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WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic Day 1b: Du Plessis Leads; Margets Advances

Leo Margets

Season XII of the World Poker Tour Emperors Palace Poker Classic continued on Friday with Day 1b action from the The Palace of Dreams in Johannesburg, South Africa. Give the multiple re-entry format of the tournament (players can re-enter as many times as they’d like up until the end of the first level on Day 2), it was no surprise to see Day 1b attract 91 entries, which combined with Day 1a’s 85 entries brings the total field up to 176 entries.

After six 60-minute levels, only 70 remained with Eugene Du Plessis and his stack of 141,200 leading the way.

End-of-Day-1b Top 10 Chip Counts

1Eugene Du Plessis142,100
2Edward Pastoll99,775
3Darren Kramer77,175
4Joe Rahme72,900
5Michael Gossayn56,850
6Jarred Solomon55,000
7Ben Cade54,750
8Greg Ronaldson47,500
9Robert Kay47,400
10Tony Van Eeden47,350

According to the WPT Live Blog, last year’s runner-up, Jerome Bradpiece, was in action on Day 1b. In Level 2 (75/150), Bradpiece opened for 400 from early position and received a call from Team PokerStars Pro Leo Margets in the cutoff. Tony Van Eeden then three-bet to 875 from the blind, two calls followed, and three players saw a flop of {8-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{4-Hearts}.

Van Eeden led for 2,200, Bradpiece called, and Margets got out of the way. Both players checked after the dealer had burned and turned the {A-Hearts}, and the {2-Diamonds} completed the board on the river. Van Eeden bet 2,500 and Bradpiece opted to call. Van Eeden tabled {q-}{q-}, but it was no good as Bradpiece revealed {k-}{k-} to win the pot. Bradpiece would survive the day, albeit with a small stack of 11,850.

A little later on in Level 4 (100,200,25), a preflop raising war resulted in Kumeresen Naidoo getting all his chips in against Craig Samuel.

Samuel: {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs}
Naidoo: {a-Hearts}{10-Hearts}

It was a bad spot for Naidoo, and according to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, he had just a 26.48% chance of surviving the hand while Samuel was a 66.22% favorite. The {a-Spades}{6-Clubs}{4-Spades} flop was no help to Naidoo, and his chances dropped to 11.21%. The {5-Clubs} turn was a good card for Samuel as it gave him a flush draw and a 95.45% chance of winning the hand. Naidoo needed a non-club ten on the river, and while one would appear 4.55% of the time, this wasn’t one of those times as the useless {7-Diamonds} peeled off.

As far as the chip leader was concerned, he ran hot all day and even eliminated 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event third-place finisher Raymond Rahme, who had fired two bullets on Day 1a. It happened in Level 5 (150/300/50) when Du Plessis opened for 700 in early position and the player on the button called. Rahme then three-bet to 3,300 from the big blind, only Du Plessis called, and it was heads-up action to the {j-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}{2-Clubs} flop.

Rahme led out for 3,300 and Du Plessis thought for a bit before raising to 8,800. Not to be outdone, Rahme popped it 19,000 more and Du Plessis thought for several more minutes before calling. When the {7-Clubs} turned, Rahme moved all in and Du Plessis made the call with {10-}{10-} for a set. Rahme mucked even before the {3-Diamonds} completed the board on the river, but since it was an all-in situation the dealer revealed the {6-}{6-} for him.

That hand gave Du Plessis the chip lead, which he’d hold through the end of the night. Others who will join Du Plessis on Day 2 are Rupert Elder (46,200), Leo Margets (34,500), Hugh Todd (28,600), Sunil Devachander (21,650), Matt Lawrence (20,625), Maria Mayrinck (20,625) and MMA fighter Adam Speechly (17,4765). All of those players and more will return at 13:00 SAST.

PokerNews will be bringing you daily recaps of the WPT Emperors Palace Poker Classic all weekend long, so be sure to check back for those in the coming days.

*Photos courtesy of the WPT Blog.

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