Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic saw 48 players take advantage of the late registration period, creating a total field of 413 at the $10,000 buy-in event at Bellagio. The number didn't quite reach last year's field of 438, but a prize pool of more than $4 million will be dispersed to the top 100 finishers.
Found among the late stragglers Wednesday: Phil Hellmuth, Ben Lamb, Jason Mercier, Eli Elezra and Doyle Brunson. Most spent Day 1 playing high-stakes mixed games at Bobby's Room. All survived the day except Lamb, who ran pocket kings into Blake Kelso's pocket aces.
Joining Lamb on the rail Wednesday were Daniel Negreanu, Hoyt Corkins, Faraz Jaka, Gavin Smith, Barry Greenstein, Brandon Cantu, Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Jen Tilly, and Jeff Schulman.
Among the 148 survivors on Day 2 was American Grant Lang who emerged as chip leader when play concluded on Wednesday. He bagged up 382,000 after taking a nice pot from Day 1 chip leader Vanessa Selbst on the night's final hand. He's joined at the top of the chip counts by Jeffrey Frerichs, Scott Clements, Soi Nguyen and Jean Max Gaspard.
Clements, who recently won the Venetian Deep Stacks Extravaganza Main Event, played the most entertaining hand of the tournament Wednesday against Chris Klodnicki to shoot him up the leaderboard.
According to the WPT Live Updates Team, Luis Velador min-raised to 2,000 from early position, and Klodnicki, John Smith and Clements called. The flop came , Smith checked, Clements bet 6,000, and action folded to Klodnicki, who raised to 15,000. Smith folded and Clements three-bet to 28,500. Klodnicki then fired back with a four-bet to 43,500, prompting a shove from Clements for 110,000. Klodnicki called and the cards went on their backs.
Clements showed for trip nines, but Klodnicki tabled pocket eights for a full house. Klodnicki's hand improved even further when the case eight on the turn gave him quads, but Clements hit his only out left in the deck when the case nine hit the river, giving him higher quads and a pot worth more than 220,000. Left with only 33,000, Klodnicki was eliminated later in the day.
Others making it to Day 3 with healthy stacks: defending Five Diamond champion Antonio Esfandiari, Matt Glantz, Allen Cunningham, Dwyte Pilgrim, Justin Smith, and WPT Raw Deal host Tony Dunst.
Day 3 gets under way at 1200 PST (2000 GMT) on Thursday. Here’s a look at the top ten chip counts when play resumes:
WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Top 10 Chip Counts
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.