WPT - World Poker Challenge - Reno - Day Two
Coming into day two, 100 players wondered where they would be seated. I must say, in the most...um..."unique" seat assigning I have seen. Each player was numbered from one to twelve down the line, and seated accordingly. What this means is there wasn't a table whose chip leader didn't have the entire table out chipped two to one. This "unique" seating arrangement made for a "unique" advantage for those with chips, and you kind of got the feeling the short stacks were going to be falling at a blinding pace.
The chip leader going into today was Ken Ford. Not a lot of names left in the affair, but big names like Ivey, Allen Cunningham, and Andy Bloch all had decent sized stacks. Anyway, the tournament got underway, and my prediction about losing players at a blinding pace was coming true. Actually, blinding was putting it mildly, as we lost a quarter of the field in the first level. By the midpoint of level three we had lost half the field. Recognizable names that got the boot early included Robert Williamson III, and Joe Awada.
The feature table today included Phil Ivey, Dan Harrington, and Hung La. I mention La, because Ivey was having some fun with La's choice of clothing. It seems La was feeling gangsta this particular day, and chose to show it by wearing a G-Unit T-shirt. No word on whether La bought the matching bulletproof vest.
On to poker though, and it was a wild ride for Phil Ivey today. Immediately after being crippled by Dan Harrington for almost all of his chips, Ivey remembered that he is one of the best in the game today by putting on an absolute clinic, and rocketing up the chip leader charts. Almost exactly two hours after being crippled to just a bit over twenty thousand, Ivey was up well over 260,000, and the chip leader for the tournament. To say Phil was in the zone was putting it mildly, and at times it seemed like Phil was running over a table of drunken tourists. Even some of the world's best at his table were powerless to stop him. It was impressive.
The Ivey blur continued after the dinner break, as he had again managed to double up, and was over 500,000 in chips, with the next closest competitor being somewhere in the neighborhood of half that. It was really unreal to watch.
The bad beat of the day award goes to Allen Cunningham today. Allen got all his money in with way the best of it, KK vs. 22. A deuce on the flop gave Allen the prestigious Pokernews bad beat of the day award. There is no trophy for this award.
I would like to tell you that this was a really action packed day, with a lot of excitement happening every minute. The truth of the matter is it was kind of a ho-hum, by the book day of poker. Today was at times fun, but frankly, at times boring. Also, there was very little in the way of a crowd, and I think that took a little of the energy out of the room that we had the day before.
But players were getting knocked out left, right, and center, and one hour after the dinner break, we were within five places of the money.
A couple name guys went out close to the bubble, and neither was a very pretty picture. Stan Goldstein moved in with a flush draw, and two overcards. His draw did not get there, and Stan was out 33rd.
Minh Nguyen had had an up and down day that ended on a down note. He was on the wrong side of a coin flip, and finished 31st.
The story of the day, other than Ivey, is could the Grinder's girl, Lily Elviro make it to the money. With 35 left (27 get paid), she was short, and in pretty bad shape. But, it must be the bright (did I mention bright) pink hat she was wearing, as Lily doubled up through a willing customer, and was up to 50k in chips with only two to go to the money, and the end of the night.
The end did come, mercifully for some, and very cruel for others. You can put day one chip leader Ken Ford in the cruel category, as he goes from chip leader, to bubble boy in a span of about nine hours of play. Ford made trip Jacks on the turn, but his opponent made a straight on the river to make Ken Ford the heartbreak kid.
Now down to the money, the chip counts, and payout amounts are below. It turns out, Lily Grinder did make it to the money. The burning question is - Will she ever let Grinder live it down?
The big story today, though was Phil Ivey. Phil has basically a two to one lead on the entire field, and the skill to utilize that lead. Several dangerous players lurk (Dan Harrington at 238k, and Andy Bloch at 163k come to mind), but it is basically going to be a day of "catch me if you can" for the rest of the field when it comes to Mr. Ivey. If Ivey puts on the same show he did today, you can pretty much hand him the trophy, oh and a glass of Michelob Amber Bock, thank you very much.
They will play down to the TV six tomorrow, and I expect a day filled with a little more excitement, and a lot more poker. Counts are below. See you tomorrow.
1st $638,380 (also includes $25k WPT Championship seat)
10th -12th $20,704
13th -15th $17,254
16th -18th $13,803
19th -27th $10,352
Phil Ivey 455,000 in chips
Arnold Spee 276,500
Dan Harrington 238,000
Abraham Gray 216,000
Mike Yoshino 199,000
Kevin Keller 196,000
Stu Spear 181,000
Andy Bloch 163,000
Russ Carlson 163,000
Bob Slezak 154,000
Tom Becnel 136,000
Steve Friedlander 131,000
Hung La 128,000
Blair Rodman 128,000
Barry Greenstein 126,000
SenthiKumar l 85,500
Mark Chapic 73,500
"Miami" John Cernuto 69,000
Louis Asmo 68,000
Tony Ma 68,000
Ben Piper 63,500
Chris Tsiprailidis 62,000
Aidily "Ms Grinder" Elviro 55,500
Ron Melrose 53,500
Ben Sarnoff 48,500
Eric Stovall 37,500
Mike Kenney 35,000
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