Day 3 of the World Series of Poker main event

July 9, 2011 - 6:44 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — DAY: 3 (Officially known as Day 1C).

THE BIG NEWS: Canadian poker professional Jonathan Duhamel began his title defense at the World Series of Poker on Saturday, some eight months after winning the 2010 main event title for $8.94 million.

The 23-year-old Boucherville, Quebec-native quickly drew television cameras and throngs of fans as he walked into the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, joining a crowd of players in the tournament's third of four starting days.

Duhamel, who used his chips aggressively last year to push opponent to make tough calls or big bluffs, said he's had to change things up this year now that he's become a famous target whom opponents want to beat.

"It's a cool challenge," Duhamel told The Associated Press after finishing the first two hours of play with fewer chips than he started with.

"My style is being an aggressive player so now it's a little tougher to be tighter a little more," he said. "Like last year, I could be aggressive and it was all right, because the players didn't know who I was, but now I think it's very different."

For the first time this tournament, players spilled into a second tournament room because officials weren't able to fit everyone into a single room. Entrants were registering Friday at a rate of one player per minute, officials said, helping expectations for more than 2,000 players to enter the no-limit Texas Hold 'em tournament on each of its last two flights.

STUD OF THE DAY: Sorel Mizzi, who more than doubled his chip stack early in the day after picking up pocket aces and busting one opponent, then extracting more chips out of a different foe with pocket queens. Mizzi has 18 career cashes in the series for more than $826,000, but has never won a tournament here. His last cash in the main event came in 2009.

BUSTED OUT: bracelet winners David Singer and Allen Bari.

UP NEXT: The fourth and final flight of players begin play on Sunday, when officials tally the total entries and determine the top prize of the main event.

POKER TALK: Draw: A hand that is not yet complete but has the potential to be dangerous by making either a flush or straight on the turn or river. Poker professional Jason Somerville followed a flop with two diamonds to the river, beating an opponent who had two pair when a three of diamonds on the final community card gave him a flush.

HE SAID WHAT?: "I have a last longer bet with Brad Garrett, so whoever gets him out gets a free massage. Free massage from Annie Duke." — Comedian Ray Romano as he greeted players along with Garrett and Duke at the start of play on Saturday.

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Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .