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WPT: Day 3 of the Bellagio Cup

Mike 'SirWatts' Watson Leads Field of 32


The biggest story coming into day 3 of the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup IV was not about who cashed, but rather about who didn't. Long-time professional Bob Stupak finished day 2 with 55,000, and he had a decent shot to finish in the money. At least, that would have been the case if he had shown up.

A total of 125 players came into the Fontana Lounge at noon hoping to be one of the final 100 to reach the money. Stupak was nowhere to be found, and it was later determined that he was stuck in the hospital, possibly needing surgery. Stupak obviously had bigger fish to fry and a lot more to be concerned about than $19,000, but as the bubble approached, the biggest question was whether or not he had enough to withstand the mounting blinds and antes.

With about 20,000 remaining in his stack, Hevad Khan and Thuy Doan bet $600 that he would survive the bubble against Tim Phan, who felt he didn't have a chance. Phan's side of the bet was looking good, as Stupak's stack whittled away, and the field stayed strong with 105 players, but four quick eliminations later, Phan was forced to sweat a little as at least five hands were dealt hand-for-hand. At the end of five, Stupak was all in on his big blind, and everyone else survived to make him the bubble boy, albeit a sick one.

With Stupak gone, the field went into overdrive, and 10 players were gone within minutes. The action didn't stop, and along the way, many notables hit the rail, including Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman, Surinder Sunar, Justin Bonomo, Steve Zolotow, Haralabos Voulgaris, Scotty Nguyen, Phil Laak, Chris Bell, Scotty Nguyen, David Ulliot, Jonathan "Fatal Error" Aguiar, Joe Sebok, David Chiu, Lee Markholt, Jennifer Tilly, Gavin Smith, Todd Brunson, and Thayer Rasmussen.

Here's how the day's action went, according to's live updates page:

Thayer RasmussenTHAY3R Picks Up Chips

Thayer Rasmussen has picked up quite a few chips in today's first level, getting closer and closer to his neighbor, Mike "SirWatts" Watson. Rasmussen scored a bunch of those chips when his overpair held up against Bryan Devonshire's lower pair.


Bob StupakIn The Money

As the field size shrank to 101 players and hand-for-hand play began, word quickly spread around the room that Bob Stupak only had five hands remaining before he would be all in for his big blind.

Not surprisingly, play tightened up, and five hands later, Stupak was eliminated as the bubble boy.

Tournament director Jack McClelland made an announcement that Stupak was in the hospital, and may need an operation. It can't feel too good to bust on the bubble, but we imagine that Bob has bigger things on his mind. Nonetheless, we wish him a speedy recovery.


Jonathan AguiarJonathan Aguiar Eliminated

Jennifer Tilly raised in early position, and Jonathan Aguiar made the call. The flop came out 7-7-5, and Aguiar shoved for about a pot-sized bet. Tilly made the call and showed pocket jacks, and Aguiar was behind with A-5. The turn and river bricked out, and Aguiar was eliminated from the tournament.

Luke StaudenmaireMarco Johnson Eliminated by Luke Staudenmaire

During the redraw, we were able to figure out how day 1 chip leader Marco Johnson was eliminated. "CrazyMarco" got it all in with pocket nines against the pocket kings of Luke Staudenmaire. "IWEARGOGGLES" won the hand and knocked out Johnson.

Staudenmaire now has a little under 600,000.


Todd BrunsonTodd Brunson Eliminated by John Phan

Todd Brunson raises to 55,000, and John Phan reraises to 110,000. It is folded around to Brunson, who pretends to muck, jokingly, before moving all in for an additional 7,000. Phan makes the call and finds out that his A Q is way ahead of Brunson's K Q. The board runs out A 9 7 3 4, and Brunson is eliminated.


With the hour getting late and the focus shifting to making the final table, the players hit a wall and the action slowed down. After level 15 had ended, the final 32 players were sent home for the night.

Stay tuned to tomorrow at noon as we play down to the final television table of six.