Day 2 of Event #52, $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em, saw the return of 149 players Monday afternoon, of whom only 81 would make the money. The next item on the agenda was to create the final table before the 3am deadline, and not surprisingly, that goal was not reached. Jason Dewitt will be the commanding chip leader when the final 16 players return for Day 3 at 1pm Tuesday afternoon to determine the champion.
James Van Alstyne, Jolyn Thompson, and Erik Cajelais all started the day short-stacked and were all eliminated in the first level of the day. Sandra Naujoks came to the table with over 50,000 in chips, but she was also gone within the first hour. Harris Pavlou began Day 2 second in chips, but he was another early casualty when he ran his pocket jacks into Jason Dewitt's A-K. A king on the flop and turn, followed by an ace on the river was more than enough to send Pavlou to the rail while Dewitt moved into the lead with over 300,000 in chips.
As the bubble approached, John Juanda, Kirill Gerasimov, and Noah Schwartz all fell just short of reaching the money. Jeff Lisandro was another player eliminated shy of the money bubble, gone after his pocket nines were dominated by his opponent's pocket queens – but Lisandro didn’t miss a beat as he quickly registered for another tournament in his quest for bracelet number four of 2009.
The money bubble was reached in a dramatic four-way hand that saw a player's pocket aces end up without chips or money. The hand started with one player raising to 7,000, and then a second player reraised to 20,000. A third player called on the button and then a fourth player reraised all in for 26,000 total, with his three opponents all making the call. The flop was checked around. The also brought another round of checking from the three live players players. The on the river prompted the original raiser to bet 20,000 and the other two players who had chips decided to fold. The all-in player turned over his pocket aces for top set, but the original raiser turned over for a rivered straight to take down the pot and send all the surviving players into the money.
The remaining field, satisfied with at least doubling their buy-ins, soon gave way to a flurry of eliminations. Lee Childs, Paul Testud, and J.J. Liu all made the first level of payouts, good for $5,892 apiece. Ivo Donev, Nenad Medic, Tony Dunst, and Roy Winston managed to eke their way into the second level of payouts, each collecting $6,929. Patrick Bruel, Johnny Lodden, Praz Bansi, Kathy Liebert, and Nick Binger each lasted long enough to see $8,037 added to their tournament results. Shane Schleger, Ian Frazer, Lee Markholt, and Blake Cahail each held on long enough to pick up $9,145 for their efforts. Milan Andrejkovics, Nicholas Sliwinski, and Johan “busto_soon” Van Til all headed to the cashier to pick up their $10,559 in winnings.
In a three-way hand, Antonio Esfandiari was able to triple up when his went up against Alexander Jung's and Karga Holt's . The flop came down giving Holt a flush draw, but Esfandiari took the lead when the came on the turn. When the hit the river, Jung finished in 34th ($12,374) while Esfandiari moved to over 260,000 in chips and Holt fell to 107,000. Joe McGowan, Isaac Baron, James Taylor, and Michiel Brummelhuis also had the good fortune of adding $12,374 to their bankrolls. Jonathan Tare's pocket tens failed to overcome Jorg Peisert's pocket kings, and Tare's 28th-place finish ($12,374) meant the field was now down to the final three tables.
Day 1 chip leader Tim Horan was the first player to earn $14,967, finishing in 27th. Donnacha O'Dea looked set to double up when he made a raise and called all in with against Alex Millar's . The flop came down six-high, but the on the turn moved Millar into the lead, and the on the river sent O'Dea home in 26th ($14,967). He was soon joined by Mike Caro and Antonio Esfandiari, both visiting the payout desk to be awarded $14,967.
Jason Dewitt was the first player to break the million-chip mark, after he got involved in a hand with Jon Van Fleet in a blind-vs-blind confrontation. Dewitt made a raise to 25,000 from the small blind, and Van Fleet obliged by moving all in for around 200,000. After some thought, Dewitt made the call with against Van Fleet's . The flop was to give Van Fleet bottom pair while Dewitt added a gutshot straight draw. The on the turn kept Van Fleet in the lead, but the on the river gave Dewitt the winning hand, sending Jon Van Fleet from the tournament in 22nd place ($14,967) while Dewitt now held over 1.1 million in chips.
As the players at the last three tables were told there were six hands left in the day, a flurry of eliminations ensued. First, Darryl Ronconi ran into Jason Dewitt's on the board of when all the money went in, and a blank on the river sent Ronconi to his hotel room in 19th place ($14,967).
The tournament staff was about to combine the field into two tables and do a redraw when two players were eliminated in one hand. Karga Holt got the action underway with an opening raise to 31,000 from late position. Wes Watson called from the button, followed by Rob Tepper in the small blind, and then Jason Cohen moved all in from the big blind for his final 100,000. Holt then decided to go all in as Watson folded. After Tepper made sure that they were past the next pay jump, he called all in as well. Holt was well ahead with against Tepper's and Cohen, happy to see his were both live cards. Holt reinforced his lead when the flop came down , but Cohen still had some outs. Those outs disappeared when the came on the turn, leaving Tepper and Cohen both drawing dead. Robb Tepper officially finished in 17th, while Jason Cohen went home in 18th, each doing the paperwork on their $19,068 winnings at the end of Day 2.
When the remaining players bagged their chips, it was Jason Dewitt whose bag held by far the most chips, with 1,599,000 noted as his total. Alex Millar was the only other player to note a seven-figure chip count (1,006,000), with Karga Holt in third place at 715,000. Michael Katz (356,000), Jason Somerville (320,000), Max Greenwood (294,000), Eric Lynch (230,000), and An Tran (216,000) are some of the notable names who will also return for Day 3 at 1pm Tuesday afternoon to play down to a winner on another busy day at the World Series of Poker. PokerNews will be there covering all the exciting bracelet-winning action.