It was the Phil "USCphildo" Collins show on Day 2 of the World Poker Tour's Legends of Poker Main Event. Collins battled back from short stack to chip leader at the end of a marathon day of poker at California's Bicycle Casino. Joining him at the top of the list of the 60 remaining players are JC Alvarado, Tom Braband, and former WPT Player of the Year Jonathan Little.
Since the two start days drew a total of 462 runners, and more than half returned on Day 2, tournament staff decided to lengthen the day with seven 90-minute levels, meaning play lasted until 2 am. It seemed like such a long day would work against Collins, who said he was kept up the night before by a brutal case of food poisoning. But it turns out those extra hours were exactly what he needed.
Collins began the day with 13,000 in chips and was down to a few big blinds shortly before dinner. But by the end of the night, he had turned his small stack into 898,000, more than 300,000 more than his closest challenger. Collins picked up momentum after the break and kept going when his pocket queens held to bust Eric "blizair" Blair. In the next level, he knocked out Justin Young, who had begun the day among the chip leaders. Young flopped a set, but Collins rivered a flush to eliminate Young and build a chip lead to take with him into Day 3.
Young wasn't the only player to begin the afternoon wiith a big stack and finish the night with nothing. Vinny Vinh and Raymond Dolan met the same fate. Joe Sebok survived a rough day after coming in with chips to spare, but Papa Bear Barry Greenstein wasn't as fortunate. Frank Kassela has been on a tournament marathon since his stellar WSOP trying to rack of player-of-the-year points, but he won't earn any from this event after being eliminated by Darryll Fish. Kassela's son, Chris, started the day with a much larger stack than his father but beat him to the rail by a few hours. WPT "it" couple McLean Karr and Maria Ho both hit the rail, while Erick Lindgren will at least be able to cheer on Erica Schoenberg, who made it to Day 3 with above-average chips. During the course of Day 2's seven levels, Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Madsen, Jason Mercier, and Shawn Buchanan all also met their demise.
Although Hellmuth and Madsen were forced to take their shows on the road, plenty of entertaining characters will be back on Monday. Jonathan Aguiar's stack is dwarfing Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler's in the battle of the nits, but plenty can change on Day 3. Marco Johnson is only a few chips behind Aguiar. He was almost out the door after getting his chips in on the flop with a set of eights against a set of jacks, but the miracle eight hit the river, and Johnson made good use of his second life. David "Doc" Sands, Tim Phan, and November Niner Soi Nguyen are also above average. Amit "amak316" Makhija, Ted Lawson, and Joe Hachem have a bit more work cut out for them when they return as short stacks.
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