Monday was Day 3 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida and 78 players returned to try to last yet another day on the trek to becoming the next WPT Champion.
When the remaining players dumped their chips from their bags at the start of the day, Nenad Medic piled up the biggest stack out of our surviving Canadians. He started out fifth overall with 839,000 chips. Fellow WPT Champions Club member Amir Babakhani also had a strong stack with 720,000, and Erik Cajelais was in rough shape with just 70,000.
The plan was to play down to the final 18 on Day 3, and that was accomplished a little after 9 p.m. local time, allowing the surviving players an earlier night to rest up before resuming on Tuesday at noon to play down to the final table.
Unfortunately, our three Canadians did not survive Day 3. It was not surprising that Cajelais did not last too long on Monday. He needed to double up a few times to get back to an average stack. Looking for an early double, he pushed all in from the cutoff and got it in with Sanjay Gehi. Cajelais was in trouble with to Gehi's red jacks. The board ran out queen-high and Cajelais' day was cut short. He earned $7,559 for finishing 75th.
Babakhani was the next to go. He three-bet squeezed all in for his 22-big-blind stack with and was called off by . Fortunately, he was holding a flush by the river and gained an important double-up. Only about 10 minutes later, Babakhani limped his button for 20,000 and faced a raise to 70,000. He three-bet to 140,000, Andy Philachack four-bet to 300,000, and Babakhani five-bet it all in for about 680,000. Our Canadian Champions Club member help and Philachack snap-called with aces of the same suits. Unable to spike a set, Babakhani was eliminated in 31st place for $12,817.
That left just Nenad Medic bearing the red and white, and shortly after Babkhani's elimination, Medic lost a big pot to Jared Jaffee. Medic bumped it up to 45,000 from middle position preflop and found two callers from the two players in the blinds. The flop was and the action checked to Medic who continued for 75,000. The small blind folded but Jaffee in the big blind check-raised to 215,000. Medic called to see the on the turn and both players checked. The came on the river and Jaffee checked. Medic bet 315,000 and Jaffee called, tabling for a low flush. Medic announced that he had a queen and mucked his hand, leaving 475,000 chips to his name.
Down to the final three tables, Medic found himself in a race for his tournament life. He three-bet all in from the small blind and Justin Zaki moved all in over the top from the big blind, forcing the initial raiser out of the pot. Medic turned over red eights and Zaki held . By the turn, Zaki had a straight and Medic was drawing dead. He collected $14,789 for finishing in 26th place.
When play ended for the day, Mark Dube held the most chips with 4,320,000. Check back with PokerNews Canada at the end of Day 4 to see who has made it to the final table at WPT Lucky Hearts.
Details and photo courtesy of the WPT Live Blog.