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2014 World Series of Poker Day 28: Mercier Grabs $50K PPC Lead; Morgan, McNiff Continue Epic Heads-Up

2014 World Series of Poker Day 28: Mercier Grabs $50K PPC Lead; Morgan, McNiff Continue Epic... 0001

The four events in action on Monday at the 2014 World Series of Poker played down to 80 players, to 55, to 11, and to two. That is to say, none of the four made it all of the way down to a winner, although Event No. 44: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em did make it close before play was halted with Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff still battling for the bracelet.

Aside from the near-finish between those two, Day 2 of the five day Event 46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship grabbed most of the attention yesterday where Jason Mercier ended the night with the chip lead ahead of Jonathan Duhamel and Shaun Deeb.

Here’s a rundown of some highlights from all four events.

Event #44: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

There were 15 hopefuls left from a field of 1,914 to begin yesterday’s third day of Event #44, and before the dinner break that group had already whittled down to two — Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff.

Justin Conley (15th, $21,575), Roberto Romanello (13th, $21,575), and Vinny Pahuja (12th, $23,337) were among the shorter stacks to fall early on Monday. Then start-of-day-3 leader Brandon Ageloff would bubble the final table to finish in 10th ($27,337), losing the last of his chips to Morgan in a hand that saw him turn trips then get his stack in versus Morgan’s full house and lose.

It took just 78 hands after that to get from nine players down to two. After one-time bracelet winner Ray Foley was knocked out by Morgan in fourth, a hand arose that saw Jason Johnson raise before the flop with {A-}{8-} and get a call from Morgan. The flop came {A-Spades}{5-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} to give Johnson top pair and both checked, then after the {3-Clubs} turn Morgan bet and Johnson called.

The river brought the {8-Hearts} to give Johnson two pair, and when Morgan again bet, Johnson raised. Morgan then shoved all in and Johnson called with his last chips only to see Morgan turn over {8-}{8-} for a rivered set. The “dead man’s hand” had failed Johnson, and they were down to two.

Morgan had a big lead with over 6.8 million to McNiff’s 1.75 million to start heads-up play, and almost an hour later the pair went to dinner with Morgan having chipped up over 7 million. But McNiff would steadily chip back, eventually taking the advantage away and leading himself for a while.

2014 World Series of Poker Day 28: Mercier Grabs K PPC Lead; Morgan, McNiff Continue Epic... 101
Jordan Morgan and Evan McNiff are *still* heads-up

The duel ultimately lasted six hours and almost 200 hands — 197 to be exact — before they’d both take the option available to them to get a night’s rest before continuing at 1 p.m. this afternoon to determine which of the two will win his first WSOP bracelet and the $478,102 first prize.

With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 with a 15,000 ante, the pair bagged up close to even stacks to end the night:

Event #44: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em End of Day 3 Chip Counts

1Jordan Morgan4,445,000
2Evan McNiff4,170,000

Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em

Meanwhile it was Day 2 of Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em playing out yesterday, with 144 players returning from the 1,841 who had begun the event on Sunday. They played 10 one-hour levels after which just 11 remained with Angela Prada-Moed the chip leader ahead of Loren Klein who ended in second position chip-wise for the second straight day.

Will Givens ended the day in fourth position out of the 11, exactly where he finished the last $1K NLHE event when he took fourth out of 1,688 in Event #33. Kim Ng ended in seventh, one of the two remaining women in the field with Prada-Moed. And WSOP Circuit grinder Paul Sokoloff finished with the short stack in 11th.

Among the players making it to the evening before bowing out yesterday were Thiago Nishijima (49th, $5,086), Aaron Steury (45th, $6,064), Eddy Sabat (44th, $6,064), Hoyt Corkins (38th, $6,064), Allyn Jaffrey Shulman (33rd, $7,323), Justin Pechie (29th, $7,323), Ari Engel (28th, $7,323), Arnaud Mattern (25th, $8,947), Max Pescatori (23rd, $8,947), Lily Kiletto (20th, $8,947), and Brandon Hall (19th, $8,947).

Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em End of Day 2 Chip Counts

1Angela Prada-Moed961,000
2Loren Klein804,000
3Ivan Saul613,000
4Will Givens546,000
5Dmitrii Shchepkin501,000
6Eugene Curzio459,000
7Kim Ng452,000
8Duy Ho446,000
9David Haas382,000
10Terik Brown253,000
11Paul Sokoloff210,000

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Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship

The second day of the $50K Poker Players Championship was in action yesterday, always a “who’s who”-type tournament that attracts many of poker’s best known and most decorated players. Just 85 had come out for Day 1 on Sunday, then 17 more joined during the last hours of registration early on Monday to create a field of 102 — down sharply from the 132 who participated a year ago with a number of those who normally play the event deciding to skip it this time around.

That field of 102 created a total prize pool of $4,896,000. Only the top 14 finishers will make the money, with the winner set to earn $1,517,767 along with the bracelet and David “Chip” Reese Memorial Trophy.

As noted, Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, and Shaun Deeb ended the night in the top three spots on the leader board, with a host of other familiar names still populating the chip counts page. Doyle Brunson was among those joining the action on Day 2, ending the day as one of the short stacks (in 47th). Phil Ivey also made it through albeit with a below average stack as well (in 44th).

Meanwhile previous $50K event winners Matthew Ashton, Michael Mizrachi, Brian Rast, and Scotty Nguyen all failed to survive the day, nor did Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, or George Danzer.

Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship End of Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

1Jason Mercier802,600
2Jonathan Duhamel783,000
3Shaun Deeb724,400
4David Steicke711,100
5Gary Benson534,700
6Scott Seiver529,700
7Matt Glantz522,800
8David Oppenheim425,000
9Roland Israelashvili404,700
10Eli Elezra397,300

Event #47: $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em

The other event in action on Monday was Event #47: $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em, the tournament with the intriguing format using antes and bring-ins but no blinds. A total of 714 players were curious enough to give Event #47 a go yesterday, up from the 678 who participated a year ago, and after a day of play just 80 were left with Ryan D’Angelo atop the overnight counts.

Dan Kelly — fresh off winning his second career bracelet in Event #43: $1,500 Limit Hold’em — finished Day 1 of Event #47 with a top five stack, with Manig Loeser (seventh), Max Silver (11th), Jeff Garza (13th), and Kyle Bowker (15th) also among those bagging above average chips.

Only the top 72 will be making the money and splitting the $963,900 prize pool, meaning the bubble is approaching but has yet to burst. A first prize of $212,093 will go to the winner.

Event #47: $1,500 Ante Only No-Limit Hold’em End of Day 1 Top 10 Chip Counts

1Ryan D’Angelo120,400
2Anton Smirnov106,600
3Jesse McEuen98,500
4Dan Kelly98,400
5Takaaki Nakayama88,400
6Arthur Pro83,200
7Manig Loeser79,000
8Roongsak Griffeth77,900
9Dustin Goldklang76,100
10Gregory Morris75,600

On Tap

There will be five bracelet events in action today at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, including the heads-up finale of Event #44 and what should be the final day of play in Event #45. Meanwhile the $50K PPC continues with its third day of five, the “ante only” event will move into Day 2, and one new event — Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low — gets underway.

Here’s the full schedule of bracelet events for today (all times PDT):

  • 12:00 p.m. — Event #48: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low (Day 1 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #44: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 4 of 4)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #45: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em (Day 3 of 3)
  • 1:00 p.m. — Event #47: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Ante Only (Day 2 of 3)
  • 2:00 p.m. — Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players Championship (Day 3 of 5)

Video of the Day

In the latest edition of Ivey Stories, current $50K PPC chip leader Jason Mercier shared a story with us about Phil Ivey and the hard-to-say-without-grinning “mini-raise.”

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