We're back! Unlike Days 1 and 2, when we stopped for the night after six levels, this time we're coming back for more, the plan being to play through Level 22 or stop at nine players, whichever comes first.
Our hour away from the poker room was spent mostly enjoying the buffet here at the Mantra Resort, Spa and Casino, a meal which included to our delight a super-sized serving of parilla, an overflowing plate full of assorted meats that is in fact a staple of Argentine cuisine. Speaking of, with 22 players remaining a half-dozen Argentinians were left in the field when the dinner break came, second at the time to Brazil who still had eight representatives with seats at the tables.
Keeping us from utterly slipping into food comas by hour's end was the excitement of recounting to one another the huge triple-up hand involving Vladimir Dobrovolskiy, Leandro Rubinsztain, and Angel Guillen that came just before the dinner bell had sounded.
A Guillen open from early position got callers in Dobrovolskiy (cutoff) and Rubinsztain (small blind). The flop came Q♦T♠8♣ and a smorgasbord of bets ensued, leaving Rubinsztain and Guillen all in and Dobrovokskiy with only a little left.
Indeed, there were so many chips in the middle of the table, it looked a lot like our plates would at dinner, the cuts of beef, sausages, and chicken claiming nearly every square inch available.
Dobrovolskiy managed to find an empty space on the felt to table his A♦A♣. Guillen showed K♠K♣. And Rubinsztain turned over the hand that currently beat them both -- J♠9♣!
Rubinsztain had to think he was about to be served a nice, fortuitous helping of chips just before dinner. But the turn brought the K♦, a card that complicated things enough to upset even the strongest constitution. Guillen had made a set and was alive with a draw to a full house or four of a kind. And Dobrovolskiy, too, had improved his slim chances just a touch and was hoping for a jack to fill a gutshot to Broadway.
Then came the river... the 8♦! Just before the rest of us filled up, Guillen had filled up... and how!
A whopping 550,000-chip pot was pushed Guillen's way, catapulting him into second place behind leader Juan Garcia. Dobrovolskiy was left with table scraps for chips with less than 60,000. And Rubinsztain was out in 25th place, having the rest of the night to ponder over his unfortunate fate.
Certainly not a dish any of us would envy having to digest.
Looks like since our return a few more have joined Rubinsztain on the rail -- Federico Borello (Argentina) in 22nd, Takeo Nakati (Brazil) in 21st, Ariel Celestino (Brazil) in 20th, Eduardo Santi (Argentina) in 19th, Martin Lategui (Uruguay) in 18th, and Moussa Hasbani (Brazil) in 17th.
That leaves us with just two tables full of players, all plenty hungry to keep their seats.