October 4, 2023

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Aaron Mermelstein Leads After Bubble Bursts In 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event

A triple elimination during hand-for-hand play saw the money bubble burst late on day 3 of the 2022 World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in main event. With two eliminations needed, the trio of players (Robert Lipkin, Ognjen Sekularac, and Tom McCormick) that were knocked out split the first in-the-money payout of $15,000 and ensured at least that much for the remaining contenders. Of course, each and every player left has their eyes on the championship gold bracelet and the top payout of $10,000,000 that will be awarded next weekend.

Just a week after this year’s main event got underway, the second-largest field in the tournament’s history (8,663 entries) has been narrowed to 1,295 hopefulls by the end of day 3, which was the first day that the full field combined under one roof after four starting flights and a pair of day 2’s.

Two-time World Poker Tour main event winner Aaron Mermelstein holds the chip lead heading into day 4 with 2,059,000. The 35-year-old poker pro from Philadelphia, PA has more than $3.6 million in prior career tournament earnings, including a ninth-place finish in the $50,000 pot-limit Omaha event earlier this summer for $128,159.

Mermelstein is the only player to finish day 3 more than two million, with another 82 players bagging up over a million. The next-largest stacks belong to Michael Rocco (1,866,000), bracelet winner Gabi Livshitz (1,835,000), and Brandon Lulov (1,679,000).

Martin Zamani has a laugh late on day 3There are several more big names with healthy stacks following the end of day 3, including two-time bracelet winner Martin Zamani (1,483,000), bracelet winner David Diaz (1,404,000), Justin Lapka (1,255,000), bracelet winner and 2016 main event third-place finisher Cliff Josephy (1,203,000), Ali Imsirovic (1,128,000), and five-time bracelet winner John Juanda (1,097,000).

Six former winners of the main event are still alive with a chance of repeating, including reigning world champion Koray Aldemir (537,000). 2020 champion Damian Salas (405,000), 2018 champion John Cynn (343,000), 2003 champion Chris Moneymaker (268,000), 2013 champion Ryan Riess (243,000), and 2012 champion Greg Merson (168,000) are all still in contention.

CardPlayer’s own Barry Shulman, a two-time bracelet winner and champion of the 2009 WSOP Europe main event, is also still in with a chance. Shulman bagged up 347,000 heading into day 4.

Day 3 started with 2,993 players remaining, which meant that nearly 1,700 players saw their main event runs come to an end before action concluded today. There were plenty of notables among those to hit the rail, including 2021 main event runner-up George Holmes, two-time bracelet winner Erick Lindgren, Kelly Minkin, two-time bracelet winner Freddy Deeb, four-time bracelet winner Bradley Ruben, six-time bracelet winner Jeff Lisandro and two-time main event final tablist Jeff Shulman.

The final 1,295 players will return for day 4 at noon on Sunday, July 10. Players will return to blinds of 4,000-8,000 with an 8,000 big blind ante. The average stack of just over 400,000 would represent 50 big blinds when cards get back in the air in the biggest poker tournament in the world.

Here is a look at the top ten chip stacks heading into day 4:

Rank Player Chips
1 Aaron Mermelstein 2,059,000
2 Michael Rocco 1,866,000
3 Gabi Livshitz 1,835,000
4 Brandon Lulov 1,679,000
5 Leo Zamarripa 1,643,000
6 Jake Abdalla 1,615,000
7 Thai Nguyen 1,600,000
8 Jordyn Miller 1,580,000
9 Mathieu His 1,565,000
10 Ian Armstrong 1,563,000

For a full list of chip counts heading into day 4 CLICK HERE.

You can follow the 2022 World Series of Poker on Card Player’s series landing page, sponsored by Global Poker, the fastest growing online poker room in the world. Check out the series schedule, as well as event recaps, news, and player interviews.