The 2021 Wynn Millions continued onward on Wednesday, looking to fill the summertime void in tournament poker with one of the biggest events on the post-COVID calendar. They have done this in spades, smashing a $10 million guaranteed event and bringing the poker world out in droves. On Wednesday, the tournament completed Day 3, popping the money bubble and putting Anthony Marquez into the lead with a ravenous pack of pros in pursuit of him.
Business Before the Cash Out
There was some work to do on Wednesday for the players left standing in the 2021 Wynn Millions. 162 players stepped to the line, looking to get down to the money bubble at 134 players on Day 3. For 28 players, there would be nothing to show for their two-plus days of work but, for those lucky 134 players who made it through to the money, an additional flag on their Hendon Mob resume and a minimum $25,091 was awaiting them.
It would be an arduous grind. For almost four hours, the players jousted for those prized 134 places at the cash out cage. Along the way, players such as WPT Champions’ Club members Ema Zajmovic and Aaron Mermelstein and Poker Hall of Famer Jack McClelland pushed their short stacks and were unable to come out on the other side. McClelland’s departure was particularly painful as he was coolered by Kristen Bicknell after he shoved with pocket tens into Bicknell’s pocket Kings.
When the bubble popped, it went with another cooler of a hand. Alex Foxen opened up the betting only to have Carlos Alvarado make his stand from the small blind. Foxen made the call and showed pocket Aces for battle, unfortunate for the pocket Kings that Alvarado held. The ten-high board did not help either player, keeping Foxen in the lead, sending Alvarado to the rail and sending the 134 cashers in the 2021 Wynn Millions into celebration mode.
$12 Million-Plus Prize Pool Starts to be Handed Out
After Alvarado’s departure, the cash out cage became a popular place for business. Mitch Halverson had nursed a short stack to the bubble, where he had only two chips to his name, so he was happy to have seen Alvarado’s departure. That singular elimination took Halverson from getting nothing for his two chips to getting $25,091 for his efforts. He was joined by former World Champion Ryan Riess, John Racener, Chris Moorman, and Kathy Liebert and Daniel Negreanu, who made the money jump to $27,099.
While these players were heading out the doors of the Wynn Las Vegas Resort, others were getting comfortable for the long haul. Start of day chip leader Frank Funaro fended off challengers throughout the day. He would lose a small stack of chips to Pavlo Veksler and struggle to build up any momentum to ward off the attacking hordes. He would finish off Day 3 in relatively the same place he started it, holding 905,000 in chips, but moving on to Day 4.
The place to be on Day 4 of the 2021 Wynn Millions is over the million-chip mark. 23 of the final 61 combatants are over that mark, including Joe Kuether (1.14 million) and Dylan Linde (1.2 million). WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Marquez will be the overall leader of this pack, but there are plenty of challengers who are looking to take him off the top of the mountain:
1. Anthony Marquez, 1.925 million
2. Ralph Perry, 1.915 million
3. Anthony Huntsman, 1.905 million
4. Santiago Soriano, 1.785 million
5. Maria Ho, 1.735 million
6. Ilyas Muradi, 1.7 million
7. Ari Engel, 1.57 million
8. Toby Lewis, 1.51 million
9. Phillip Shing, 1.435 million
10. Daniel Sepiol, 1.43 million
The 61 remaining players will reconvene at noon on Thursday, safe in the fact that they will be guaranteed $46,060 in cash from the prize pool. It might be a long day of action as the schedule says that the final table is expected to be played on Friday afternoon. What will interest most is the 17th place position, which is the first one that will be a six-figure payday. Of course, the eventual goal for all of the 61 players is that first place payday of $2,018,666 in the 2021 Wynn Millions.