Justin Bonomo’s lead atop the all-time live tournament cashes leaderboard might be short lived. Bryn Kenney, who entered the day only $260,000 behind, bagged a huge stack on Day 3 at the 2021 World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio in Las Vegas. He could be just two days away from the $1.2 million first place prize.
Bonomo also reached the money but was eliminated in 74th place for $19,385. That puts the 36-year-old future Poker Hall of Famer at $57,194,647 lifetime. Kenney would need to cash for at least $287,263 in this event to regain the lead, which means he’d need to finish in at least fifth place.
Following Friday’s session, which ended just before midnight, the original field of 716 entrants had dwindled down to just 29. The defending champ, Alex Foxen, was eliminated in 90th place, one spot after the bubble burst, good for $18,110.
Foxen’s two-year run as the Global Poker Index Player of the Year is in jeopardy with Ali Imsirovic holding a huge lead over him with just two weeks remaining in 2021. He earned some points at Bellagio this week, but he might be too far back to catch up before time runs out.
Big Names in the Money
A number of other big stars were felted on Day 3, including FiveThirtyEight political guru Nate Silver (89th for $18,110), David “ODB” Baker (79th for $19,385), WPT G.O.A.T. Darren Elias (65th for $21,045), Joseph Cheong (64th for $23,165), Nick Schulman (60th for $23,165), Jason Koon (52nd for $25,850), Erik Seidel (46th for $29,230), and Andrew Lichtenberger (32nd for $38,890).
There are still plenty of high-profile players still standing in one of the WPT’s most prestigious annual events. That includes the 2018 champion Dylan Linde, who bagged 1,720,000, a healthy 86 big blinds (blinds will resume at 10,000/20,000/20,000 on Saturday at noon PT).
Gianluca Speranza finished the session with the chip lead at 2,360,000. Matt Berkey, in search of his first major live poker tournament title, bagged the smallest stack at 170,000 and will come back to the Bellagio for Day 4 with less than nine big blinds.
Roller Coaster Ride for Kenney
Kenney ended the day with 2,095,000 (105 big blinds) and is in great position heading into the crucial Day 4. But he lost nearly one-third of his stack over the final two hours of play.
Prior to his slight decline in chips, he won perhaps the most memorable hand of the tournament thus far against Taylor Black on a brutal cooler. In the wild hand, Kenney called a three-bet all-in with for 1.4 million on a flop of . Black, holding for the third nuts, was drawing dead and was left with just 14 big blinds.
Miraculously, Black was able to regroup and spun his stack back up to 1,550,000 (78 big blinds) before play ended. Pat Lyons (1,565,000), Sam Panzica (750,000), and Elio Fox (620,000) are also among the final 29 players.
On Saturday, the session won’t conclude until the final table of six has been reached. Those players will then come back on Sunday to finish off the $10,400 buy-in tournament. Each remaining player is guaranteed at least $38,890, and the eventual champion will take home $1,241,430.
*Lead photo from WPT.com.