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Day 3 of the World Poker Challenge

Lee Markholt and David Pham Headline the Final Table


Phil Ivey Ends His StreakHistory was on the line Thursday during day 3 of the World Poker Challenge. The small field produced a final 27 players littered with the game’s most recognizable faces. Phil Ivey came into the day with his ninth World Poker Tour cash, and if history was any indication, Ivey would be a shoo-in for yet another WPT final table. Ivey had made the six-handed final table in each of the previous eight times he cashed, but despite making it all the way to the last table in play, Ivey failed to reach his goal by busting in 10th place.

Due to the relatively long bubble-play the night before, the field boasted more than a few unknown short-stacks to start the day, with the exception of three online professionals. They quickly got what was left of their chips all in and were eliminated, bringing the remaining 18 players to the final two tables. Here is the list of those finished 27th-19th, earning $18,733 each.

26. Boris Zivotov
19. Brian Green

Bryan Devonshire Takes The Chip LeadAfter consolidating at the final two tables, Bryan Devonshire took out two players in a massive pot that had him approaching the chip lead. Devonshire raised to 14,500 from the button and was called by Don Dooley and Ron Linden in the blinds. The flop came 10 9 6, and Dooley led out for 15,000. Linden moved all in for roughly 100,000, and Devonshire, who had both players covered, moved all in, as well. Dooley called all in and showed 7 6 for a pair and a gutshot-straight draw, Linden sheepishly turned over 5 5 for an underpair to the board, and Devonshire turned over 10 10 for top set. Devonshire was a huge favorite to win the pot, but the turn was the 8, giving Dooley his straight. Both Devonshire and his friend Jason Potter were disgusted by the miracle card on the turn and pleaded with the dealer to pair the board. The river was the 8, and Devonshire let out a loud, “Yes! One time!” as the board paired, giving him a full house and a stack of 455,000.

Michael Mizrachi Dangerous With ChipsDevonshire continued to chip up, knocking out Erik Seidel by making trips on the turn after Seidel had flopped two pair. But then it was Michael Mizrachi’s turn to heat up. Mizrachi started things off by taking out Chris Back, then his pocket queens held up against short-stack Joe LePorre to chip up to 400,000.

Jordan Rich came into the day second in chips, but struggled with his table draw, doubling up David Pham, among others, to put himself in jeopardy. Eventually, Rich ran into the set of nines of Potter to bust in 13th.

Another player who had struggled throughout the day was none other than Phil Ivey. Ivey took some hits to his stack as players chipped away, grinding him down to just under 100,000. It took a battle of the blinds with Tim West to put him back into contention. West got it all in with K J but was dominated by Ivey’s A J. The flop brought a king, but Ivey hit a runner-runner straight to knock out the online pro and keep his streak alive, at least temporarily.

Steve Conigliaro had battled with a below-average stack all day, and eventually busted on the final table bubble when his pocket fours were out-flopped by Pham’s A-10. Here is a summary of the 18th- through 11th-place finishers.

18. Ron Linden
17. Don Dooley
16. Erik Seidel
15. Jordan Rich
14. Chris Back
13. Joe LePorre
12. Tim West
11. Steve Conigliaro

Heading into the final table of 10, here is what the stacks looked like:

Seat 1 — Zack Hyman — 422,000
Seat 2 — Michael Mizrachi — 505,000
Seat 3 — Jeff DeWitt — 175,000
Seat 4 — Chau Giang — 140,000
Seat 5 — David Pham — 343,000
Seat 6 — Jason Potter — 380,000
Seat 7 — Bryan Devonshire — 665,000
Seat 8 — Lee Markholt — 615,000
Seat 9 — Phil Ivey — 264,000
Seat 10 — Pat Poels — 305,000
Lee Markholt Takes Out IveyPlay continued for over an hour without an elimination, but after losing a big pot to Hyman, it was Ivey's turn to hit the rail. Markholt put Ivey all in from the small blind, and Ivey made the call, showing J 10. Markholt turned over A 8, and the board came 7 6 3 10 9 to bust Ivey in 10th. Despite making the final table of 10, Ivey's WPT final-table streak came to an end at eight. With the pot, Markholt took a step closer to his goal of making his first WPT final table. Markholt had previously cashed 14 times without making the final six, including a seventh-place finish at the Bike.
Another excruciatingly long hour later, Pat Poels was felted. Poels got it all in with pocket threes against Jeff DeWitt’s A-J, but the board paired twice to counterfeit Poels and send him home in ninth place.
Giang lost most of his stack to The Grinder when he was forced to lay down A-Q to Mizrachi’s pocket aces. His good fold didn’t leave him with much of a choice, and he was all in shortly after with pocket tens. This time, Mizrachi had the worst hand, but ended up making a nine-high straight with K-8 to get play down to the bubble.
Mizrachi wasn’t able to hold onto his chips, however, as he got it all in after flopping a pair of aces. Unfortunately for The Grinder, he was up against a better kicker from Potter and couldn’t catch up. Mizrachi may have bubbled, but the remaining six make up one of the most solid TV final tables of the season.

Here are the final chip counts for the final six players:

Zach Hyman — 285,000
Jeff DeWitt — 249,000
David Pham — 406,000
Jason Potter — 1,156,000
Bryan Devonshire — 674,000
Lee Markholt — 1,137,000

The final table will resume tomorrow at 5 p.m. PDT. Be sure to check back for hand-for-hand updates and chip counts to see which player will take home the nearly $500,000 first-place prize.