Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 | 9:36 a.m.
2012 PBR World Finals Day 4
Two rounds remain today, and it looks more and more likely that Silvano Alves will become the first cowboy to win back-to-back world championships. It also is likely that Robson Palermo, who placed first Saturday night with 16,165 fans cheering him, will become the first three-time PBR Build Ford Tough World Finals winner in Las Vegas.
But the hopes of fans and retiring bull rider Chris Shivers, who won Rounds 2 and 3, were dashed. He elected to challenge the meanest bull on the planet, Chicken on a Chain, who has toppled 51 riders and therefore never letting them reach the 8-second glory mark. The angry beast kept his record intact and bucked off Chris at the 6-second mark; it was Chicken on a Chain’s final ride.
Fans get to see Chris ride this afternoon for the final time as he retires after the world finals. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was ringside at the Thomas & Mack Center for the thrilling, down-to-the wire battles Saturday night, and he’ll be ringside again today for the final day of competition.
Marco Eguci of Poa, Brazil, won Round 4 atop Cat Ballou. In the event scoring, Robson leads with 352 points, ahead of Luke Snyder by 85 points; 2004 world champion Mike Lee is 90.25 points behind Robson; and 2010 world champion Renato Nunes is 93.25 points behind.
NBC will broadcast Round 5 and then the Top 15 cowboys (out of the 35 who started Wednesday) competing in the championship round live starting at 1 p.m. PT. The overall season winner -- the world champion -- picks up the prestigious belt buckle and a $1-million payday.
Robson wants to win $250,000 and become the first three-time world finals winner here and the first to win back-to-back event finals titles; he won in 2008 and last year. Meantime, season standing leader Silvano increased his lead in the Built Ford Tough Series over No. 2 Valdiron de Oliveira, who was bucked off in Round 4, by 304.50 points.
This is the19th consecutive year that the world’s top bull riders and the fiercest bucking bulls have competed in Las Vegas. The world finals field includes six world champions, with Silvano, Guilherme Marchi (2008), Renato (2010), Kody Lostroh (2009), Mike Lee (2004) and Chris (2000 and 2003).
Country singer-songwriter Easton Corbin kicks off Championship Sunday taking the stage at 11a.m. We’ll have a report and photo and video coverage of the finals and the new champion here at Vegas DeLuxe on Monday.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.