On a busy Monday in the Amazon Room featuring action in five different events, 57 of the 327 players that entered the $2,500 Omaha Hold 'Em/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Split event, a new format in this year's series, returned for Day Two play. 32 players would cash, leaving 25 players with no payday for two days' work. Near the top at the end of Day One was Tom 'DonkeyBomber' Schneider, whose nickname was given to him after a rather heated exchange during the 2006 WPT Reno event by professional Arnold Spee.
Many big names loomed, including Mike 'The Mouth' Matusow, Scotty Nguyen, Huck Seed, Jeff Lisandro, Bill Gazes, Paul Darden, Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer, Andy Black, Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke. Chris Ferguson, Chau Giang and Mel Judah (near the lead at day's start) made big moves in the day's early play. Schneider, though, continued to hold on to his lead as players dropped to the wayside.
After approximately four hours of play, the bubble approached during the Seven Card Hi/Lo segment. Matusow was among those busting short of the bubble, and the unfortunate bubble boy was pro Ernie Scherer. The remaining 32 players were each assured a $6,017 payday.
Over the next three hours, players exited in droves. While 'Jesus' Ferguson made a big move (taking a huge pot from Cyndy Violette in the process) and Annie Duke built back up from nearly nothing, other pros weren't so fortunate. Anthony Reategui (29th, $6,017), Robert Mizrachi (26th, $6,017), Judah (20th, $7,145) and Violette (16th, $8,273 and her second cash of the '07 WSOP) all fell.
Matt Lefkowitz was eliminated in 12th place for $10,529 to bring the final table — eight players, in this event — into sight. The day's last knockouts included other big names. Former World Champion Scotty Nguyen fought valiantly throughout the day, but came up short of the final table in tenth place ($11,658) during the Stud 8 segment of play. Schneider himself administered the coup de grace during the next Omaha 8 phase, sending former bracelet winner Josh Arieh to the rail in ninth place, worth $11,658 to Arieh and setting up a final table with these players:
PLAYERS — CHIPS
Tom Schneider — 526,000
Annie Duke — 239,000
Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson — 208,000
Chris Bell — 200,000
David Benyamine — 170,000
Joseph Bolnick — 125,000
Ed Tonnellier — 88,000
John 'The Razor' Phan — 88,000
Bolnick and Tonnellier definitely have a tough day ahead on Tuesday. Both Duke and Ferguson are WSOP bracelet winners (with 'Jesus' having won five, including a World Championship), Schneider and Benyamine are excellent cash-game players with strong tournament backgrounds, Phan is two years removed from being the second best player in the world (according to Player of the Year standings) and Bell is recognized as one of the best 'unknown' players around, with several final-table showings and a championship at the Trump Classic $5K buy-in Championship Event in Atlantic City in 2005. The final-table action will start on Tuesday at 2pm PT and PokerNews will be there with our Event #5 Final Table 'Live Reporting.'