The PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship flies through Day 3 like a bullet through the temple with Scott Baumstein leading the final 38-players and a whole host of stars waiting in the wings to trip him up.
It’s easy to make a mistake as a poker writer.
Isaac Haxton looks a lot like Isaac Hayes, and when the theme from Shaft gets into your head, the Super High Roller Bowl V winner doesn’t stand a chance.
In 2017, during the deep end of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, when Scott Blumstein was pushing everyone into a one way elevator to Level Rail, I was so sure it was Scott Baumstein, I began to feel sorry for him when I realised the truth.
Redemption is nigh.
Day 3 is deader than a dead dog, and 38 players remain from 1,039, and sitting at the head of the chip counts looking like a shiny brass belt buckle is Scott Baumstein. I’ve checked. It’s the right one this time.
It was a day that saw the bubble burst like a bluebird does when you stick a straw into its mouth and blow very hard. I mean, come on, what do you do when you pick up pocket kings facing a three-bet?
You go for it.
The Englishman, Paul Leckey, did go for it, only to see the three bettor Tianle Wang pick up pocket aces. The dealer put five community cards on the board, none of them were regal, and Leckey was out.
PokerStars eased Leckey’s pain by giving the man a package for the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Monte Carlo, so now he has to worry about the price of a bottle of water and a ham baguette for the next four months.
Everyone is guaranteed $86,400, including nine Platinum Pass winners, so PokerStars still has a chance to get someone on Oprah’s sofa. Of the people likeliest to win the $5.1m first prize, you can’t look past the WSOP bracelet winner, Julien Martini (3,250,000), partypoker’s newest recruit Mikita Badziakouski (1,910,000), the former Irish Open winner Griffin Benger (1,560,000), the Day 1 chip leader Talal Shakerchi (1,330,000), the Global Poker Index (GPI) Female Player of the Year, Kristen Bicknell (1,115,000), the former WSOP One Drop High Roller, Tony Gregg (905,000), and if he can get a double-up or two, the World Poker Tour (WPT) Champions Club member, Marvin Rettenmaier (630,000).
Here’s a reminder of what they’re fighting for.
Final Table Payouts
*Includes $1m added by PokerStars
And the current state of affairs.
Top 10 Chip Counts
1. Scott Baumstein – 4,240,000
2. Yiannis Liperis – 4,210,000
3. Julien Martini – 3,250,000
4. Louis Boutin – 3,040,000
5. Ramon Colilas – 2,895,000
6. Luigi Knoppers – 2,715,000
7. Jack O’Neill – 2,525,000
8. Jason Koonce – 2,235,000
9. Luke Marsh – 2,065,000
10. Marc Perrault – 1,935,000
Wait is that Jason Koon or Jason Koonce?
The Poker Gods have a limp sense of humour.