On Sunday, 192 players returned to the felt for the Harrah's Philadelphia Main Event on the World Series of Poker Circuit presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof. Over the course of a grueling 12-hour day of poker, the field was whittled down to the final 14. Upon bagging up for the evening, Michael Assante led the remaining players with a stack of 1.149 million.
WSOP Circuit Harrah's Philadelphia Final 14
Assante burst into the chip lead during a late-day confrontation with Jonas Wexler during which Assante made an excellent call with pocket tens. Hot on Assante's heels will be Mike Jukich, who bagged up 1.05 million to end Day 2. Rounding out the top three was Matthew Weber with a stack of 919,000.
Day 2 began with 174 returning players and 18 new entrants hitting the felt with the dream of grabbing the WSOP Circuit title, the seat to the National Championship, the shiny gold ring, and the $121,095 in first-place prize. As play wore on, however, players began dropping out. The likes of Ari Engel, Allen Kessler, Robert Cheung, Michael Esposito, Sean Rice, Doug "Rico" Carli, Scott Baumstein and DJ MacKinnon all fell before the field reached the money.
While those players were unable to seize the moment, Jukich grabbed the field and did not relent. Jukich won a massive pot fairly early in the day to secure his spot above the field. From there, it was somewhat of an upward trend until the final few tables were reached. When Jukich's stack began to fall behind the rest of the field, he made a late surge that included eliminating Ido Ashkenazi and Larry Pileggi.
Also making a big splash during Day 2 play was Wexler, who entered the day as a top 10 stack, a status he rarely relinquished. His shining moment, however, came just before the final three tables were reached at the 3,000/6,000/1,000 level. Matt Glantz opened with a preflop raise that was flat-called by Tom Christopher from the cutoff. Wexler three-bet to 43,000 from the small blind, and Glantz announced a four-bet ship all in for roughly 180,000. Christopher snap-called the four-bet, and Wexler came right back over the top and put Christopher all in. He called for his tournament life, and the three hands were tabled.
The flop was relatively tame, falling , but a situation wouldn't be a critical without a sweat. The hit fourth street, and suddenly Christopher was drawing live to a spade flush. But life doesn't always work out the way we want it to, though, as the completed the board and Wexler scooped up a giant pot. This brought his stack up to 1.37 million, but by the end of the night he bagged up 590,000.
One of the more interesting stories about the final day of play is that of redemption. Both Ken Silberstein and Rex Clinkscales are still alive in the field, and have both now made back-to-back deep runs in this very event. Back in 2012, Silberstein finished runner-up in this event to Christopher Bonn (who also made Day 2 this year, but fell before the money bubble burst). This year, Silberstein finds himself in eighth place overall heading into the final day of play with the chance to improve on his second-place finish last year. Clinkscales, on the other hand, finished 10th place one year ago and is looking to best his final-table-bubble-boy finish and possibly secure his first WSOP Circuit ring. He'll have his work cut out for him on Day 3, though, as he is one of the field's shorter stacks with 262,000 in chips.
Play will resume on Monday in the Harrah's Room at Harrah's Philadelphia at 2 p.m. EST. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews as we wind down to a champion in the exciting conclusion of this event.