PokerStars.com EPT San Remo, Day 2: Mercier Leads, Minieri Makes Charge
Of the 207 players who started Day 2 of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour San Remo Championship, only 32 remained at the end of the day. As the day began, some of poker's biggest celebrities were in the field, including Liz Lieu, Daniel Negreanu, Thor Hansen and Max "The Italian Pirate" Pescatori. At the end of the day, all of those players were on the rail, leaving players such as Todd Brunson, Markus Golser and local favorite Dario Minieri to carry the banner for tournament poker pros.
The action was fast early on, as Hansen, Pescatori, Steve Zolotow and Negreanu all headed to the rail within the first few levels. Roland de Wolfe started Day 2 with a short stack, and got all his chips in ahead with on a board of . His opponent called with , and picked up the on the river to send de Wolfe packing with a two-outer. Other notable eliminations on Day 2 included Juha Helppi, Billy "The Croc" Argyros and Antonio Esfandiari.
The top 72 players made the money in this event, and hand-for-hand play lasted only minutes before Evert Jan Dondergoor found himself all in against Erick Koskas on a board of . Dondergoor held for 15 outs to stay alive against Koskas' , but the river wasn't one of them, and Dondergoor was eliminated in 73rd, bursting the money bubble. The usual flurry of post-bubble eliminations ensued, and the field was quickly thinned. Liz Lieu and Brandon Schaefer were among the players exiting soon after the bubble, with Schaefer losing a coin flip to Johannes Strassmann for his tournament life. Strassmann raised preflop and quickly called Schaefer's all-in reraise. Schaefer tabled to Strassmann's , and the board ran out , Strassmann catching the ace on the river to send Schaefer to the rail.
Dario Minieri was again very active on Day 2, slinging chips about with seeming abandon. After building a big stack, Minieri made a stiff reraise preflop with , coming over the top of Anthony Spinella's raise. Spinella quickly called with , and the board ran out to double Spinella through the young Italian. Dag Palovic was next to double through Minieri when he won a big coin flip. Anthony Lellouche raised from middle position, Palovic re-raised all in, and Minieri called. Lellouche got out of the way, and Minieri tabled to Palovic's . This time A-K was no good, as the board ran out to double up Palovic. An undaunted Minieri moved right back to the top of the leaderboard at the end of the day when he took out Anthony Spinella in one of the last hands of Day 2. On a board of , Spinella moved all in. Minieri went into the tank for a while before finally making the call with . Spinella was on a draw with , and the on the river sent him to the rail and sent Minieri to third in chips at the end of Day 2.
The top ten chip stacks looked like this as play ended for the day:
Jason Mercier – 684,000
Eric Koskas – 596,000
Dario Minieri – 595,000
Jonas Klausen – 529,000
William Thorson – 320,000
Anthony Lellouche – 282,000
Mike Sowers – 275,000
Dag Palovic – 275,000
Jan Heitmann – 264,000
Johannes Strassmann – 255,000