke Arjaans on 75,550, Alan Keating on 62,000 and Ron Schutsky on 62,000.

Big names who did not survive the day included Tom Dwan, Chris Ferguson, Matt Hawrilenko, Berry Johnston, Faraz Jaka, Dennis Phillips, Brandon Canto, Scott Montgomery, Allen Kessler and Dwyte Pilgrim.

On the positive side, those going into Day 2 will include: Liv Boeree, Tony Dunst, Nikolay Evdakov, Shannon Shorr, and Kara Scott.

Event 55, the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha competition also kicked off Thursday afternoon with a field of 346 entries, an impressive improvement on last year's 295.

In this event each player is allocated a start bank of 7,500 chips, in addition to three red add-on chips worth an additional 7,500 each.

These add-on chips can be optionally used at anytime during the first four levels. So a player may choose to cash them in immediately to start with a deep 30,000-chip start bank, or they can save them up and use them if they get stacked.

The 346 entries included Andy Black, Vitaly Lunkin, Tom Dwan, Shaun Deeb, Michael Mizrachi, Marco Traniello, Annette Obrestad, Eric Froehlich, David Benyamine, David Chiu, Andy Bloch and defending champ Matt Graham.

Also spotted in action were David Levi, David Bach, Gavin Smith, Sam Farha, Dan Heimiller, Erica Schoenberg, Men Nguyen, Nenad Medic, Amnon Filippi, Kathy Liebert, Mike Matusow, Michael Binger and Thor Hansen.

By late night Thursday the field was still going strong at level 6 and numbered 252, having shed 92 entrants.

Noah Boeken was in the lead on 120,000, with Men Nguyen his closest rival on 98,000 and Venessa Selbst on 92,000. Average chip stacks were at 41,190.

Notable exits included Max Pescatori, Florian Langmann, Chad Brown, David Williams, Kevin MacPhee and Mike Matusow,

Source: InfoPowa News