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World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Day 1b: JC Tran Leads the Way into Day 2

JC Tran

The World Poker Tour Legends of Poker resumed on Friday with Day 1b, offering players who busted on Day 1a the option of a re-entry for the buy-in of $3,500. Day 1b saw 435 come to play and along with the 322 entrants from Day 1a — 757 in all. The World Poker Tour Live Updates Team did the math on the re-entries and it seemed like the format was very popular among the players. There were 641 total unique players, and on Day 1a, 181 were eliminated and 116 re-entered on Day 1b. The entries created a total prize pool of $2,570,015, and $758,085 of it will go to the player who outlasts the entire field. After nine levels of play on Friday, JC Tran emerged at the top of the chip counts with 265,000, leading the way into Saturday's Day 2.

As reported by the World Poker Tour Live Update Team, Tran arrived late to the action, but had little trouble in picking up steam. During Level 8, 300/600/75, Tran held {K-Hearts}{5-Hearts} and flopped a flush when the flop came down {8-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{2-Hearts}. One of Tran's opponents in the hand check-raised all-in for about 9,000 and another called, before Tran re-raised and forced a fold from opponent No. 2. The all-in player turned over {10-Hearts}{4-Hearts} and was drawing dead, propelling Tran's stack to about 235,000 en route to his finishing the day with 265,000 and the overall chip lead.

On the other end of the spectrum was David "Chino" Rheem. It was a quick tournament for Rheem as a failed bluff brought his tournament to an end during Level 3, 100/200. After calling a three-bet with one other player, three players saw a flop of {9-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. Both Chino and the other caller checked to the aggressor and she fired a bet, prompting Chino to raise all-in. The other player folded, but the raiser called after a few moments to put Chino at risk. With {7-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}, Chino needed a ton of help to run down his opponent's {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts}. The {5-Hearts} turn card was a good start, giving Chino an open-ended straight draw. However, the river delivered the {2-Hearts}, sending Chino to the rail. Other players that only played on Day 1b and were unable to make it through to Day 2 include Amanda Musumeci, Lauren Kling, and Barry Greenstein.

Quite a few players chose to take advantage of the re-entry option and for some, it could prove beneficial. Tran is obviously chief among them. Another one of those players is Owen Crowe, fresh off a recent six-figure score in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up. After admitting that he played impatiently on Day 1a, Crowe had a much better Day 1b, finishing with a top-ten stack of 138,500. WPT Season IX Player of the Year Andy Frankenberger also bagged chips at the end of Day 1b. After failing to make it through play on Thursday, Frankenberger was back at it on Friday and ended the day with 53,000 in chips.

For others, it was a $7,000 downswing. Justin Young, Kathy Liebert, Jennifer Tilly, and Tony Dunst are amongst those that went 0-for-2 and won't be back for Day 2.

Play resumes Saturday at 1300 PDT (2100 BST) with 340 survivors from the Day 1 sessions taking to the felt for Day 2.

The final table of the WPT Legends of Poker will be streamed live on August 30, 2011, and can be viewed on the World Poker Tour website. Be sure to check back with PokerNews for daily recaps as the tournament commences.

*Hands referenced from the WPT Live Reporting Blog.

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