Chris Hunichen Leads WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals After Day 3

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Could another online poker player take down a major live tournament? It’s certainly shaping up that way at the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) Foxwoods World Poker Finals, where Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen paces the field after three days of action. The tournament will crown a winner on Tuesday, when general elections will occur in the United States.

Twenty-eight players remain and Hunichen owns the largest stack at 714,000, or 142 big blinds. He’s over 100,000 ahead of the second place stack of Nikolai Yakovenko, who will come armed to Sunday’s festivities with 580,000, or 116 big blinds. The top 25 players will finish in the money.

One of the final eliminations of Day 3 went to Brock “t soprano” Parker, a dual World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner. Parker called all-in on a board of Q-3-2-5-8 only to see that his opponent, Ben Klier, held pocket eights for a rivered set. Parker showed a queen for top pair and then mucked his hand. Klier sits in fourth on the leaderboard entering Day 4 with a stack of 465,500 and is in search of his second WPT final table of the season.

Also making waves on Saturday was PokerStars sponsored pro Jason Mercier. Despite his laundry list of tournament victories, Mercier has only cashed in a WPT event once, taking 21st in last year’s World Poker Finals for $26,000. This year, he holds the eighth largest tally with 28 players remaining at 342,000 and could be poised for a run at his first WPT final table. Yesterday, Mercier moved all-in with a king-high straight and an opponent called for his tournament life with a set of fours. The board failed to pair on the river and Mercer added even more ammunition to his stack.

In WPT champ on WPT champ violence, Hoyt Corkins relegated Barry Greenstein to the rail. Corkins held A-K against Greenstein’s pocket nines and immediately flopped a king to pull ahead. Greenstein picked up a spade flush draw by the river, but the final card was a brick and Greenstein headed for the exit. Greenstein did not sign over a copy of “Ace on the River” to Corkins, but instead told his fellow pro, “I’ll get it to you the next time I see you.”

Full Tilt Poker pro Howard Lederer ran K-Q of spades into A-10 on his final hand at Foxwoods, while Allen Kessler came up short in a race against Bob Courtney to exit stage right. Former Foxwoods champ Mike Vela was also ousted on Saturday after his pocket nines could not withstand A-Q; his opponent flopped an ace and never looked back.

Here’s how the field of 28 stacks up entering Sunday’s action:

1. Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen – 714,000
2. Nikolai Yakovenko – 580,000
3. Josh Arieh – 548,500
4. Ben Klier – 465,500
5. Keven “Stamdogg” Stammen – 387,000
6. Mohsin “chicagocards1” Charania – 349,000
7. Jeff Forrest – 342,500
8. Jason Mercier – 342,000
9. Gavin Smith – 307,500
10. Bryon Springer – 293,000
11. Mike Meskin – 282,500
12. Bob Courtney – 266,500
13. Tom “Kingsofcards” Marchese – 249,000
14. Ardavan Yazdi – 247,000
15. Hoyt Corkins – 239,000
16. Sorel “Imper1um” Mizzi – 238,500
17. Christopher Bonita – 236,500
18. Andrew Batkin – 152,000
19. Besnik Ziba – 144,000
20. Larry Ruffino – 137,000
21. Bryan Piccioli – 123,500
22. Gerard Kane – 120,000
23. Mike Beasley – 120,000
24. Ronnie Bardah – 112,000
25. Alex Berger – 94,000
26. Ronald Lee – 82,000
27. Dave Inselberg – 76,500
28. Kyle “kwob20” Bowker – 70,000

The tournament picks back up today at Noon ET. When play halted on Saturday, the blinds were at 2,500-5,000 with an ante of 500. Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest WPT coverage.

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