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World Poker Tour Championship Day 3: Lebanese Amateur Sam El Sayed Leads

Three Former Champions Among Remaining 52

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Sam El SayedDay 3 of the 2011 World Poker Tour Championship has ended, with just 52 pieces of debris remaining after the dust settled — about a quarter of the 220 that ponied up $25,000 for a plastic chair in the Fontana Lounge at the Bellagio.

The chip leader going into day 4 is cigar aficionado Sam El Sayed, who won the WPT Amneville Championship back in November to receive a free buy-in to the season-ending event. El Sayed said he took a lot of risks to get chips because his game is not tailored to grinding and surviving with a short stack. He wanted to finish the day with at least 600,000, and accomplished his objective by ending play with 1.107 million, good for a 9,000 chip lead over Nenad Medic.

“The way I play, I need chips,” said El Sayed, who was unaware he was the day-ending chip leader until Card Player told him so. “I don’t know how to play the short stack. I am aggressive, I see flops. Tomorrow is a very important day, and you need to come with a lot of chips, so the other player has to put his life on the line if he wants to play with you. Since I have 1 million in chips, I can put a lot of lives on the line.”

Already with one of the top stacks in the room, El Sayed managed to scoop a large pot versus Andrew Lichtenberger and last year’s champion David Williams. On a board reading 10-6-3-J-Q, with no flush possibility, El Sayed held 9-8 and had called two streets of heavy betting by Lichtenberger. On the river, Williams checked, and El Sayed bet out with his queen-high straight. Lichtenberger went into the tank, before finally calling. Williams allegedly mucked 6-3 for two pair, and El Sayed exposed the straight to the dismay of Lichtenberger. The pot catupaulted the Lebanese amateur to the chip lead.

In addition to Williams (480,000), two other former champions of the event survived to endure hours of boredom alleviated by moments of terror tomorrow on day 4. Yevgeniy Timoshenko held on with 166,500, while David Chiu ended play with 772,000, good for seventh on the chip counts.

During one of the breaks Card Player caught up with Christian Harder, who, with 887,000 in chips, is in fourth going into day 4. Harder final tabled the event in 2009.

Check out the video below:






Below is a list of the official chip counts:
Played resumes on Tuesday at noon local time.

Rank First Name Last Name Chip Count
1 SAM EL SAYED 1,107,000
2 NENAD MEDIC 1,098,500
3 STEVEN KELLY 1,000,500
4 CHRISTIAN HARDER 887,000
5 ROGER TESKA 846,000
6 SHANNON SHORR 819,500
7 DAVID CHIU 772,000
8 JUSTIN YOUNG 688,000
9 ALAN STERNBERG 676,500
10 GALEN HALL 659,000
11 SAMUEL TRICKETT 603,000
12 ROBERTO ROMANELLO 602,000
13 BURTON BOUTIN 528,500
14 JONATHAN TURNER 517,500
15 ASHTON GRIFFIN 510,500
16 DAVID ULLIOTT 500,000
17 ABRAHAM MOSSERI 495,500
18 WILLTHE THRILL FAILLA 485,000
19 DAVID WILLIAMS 480,000
20 KWINSEE TRAN 469,500
21 JOSEPH CHEONG 418,000
22 DAVID BROWNWORTH 405,000
23 JUSTIN SMITH 389,000
24 SCOTT SEIVER 382,500
25 TAYLOR VONKRIEGENBERGH 345,000
26 RICHARD HARROCH 343,000
27 ANDREW FRANKENBERGER 342,500
28 KENNY TRAN 342,500
29 DANIEL ALAEI 308,000
30 FARZAD BONYADI 308,000
31 HARALABOS VOULGARIS 292,500
32 WILLIAM BAXTER 255,000
33 DOYLE BRUNSON 250,000
34 JOSHUA BERGMAN 243,500
35 RANDY DORFMAN 230,000
36 ALEXANDER KUZMIN 218,000
37 MATTHEW HYMAN 213,000
38 ANDREW LICHTENBERGER 212,000
39 JONATHAN LAYANI 200,000
40 MICHAEL TAIT 198,500
41 PAUL RAUCHSTADT 195,000
42 THOMAS DRIVAS 178,000
43 YEVGENIY TIMOSHENKO 166,500
44 HAFIZ KHAN 156,000
45 ALI TEKINTAMGAC 155,000
46 DOUGLAS BOOTH 150,500
47 DAVID PETERS 148,500
48 TYLER SMITH 135,000
49 ANTHONY GARGANO 125,500
50 RYAN DANGELO 120,500
51 THOMAS MCCORMACK 108,500
52 STEPHEN ODWYER 70,000