Luke Graham Leads Final Table of HPT Daytona Beach Main Event
Day 2 of the Heatland Poker Tour Main Event in Daytona Beach saw 79 return for a shot at an HPT final table appearance. It took just over ten levels of play to whittle down to the final nine that will be appearing on the live-streamed final table, with Luke Graham leading the way.
Graham started the day with just above average in chips and managed to hover just above that average for the better part of the day and once the final two tables hit is when Graham really started to catapult, winning pot after pot. Graham boasts over $1.1 million in live career earnings and has two six-figure cashes this year alone, both over the quarter-million mark.
Following Graham on the totem pole is Martin Borras who managed to spin up an impressive 2,855,000 stack by night's end. Borras started the day near the top and jumped on a roller coaster ride that ended with him sitting in second. Borras came into the final three tables just above average in chips and started to pile chips, knocking out two players almost simultaneously. Once near the top he just kept adding chips, finishing the day just under the leader.
Final Table Seat Draw
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Ronnie Dowdy||United States||800,000||16|
|2||Arthur Boatman||United States||500,000||10|
|3||Martin Borras||United States||2,855,000||57|
|4||Michael Rosenberg||United States||870,000||17|
|5||Tom Nguyen||United States||690,000||14|
|6||Paul Chung||United States||1,785,000||36|
|7||Eric Salazar||United States||1,680,000||34|
|8||Miguel Hernandez||United States||665,000||13|
|9||Luke Graham||United States||3,505,000||70|
Day 2 Action
The original 445 registration slips sold had whittled down to just 79 players by the start of Day 2 and with only the top 45 finding a payday. Play started out slow, but instantly a fleury of people were eliminated just before the second level began. Many notables took an exit during that period, including Charles Johnson, Ed Mroczkowski, Tony Ruberto, and Raminder Singh, all finishing just shy of the money.
Players started to tighten up as the money bubble loomed and it was not until level 20 that it popped. Unfortunately for Carlos Guerrero it was him that took an exit one before the money. Guerrero found himself as a short stack and looked down at king-queen of spades on the button, he moved all in. Miguel Hernandez woke up with cowboys in the big blind and snap-called. The board ran out clean and Guerrero took an exit, all players were then guaranteed at least $2,355 for their efforts.
Three levels went by before the final three tables were set and it was Corey Zedo leading the way. Tony Miles and John Ho were among the first to dip out, losing almost instantly after the final three tables began to pitch the cards. It didn't take long before Zedo had gone from hero to zero as he took an exit in 19th place when Borras sent him packing with ace-king versus the ace-five of Zedo.
The unofficial final table came just two levels after and a lot of well-known players failed to make it but did find a cash, including Fred Li (11th - $7,321), Eric Chastain (12th - $7,321), Stan Jablonski (14th - $5,523), David Jackson (16th - $4,153), and Stephan Nussrallah (17th - $4,153).
An unofficial final table was set and two short stacks quickly doubled, both through Ronnie Dowdy as Tom Nguyen and Arthur Boatman climbed through one of the bigger stacks to start the table. Just moments after it was Mark Zullo who tried his hand at doubling. Zullo check-raised all in with two pair on the turn and was called by Borras who had an overpair of bullets. The river paired the board, giving Borras a higher two pair and the pot, sending Zullo out as the official final table bubble boy.
The remaining nine players will return tomorrow at noon to duke it out for a title and of course the $98,476 first-place prize. The blinds will resume at 20,000/50,000 with a 50,000 big blind ante and there will be a 15-minute break after every three levels of play. The final table will begin at noon tomorrow and will be live-streamed on a delay that is roughly 30-minutes. Play will not end until a new champion is crowned.
The PokerNews live reporting team will be here to bring you all of the updates in the HPT Daytona Beach Main Event, so stay tuned as all of the action unfolds.