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2013 World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic Day 2: Neff, Eriquezzo & Seiver Among Leaders

The World Poker Tour 2013 L.A. Poker Classic continued on Sunday at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, California. By the close of registration at the beginning of Day 2, 517 players had entered the $10,000 buy-in event to create a prize pool of nearly $5 million. This prize pool will be distributed to the top 63 players; the eventual first-place winner will take home $1,004,090.

After five 90-minute levels of play, the man best positioned to make a run at the top prize is Peter Neff, who finished with the chip lead. There are 162 players who advanced to Day 3. Joining him in the top 10 are some tough competitors including reigning World Series of Poker National Championship winner Ryan Eriquezzo, former $25,000 WPT World Championship winner Scott Seiver, and World Series of Poker bracelet winner Sam Stein.

2013 WPT LA Poker Classic Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Peter Neff284,700
2Ryan Eriquezzo265,000
3Naoya Kihara260,400
4Evan McNiff248,500
5Scott Seiver244,100
6Justin Young234,600
7Sam Stein233,400
8Randy Ohel230,800
9Arthur Morris228,500
10Trevor Pope225,000

Neff got some of his chips in the last level of the night (Level 11 600/1,200/200) when 2012 WPT Legends of Poker champ Josh Hale got his stack of 33,000 all in preflop holding the {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades} only to run into the {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts} of Neff. The {k-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{3-Hearts} flop was about as bad as it could be for Hale, and the {J-Hearts} turn officially left him drawing dead. The meaningless {Q-Clubs} was run out on the river for good measure, eliminating Hale while Neff went on to finish with the chip lead.

It was also in Level 11 that Eriquezzo chipped up a bit. In one hand, Naoya Kihara opened to 2,600 under the gun, and Eriquezzo defended the big blind. The latter check-called a bet of 2,600 on the {q-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{8-Spades} flop, and then both players checked the {K-Hearts} turn. When the {J-Hearts} appeared on the river, Eriquezzo bet 12,200, and Kihara thought for a few moments before making the call. Eriquezzo then tabled the {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades} for kings full, and it was good as Kihara showed the {K-Clubs}{10-Clubs} for two pair and a missed royal flush draw.

Phil Hellmuth discovers the bad news against Peter Nguyen (photo courtesy of the WPT blog)
Phil Hellmuth discovers the bad news against Peter Nguyen (photo courtesy of the WPT blog)

Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as Neff and Eriquezzo were. Among the Day 2 eliminations were Chad Brown, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Jon Turner, Shawn Buchanan, Raymond Davis, David “Doc” Sands, Bryn Kenney, Jason Somerville, Justin Zaki, Tristan Wade, Ray Henson, David Paredes, Ronnie Bardah, Eric Hershler, AP Phahurat and Phil Hellmuth.

According to the WPT Live Updates Team, the “Poker Brat” was eliminated in Level 8 with the blinds at 300/600/75. It happened when Hellmuth opened for 1,500 from early position, Peter Nguyen called from the small blind, and the flop came down {j-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}. Nguyen checked and then woke up with a check-raise to 3,700 after Hellmuth had bet 1,100. Hellmuth responded by making it 6,300 to go, Nguyen four-bet to 9,300, Hellmuth called, and the dealer burned and turned the {9-Clubs}. Nguyen proceeded to move all in, and Hellmuth snap-called off for around 20,000. Nguyen tabled the {J-Diamonds}{J-Clubs} for top set, and it was well out in front of Hellmuth’s {7-Hearts}{7-Clubs} for middle set. The {Q-Hearts} river failed to help the 13-time WSOP bracelet winner, and he was left with Kanye West to console him.

phil_hellmuth"How could u be so heartless? Cold as the winter wind when it breeze yo"-Kanye I raise 7-7, 1 call, Jh-7c-5h, he has J-J! COLD, I'm out

In Level 11 (600/1,200/200), Hellmuth’s opponent from the 2013 NBC National Heads-Up Championship finals, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, was eliminated. It happened when a preflop raising war resulted in Matusow all in for about 60,000 with the {J-Clubs}{J-Hearts} against the {A-Hearts}{K-Spades} of Gary Lent. The {A-Spades}{j-Spades}{10-Diamonds} flop was kind to Matusow, delivering him a set, but Lent drew live to a queen for a Broadway straight. The {4-Hearts} turn wasn’t it, but the {Q-Spades} river was to send Matusow to the exit.

While many fell, an assortment of notables punched their tickets to Day 3 including Dwyte Pilgrim (30,900), Joe Tehan (62,900), Steve Brecher (68,100), Joe Hachem (73,200), Phil Laak (79,600), Noah Schwartz (85,800), Joe Serock (85,900), Carlos Mortensen (105,200), David Williams (109,800), Eli Elezra (110,800), Jennifer Tilly (136,600), Jason Wheeler (182,400) and Jen Harman (197,500).

Day 3 will begin on Sunday at noon PST when the remaining 162 players return to battle it out for another five levels. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for a full recap of the day’s action upon the completion of play.

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