Day 2 of the 2011 World Poker Tour Malta took place on Thursday with 154 players returning to action. At the end of the day, 30 remained with Cecilia Pescaglini leading the way with a stack of 976,000. She's well ahead of the rest of the field, including her closest competitor, Marvin Rettenmaier, who is in second place with 415,000.
The top 27 spots are set to be paid out, which means that the money bubble has yet to break. That will happen on Day 3, but Day 2 still saw plenty of action.
Dragan Galic, David Vamplew, Dominik Nitsche, David Peters, Steve O'Dwyer, William Thorson, Tobias Reinkemeier and Day 1b chip leader Tommy Vedes were all eliminated on the day. Phil Hellmuth was anther notable player to hit the rail, falling in Level 14 according to the WPT Live Update Team.
Hellmuth lost all his chips in two quick pots. On the first hand, Salvatore Bianco raised to 5,000 with the blinds at 1,200/2,400 with a 400 ante and Hellmuth three-bet to 17,000 from the small blind. Bianco called and the flop came down . Hellmuth bet and Bianco called to see the fall on the turn. Again, Hellmuth bet and Bianco called. The river completed the board with the and Hellmuth bet 65,000 into a pot around 70,000. Bianco called holding for a pair of sevens. Hellmuth mucked his hand and Bianco scooped the chips.
Shortly thereafter, Hellmuth, who began the hand with around 20,000, raised to 7,200 in the cutoff seat. Andras Fekete made it 12,000 to go from the button. The two blinds folded and Fekete exposed his hand, revealing the .
Hellmuth: "Wow buddy, I still have chips left."
Fekete: "Sorry, I'll understand if you fold."
Helmuth: "Well, I ain't folding."
Hellmuth then called the raise and was left with about 8,000 behind. The flop came down and Hellmuth checked. Fekete moved all-in for Hellmuth quickly called. He held the to go against Fekete's already-exposed . The turn brought the and the river the . Fekete made a spade flush on the river to send Hellmuth to the rail in bizarre fashion.
A few other notables bustouts included Sofia Lovgren, Julian Herold, John Eames and Nicolo Calia.
Of those advancing to Day 3, Giovanni Rizzo is the shortest stack left with 59,500 in chips. Tristan Clemencon, Tony G and Isaac Haxton all have below-average stacks. Sitting above the mean is November Niner Matt Giannetti with 370,000 in chips. He has the fourth-largest stack that will be returning for Day 3.
Day 3 will take place on Friday starting at 1630 CEST (1530 BST). The plan for the day is to grind it out until the final table of six is set. First place is over $273,000, but no one is guaranteed anything just yet. Be sue to stay tuned to PokerNews for the daily recap of the action after play is through.
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*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour