$2,500 Championship Event

Lucas Leads Stacked Final 16 Into Day 3 of HPO Championship Event

donpeters • Level 22: 8,000-16,000, 2,000 ante
Rudy Lucas

Day 2 of the Hollywood Poker Open $2,500 Championship Event from the M Resort Casino Spa wrapped up with 16 players remaining. Leading the charge into the third and final day will be Rudy Lucas with 1.759 million in chips. On Sunday, all the remaining competitors will come back for Day 3 to play for the $347,052 top prize and the right to be called champion.

Under 200 players returned for Day 2, with Portuguese player Pedro Oliveira leading the way. Oliveira began the day by picking up right where he left off, but he soon took some hits and fell back down to Earth. When it was all said and done, Oliveira bagged 256,000 in chips, but still remains as one of those vying for the title.

Of the 684 total entries in this event, only the top 63 reached the money. After the day began, players hit the rail fast and furious. When the dinner break hit after the first six levels were in the books, just 65 remained. When the field returned, Jim Collopy was the first to go in 65th place, and his elimination set up hand-for-hand play on the bubble.

There were several short stacks fighting hard to hold on and squeak into a cash, and they all made it when Louis Salter, the brother of Jack Salter, decided to get a little crazy with the {A-Spades}{J-Spades} against Oliveira and his {K-Spades}{K-Diamonds}. Oliveira had opened from the cutoff seat with a raise, and Salter reraised to 31,000 from the button with the blinds at 3,000/6,000/500. Play folded back to Oliveira, and he made it 78,000 to go. Salter then moved all in for approximately 325,000, and Oliveira snapped it off. The board ran out {Q-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{7-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}, and Salter was the tournament's official "bubble boy."

From there, the line at the payout desk began to grow as players such as Russell Thomas (60th - $5,553), Brent Hanks (57th - $5,553), Darryll Fish (50th - $6,015), Cord Garcia (43rd - $7,095), Ryan Riess (42nd - $7,095), Calvin Anderson (31st - $8,483), Michael Rocco (24th - $10,180), Brian Yoon (22nd - $10,180), and Oleksandr Gnatenko (20th - $10,180) all went bust.

To view the entire list of payouts, click here.

Others remaining in the final bunch are Alex Keating, Garrett Greer, Joe Serock, Keven Stammen, and Joe Kuether.

Esther Taylor-Brady also advanced to Day 3, continuing her best year ever on the live felt. In terms of live tournament results, Taylor-Brady is having the best year she's ever had, already having won over $195,000. The largest chunk came when she placed fifth in the World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Open $3,500 Main Event for $174,188, and she's already locked up another $13,573 here in this one. She'll enter Day 3 with 826,000 in chips.

The cards will be in the air at 12 p.m. local time on Sunday, and you can follow all of the action live right here on PokerNews.com. Until then, you can find us at the bar!

Tags: Alex KeatingBrent HanksBrian YoonCalvin AndersonCord GarciaDarryll FishGarrett GreerJames CollopyJim CollopyJoe KuetherJoe SerockKeven StammenLouis SalterMichael RoccoOleksandr GnatenkoPedro OliveiraRudy LucasRussell ThomasRyan Riess