It's down to just nine players out of 1,057 runners at the WinStar River Poker Series $2,500 Main Event and the leader in the race for the $1 million first prize is November Niner Gordon Vayo.
|3||Long Duc Nguyen||3,085,000|
Vayo had a blazing hot Day 2, moving into a spot among the leaders very early on and never relinquishing his massive stack. Seemingly every time someone played back at him, he either had the goods or outdrew a better hand. After scoring a few knockouts of short-stacked players, he busted start-of-day leader Andy Philachack when Philachack shoved under the gun with and Vayo woke up with on the button. The board ran out , leaving the king kicker the unimproved winner.
One of the only challengers to Vayo was Nathan Gamble, but he drew a seat on Vayo's right with two tables left. Vayo kept him at arm's length blind-versus-blind when Gamble raised to 120,000 at 20,000/40,000/4,000 and Vayo called. Vayo called 175,000 on the flop and then bet 330,000 when Gamble checked to him on an turn. Both checked the river and Gamble's lost to .
Gamble wound up falling in 11th. The day began with 107 players, all of them in the money, and some others who joined Gamble on the rail were TJ Cloutier, Rob Salaburu, Chris Staats, Rex Clinkscales, Ben Zamani, Brandon Steven, Mike Wang, Kevin Eyster, and Jake Bazeley.
Defending champ Maxx Coleman, who topped a three-way chop here last year, also made a run, but busted 32nd when his queens were bested by a Ray Qartomy set of fives.
Vayo will take 6,845,000 in chips into the final table with the blinds heading to 40,000/80,000/10,000. Joining him will be Grant Hinkle (4,865,000), Ben Ector (3,840,000), Long Duc Nguyen (3,085,000), Chino Rheem (2,590,000), Daniel Fuhs (2,000,000), Layne Flack (1,555,000), Dean Bobel (945,000) and Jeff Duvall (675,000).
The final table continues Tuesday at noon local time and will play to a winner with coverage here on PokerNews.