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WSOP What To Watch For: Kelly, Selbst and Badecker Headline Event 2

JP Kelly

In the second edition of our new What To Watch For series, PokerNews has its eyes on Event 2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em. Going into Day 3, the field has been cut to 15 players from the original 2,101. With over $500,000 up for grabs to the winner, and plenty of firepower left, things are looking promising for an exciting final table.

Kelly Eyes Third WSOP Bracelet

JP Kelly has fallen back into form of late. In the recent PokerStars.com and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final, he made the final table of two €5,000 No-Limit Hold'em side events, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, for a combined payout of €112,000. He seems to have drawn on his momentum and is making a run in the first open event of the 2012 WSOP.

Last year it seemed as though Kelly’s WSOP experience was going to be a washout. He had only one cash to his name leading up to the Main Event, but then he went on an amazing run and finished 26th for $302,005.

Kelly is one of the rare breeds of poker players who has won both WSOP and WSOP Europe gold bracelets. In 2009, Kelly won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event in Las Vegas and then later that year won the £1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in London. Incredibly, Kelly went on to finish second in the same WSOP-E event one year later, nearly nailing a third WSOP gold bracelet and breaking Phil Ivey's record as the youngest to do so. Kelly is once again on the hunt for bracelet number three and starts the final day fourth in chips. If he's able to reach the final table, it will be the fifth WSOP final table of his career.

Selbst Riding the Rollercoaster

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst is without a doubt the top female tournament poker player in the world right now. Selbst ranks second in the women’s all-time money list and a $517,725 first-place would take her within $400,000 of Kathy Liebert. Selbst has 12 WSOP cashes on her résumé, including a WSOP bracelet earned in 2008 when she won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event.

Selbst was in great form during Day 2 and will be one of the favorites to win her second WSOP bracelet when she starts Day 3 in fifth place. It was a roller-coaster day for Selbst on Day 2, but she plays a very aggressive style that leads toward those swings in her chip stack. She's not afraid to use her chips and will constantly put pressure on her opponents. Will she make it her second WSOP gold bracelet? You'll just have to follow along to find out.

Badecker's Favorite Color Might Be Gold

Andrew Badecker is another of the remaining players to hold a WSOP gold bracelet and is heading for another taste of glory. Badecker won the $1,500 No-Limit Shootout event last year for a payout of $369,371 and has been performing very well on the live tournament circuit since then. Badecker wears multi-colored sunglasses each time he plays and has a vibrant game. Day 2 was a green day for Badecker, but will we see a bit of gold covering Badecker's eyes in the form of bracelet number two?

As always, you can find PokerNews' coverage of the 2012 WSOP on our Live Reporting Pages. We look forward to having you follow along and stay tuned for plenty more from our What To Watch For series.

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