PokerStars Championship Panama: Salmon Leads, Ortiz Survives

Tito Ortiz

Igor Yaroshevskyy was continuing to dominate at PokerStars Championship Panama $5,300 Main Event. He had come into Day 3 as a massive chip leader, and little had changed as he moved his stack of 745,500 up to about 1 million with less than an hour remaining in the day.

Looking to close the day as the leader once more, he got involved in a pot with James Salmon at 3,000/6,000/1,000. Yaroshevskyy continuation-bet a king-high flop and got some resistance from Salmon in the form of a small raise. He came back with a reraise to 100,000, and Salmon called. Yaroshevskyy then barreled the turn and put Salmon all in on the river, and the America made a tough call with just king-queen for top pair. It proved good as Yaroshevskyy had an eight-high bluff, and just like that, the tournament took a major turn.

Instead of Yaroshevskyy continuing with the lead, it’s now Salmon who paces the remaining field of 30 players with a stack of 1,020,000. The Florida-based player would nearly double his live cashes with a win in the Main Event. Yaroshevskyy, meanwhile, still bagged a healthy 506,000.

Position Player Country Chip Count
1 James Salmon United States 1,020,000
2 Robin Luca Wozniczek Germanu 658,000
3 JC Alvarado Mexico 642,000
4 Vincent Allevato Canada 596,000
5 Vasyl Vertianov Ukraine 586,000

Another player who advanced was famed MMA fighter Tito Ortiz. Invited to the tournament at the behest of PokerStars, Ortiz has outlasted hundreds of more experienced players and held his own when battling some tough pros like Denis Timofeev, although he will limp into Day 4 after losing most of his stack to end the night.

Ortiz turned top pair, it wasn’t enough, and he sent nearly all of his stack to Pavliuk

Ortiz got in a raising war with Roman Pavliuk just a few hands before players were scheduled to bag, getting just under 40 big blinds in with king-queen against Pavliuk’s aces. Though Ortiz turned top pair, it wasn’t enough, and he sent nearly all of his stack to Pavliuk.

Left with only 10 big blinds, Ortiz managed a late double when he got a gutshot and live cards in against Yaroshevskyy’s king-high and turned a straight. Ortiz will take 117,000 into Day 4.

Other players making it through included Timofeev, JC Alvarado, Michael Lech, Byron Kaverman, Jason Koon, Mark Radoja and Jason Wheeler.

The money bubble burst early in the day, and all but eight of the eliminated players received payouts for their efforts. Davidi Kitai, Adrien Allain, Sergey Lebedev, Steve O’Dwyer, Martin Finger, Erik Cajelais, Daniel Dvoress and Ari Engel were among those making the money but failing to advance to bagging time.

The remaining runners return at noon local time on Saturday for Day 4, so come right back to PokerNews to follow the action.

Tito Ortiz still in

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