Sam El Sayed Dominates Days 3 And 4 At WPT Championship
A total of 116 players returned to compete on Day 3 of the WPT Championship in Las Vegas. Though chip leader Abe Mosseri was one of only two players to start the day over the 600,000 chip mark, it didn’t take long for several of his opponents to surpass him. By the end of Day 3, three different competitors had passed the next milestone of one million chips.
At the forefront with 1,107,000 chips was Sam El Sayed, but the second place stack sitting in front of Nenad Medic was less than 10,000 chips behind. Steven Kelly, who not only already has a WSOP bracelet but who’s been playing well the entire WPT Championship tournament, was a strong third with 1,005,000 chips.
Day 3 saw more than half the remaining hopefuls leave Las Vegas disappointed, with just 52 players left to continue on to compete on Day 4. The other seven players starting Day 4 in the top ten were: Christian Harder, Roger Teska, Shannon Shorr, David Chiu, Justin Young, Alan Sternberg and Galen Hall. This year’s British high roller phenomenon, Sam Trickett, was sitting just outside the top ten in 12th, and the dangerous Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott wasn’t far behind in 16th. Barely hanging on with the 45th stack was controversial WPT Spanish Champion Tekintamgac.
WPT Amneville winner El Sayed was still leading the pack several hours into Day 4, having doubled his stack to over 2 million chips. Fellow Day 3 top tenner Galen Hall is also holding strong, but Trickett hit the rail just short of the bubble. Faring only slightly better, Dave Ulliott’s promising Day 4 start ended with a small cash when the English pro busted shortly after the bubble was reached at 27 players. The legendary Doyle Brunson is also out, as is Day 2 leader Mosseri and 2008 WSOP Champion Kenny Tran.
Late in the day, Galen Hall picked off a few key pots to surge past El Sayed and finish in first with only 15 players left. As a testament to how tough this year’s competition has been, Hall’s lead going into Day 5 represents the first notable gap a first place starter has had the whole tournament. Hall has 3,438,000 chips while second place stack, El Sayed, finished with 2,774,000.
Many of the other top ten WPT Championship Day 4 finishers are repeat performers. For example, third place stack Roger Teska, fifth place stack Shannon Schorr, sixth place stack Steven Kelly, ninth place stack Nenad Medic and tenth place stack Justin Young have all made top ten appearances on previous days of this year’s WPT Championship competition, leaving little to no room for anyone else to advance.