2013 WPT Canadian Spring Championship Day 3: Piccioli, Babakhani Looking Down at Field

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Things are getting serious at the 2013 World Poker Tour (WPT) Canadian Spring Championship. Day 3, contrary to our prediction, was a fairly short one for a major tournament, lasting only seven hours before the requisite 26 players were culled to narrow the field to two tables. At the end of the day, two names stood head and shoulders above the crowd: Bryan Piccioli with 3.441 million chips and Amir Babakhani with 3.321 million.

After the two chip leaders, two more players have chip stacks in the upper-million range: Christian “charder30” Harder (1.922 million) and Brant David Kostandoff (1.795 million). After them, there is a bit of a drop before a group of five other players with more than a million chips.

Our chip leader, Bryan Piccioli, cemented his position as play came to a close. Already holding a healthy sum of chips, he raised pre-flop to 56,000 and called after Robin Bergren three-bet to 126,000. After the flop of A-J-9, Bergren bet 90,000, Piccioli moved all-in, and Bergren folded.

Minutes later, Ravi Raghavan raised pre-flop and Piccioli re-raised, forcing Raghavan to fold. Piccioli’s hand: pocket Kings. On the next hand, he raised pre-flop and picked up the blinds and antes. He obliged his opponents by showing his pocket Queens, and revealing that on the A-J-9 hand, he had pocket Jacks. So that’s “pocket paint pairs” in a matter of minutes for a guy who already had the most chips in the tournament.

Then, just after all that, Piccioli picked up another pocket pair, Sixes. He raised to 56,000 pre-flop and called when Bergren moved all-in for 415,000 with J-8. Bergren was unable to improve and was knocked out in 19th place, ending the night and assuring Piccioli went into Day 4 as the chip leader.

Piccioli has been on a roll during the past month. At the beginning of April, he won the first World Series of Poker Asia Pacific (WSOP APAC) bracelet ever awarded, taking the title of Accumulator Event, good for a payday of $221,419. It was the New Yorker’s first live tournament cash since June 2012, when he finished seventh in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP. He has won just over $600,000 in his live tournament career and is now guaranteed another $19,487 by virtue of making the final two tables of this week’s tournament in Montreal.

Day 4 of the WPT Canadian Spring Championship is just now getting underway at the Playground Poker Club as the remaining 18 players try to become one of the final six.

2013 World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship – Day 3 Chip Leaders

1.    Bryan Piccioli  –  3,441,000
2.    Amir Babakhani  –  3,321,000
3.    Christian Harder  –  1,922,000
4.    Brant David Kostandoff  – 1,795,000
5.    Ravi Raghavan  –  1,394,000
6.    Carter Swidler  –  1,310,000
7.    Danny Suied  –  1,200,000
8.    Allen Butkovich  –  1,041,000
9.    Jason Duval  –  1,015,000
10.    Tao Liang  –  956,000
11.    Martin Leblanc  –  822,000
12.    Jonathan Bardier  –  789,000
13.    Brian Beggs  –  745,000
14.    Josh Field  –  656,000
15.    Barry Kruger  –  628,000
16.    Ronnie Bardah  –  405,000
17.    Jaspal Brar  –  345,000
18.    Stephane Alarie  –  259,000

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