Kings Lose to Aces on the Bubble of the 2023 WSOP Main Event

On Monday, early in the Day 4 session at around 1:30 p.m. PT, the record-breaking 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event bubble burst when three players were all in and at risk at separate tables. All three lost the hand, and they would go race-off for the money and the 2024 WSOP Main Event seat.

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On Day 3, the WSOP staff decided to call it a night with 1,517 players remaining and to come back the following day at noon PT to play to the money. As was expected, it didn’t take long to reach that point given there were so many short stacks entering and only 10 players needed to bust.

Flipping for the Bubble

Jeppe Bisgaard poker
Jeppe Bisgaard

With 1,508 players left and the tournament in hand-for-hand play, three players were all eliminated at the same time at separate tables. As such, the WSOP had to create a flip-off situation to determine who would finish as the official bubble. Those individuals were Yue Qi Wang, Peter Nigh, and Jeppe Bisgaard.

Nigh lost a race at his table to bust from the Main Event, Bisgaard ran kings into aces, and Wang had top pair aces but ran into quads.

All three players would evenly split the $30,000 for 1,507th and 1,506th place, but the winner of the flip-off would also take home free entry into the 2024 WSOP Main Event, valued at $10,000.

Each player was dealt two cards face-down, followed by five community cards, just the same as a traditional no-limit hold’em hand. Bisgaard, who lives in Denmark, hit a straight on the river to take down the free seat to next year’s world championship event, and was officially declared as the bubble.

“Obviously, it feels good about winning that Main Event seat,” Bisgaard, who said he works in the shipping industry, told PokerNews. “Bubbling is not fun, but the situation I got into was not avoidable. Plus the fact that I knew there’s always a free seat on the bubble, which maybe tried to incentivize me to get a stack, so I feel good.”

Bisgaard will return to the Main Event next summer with a free entry. It will be his third time competing in the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. The last time he played, he busted early.

“This is an upgrade,” the 2023 WSOP Main Event bubble joked.

This was the second straight year a three-way flip was required to determine the bubble. Robert Lipkin earned the free seat via the flip into this year’s Main Event.

Poker Player Begs Table to Take it Easy on Him

When the Main Event approaches the bubble, the pressure is on the short stacks, especially those who are playing for life-changing money or out of their bankroll. Gary Blackwood shared a note his friend received from another player at his friend’s table that was quite interesting.

The individual who wrote the note explained he is a player from China and that reaching the money “would mean everything to me,” as it would, by his account, “greatly boost my chance of getting into an American university.” As such, the player who signed the letter as “GAO,” asked that his tablemates would refrain from raising his first big blind as he entered the day with a tiny stack.

After the bubble shenanigans concluded, the tournament returned to normalcy in Level 16 (4,000-8,000 blinds). There will be four additional two-hour levels prior before Day 4 wraps. PokerNews will be live reporting throughout the session and the entire event.

Previous Five WSOP Main Event Bubbles

Year Bubble
2017 Quan Zhou
2018 Matthew Hopkins
2019 Ryan Pochedly
2021 Kevin Campbell
2022 Robert Lipkin

*Excludes 2020 hybrid online-live year during COVID.

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