After two days of domination from Ukrainian Igor Yaroshevskyy at the PokerStars Championship Panama, James Salmon suddenly has the chip lead after Day 3 today.
Salmon, who is now on the way to his biggest live cash so far with a comfortable chip lead and just 30 players left, has only one live cash outside of the US prior – six days ago here at the PSC.
His breakthrough moment today came when he picked off a bluff by the dominating chipleader Yaroshevsky that let him double up and move to the top of the leaderboard.
He’s followed by Germany’s Robin Luca Wozniczek and Mexican pro JC Alvarado while Yaroshevskyy still lingers in the Top 10.
Byron Kaverman, Jason Koon, Jessica Perez Borrego and UFC legend Tito Ortiz are also still around, which should make for another interesting day tomorrow.
PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event Top 10
1. James Salmon United States 1,020,000
2. Robin Luca Wozniczek Germany 658,000
3. JC Alvarado Mexico 648,000
4. Vincent Allevato Canada 596,000
5. Vasyl Vertianov Ukraine 586,000
6. Byron Kaverman United States 569,000
7. Denis Timofeev Russia 520,000
8. Jonathan Abdellatif Belgium 513,000
9. Igor Yaroshevskyy Ukraine 506,000
10. Kenneth Smaron United States 471,000
Check the full chip counts for the final 30 and the rundown of all the day’s action here.
Short Day, Long Demise
It was a short day for the players in the main event, even for those who made it through to Day 4.
The schedule was cut to four levels of 90 minutes. According to the official PokerStars schedule the first of these would still have been a 75 min level, but this was prolonged to the full 90 minutes that is usually played on Day 3 of PS Championships.
What has been one of the longest ‘hanging-in-there’ stories of PS events finally came to an end during the last level of today.
EPT and WSOP bracelet winner Davidi Kitai had finished both the Day 1 and Day 2 at the very bottom of the chip counts but still almost went through to Day 4.
He spent the whole day in the bottom five of the leaderboard before eventually busting in 36th place.
Ortiz Tries to Bust, Can’t
Former MMA world champion and Friend of PokerStars Tito Ortiz from California has a seat in Day 4 of the PSC Panama main event.
With his slightly erratic playing style he managed to evade the reads of the pros and kept a healthy stack until half an hour before the end of the day.
He 5-bet all-in against tight player Roman Pavliuk from the Ukraine, thereby ignoring the advice he was given by PokerStars team pro Felipe Ramos (read more about this soon on PokerListings) and Pavliuk snap-called with aces.
That beat Ortiz’s K-Q, who was then left with 10 big blinds. In the last hand of the day Ortiz raised from middle position and then called a 3-bet from long-time chipleader Yaroshevsky.
On a A♣ 2♠ 4♦ flop Ortiz checked and Igor put him all-in. “The only reason I do this,” exclaimed Tito, “is because I want to go out and spend time in the sun tomorrow.”
Then he called with T♥ 5♣. Igor showed K♥ 9♥ and was ahead but Tito turned the nut straight with the 3♦. He’ll be back tomorrow with 12 big blinds.
Jessica Perez Borrego, the last woman in the main event, managed to finish the day in the Top 15 for the third time in a row. Day 4 of the PSC Panama main event starts at 12 PM ET and will be accompanied by the PokerStars live stream. Watch all the action right here!