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World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah's Chester Day 2: Epparla Leads The Final Table

Ramana Epparla

The Main Event of the World Series of Poker Circuit at Harrah's Chester resumed on Monday with 55 players remaining from the starting field of 269, all looking to navigate to Tuesday's Day 3. After a tumultuous day for many, the final table was reached. Leading the way is Ramana Epparla with 1,950,000 — more than a third of the chips in play.

Epparla began the day with a modest stack of 78,000, which was 34/55 coming into the day. He hung around the middle of the pack for a while, until one key hand vaulted him to the top. At the 6,000/12,000/2,000 level, he opened the pot with a raise to 32,000 from the button. Michael DePasquale three-bet to 77,000 out of the big blind, Epparla called to see a flop, which came down {J-Hearts} {9-Hearts}{8-Spades}. DePasquale bet 67,000, but Epparla's response was a shove with the bigger stack, putting DePasquale to the decision for his last ~440,000 chips. A quick call from DePasquale revealed {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}, while Epparla sheepishly showed {6-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} for nothing but a gut shot straight draw. The {2-Spades} turn changed nothing, but the {7-Diamonds} completed Epparla's draw, sending DePasquale to the rail. From there, Epparla added about 800,000 to his stack at the unofficial final table of ten en route to his finish atop the leaderboard.

In second place is Ed Cotter with 686,000, the winner of perhaps the craziest hand of the day. Cotter was in the big blind with {A-Diamonds}{A-Spades} and saw a dream scenario play out before him. A short-stacked player shoved with {10-Hearts}{9-Hearts} from under the gun, the button woke up with {K-Diamonds}{K-Spades} and re-shoved, while the small blind picked up {K-Hearts}{K-Clubs}, getting it in there, as well. Long story short, Cotter's aces held up and he maintained a solid stack all the way though to Tuesday's final table. WSOP-C Choctaw Main Event Champion Huy Nguyen is still in the field, too, as is the always dangerous Ari Engel.

Among those that came up short in their quest for circuit glory was Jake Toole, finishing in 14th place for $5,818. He maintained an average-to-smallish stack throughout the day, but was ultimately eliminated just before the dinner break. Ari Engel opened with a raise under the gun and Toole three-bet shoved from the small blind. A decent amount of the time, Engel rasied light in that spot, but not in this instance. Engel called with {A-Diamonds}{A-Hearts} and had Toole's {Q-Diamonds}{10-Spades} needing help. While Toole did manage to take the lead on the turn, Engel caught up on the river as the board ran out {Q-Spades}{J-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}{A-Spades}. Among those eliminated before the money were Matt Brady, Mark Herm, and Zach Gruneberg.

Here are the seating assignments and chip counts for the final table.

1Huy Nguyen429,000
2Robert Hwang274,000
3Ed Cotter686,000
4Ryan Waddell321,000
5Sean Knitter226,000
6Ari Engel411,000
7Ramana Epparla1,950,000
8Kenny Nguyen622,000
9Robert Scott467,000

The Final Table begins Tuesday at 1200 EDT (1600 GMT). Our Live Reporting Team will be back on the floor to keep you up-to-date on everything that happens, and as always, follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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