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2008 WSOP Event #51, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Day 2: Hellmuth Retains Lead

2008 WSOP Event #51, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Day 2: Hellmuth Retains Lead 0001

Phil Hellmuth is known as a hold'em specialist, perhaps the greatest hold'em player in the world. He has an astounding 11 World Series of Poker bracelets, all of them in various forms of hold'em. So it was considered a little unusual for him to be atop the leader board when Day 2 of Event #51, $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. kicked off. Hellmuth spent Day 2 proving that his skill in poker is not limited to just hold'em, as he finished the session just where he began it, sitting on the biggest stack in the room. Hellmuth added to his record of most WSOP cashes ever with his performance in Event #51, and put himself in good position on Day 2 to win his first non-hold'em bracelet.

179 players out of an amazing 803 initial entrants returned for Day 2, including world champions Hellmuth and Joe Hachem, multiple bracelet winners John Juanda and Allen Cunningham, and 2008 women's champion Svetlana Gromenkova. Richard "Quiet Lion" Brodie was among the early eliminations when he got the last of his chips in the middle on third street with [{4-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}] {q-Hearts} in stud hi/lo. He was called by Esther Rossi with [{2-Clubs}{6-Clubs}] {10-Hearts}. By the time the last card was dealt, Rossi made two pair, tens and fours, and Brodie's pair of sevens was not enough to keep him alive.

Other early eliminations included David Benyamine, Bart Hanson and Luca Pagano. Thor Hansen became the bubble boy when he got all his chips in on sixth street in stud hi/lo with [{a-Hearts}{3-Spades}] {4-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{4-Spades}{k-Spades}. James Schaaf called with [{j-Clubs}{8-Diamonds}] {a-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{j-Spades}{k-Diamonds}. Hansen picked up the {2-Clubs} on seventh street, and Schaaf made two pair when he drew the {10-Clubs} to bust Hansen just out of the money.

With the bubble, came the dinner break, as only a couple of players busted in the end of the level before dinner. When players returned from dinner, the pace of elimination picked up, as Mickey Appleman, Brett Richey and a host of others headed to the rail just after the dinner break. Mike Matusow found himself on the short stack after dinner, and hung on for another level or so before busting in 57th ($2,959). Matusow was finally all in on the flop in a hand of Omaha hi/lo, and was called by David Gee and Steven Diano. The flop came down {j-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{j-Hearts}, and fireworks erupted when the {9-Diamonds} landed on the turn. Gee led out into the side pot, and Diano raised. Gee three-bet, and Diano made the call. Gee led out again when the {6-Hearts} came again on the river, and Diano called. Gee tabled {j-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}{10-Spades}, and scooped with jacks full of nines. Matusow's {a-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} was no good, and "The Mouth" was silenced.

Other notable eliminations on Day 2 included Michael Binger, John Juanda, Allen Cunningham and Joe Hachem. Hachem busted in 24th ($6,686) just before play ended for the night. Hachem had the bring-in in stud with {2-Hearts} in the door, and received action from both Steve Diano and James Schaaf. Hachem picked up another deuce on fourth street and led out. Diano called with {j-Clubs}{10-Clubs} showing, and Schaaf folded. Hachem led out again on every street, and Diano called him down every time, finally showing [{k-Spades}{9-Clubs}] {j-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{3-Hearts}{3-Spades} [{7-Spades}] for a pair of threes. It was good, as Hachem showed {{a-Hearts}{k-Clubs}] {2-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} [{8-Clubs}] and was eliminated. Chad Brown was the next-to-last elimination of the night, busting in 22nd place when Matt Grapenthein made a full house in stud to send Brown to the rail.

20 players remained at the end of Day 2, with Hellmuth sitting atop the leader board. Other big names remaining in the field included Victor Ramdin, Jens Voertmann and Keith Sexton. The top ten chip stacks looked like this as players bagged their chips at the end of the night:

Phil Hellmuth 287,500

James Schaaf 236,500

Art Young 175,000

Victor Ramdin 158,500

Matt Grapenthien 151,000

Esther Rossi 133,500

Arash Ghaneian 114,500

Jason Dollinger 110,500

Edward Brogdon 104,500

Tommy Hang 92,000

Join PokerNews at 3PM PDT as the remaining 20 players work their way down to the final table and all the way to the bracelet.

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