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WSOP-C Caesars Palace, Day 2: Mizrachi Tops Leaderboard

Michael Mizrachi

The World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Caesars Palace Las Vegas drew some of the biggest names in poker, and 88 of the top pros were still in the field for Day 2.

Among those returning for another day of poker were Kathy Liebert, Dwyte Pilgrim, Tony Dunst, and Michael Mizrachi, along with Day 2 chip leader Jeremiah “dantes” DeGreef. By the end of the day, only 16 players were left standing, with Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi leading the field as it heads toward the final table.

The pace was quick on Day 2, with several big names heading to the rail in the early going. Jimmy Tran was one of the first to fall after he moved all with pocket tens in on the flop of {8-Spades}{4-Hearts}{3-Spades}. Thomas McTeer called with pocket eights for a flopped set, and when the rest of the board missed Tran’s tens, he was done. Tony Dunst made a fleeting come-from-behind suckout when his pocket queens made a set on the turn to crack Matt LaGarde’s aces. But LaGarde returned the favor on the {A-Spades} river when he hit a two-outer of his own to catch up and brutally eliminate Dunst. All told, 19 players went to the rail during the first level of Day 2.

Michael Mizrachi moved from the middle of the pack to the top spot by knocking out some big names, and Amir Vahedi was one of his victims. Vahedi got his money in good against Mizrachi with pocket nines to Mizrachi’s fours, and Vahedi looked good for the double-up as the flop came down {J-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}. The {4-Clubs} on the turn swung the pendulum in Mizrachi’s direction, and Vahedi couldn’t manage a miracle river of his own as he was busted.

Other notable Day 2 eliminations included Kathy Liebert, Tony Cousineau, David “The Dragon” Pham, and Paul Magriel. The backgammon master Magriel moved his stack into the middle preflop from the small blind with {J-Spades}{10-Spades} and found one caller in Matt LaGarde, who tabled {Q-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}. The board ran out {4-Spades}{8-Clubs}{4-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}, and Magriel was finished.

With 18 places paying out, Tom McTeer became the bubble boy when he busted out in 19th, courtesy of Matt Graham. McTeer held a slight edge preflop as his pocket eights led Graham’s {A-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}. Graham picked up an ace on the {A-Spades}{J-Diamonds}{7-Hearts} flop, and McTeer was unable to find the case eight to stay alive. The remaining 18 players combined to two tables and finished out that level before play was ended for the day. Before the chips could be bagged, Eric Hershler (18th, $15,697) and Albiges Benoit (17th, $15,697) were both sent to the rail as play drew to a close.

Benoit busted in a huge three-way confrontation with Matt LaGarde and Nashaat Antonious. LaGarde raised preflop, Benoit moved all in over the top, and Antonious smooth-called. LaGarde moved the rest of his stack into the middle, and Antonious called once again. When the hands were revealed, LaGarde was in the lead with {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs} to Benoit’s {8-Clubs}{8-Spades}. Antonious was racing with both players as he tabled {A-Hearts}{K-Clubs}, and when the board ran out {J-Spades}{6-Diamonds}{Q-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{K-Hearts} he spiked a king on the river to scoop a monster pot just before the end of Day 2.

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