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WPT -- Doyle Brunson Classic Championship Day 3

John Phan Wins 2008 Card Player Player of the Year


John Phan - 2008 Player of the YearOne day after the snowfall settled upon the mountains surrounding Las Vegas, the Card Player Player of the Year race was settled, as well.

When day 2 ended at the Doyle Brunson Classic Championship, there was only one threat remaining to John Phan and his POY run. Michael Binger, sitting with 67,000 to start the day, gave Phan a sweat with a few early double ups. Though Binger was able to make the money, his quest for the title was taken from him during the last level of the evening. His elimination meant that, barring a miracle back east at the Trump Taj Mahal, John Phan had essentially locked up poker's most respected yearly award. Phan is the seventh player to win the award after having come close to winning in 2005 before being abruptly leapfrogged by Men "The Master" Nguyen in the final days.

As for the main event, it was business as usual. A total of 139 players returned for day-3 action, hoping to be one of the 100 who would finish in the money. Many expected play to slow down near the bubble, but a huge pot right before hand-for-hand play allowed the tournament to continue at break-neck speed.

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

Michael BingerMichael Binger Doubles Up

So you're telling me there's a chance? Michael Binger doubled up when his pocket kings went to battle against pocket tens and he came out victorious on a board of A K 6 9 A. Binger was all in for 76,100, and he now holds a stack of 160,000. He will need to finish in first place to beat John Phan for POY honors, and we'll keep you posted on his progress.

The Bubble Bursts

After Frieberg's elimination, everyone in the room waited for hand-for-hand play to begin. As the clock continued to run, the field was alerted to a table that was still involved in a hand. The board read J 10 10 A 8, and Jason Dewitt bet 62,000. David "Chino" Rheem moved all in, having Dewitt's remaining 263,000 covered. A crowd of about 35 formed around the table, awaiting Dewitt's decision. After about five minutes, Dewitt called, and Rheem instantly turned over A A for a full house. Dewitt mucked and slowly walked away from the table as the field of 100 celebrated their cash.

Phil HellmuthPhil Hellmuth Gets Rivered

A player raised in early position to 11,000, and Phil Hellmuth called from the big blind. The flop came A A 9, and both players checked. The turn was the 6, and Hellmuth checked. His opponent bet 18,000, and Hellmuth moved in for a total of 60,000. His opponent called and showed A 8 for trip aces. Hellmuth showed 7 4 for a flush, but the river was the 9, double pairing the board and giving his opponent a full house, eliminating Hellmuth.

Annie Duke Gets Runner-Runnered

Annie Duke was all in and called by Mike Matusow on a flop of K 9 6. Duke showed A K, and Matusow turned over.... Q 10. The turn and river ran out A 4, and Matusow's flush took down Duke's two pair, eliminating her from the tournament.

Barry G Takes Out Two

Barry Greenstein had Jon Turner and Minh Ly all in and covered with the best hand. Greenstein showed pocket aces, Ly showed pocket kings, and Turner was way behind with A-K. The board ran out 7 5 3 4 J, and Turner and Ly were eliminated. Greenstein now has 430,000.

Doyle BrunsonMichael Binger Busts, John Phan Celebrates

Michael Binger was all in holding A 7 but was dominated by his opponent's A Q. A queen on the flop and no help on the turn meant that Binger was out, giving Phan the title as 2008 best overall player.

Doyle Brunson Exits His Own Tournament

Doyle Brunson made a move with K J against Abe Mosseri's pocket sevens. The board came 10 high, meaning that Brunson was eliminated from the tournament bearing his name. Despite getting on in years, the young-at-heart Brunson has proven time and time again that he can hang with players nearly a fourth his age.

Day 3 Ends

The third full day of play has come to an end here at Bellagio. A total of 55 players will return Wednesday at noon to play another five levels. Join us then as we continue to bring you coverage of the 2008 Doyle Brunson Classic Championship.