LAS VEGAS -- Well, that was surprising. Day 3 began with 1,753 players and over 250 were escorted to the rail during the first level of play. One of those players entered Day 3 with a top 20 stack and had a history of main event success, but for Jean-Robert Bellande, his dreams of another deep run fell apart quickly and left him devastated on his way home.
"There just aren't words to describe this agony," said Bellande on Twitter. "Don't wish this on anyone. #brokedevastation."
Bellande's breakdown began as his A-K lost to his opponent's K-10. On the very next hand, he picked up kings and ran those into aces. Finally, with only 40,000 of his starting 320,000 chips left, he lost a race with 5-5 to A-K. Bellande did not cash in the 2013 WSOP.
Actor Kevin Pollak was equally crushed as his main event ended early during Level II, moving all-in with a flush draw and failing to hit against his opponent's two pair. Pollak made Day 5 a year ago and went out on a brutal Q-Q versus Q-Q bad beat. He was content with that run ending so deep in the money, but this year was altogether different as he felt he made a mistake that ultimately resulted in his exit.
Jeremy Ausmus, Sam Holden, Xuan Liu, Robert Mizrachi and John Racener were among the other eliminations during the first level of play today.
Mark Kroon and Michael Mizrachi continue to set the pace in the main event as they push 600,000 in chips. Former main event champs Carlos Mortensen and Doyle Brunson also had strong starts, while Johnny Chan, Greg Merson and Tom McEvoy lost a bit during early play.
Small blinds: There will be five levels played today. ... There is a bar and radio studio now located in the Amazon Room. The bar is a popular attraction. The radio booth? Not so much. ... Phil Ivey is sitting at the feature table today. Doyle Brunson, Minh Ly and Shawn Sheikhan are at the secondary feature table. ... There is one table in the Amazon Room that began the day with 1.1 million in chips. ... There are no tables in Pavilion left, and the room will no longer be used for main event action. ... The Humphries are here to cheer on Phil Ivey holding their "Go Phil Ivey" sign as always. ... The big stacks seem to all be in Amazon today. ... There are televisions located over each of the secondary feature tables which allows fans to have a better view of the action. ... I say it every year, but man, these guys are relentlessly aggressive. ... Only Greg Merson, Rob Salaburu, Steve Gee and Russell Thomas remain from last year's main event final table. ... Blinds will be 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante when players return from their first break.