One hundred and thirty-three players started Day 2 of Event #22, $3,000 H.O.R.S.E., all aiming for spots at the final table. In what is becoming the norm for limit events at the 2008 World Series of Poker, the field thinned to two tables in a marathon Day 2 before tournament officials called off the action and sent the weary 16 remaining players to bed. Along the way, big names busted, unknowns soared to big stacks, and the Flying Dutchman, Marcel Luske, finished the day with the chip lead.
In an event as varied as H.O.R.S.E., where the players went through an orbit each of hold'em, Omaha hi/lo, razz, seven-card stud and stud hi/lo, the field was as stacked with big names as one would expect. Among the early eliminations were stars such as Annie Duke, Mike Sexton, Kenna James, Greg Raymer and Vanessa Rousso, who remarked, "I hate razz," as her jack-low ran into Matt Leftkowitz's nine-low.
Some of the stars of the event had already made plans in case of their elimination. Ted Forrest immediately registered for Event #24 upon his early bustout and went across the room to play the half pot-limit hold'em/half pot-limit Omaha tournament. Other notable eliminations early in Day 2 included Michael Gracz, PokerNews Cup Austria champion Erich Kollmann, Berry Johnston and Shannon Elizabeth. Elizabeth, who built up a big stack on Day 1, ran a big hand into a monster in hold'em against Farzad Rouhani when she flopped middle set with on a board of . Rouhani led out on the turn when the landed, and Elizabeth called. She called once again with her set when the came on the river, only to see Rouhani table for the turned Broadway straight.
Tournament officials made the decision to play down to the money before the dinner break, making the final elimination before the money all the sweeter for the remaining players. Leo Fernandez was the bubble boy, sending all the remaining players off with a guaranteed cash as they headed to the buffets. All his chips went in the middle in a stud hi/lo hand against Kevin Saul and Billy Argyros, and Argyros made aces to send Fernandez to the rail just shy of the money.
40 players returned from dinner with a cash in the event secured and visions of the final table dancing in their heads. The normal loosening up of play after the bubble resulted in some notable eliminations right after dinner, including Dewew Tomko in 35th ($5,141), Marco Traniello in 33rd ($5,141) and Billy "The Croc" Argyros in 31st ($6,284). Argyros got his last chips in the middle on a flop of with , and was called by Paul Zimbler with . No help on the turn or river for Argyros, and he was busted in 31st.
A flurry of eliminations hit after the final redraw of the evening, including Markus Golser in 24th ($7,998), Phil Ivey in 23rd ($7.998) and Kevin Saul in 21st ($7,998). Ivey reportedly has a large prop bet with Daniel Negreanu on who will win the most bracelets in the 2008 WSOP, and fell behind as Negreanu claimed his first bracelet of the year in Event #20. Ivey busted shortly after he rivered a straight in a hand against Jennifer Harman that saw Harman make a straight flush on the same card!
As the night moved into morning and players began to focus on what to order for breakfast for their table-side meals, Farzad Rouhani went to the rail in 17th ($7,998) to bring an end to Day 2. In a razz hand, Rouhani was all in on fourth street with [3-6] 7-A against Rotislav Tsodikov, with [6-7] 4-2. By seventh street, Tsodikov made a 7-6-4-3-2 to Rouhani's 8-7-6-3-A, and Rouhani was the final elimination of Day 2.
The 16 remaining players redrew for seats on two tables as they bagged their chips. The remaining chips stacks looked like this as Marcel Luske headed to bed as the chip leader going into the final two tables:
Marcel Luske 350,000
Jared Davis 322,500
Jennifer Harman 249,500
Doug Ganger 245,500
Hoyt Corkins 220,000
Jens Voertmann 184,500
Blair Rodman 161,500
Steve Zolotow 144,500
Todd Brunson 124,000
Eric Froehlich 118,000
Rostislav Tsodikov 99,000
Paul Zimbler 79,000
Mickey Appleman 57,500
Mallory Smith 49,500
JJ Hazen 43,500
David Levi 36,000
Join PokerNews at 3PM PDT as these remaining 16 players battle for a bracelet in what is sure to be a long final day in Event #22.