San Remo, Seminole and Caesars Day 3

Yet again we’ve got three different high profile live poker tournaments to cover today. All three Main Events offered up some pretty impressive action with surprise takeovers, heated match-ups, and – in one notable instance – a record-breakingly hard and fast finish. Of course we’re talking about the Day 3 finishes of EPT San Remo, WPT Seminole Showdown and WSOP-C Caesars Palace.

While both the EPT San Remo and WPT Seminole Main Events had more than their fair share of exciting hands, it was the WSOP-C Caesars Palace Main Event that really captured today’s headlines. That’s because the tournament was decided in less than three hours thanks in large part to the outright domination of relative unknown Chris Johnson. Johnson had a leg-up, coming into Day 3 as the chip leader, but his lead was slim at best.

Johnson made the most of his extra ammunition early on, though, and with a little bit of luck he managed not only to maintain his lead throughout the rest of the final table but to increase it all the way through to the end. In less than three hours, Johnson emerged the victor. Over the course of the 160 final table minutes, Johnson eliminated five of his nine competitors, including the last and most important one – runner-up Brian England. Johnson’s performance was rewarded with a payout of $153,599 plus a gold championship ring and a seat at the WSOP-C National Championship later this month.

With 51 players still vying for the title, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown Main Event’s Day 3 action was considerably less decisive than what went down at Caesars, but the tournament still had some clear leaders. Young Taylor von Kriegenbergh was grinding hard, and as a result he had the unique distinction of being the first Main Event player to crack one million chips. He’ll go into Day 4 with the big stack at 1,080,500 chips.

Unfortunately for Kriegenbergh, another Seminole player was hustling hard today, and as a result second place stack Abbey Daniels is less than 100,000 chips behind. At this point the competition is clearly between those two as the other remaining players have yet to pass the half million chip mark. If Daniels and Kriegenbergh ever see the same table tomorrow the Seminole audience could be in for a showdown worthy of the tournament’s name.

Finally, the EPT San Remo Main Event whittled 164 players down to just 60 by the end of Day 3. Though Roberto Spada emerged as the chip leader going into Day 4 (with 1,441,000), some of the best action of the day was provided by Gianluca Benvenuto – the only European contender at a table full of high profile American pros. Benvenuto single-handedly eliminated some of the tournament’s last big names, including Vanessa Selbst and Carter Phillips, and fell just short of also sending Joe Cada to the rail.

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