World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Day 3: Cyrus Farzad Leads Final 18, Greg Mueller 2nd

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Day 3 of the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event began with 84 players looking to burst the money bubble and move closer to the $500,000 top prize. After a long day on the felt, only 18 survived, with Cyrus Farzad and his 2.6 million chips leading the way.

With the top 63 players making the money, the bubble was reached rather quickly Monday. It burst shortly after players returned from their second break; according to the WPT Live Updates team, Elio Fox moved all-in preflop from the hijack for 90,000 (15 big blinds) and former WPT Championship winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko called on the button. After play ended at the other tables, Fox revealed {J-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Timoshenko tabled {A-Hearts}{A-Clubs}, putting the former World Series of Poker Europe Main Event champ at risk and in bad shape. The {9-Spades}{9-Hearts}{4-Spades}{7-Spades}{2-Hearts} didn’t provide any help to Fox, who left the tournament area empty-handed.

Each remaining player was guaranteed at least $7,500, but the focus for most was to build a big stack leading up to the final table. Among the players who cashed but fell by the wayside on Day 3 were Todd Terry (53rd – $8,200), Matt Keikoan (52nd – $8,200), Ray Henson (39th – $9,500), Jared Hamby (38th – $9,500), Dwyte Pilgrim (36th – $11,100), Isaac Baron (34th – $11,100), Erick Lindgren (33rd – $11,100), and Timoshenko (25th – $13,400).

While those players succumbed, others thrived. Cyrus Farzad took the chip lead late in the evening after winning a big pot against Jason Koon, who entered the day as one of the chip leaders. Farzad and Koon saw a flop of {Q-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{3-Clubs} and both checked to see the {10-Diamonds} hit the river. Koon led out for 47,000, but Farzad fired back with a raise to 200,000. Koon called, and the {8-Diamonds} landed on the river. Both players opted to check, and Farzad’s {9-Clubs}{9-Spades} for a set of nines bested Koon’s {K-Hearts}{Q-Hearts} for top pair.

"Every showdown we go to, you show a set or better," Koon said to Farzad after the hand. "If you bet the flop, I go broke. That’s how good I’m running."

That pot pushed Farzad way out in front of the rest of the pack, and despite losing back more than a million before play ended, he still leads the way going into Tuesday. Joining Farzad near the top of the leaderboard heading into Day 4 are Greg Mueller, Stephen Graner, Jeff Madsen, Max Steinberg, and Day 2 chip leader Ali Eslami.

Koon’s "run-good" didn’t last — he was the final elimination of the day, finishing in 19th place for $13,400. After losing a crucial flip to Jesse Martin, Koon was all-in for about 90,000 chips (4.5 big blinds) with {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} against Max Steinberg’s {3-Diamonds}{3-Spades}. The board ran out {K-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{2-Spades}{4-Spades} to keep Steinberg in front and send Koon out the door. With that elimination, the players bagged their chips and play concluded for the day.

Here’s a look at the remaining players going into the penultimate day of action:

2012 WPT Legends of Poker Day 3 Chip Counts

Place Player Chip Count
1 Cyrus Farzad 2,600,000
2 Greg Mueller 2,396,000
3 Stephen Graner 1,882,000
4 Jeff Madsen 1,675,000
5 Max Steinberg 1,125,000
6 Ali Eslami 1,065,000
7 Jim Willerson 988,000
8 Jesse Martin 931,000
9 Ramzi Srour 838,000
10 Sam Barnhart 756,000
11 Alan Myerson 704,000
12 Josh Hale 680,000
13 Joseph Cheong 580,000
14 Raouf Malek 505,000
15 Efren Abustan 451,000
16 Art Alaniz 405,000
17 David Marshall 400,000
18 Antonios Roungeris 337,000

Day 4 begins Tuesday at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) and the last 18 players will play down to the six-handed televised final table. We’ll have a recap of the action at the end of the day, so be sure to keep it locked in to PokerNews.com.

Data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.

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