Day 2 of PokerStars.net NAPT Venetian, the inaugural North American Poker Tour event, began with nearly 500 players, but fewer than 150 survived to bag chips at the end of the night. Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger emerged from the pro-packed field as the man to beat heading into Day 3. The players will be back on Monday to burst the money bubble in the $5,000 NAPT no-limit hold'em main event.
Andrew Lichtenberger built a respectable stack throughout the day but surged into the chip lead with one giant hand at the end of the night. Danish pro Lars Bonding has been on a heater in February, winning an unheard of three preliminary events at the Venetian. He was hoping to make it four and had a large chip stack when he picked up pocket kings. But Lichtenberger's pocket aces brought Bonding's hot streak to an abrupt end. The cooler combined two of the field's biggest stacks and catapulted LuckyChewy to the top of the chip counts.
Andy "BKiCe" Seth began Day 2 as the chip leader and managed to accumulate all day to finish the night just behind Lichtenberger. Steve Billirakis is right behind both. Men "the Master" Nguyen, Nam Le, Jonathan Aguiar, Fabrice Soulier, and Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso are also near the top of the counts. Fellow Team PokerStars Pros Greg Raymer and Tom McEvoy join Rousso in returning for Day 3. They'll all also have to contend with Michael Binger, James "mig.com" Mackey, Justin "Boosted J" Smith, and Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke.
Chris Moneymaker was fourth in chips at the end of the first day but couldn't find any momentum on Day 2 and busted after a few levels. Carter Phillips also started with a big stack only to hit the rail shortly before the end of the night. Montel Williams was the last member of the entertainment world standing but won't get a shot at the money. Neither will Daniel Negreanu, Josh Arieh, Scotty Nguyen, Joe Cada, Jason Mercier, or Barry Greenstein.
The remaining 149 players return at noon on Monday with the $4.1 million prize pool in sight. The top 128 are guaranteed at least $7,232. Once they burst the money bubble, they'll play until they reach the final three eight-handed tables. It should be a long, exciting day as the field narrows to 24. Will LuckyChewy's reign hold or will another pro dominate Day 3?