2018 WSOP Main Event: Day 3 Winners and Losers

In Sun Geoum

Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event saw 2,786 survivors from an original starting field of 7,874 return to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino where they were divided up across the Brasilia, Pavilion, and Amazon rooms in the convention area of the venue. At the end of the day, the 1,182 players who remained were all subsequently guaranteed a payout of at least $15,000 for their hard fought efforts, with an $8.8 million top prize and a place in the WSOP history books awaiting the tournament’s eventual champion.

Hellmuth Berated and Eliminated

Half the remaining players would have to be eliminated on Day 3 before its survivors could lock up a $5,000 return on their $10,000 buy-ins. Each player originally started Day 1 of the Main Event with a 50,000 chip stack, which incidentally was pretty much what 14-times WSOP bracelet holder Phil Hellmuth still had behind him when he was unceremoniously ousted from the contest holding A-K to Jans Arends’s A-9.

Overall, its been a pretty forgettable WSOP for Hellmuth so far, having scored just five cashes worth $24,412. Furthermore, Hellmuth came under intense criticism from his fellow pros for his conduct during the Main Event, with players such as Isaac Haxton, Justin Bonomo, Chris Day, and even Chris Moneymaker calling him out for his unacceptable behavior. As Shaun Deeb explains:

“This is so wrong by Phil.. you cannot talk in a multi-way pot and give away your weakness with an opponent still to act… If I’m sitting with a king-high flush draw I know that Phil is not continuing if I call. That totally affects this action and totally hurts his opponent’s equity.”


Another previous Main Event winner to exit the arena was Chris Ferguson, but last year’s WSOP Player of the Year still managed 14 cashes this year worth $237,633, with a handful of event still left to play. Joining Ferguson on the rail was a plethora of other notable professionals, including the likes of Jason Mercier, Greg Merson, Tom Marchese, JC Tran, Loren Klein, Eli Elezra, Steffen Sontheimer, Erick Lindgren, Parker Talbot, Matt Waxman, and Matt Berkey.

Bubble Burst

After hand-for-hand play had been instigated, two all-ins occurred in the same round, with Ross Mallor (A-K) facing the pocket queens of Ben Cade, and Matthew Hopkins (A-5) all-in against Bryce McVay’s A-Q. While Mallor managed a timely double-up, not so fortunate for Hopkins who became this year’s bubble boy when the board ran out 10-8-6-2-A. It was not all bad news for the UK player, though, who received a free entry into the 2019 WSOP Main Event as compensation.

The play then took an overnight break, with the action on Day 4 scheduled to get underway on Sunday, July 8, at 11am local time.


By the conclusion of action on Day 3, US players In Sun Geoum (photo) and Frank Flowers had run their stacks up to 1,696,000 and 1,624,000 respectively to top the chip counts. Flowers has $549,000 in career earnings, and also runs a non-profit charity organization that helps the less fortunate in the city of Poughkeepsie in New York state.

“I’ve met a lot of really cool people. Even the guys that I’m busting. We are shaking hands and hugging”, explained Flowers. “They say ‘Even if you win, I know it’s going to a good cause.’ They know I do a lot of charity stuff and what not. They aren’t even upset when they lose to me.”

Meanwhile, Spain’s Samuel Bernabeu occupies a third spot overall on the leader board with 1,418,000 in chips, followed by Michael Lavenburg (1,356,000), and Germany’s Julius Malzanini (1,292,000).

Amongst the big name pros finishing on good-sized stacks was Eric Froelich (1,235,000), Ben Yu (1,040,000), Chris Moorman (969,000), Chino Rheem (904,000), 10-times bracelet holder Phil Ivey (827,000), and Kelly Minkin (795,000), who in 2015 became the last woman standing after finishing the Main Event in 29th place.

There are also five former Main Event champions with their hopes still alive, namely Scotty Nguyen (74,300), Jonathan Duhamel (450,000), Joe Cada (211,000), Robert Varkonyi (181,100), and Johnny Chan (162,000).

Also moving on to Day 4 is Allen Cunningham (511,000), Antonio Esfandiari (499,000), Shaun Deeb (474,000), Patrik Antonius (460,000), Barry Greenstein (262,000), and Men Nguyen (150,000), to name but a few.