Event #2: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Handed continued on Thursday with Day 2 action, and after another 10 levels of play, only 28 players remain. The chip leader is Rafal Michalowski, and he bagged 632,000. Joining him atop the counts are Markus Gonsalves (502,000), Trevor Pope (465,000), Ismael Bojang (463,000), and Tom Marchese (446,000).
The day began with 194 players, but only 56 would make the money. Among the first players to hit the rail were Grayson Ramage, Randy Haddox, Scotty Nguyen, James Dempsey, Benjamin Palmer, Leo Wolpert, Faraz Jaka, Victor Ramdin, and Jonathan Little. Palmer and Wolpert were both eliminated by Aaron Jones when they wagered all of their remaining chips with pocket nines and eights respectively. Jones had them both dominated with pocket jacks, and held when the board brought all blanks.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, also exited before the money bubble burst. According to two-time WSOP bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst, Phelps four-bet shoved for a little less than 20 big blinds with ace-queen, and David Diaz looked him up with ace-six. Diaz flopped a pair of sixes, and Phelps hit the door when the turn and river both produced bricks.
Selbst also busted during the first few levels, while Diaz went on to make the money, ending the day with 130,000.
Three players started the day with more than 100,000 chips: Marchese, David “Doc” Sands, and Scott Baumstein. Baumstein added to his stack to start the day, but then lost a massive pot to Lithuania’s Kristijonas Andrulis. The money went in on a board of , and Baumstein showed for the second-nuts. Andrulis had the stone nuts with , and held when the completed the board.
Baumstein took another big hit against Andrulis a few hands later, but was still able to make the money, busting in 37th place for $11,235.
Sands and Marchese both maintained big stacks throughout the day, and bagged 172,000 chips and 446,000 chips respectively.
In Level 15, the bubble burst after an hour of hand-for-hand play. Lloyd Mandel was the unfortunate bubble boy when he blinded down to less than a big blind and was forced to go all in with three-two suited. Sam Stein called in the big blind with queen-ten, and held.
After the bubble burst, there was a flurry of eliminations, including Angel Guillen, Sergey Rybachenko, Andreas Hoivold, and Steve Brecher. Twenty more players fell and eventually there were only four tables remaining. Michalowski and Markus Gonsalves rocketed up the charts after the money bubble burst. Michalowski was fortunate in one hand where he busted Alexander Kuzmin in Level 18. Kuzmin open-shoved for around 10 big blinds with pocket sixes, and Michalowski called with pocket fours. Michalowski binked a four, and Kuzmin was eliminated.
Michalowski and his 27 opponents will return tomorrow at 2 p.m. to play down to an official final table of eight. Join us then for live updates straight from the tournament floor.
The players have completed there final six hands, and we will have chip counts and a recap for you shortly.
Paul Kuzmich was all in and at risk for around 140,000 with on a flop of . Tom Marchese had him at risk with , and the spiked on the turn to give him two pair. Kuzmich was eliminated when the completed the board, while Marchese now has 450,000.
Over on Table 406, Jeremy Ausmus was eliminated as well.
Four-bets went in preflop between Rafal Michalowski and Griffin Benger, and over 100,000 was in the middle when the dealer flopped . Michalowski led out for 44,000, Benger called, and the turn brought the . Both players knuckled.
The river was the , Michalowski checked a second time, and Benger bet 86,500. Michalowski tank-called. Benger showed for an air ball, which Michalowski had beat with for kings.
Dan Kelly fired out 15,000 from the cutoff, Garen Nichanian called on the button, and David Vamplew check-raised to 40,000 from the big blind. Kelly called, and Nichanian folded.
The turn was the , both players checked, and the pair knuckled again when the completed the board. Kelly showed for queens and jacks, and raked in the pot.
Chris DeMaci opened to 10,000 from under the gun, David Peters three-bet all in for 97,500 on the button, and the action folded back to DeMaci, who called.
Peters flopped a gut-shot straight flush draw when the dealer fanned , and added a few more outs when the turned. The spiked on the river to give Peters a set of sevens, and he doubled to 206,500 chips. DeMaci is crippled down to 34,000.