Just 99 Players Remain in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown; Bubble Bursts on Day 2

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open

Day 2 of the $3,500 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, Florida was packed with action on Sunday as the field of 659 runners that started the day dwindled to just 99 contenders.

PokerNews has been on-site to capture glimpses of Day 2 action, which kicked off at noon local time with Level 11 with blinds of 1,500/2,500/2,500. Here is some of what took place throughout the action-packed second day of the Championship Event, which will award $1,000,300 to the eventual winner.

ClubWPT Qualifier Out; Lichtenberger Battling

During the opening exchanges, ClubWPT qualifier Brett Kunz, who recently got to attend a Miami Heat game with WPT's Vince Van Patten, got the river in a heads-up pot with the board reading {8-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{j-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{8-Spades}.

His opponent was first to act and put out a stack of chips to put Kunz all-in. Kunz contemplated and eventually called off for his tournament life with around 40,000 left in his stack. The opponent showed {8-Clubs}{7-Clubs} for rivered trips and the Canadian farmer mucked before leaving his seat.

Brett Kunz
Brett Kunz

Across the room, poker commentator Nick Schulman opened in early position to play a pot against Cherish Andrews in the big blind. Schulman continued with a bet on the flop reading {j-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{4-Hearts} and Andrews called, and the same action took place on the {q-Clubs} turn.

The {k-Clubs} river checked through and Schulman showed he rivered the winner with {k-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}, while Andrews held {j-Spades}{9-Spades}.

Other poker pros battled it out early in the day, including Ian O’Hara and Chad Eveslage, the latter of whom was eliminated during the all-in confrontation against the fellow South Florida pro.

At Table 9, Andrew Lichtenberger sat two seats to the left of fellow high-stakes pro Brock Wilson,

“LuckyChewy” spoke with PokerNews during the first break about his victory earlier this week in Event #31: $50,000 Super High Roller that earned him $638,223.

"It was an amazing experience,” Lichtenberger said. “I've been working pretty hard on my game, I have a lot of great people around me, and yeah, I think that's really why I'm having success. It's not just my own efforts and motivations and inspirations, it's the people I work with and their good vibes; it's a whole collective experience."

Andrew Lichtenberger
Andrew Lichtenberger

The victory came after a four-hour heads-up battle against Alex Foxen, who in turn pocketed $515,587.

"Alex is a great player, that goes without saying,” Lichtenberger said. “And we had a super tough match. And I was lucky when it mattered most in the all-ins, and I think I probably got outplayed in a few spots, to be honest, but yeah, it was incredibly fun and very spirited."

Now looking to make a deep run in the Championship Event, Lichtenberger explained to PokerNews how he adapts to the larger field in the smaller-buy-in event.

“As far as how you adapt your strategy, people aren't maybe playing as technical, so to speak, so there's a little more leniency with what kind of hands you can play and how aggressive you want to be. It's more freestyling, that's kind of how I think about it.”

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Stacked Corner in the Grand Ballroom; Hendrix Takes Chip Lead

Later in the day, a cluster of notable names were scattered across just half a dozen tables in the southwest quadrant of the Grand Ballroom.

2015 WSOP Main Event winner Joe McKeehen was sat at Table 2, with Angelina Rich at an adjacent table.

Angelina Rich
Angelina Rich

Meanwhile, defending champion Brek Schutten sat in the four-seat at Table 4, just a few feet away from the player he defeated last year to win the title: Steven Snyder.

Sitting at the nearby Table 10 in the eight-seat was Adam Hendrix, who had recently become one of the chip leaders in the tournament with a stack of 900,000, while five-time WSOP bracelet winner and Florida resident Jason Mercier was grinding it out a few tables behind Hendrix.

The Alaska all-time money leader took a minute to chat with PokerNews as players took a second break. He said his Day 2 had been “pretty smooth" up to that point.

“I won a big pot with kings to ace-queen early, and that sort of helped it out,” Hendrix said. “And, you know, just a bunch of small pots here and there."

Hendrix is fresh off of a high-roller victory at the US Poker Open in Las Vegas, where he took down a $10k No-Limit Hold’em event to win $211,200 after overcoming final table big stack Jonathan Little.

Adam Hendrix
Adam Hendrix

"That tournament was interesting because Jonathan Little had every chip at the final table, so I was just sort of a bystander for a while,” he recalled. “And then I got pretty lucky versus him a few times, woke up with some hands that I could call him with, and then from there I just took it down."

While Hendrix said his strategy wouldn’t change too much now that he has a big stack, he did say he will be on the lookout for opportunities to use it to his advantage.

“I can apply some pressure maybe in the next few hours on the bubble and hopefully make Day 3."

Defending Champion Bursts Bubble

Players returned from dinner to tables now featuring stacks of rectangular time chips, as well as digital shot clocks giving players 30 seconds to make each decision before having to sacrifice a precious extension.

Toward the back of the Grand Ballroom, poker coach Lexy Gavin raked in a nice pot at Table 30 with her aces still face-up as the dealer washed the board. A few feet away, all-time Connecticut money leader Stephen Song and young Florida native Landon Tice battled it out on the same table.

Before too long, the tournament director paused the clock and announced the start of hand-for-hand play.

WPT Champions Club member Will Failla was at risk of bubbling in a hand where 2019 WPT Player of the Year Brian Altman raised in a three-way pot on a flop of {8-Spades}{6-Spades}{5-Clubs} and Failla check-raised all-in.

Brian Altman
Brian Altman

Altman, who had his opponent well covered, mulled over a call and eventually put his chips in, turning over {a-Spades}{5-Hearts} for bottom pair against the nut straight of Failla with {9-Spades}{7-Clubs}.

“I tried to get him to fold!” Failla screamed through a thick New York accent as the dealer waited to run the board out. “He wouldn’t fold a pair to me!”

The {q-Spades} on the turn was the last thing Failla wanted to see as Altman picked up the nut flush draw, but his heart returned to his chest when the {k-Hearts} completed the board.

“Marshall, how do you roll off a spade on the turn there!?” someone at the table asked the dealer.

“That turn took about two years off your life,” Altman laughed to Failla.

The money bubble burst a few minutes later at another table when Schutten, the defending champion, picked up kings in to bust David Coleman, who called off in the four-bet pot to no prevail as the board ran out {9-Spades}{6-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{7-Clubs}.

Brek Schutten
Brek Schutten

The remaining 252 players cheered as the tournament director announced they were in the money and guaranteed a minimum payout of $5,650. By the end of the day, just 99 players remained all in the hunt for the WPT title and a first prize of $1,000,300.

WPT SHRPO End of Day 2 Chip Counts

RankPlayerChip Count
1Mark Davis3,740,000
2Marcos Exterkotter3,230,000
3Aram Zobian3,085,000
4Allan Rabinovich3,010,000
5Dan Bekavac2,525,000
6Adam Hendrix2,430,000
7Javier Zarco2,350,000
8Kumal Shah2,250,000
9Carlos Dorca2,235,000
10David Moore2,135,000

Follow the action further as the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown continues on by checking out WPT's live updates.

Photos courtesy of Joe Giron and WPT

  • The money bubble burst late in Day 2 of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Florida.

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