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Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open: Mukul Pahuja Leads Final 21 Players After Day 3

Mukul Pahuja

Only 21 players remain after Day 3 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee Championship Event, and the chip leader is Mukul Pahuja with 8.125 million. Pahuja won a crucial flip against Ryan Welch during Level 25, eliminating the World Series of Poker bracelet winner to take the chip lead. He then extended his lead by knocking out Cory Drury, Rod Rodrigue, and John Miller during the final two levels of play.

During one of the breaks, Pahuja was kind enough to sit down with PokerNews for an interview. The professional moved to Florida a few years ago with his now wife to grind in the Sunshine state, and is ecstatic that big events like this are starting to run more regularly.

Atop the leader board behind Pahuja are Blair Hinkle, Ryan Olisar, Jeremy Kottler, and Griffin Benger.

Benger won a two-million chip pot on one of the last hands of the night when Aaron Robbins moved all in with {K-}{2-} off-suit. Benger tank-called with {A-}{J-}, and his ace-high held as the flop, turn, and river all produced bricks.

Also surviving Day 3 were David “Doc” Sands, November Niner Amir Lehavot, Day 2 chip leader Justin Bonomo, and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Mark Radoja.

Lehavot won a crucial pot off of German Philipp Gruissem during Level 26, where Lehavot called a three-bet from Gruissem. Both players checked to a turn on a {k-Spades}{8-Spades}{2-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} board, and Lehavot check-called a bet of 200,000. The river was the {4-Hearts}, Lehavot checked, and Gruissem fired out another 400,000. Lehavot called, and took down the pot with the {a-Hearts}{k-Clubs}.

Gruissem was later eliminated, along with Day 1a chip leader Aaron Schaaf, Leo Wolpert, Neri Sanchez, Matt Glantz, Adam Levy, Cherish Andrews, and Kyle Bowker.

Schaaf was eliminated by Samuel Guilabert during the final level of play. Schaaf three-bet all in with the {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}, Guilabert called with the {a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}, and Schaaf actually took the lead when the flop fell {a-Spades}{j-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}. Guilabert regained the lead when the {q-Spades} turned, and made a full house when the {q-Diamonds} completed the board for kicks and giggles.

In Wolpert’s bust-out hand, he called a raise in the big blind from Ray Qartomy, who opened from under the gun. Wolpert moved all in after the flop fell {q-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{2-Diamonds}, and Qartomy snap-called with the {7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds} for a set of sevens. The turn and river both bricked out, and Wolpert hit the rail.

With Andrews’ elimination, Krystal Seiling is the last female standing. She doubled up through Guilabert during the left level of play with pocket aces against Guilabert’s ace-king, and will enter the fourth and penultimate day with 1.315 million chips.

Day 4 will begin at noon EDT on Tuesday, and conclude when only six players remain.

PokerNews will be on hand for coverage of this massive Championship Event. Players will once again be able to update their status immediately using the PokerNews MyStack App, and you can expect more features and interviews as well.

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