Just after noon on Friday, "Captain" Tom Franklin, a Gulfport, Mississippi professional player for the last two decades and a World Series of Poker veteran, gave the "Shuffle Up and Deal" call, triggering Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event, and setting to work the combined fields of 2 044 players.  Almost thirteen hours and five levels of fierce competitive poker later only an estimated 810 players were still in contention as the officials called it a wrap.
 
Seen among the crowds taking their seats as Day 3 began were Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Kenny Tran, Bertrand Grospellier, Paul Wasicka, Dan Harrington, J.C. Alvarado, Marc Karam, Joe Hachem, Nick Binger, Eugene Katchalov, Kirill Gerasimov, Jeff Lisandro, Fabrice Soullier, Kara Scott,  Luca Pagano, Lee Watkinson, Jesper Hougaard, Dennis Phillips, Alexander Kostritsyn, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, Antonio Esfandiari, Sorel Mizzi, defending champ Peter Eastgate, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Eric ‘Rizen' Lynch, Greg "FBT" Mueller,  J.C. Tran, Thor Hansen, Josh Arieh and Phil Hellmuth.

Missed this year's WSOP. Were already running satellites from as little as $10 to the 2010 Wsop. Find out how to qualify. Click Here. 
 
Many of them would see their 2009 Main Event hopes turn to dust by the end of the day….some even before the 6.45pm dinner break. Among those hitting the rail were Erik Seidel, Roland de Wolfe, Jason Young, Bill Gazes, Jennifer Harman, Bill Edler, Dario Alioto, Humberto Brenes, Jean-Robert Bellande, Ville Wahlbeck, Greg Raymer, Carlos Mortensen, Liz Lieu and Raymond Rahme.
 
Lasting beyond the dinner break but not making it to the end of the day were John Juanda, Shawn Buchanan, Josh Arieh, Jeff Lisandro, Brandon Demes and Kirk Morrison, along with celeb player Jason Alexander, who gave an exceptionally good account of himself.
 
Other celebs who did well to make day three but were eliminated earlier in the day included former Aussie cricket star Shane Warne who started strongly but fell two hours into the tournament, and L.A. Lakers Guard Jordan Farmar. It was not clear at press time whether other celebs such as actor Lou Diamond Phillips, “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon and French star Patrick Bruel were still in the running.
 
The chip lead to start the day was held by Amir Lehavot on 610 000.
 
A highlight came mid-afternoon, when Media Director Nolan Dalla announced that Jeff Lisandro has been judged WSOP Player of the Year for 2009, pursued closely by Finnish phenom Ville Wahlbeck. Lisandro achieved a 355 point total in a remarkable and historic run this year, picking up three bracelets over the course of the seven weeks. In a dazzling display of talent, the Australian-born but Italy-resident pro ran over three final tables to win the Stud Triple Crown – one bracelet in each of Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, and Razz. Displaying his legendary cool, Lisandro courteously acknowledged the roar of approbation that the announcement generated in the Amazon room.
 
When play restarted after the dinner break, the field was down to 1 071, a loss of a thousand players in just three levels, and had shrunk sufficiently for all players to be accommodated in the Amazon Room at the Rio. With two levels to go, the field was looking more hopefully toward the money bubble, which kicks in when the field hits the 648 level. Players in positions 577 through 648 will receive $21 365 according to the payout structure this year.
 
Hellmuth was heard complaining at an apparently controversial decision taken by tournament officials to send players on a twenty-minute colour-up break right before producing the bags to officially end the night, effectively stalling the action for the day.

Missed this year's WSOP. Were already running satellites from as little as $10 to the 2010 Wsop. Find out how to qualify. Click Here. 
 
Just before 1am Vegas time Saturday, Day 3 was officially ended with an estimated 810 players remaining to go forward to Day 4. Unofficial indications were that Internet and tournament poker ace Bertrand Grospellier is the likely chipleader after an outstanding day's play that has built his chip stack to around 1 380 500. Other big stacks were noted for Ludovic Lacay (925 000) , Christian Heich (870 000), Adam Bilzerian (830 000) and Jordan Morgan (785 000 000), with Phil Ivey, Alex Kostritsyn, Phil Hellmuth and Kenny Tran also doing well.
 
Average stack as the day ended was approximately 240 519.