Phil Ivey leads $50,000 Poker Players Championship in money stage

For the second straight night, Phil Ivey leads Event #58: $50,000 Poker Players Championship, ending the day at 4,775,000 and keeping his hopes for his 11th WSOP bracelet very much alive.

Ivey either stayed at the top of the chip leaderboard for the entire day and has now cashed in this event for the second year in a row, and the fifth time in his career.

The best of the best in poker remain among this year’s 12 players. Close on Ivey’s heels are bracelet winners Josh Arieh (4,029,000) and Bryce Yockey (2,386,000).

Day 3 went down to the wire, as 14 players remained nearing the end of Level 18. Tournament officials decided to play until the money bubble broke and only the 12 money finishers remained.

Timofey Kuznetsov, Daniel Cates, Andrew Brown, and Chris Klodnicki all tried to outlast each other with the minimum cash of $72,078 on the line. The four spent most of the last scheduled level at five big blinds or fewer, with Kuznetsov busting out with about 20 minutes remaining in the day.

Hand-for-hand play commenced after, with Klodnicki finally busting out in 13th place on the third hand of the extra level, losing ace-seven to Josh Arieh’s king-queen in no-limit hold’em.

The 12 players remaining have a combined 22 bracelets among them, including four-time champion and 2018 WSOP Player of the Year Shaun Deeb, who looks to be building momentum in this year’s race.

Notable eliminations on Day 3 included former Poker Players Championship winners John Hennigan (2014) and Matthew Ashton (2013). Among the big batch to hit the rail on Day 3 are Jason Mercier, Robert Mizrachi, Phil Galfond, Brian Hastings, David Baker, John Monnette and Adam Friedman.

Considered by many to be the most coveted bracelet of the WSOP, the final two days of the 2019 edition of the Players Championship is set to be a thriller, with a loaded field of poker’s greatest battling it out in the 8-game mix.

Thursday’s schedule is to play down to six players, then bring those six back for the final table on Friday.