Day 3 from the World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship hasn’t been totally eventful outside of a big splash made during one of the breaks. We mean “big splash” literally, as during the break, most players were drenched thanks to the Bellagio water show. During the break, most players went outside for a breath of fresh air. During the water show, a giant gust of wind took one of the streams and doused everyone on the deck of the Fontana Lounge. Players came scrambling in as if a tsunami were about to hit right before the 15-foot doors were drenched. Many of those outside got the worst of it and the entire room erupted in laughter. Fortunately, officials at the Bellagio were ready with towels in hand.
The pulse of some of the players is extremely upbeat. Faraz “The-Toilet” Jaka is still in contention and looking very positive and confident. Hiding behind a mountain of chips is Shawn Buchanan, who during the break said he’s feeling great about his chances. Justin Young, who finished in 10th place in this event last year, is also looking like he’s on top of his game. Brandon Cantu has been accumulating chips like it’s his business and has been playing very strong poker all day.
Some big name pros are still here, including several former World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winners. That elite group includes Phil Hellmuth (1989), Scotty Nguyen (1998), and Carlos Mortensen (2001). Hellmuth has been very talkative during his stay here and got into quite a few boisterous conversations with Soheil Shamseddin. Hellmuth has also been running around the tournament floor in the middle of hands talking to his friends and making comments that make the table laugh. After seeing Mortensen’s healthy stack, he said, “Don’t gamble, Carlos” over and over until he skipped his way back to his seat on the other side of the room.
There’s a mixture of young players and the old guard here and it looks like whomever makes the final table will be noteworthy. There aren’t too many anonymous players left in the field and there’s no doubt that the final table will make for good television.
We spoke with Buchanan and Jaka during the last break. They are playing well, running well, and it couldn’t happen to genuinely nice guys away from the tables. At the tables, both are intimidating people who have most opponents avoiding them when they can.
We’re now down to seven tables and we have several days more to play until the final table on Saturday. We’ll be continuing our reports from the Fontana Lounge here at the Bellagio this week.