Russian Maxim Lykov will begin the final table of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) with a very healthy chip lead over his eight opponents when play resumes this evening in Las Vegas.
Maxim Lykov, from Moscow, enjoyed a mixed third day in event #54 – at one point dropping down to about 250,000 in chips – but enters the fourth and final day as chip leader on 3,875,000 to hold a massive 1,895,000 lead over second-placed Dror Michaelo (1,980,000), of Malibu.
Not too far back in third place is Joshua Evans (1,670,000), of Texas, while Canada’s Sebastien Roy fills the fourth spot on 1,400,000 as the final nine chase the last $1,000 event gold bracelet and a $648,880 top prize.
In what was a thrilling third day in the Amazon Room of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the final 44 entrants from an original field of 4,576 – to create a prize pool of $4,118,400 – was further reduced by the requisite 35 to give us our final table when American Mario Doria exited in 10th place for $41,389.
Play was ended immediately following the conclusion of level 26 – the day’s sixth level – when Doria was eliminated by fellow American Michaelo.
This final elimination of the day guarantees that the final-table participants will receive at least $53,333, although there is a big leap in prize money for those who finish sixth or higher, with $119,598 assured for the lower position.
Aiming to stay alive to gain at least sixth spot will be short stacks Harald Olsen, of Norway, on 102,500 chips, Ren Ho Zhang, of Edmonton in Canada, on 785,000, and Moscow’s Stanislav Alekhin (820,000).
But one of the most disappointed entrants this morning will be Doria after he became the final-table bubble boy late in the third day.
Doria, in the small blind, went all-in, but was snap-called by big blind Michaelo as the gathered railbirds looked on in anticipation.
Doria showed K♣ 8♦, while Michaelo tabled 9♠ 9♥ to be well ahead. A 4♠ 7♣ 7♦ flop arrived to leave Doria still hoping for a king to allow him to double-up and stay alive.
However, the 9♦ came on the turn to the obvious delight of some at the rail as short stack Doria was now drawing dead to Michaelo’s trip nines. The Q♠ on the river changed nothing, of course, and today’s final table was set.
Maryland’s Matthew LaGarde – who was fifth after day two of the event – also just missed out on the final table when he was eliminated in 11th for $41,389, although Argentinian Anibal Andres will almost certainly be the most frustrated of those eliminated last night.
Andres had started the third day as chip leader on 799,000, but crashed out in 29th place for just $16,267 when chip leader Lykov pulled off a double elimination that also saw the Vegas-based Dan Alspach hit the rail.
Alspach, with a pair of jacks, and Andres (8-9) were both all-in pre-flop against Lykov’s A♥ 6♥. But the Russian acquired a six-high straight when the board showed 4♣ 3♥ 2♥ 10♣ 5♦ to send both his opponents to the rail to give us the final three tables.
Final table participants and chip counts for the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event:
1. Maxim Lykov (Russia) – 3,875,000
2. Dror Michaelo (USA) – 1,980,000
3. Joshua Evans (USA) – 1,670,000
4. Sebastien Roy (Canada) – 1,400,000
5. Douglas Mackinnon (USA) – 1,160,000
6. Warren Wooldridge (UK) – 1,030,000
7. Stanislav Alekhin (Russia) – 820,000
8. Ren Ho Zhang (Canada) – 785,000
9. Harald Olsen (Norway) – 102,500