Event #7: €10,450 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event

Cheong Leads Final 24; Hellmuth, Mercier & Boeree Still in the Hunt

Chad_Holloway • Level 18: 4,000-8,000, 1,000 ante
Joseph Cheong

On Tuesday, the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event continued with Day 3 action from the Majestic Barrière in Cannes, France. The remaining 77 players from a 420-player field returned for six levels of play, during which time the money bubble burst, and by the end of the night, Joseph Cheong emerged as the chip leader with 24 remaining; however, he faces some stiff competition as Phil Hellmuth, Jason Mercier and Liv Boeree are still in contention.

The day wasn’t as kind to everyone; in fact, 29 players went home empty handed on Day 3. They included Jonathan Little, Jean-Robert Bellande, Alex Bilokur, Sam Trickett, Tobias Reinkemeier, Dan Smith, Martin Jacobson, Sam Cohen and Aaron Lim, just to name a few.

On the money bubble, October Niner Jesse Sylvia moved all in for his last 45,500 and was called by 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong. The crowd gathered around filled with media members and players eager to see if they made the money. The hands were revealed to find that Sylvia was in need of some help.

Sylvia: {A-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}
Cheong: {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}

The flop fell {K-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{9-Clubs} and Cheong retained his lead. It wouldn't be an exciting bubble hand without a sweat, however, and the {6-Diamonds} on the turn did just that. Sylvia needed to catch either a diamond or an ace on the river to stay alive in the tournament. Unfortunately for Sylvia, the {K-Clubs} came down on fifth street and he was forced to settle for the title of bubble boy. On his way out, Sylvia was wished good luck in the WSOP Main Event Final Table where he stands to win up to $8,527,982 later this month.

Once in the money, the eliminations mounted rapidly. Justin Bonomo (48th-€20,150), Daniel Weinman (47th-€20,150), Daniel Negreanu (43rd-€20,150) and Eugene Katchalov (40th-€21,250) were a few of the people who fell quick. It was at that point that Elio Fox, who outlasted a field of 593 players to win €1,400,000 in this very event last year, had his bid at a title defense just cut short.

In what would be his last hand, action folded around to Jason Mercier on the button and he raised to 10,000. Fox then moved all in for approximately 80,000 from the big blind and Mercier made the call.

Mercier: {A-}{Q-}
Fox: {A-}{8-}

Both players held an ace, but Mercier had the better kicker. That's what ended up making the difference as the board ran out {5-}{5-}{2-}{K-}{7-} and Fox followed up last year's win with a 39th-place finish for €21,250.

Other who joined him on the rail before night’s end were Fung Cheing (37th-€21,250), Prosper Masquelier (36th-€21,250), Bruno Fitoussi (35th-€21,250), JC Alvarado (33rd-€21,250), Emil Patel (31st-€22,982), Philipp Gruissem (29th-€22,982), Ben Roberts (26th-€22,982) and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (25th--€22,982).

While many fell, other managed to navigate the tough field and advance to Day 4. They include 2005 WSOP runner-up Steve Dannenmann; high-stakes legend David Benyamine; former EPT winners Liv Boeree and Toby Lewis; last year’s 8th-place finisher Max Silver; the always-entertaining Scott Seiver; two-time bracelet winner Andy Frankenberger; and 12-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.

Here’s a look at the top ten End-of-Day-3 chip counts:

2012 WSOP Europe End-of-Day-3 Top Ten Counts

1Joseph Cheong1,381,000
2Paul Tedeschi1,071,000
3Sergii Baranov1,055,000
4Christopher Brammer956,000
5Jason Mercier824,000
6Phil Hellmuth741,000
7Max Silver656,000
8Curt Kohlberg607,000
9Timothy Adams577,000
10Joe McGowan518,000

The plan for Day 4 on Wednesday is for the remaining 24 players to play down to the final table of eight. Play is scheduled to kick off at 12:00 PM local time, so be sure to check back then as PokerNews will be on hand to bring you all the action and eliminations from the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event.

Tags: Joseph Cheong