WSOP TODAY: July 12; Seven Aussies out to conquer Friday the 13th curse

Highlights from day 47 of the 2012 WSOP (July 12)

The race to the money is on in earnest for the remaining 719 players in the 2012 WSOP Main Event with just 53 unlucky souls set to miss out on a slice of the USD $62 million prizepool.

On day three, all players came together in the same room for the first time and by day’s end, Dave D’Alesandro (pictured left, with thanks to, a professional poker player from Wenonah, NJ has climbed to the top of the pile. D’Alesandro is a highly accomplished online pro and live tournament player, with almost $1 million in live tournament career earnings. He holds 1.1 million in chips.

Earlier, Ben Alcober had become the first player to cross the 1,000,000-chip mark before ending the session with 789,500. Notables also well placed heading into day four include Leo Wolpert (2009 WSOP Heads-Up champion), Vanessa Selbst (two-time gold bracelet winner), Sorel Mizzi (Canadian former gold bracelet winner), John Phan (two-time gold bracelet winner), Marcel Luske (top Dutch player), Shaun Deeb (top pro), David Tuchman (ESPN broadcaster), Antonio Esfandiari (two-time gold bracelet winner and Big One for One Drop winner), Gavin Smith (professional party-king and former gold bracelet winner), J.P. Kelly (two-time UK gold bracelet winner), and Johnny Chan (1987-88 World Champion).

Meanwhile, Dan Harrington (1995 World Champion and Poker Hall of Famer), Phil Galfond (former gold bracelet winner and high-stakes player), Nick Schulman (two-time gold bracelet winner), Michael Binger (former gold bracelet winner), Barny Boatman (veteran UK player), Will Failla (ranked tournament player), Robert Varkonyi (2002 World Champion), Eugene Katchalov (former gold bracelet winner), Brian Hastings (former gold bracelet winner), and Soi Nguyen (2010 November Niner) were among the player to hit the rail.

Defending champion Pius Heinz was below the average chip stack his entire duration in the tournament which lasted into the third day. He began the day with only 36,300 before running pocket sixes into the pocket aces of Gioang Nguyen, and that was that for the German.

Earlier in day three, Peter Eastgate (2008 World Champion), Sammy Farha (three-time gold bracelet winner; second to Chris Moneymaker in 2003 Main Event), John Racener (second to Johnathan Duhamel in 2010 Main Event), Jeff Shulman (2010 November Nine), Barry Greenstein (three-time gold bracelet winner; Poker Hall of Fame inductee), Marco Traniello (36 WSOP cashes in seven years), Earl Barron (former NBA player), Nenad Medic (former Canadian gold bracelet winner), James Dempsey (former gold bracelet winner), Karina Jett (runner up in 2011 Ladies World Championship) and Jerry Yang (2007 World Champion) exited the tournament.

Shane Warne was among the leading Aussies heading into day three but gave up his stack in a couple of crucial hands early in the day and soon found himself headed to the rail. Other Aussies who bowed out during day three included Bruno Portaro. Robert Spano, Kelvin Beattie, Stephen Lindebland, Aaron Lim, John Apostolidis, Cameron McNeill, Mel Judah, Joseph Caruso, Daniel Attard, Jason Pritchard and Matthew Russell.

Seven Aussies remain in the hunt for a spot in the money and beyond, with David Balkin, Paul Spiteri, Jackie Glazier, Kyle Cheong, Aaron Lim, Michael Weiss and Paul Birman carrying our nation’s hopes.

Day 3 chip count (top 20)

1 David D’Alesandro (USA) 1,100,000
2 Sean Rice (USA) 1,076,000
3 Jacob Balsiger (USA) 1,065,000
4 Leo Wolpert (USA) 1,003,500
5 Eric Greenberg (USA) 963,000
6 AJ Jejelowo (USA) 928,500
7 Daniel Rudd (UK) 834,500
8 Jonathan Seelbach (USA) 824,000
9 Michael Ferrell (USA) 821,000
10 Paul Volpe (USA) 820,000
11 Vanessa Selbst (USA) 814,000
12 Kyle Keranen (USA) 802,500
13 Benjamin Alcober (USA) 789,500
14 Juen Alban (France) 786,500
15 Cylus Watson (USA) 775,000
16 Michael Schneider (USA) 750,000
17 Erik Hellman (Sweden) 746,000
18 Sorel Mizzi (Canada) 738,000
19 Nicholas Augustino (USA) 720,500
20 Bryan Vanrijsbergen (Malta) 701,000

Aussies through to day 4 from day 3

180 David Balkin 366,000
434 Paul Spiteri 195,500
452 Jackie Glazier 87,000
588 Kyle Cheong 115,000
616 Aaron Lim 104,000
658 Michael Weiss 80,500
719 Paul Birman 17,500

• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla,

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