Artur Rudziankov and Mario Prats to Battle for Bracelet in Event #58
Only 28 players out of a 1,763-entry field returned to the tables of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for Day 3 of the 2017 World Series of Poker Event #58: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. The lion's share of the $2,380,050 prize pool was still up for grabs, and the decision over the gold bracelet along with the $395,918 payday that comes along with it has been postponed until Monday, July 3rd, 2017.
After ten full hours of play and 167 hands on the official final table, Artur Rudziankov (8,935,000) and Mario Prats (4,290,000) decided to bag up for the night and return fresh at 1 p.m. local time. Rudziankov, who was born in Belarus and just turned 29 years old two weeks ago, is aiming to become the second-ever player from the Czech poker community to win a WSOP bracelet after Tomas Junek took down Event #56: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em in 2012. Thirty-year-old Prats was born in Barcelona and currently resides in Prague. Rudziankov will have a 2-1 lead over his opponent when the action resumes with 30 minutes left in level 31 and blinds of 60,000-120,000 with a running ante of 20,000.
Results and Remaining Payouts
|3||Timothy Miles||United States||$176,455|
|4||Arman Zolnoorian||United States||$128,645|
|6||Lee Watkinson||United States||$70,618|
|7||John Esposito||United States||$53,184|
|8||Martin Kabrhel||Czech Republic||$40,500|
|9||Scott Lychwick||United States||$31,187|
Early Action on Day 3
James Gilbert (26th place), Danamarie Muse (24th place), Roman Korenev (23rd place) and Goran Mandic (22nd place) were among those who had to settle for a payday of $12,297 apiece. Start-of-the-day chip leader Peter Coulombe (19th place) received the very same amount after his stack of one million was reduced to zero in two consecutive hands. First, he doubled John Esposito with ace-ten versus ace-king and ran into the aces of Christian Rudolph right after.
Vivian Im (17th place) and WSOP bracelet winner Taylor Paur (16th place) both collected $15,250 and the next pay jump included Alex Queen, Felipe Casanova and Chris Cornell. Asi Moshe, who won a bracelet in 2014 and finished third in Event #29: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em earlier this summer, dominated the early action before joining the rail in 12th place. Moshe moved all in on the turn of a ten-high board with eight-six suited for third pair and Rudziankov called with ace-seven suited for second pair.
Kirk Adams had previously cracked pocket aces with king-ten to stay in contention, but the second time he met the best starting hand in No-Limit Hold'em, it was all over. Adams' ace-king stood no chance against the pocket aces of Rudziankov and the field was reduced to the last ten hopefuls.
Unofficial Final Table Line Up
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Scott Lychwick||United States||250,000||6|
|2||Arman Zolnoorian||United States||1,800,000||45|
|3||John Phan||United States||600,000||15|
|4||John Esposito||United States||1,550,000||39|
|6||Martin Kabrhel||Czech Republic||2,100,000||53|
|7||Artur Rudziankov||Czech Republic||2,455,000||61|
|8||Timothy Miles||United States||850,000||21|
|10||Lee Watkinson||United States||820,000||21|
Final Table Action So Far
Scott Lychwick and Mario Prats scored early double ups before two-time WSOP bracelet winner John “Razor” Phan bubbled the official final table. Phan moved all in from the button with pocket sevens only to see Christian Rudolph in the big blind call instantly and turn over pocket kings. The board ran out ace-high, and that was it for Phan.
Only five hands into the official final table, Lee Watkinson raised for the vast majority of his stack from the small blind and fellow short stack Scott Lychwick called all in for slightly less. Lychwick showed six-four of diamonds and Watkinson had five-three of diamonds. The flop brought a five and a three, and Lychwick failed to improve.
Once the final eight came back from dinner, it took almost two hours for the next player to fall. It was the always-talkative Martin Kabrhel who ran out of chips. Kabrhel, accompanied by his chip-protecting hippo, was entertaining the rail and opponents for the entire day, though some of them were willing to call the clock on the Czech at any point. Kabrhel was eventually down to fewer than four big blinds and raised for most of his stack with ace-three. Arman Zolnoorian and John Esposito called out of the blinds and the latter spiked a king with king-nine to send Kabrhel to the rail.
Esposito was the next to fall. The 1999 WSOP bracelet winner shoved from the small blind in hand #86 and tabled king-five suited. Rudolph flipped over ace-queen suited in the big blind, and the board ran out queen-high.
The next and final former WSOP bracelet winner had to settle for sixth place in Lee Watkinson. He defended his big blind and shoved on a ten-high flop with nine-six for a gutshot only for Rudziankov to snap-call with ace-ten for trip tens. Both the turn and river bricked, and that ensured a new bracelet winner would be crowned.
Rudolph suffered a massive setback when he called the shove of Prats with pocket tens. Prats only had pocket fives but flopped and rivered a five for quads to leave the German with some change. Rudolph doubled once but soon after ran with ace-king into the pocket aces of Rudziankov.
In hand #144, a short-stacked Arman Zolnoorian moved all in with ten-nine off suit from the small blind and Rudziankov called with king-six in the big blind. Neither player connected with the ace-high board and the field was reduced to the last three hopefuls.
Only nine hands later in hand #153, Timothy Miles got his last 14 big blinds in from the button holding king-ten. Rudziankov quickly called with ace-king in the big blind, and the kicker played a crucial role on a king-high board to set the stage for the heads-up battle. Prats almost closed the gap only to fall back when Rudziankov showed him a bluff in the last hand of the night.
The remaining two players will return at 1 p.m. local time on July 3rd, 2017 to determine a winner, and the PokerNews live reporting team will be there to provide hand-for-hand coverage.