Vladimir Mefodichev and Neil Willerson will return for a fourth day to decide who will win the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #53 at the World Series of Poker.
Russian Mefodichev ended Day 3 on 5,335,000 while San Antonio’s Willerson will start Day 4 on 8,920,000 after the 28 survivors from the original field of 3,166 were cut down to just these two players after 60 minutes of heads-up play at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Willerson had started his head-to-head with Mefodichev way behind on 4.2 million chips to 10.5 million, but battled back to take the lead heading into what should be a short fourth day in the Pavilion Room of the Rio.
Hard Stop Rules Ends Day 3
Tournament officials eventually brought Day 3 to a halt when they enforced the hard stop rule after 10 levels were played out to see Mefodichev and Willerson return today in the chase for the gold bracelet and $737,248 top prize.
The first player to exit on Day 3 was Matthew Sahagian, of Massachusetts, in 28th place for $17,054, while one-time bracelet winner Max Steinberg, of Washington DC, exited in 25th for $21,114, London’s Vicky Coren left in 17th place for $26,414 and Lee Childs – also of Washington DC – was eliminated in 16th, also for $26,414.
Thereafter, the gathered railbirds saw Frenchman Sylvain Gonon leave in 10th for $42,656, Phoenix’s Ryan Hughes pick up $55,093 in ninth, Canadian Randy Ashe exit in eighth for $71,933, New York State’s Bryan Piccioli pocket $94,971 in seventh, Australian Hai Chu collect $126,770 in sixth, West Virginia’s Matthew Graham claim fifth for $171,135 and Seattle’s Zachary Humphrey cash for $233,708 in fourth.
Hugh Henderson Eliminated in Third
The final elimination of Day 3 came with the exit of South Carolina’s Hugh Henderson in third place for $322,866 when he lost out to Willerson.
On the button, Willerson opened and small blind Henderson shoved all-in. Play folded back around to Willerson, who made the call to show 8♠ 8♣, while Henderson revealed A♣ 5♠ to be behind.
The 2♣ J♣ 9♥ K♥ 7♣ board failed to improve Henderson’s starting hand, so ensuring that Willerson and Mefodichev will battle it out for the jewellery later today.
WSOP 2012 Event #53 Places 3 to 10
3. Hugh Henderson (USA) – $322,866
4. Zachary Humphrey (USA) – $233,708
5. Matthew Graham (USA) – $171,135
6. Hai Chu (Australia) – $126,770
7. Bryan Piccioli (USA) – $94,971
8. Randy Ashe (Canada) – $71,933
9. Ryan Hughes (USA) – $55,093
10. Sylvain Gonon (France) – $42,656