Main Event Dreams Turn To Nightmares on Day 3 of the 2021 WSOP

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Chang Liu suffered one of the toughest beats you'll see at the WSOP.

The money bubble burst at the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event and the top 1000 players will get to go to bed secure in the knowledge that they have secured at least $15,000 in a min-cash and dream of spinning it up to the $8 million first-place prize.

But for a couple of unfortunate players, their dreams of becoming a World Champion turned into an absolute nightmare on Day 3 as the game delivered a couple of very nasty, very memorable beats that demonstrates just how devastating this game can be.

Death By Quads

“Death By Quads” is often used when a player is eliminated when their opponent makes quads. It’s rarely used when the player felted is holding quads themselves. The action as recounted by Ali Nejad went as follows: with the blinds at 2,500/5,000 (5,000 bb ante) Vito Distefano opened to 11,500 holding the AdJd, Omer Gabay called with his KhQh as did William Benson with the AsTs. That brought Ugur Secilmis with the 6s6d from the small blind and the Bay Area’s Chang Liu in the big blind with the 4c4h.

The dealer put out a flop of 6h4d4s giving Liu quads, and visions of winning a bracelet no doubt. But it also gave Ugur Secilmis a flopped full house and some ideas of his own. It looked like the action checked around on the flop. Then the turn came the 6c, bringing in top quads for Secilmis. Again the action checked around, leaving the pot at 62,500.

When the 5s hit the river, Secilmis went into action betting 55,000. Next to act was Liu, who quickly made it 225,000 to go.

“You just hate to see something like this,” Nick Schulman commented before the action returned to Secilmis. “Good game, sir.”

“It is going to be showers for Chang Liu,” Nejad replied. “As a virtual certainty.”

The rest of the field got out of the way and Secilmis took in the moment. After a little more than a minute, Secilmis lowered the boom and moved all-in and was snapped off by Liu’s lesser quads.

“Get a look at the coldest of all decks,” Nejad said.

Liu, pushed back, stood up, and said, “Quads?! What the ****!”

It was a moment reminiscent of Bryce Yockey’s vicious bad beat at the hands of Josh Arieh in 2019. A different event and a different game for Yockey, but the improbability and the destruction the cards brought felt familiar.

Watch the whole hand play out right here:

There’s Always A Sweat

There’s probably little comfort for Liu, but if one was to look on the bright side, when he busted making the money was not a certainty with several hundred people left to bust before bubble burst. For Kevin Campbell, his bad beat turned him sent him out the door as the last person to not get paid.

On the stone bubble, Campbell was all-in and at risk with the best starting hand in poker AhAd and was called by Chris Alafogiannis holding Ac9c. Campbell was in the perfect position to double up and make Day 4. The poker gods had other ideas.

Mike Matusow, who was seated at the table, exclaimed: “There’s always a sweat.”

The dealer manifested Matusow’s words and put out a flop of Tc9h8d keeping the pocket aces in the lead but opening the door for Alafogiannis. The energy at the table ramped up as the 7c peeled off on the turn.

But when the dealer quickly put the 9s on the river – the table, and the room, exploded.

“Are you kidding!” Matusow said, leaning over the table. Alafogiannis who delivered the blow, sat unfazed and Campbell could just stand, shake his head, and walk away.

“Sh** hurts, trust me,” he told PokerNews moments after busting. “But I’m just so tired right now that I don’t care.”

Campbell will have another shot at the Main Event in 2022 receiving a free seat into the tournament as a consolation prize for being the bubble boy.

Day 4 kicks off on Friday at 12:00 pm Pacific.