The 2014 World Series of Poker National Championship began with 126 players, but on Friday the remaining 50 players returned on Day 2 to play down to the final table of six. Leading the way is 2013 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players’ Champion Matthew Ashton, who holds a sizeable chip lead over the rest of the field.
His next closest competitor is Athanasios Polychronopoulos, who bought into the tournament for $10,000 as one of the top 100 on the WSOP World Rankings. Likewise, WSOP bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche ponied up the buy-in and finds himself among the final six. Others at the final table includes at-large qualifiers Chris Bibb and Andrew Robinson and WSOP.com Nevada KO Freeroll winner Tracy Doss.
The 2014 National Championship Final Table
According to WSOP.com, action resumed with Level 11 (800/1,600/200) and it didn’t take long for the eliminations to mount. Among those to exit early were Patty Till, Jamie Kerstetter, Ryan Tepen, Stephen Chidwick, Jared Hamby, Eric Baldwin, David Nicholson, Russell Thomas, and Loni Harwood.
Harwood was crippled after returning from a break and immediately losing a race with jacks to . That knocked her down to two big blinds, and a short time later she watched Nitsche raise to 5,500 under the gun. Harwood called off for 4,600 from late position, and then Aditya Prasetyo three-bet from the button to 12,500. Nitsche called and then both active players checked the flop. When the appeared on the turn, Nitsche checked and then folded to a bet from Prasetyo.
Harwood was drawing dead and exited after the was put out on the river for good measure. From there, a slew of other players including Matt Stout, Jesse Capps, Bernard Lee, and Darren Rabinowitz followed her out the door to bring about the money bubble.
In Level 16 (2,500/5,000/500) with 16 players left, Ruslan Dykshteyn got his stack all in holding the only to run into the of Ashton. The board ran out a clean and Dykshteyn was eliminated on the bubble, thus ensuring the final 15 a minimum payday of $21,269.
Once the bubble burst, the in-the-money eliminations came at a steady pace and included Greg Merson (15th - $21,269), Scott Clements (13th - $21,269), Bryan Campanello (12th - $25,830), Michael Oshana (10th - $25830), Day 1 chip leader Jeff Gunnip (8th - $39,917), and Ylon Schwartz (7th - $50,816).
Schwartz fell in Level 20 (6,000/12,000/2,000) when he moved all in for 115,000 and Doss moved all in over the top from the button. The blinds both folded and Schwartz discovered the bad news.
Schwartz, who qualified after emerging as the WSOP Circuit Biloxi Casino Champion, wouldn’t get so much as a sweat as the board ran out and he had to settle for seventh place and $50,816.
The third and final day of the 2014 National Championship will kick off at 12 p.m. local time on Saturday as the final six take to the televised final table on the Atlantic City Boardwalk to play down to a champion. Of course PokerNews will bring you a full recap of the action upon completion of play.
*Photos and data courtesy of WSOP.com.