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WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open Day 2: Season XII Champ Jaffee Leads; Mercier Still Alive

WPT Jacksonville

In the first three seasons of the World Poker Tour, there was at least one double champion per season. In Season I both Howard Lederer and Gus Hansen earned two titles, in Season II Erick Lindgren was the only double champion, and in Season III Daniel Negreanu and Tuan Le both won two.

Since then, no player has won twice in the same season.

Only 19 players remain after Day 2 of the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open, and the chip leader is already a champion in Season XII; Jared Jaffee. Jaffee, winner of WPT bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble, bagged 776,000 in chips. His closest competitor is Jordan Cristos, who bagged 699,000, and Cristos nearly has a six-figure advantage over Nghia Lee, who finished with 604,000.

A gaggle of big names still remain in contention, including another Season XII champ looking to double dip in James Calderaro, WPT Season VII Player of the Year Faraz Jaka, former World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up John Racener, and superstar Jason Mercier. Mercier, who bagged 298,000, is a two-time WSOP bracelet winner and the Season 4 European Poker Tour Sanremo champion, so a WPT victory would give him poker's "triple crown."

Day 2 WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open Top 10

1Jared Jaffee*776,000
2Jordan Cristos*699,000
3Nghia Le604,000
4Bryan Irish-Jones573,000
5Sean Winter552,000
6Nabil Hirezi520,000
7Kevin Choe513,000
8James Calderaro*494,000
9Faraz Jaka494,000
10Ali Alawadhi441,000

*Denotes that the player is a member of the WPT Champions Club

Registration closed at the start of Day 2, and the 258 entries generated a total prize pool of $825,600. The top 27 players would take home a minimum of $6,725, each member of the six-handed final table is guaranteed at least $38,241, and the winner will earn $206,041, along with a $15,400 seat to the WPT World Championship.

The bubble did burst on Day 2, but not before several notables hit the rail, including, current Season XII Player of the Year leader Mukul Pahuja, Mohsin Charania, Scotty Nguyen, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Day 1a and Day 1b chip leaders Lazaro Hernandez and Manuel Rafanan, respectively.

Rafanan lost a few chips at the start of the day, but was in great shape to double up with the {j-Diamonds}{j-Hearts} against Anthony Spinella's {3-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}, according to the WPT Live Updates Team. Spinella spiked a three on the flop to make a set, and Rafanan was unable to improve. Nguyen was crippled by Amanda Musumeci when the two got all of the chips in the middle on a ten-high flop, and Musumeci's {k-Diamonds}{k-Hearts} dominated Nguyen's {q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}.

The bubble burst when Champions Club member Shawn Cunix lost a race against Kevin Choe. Cunix was looking to hold with his {8-Clubs}{8-Spades} against the {k-Spades}{j-Diamonds} of Choe, but the flop produced the {j-Spades}{10-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}. Choe held as the turn and river bricked off with the {4-Hearts} and the {10-Diamonds}, respectively, and Cunix hit the rail empty handed.

Eight players busted in the money before the day ended; Jonathan Baldwin, Jeremiah Pierce, Talesh Patel, Musumeci, Michael Martinez, Greg Baumhover, Thad McNulty, and Maurice Gottlieb.

Jaffee recorded the final knockout of the night, calling Gottlieb's 107,000-chip shove on a board of {9-Diamonds}{8-Clubs}{2-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. Jaffee was drawing with the {8-Diamonds}{6-Spades} against Gottlieb's {j-Diamonds}{j-Spades}, and spiked the {8-Spades} on the river to make trip eights.

Play is scheduled to resume on Monday at noon EST, where the remaining 19 will play until they reach an official final table of six. Be sure to check back to PokerNews after play is completed for a recap of the day's highlights.

Photo and data courtesy of the WPT Live Blog

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