Thanks to the 47 players who showed up at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for Day 2 of the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, the combined field of 438 players means 100 players will now share in the $4.248m prize pool. So with only 137 players surviving the day’s play, we’ve almost finished separating the players from the playas. The overall winner will pocket $870k.
Antonio Esfaniari is the chip leader (485k) heading into Day 3, followed by Daniel Fuhs (397k) and Faraz Jaka (364k). Big names in the top 10 include Vanessa Rousso, Sorel Mizzi, Phil Ivey and the man himself, Doyle Brunson. Yesterday’s chip leader Ryan D’Angelo did not survive Day 2, nor did Josh Arieh, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Shaun Deeb, recent NAPT Los Angeles champ Joe Tehan and last year’s Five Diamond champ Daniel Alaei. Sunday’s play gets underway at noon PST.
Over at the UKIPT Galway, the final table is already set. The aptly named Nicholas Abou Risk, a Canadian ex-pat who now calls Dublin home, heads into Day 3 with a hefty chip lead (1.32m). Risk already has one UKIPT scalp on his lodge pole, having taken down the Edinburgh event this August. The rest of the final table (with chip counts) reads as follows: Eoin Olin (857k); Maurice Silke (780k); Vytenis Navickas (542k); Dan Rankin (514k); Trish Mallin (437k); Roar Aspaas (391k); Johan Meyer (252k); Aonghus Farrell (114k).
In Canada, the British Columbia Poker Championship drew 548 players to the River Rock Casino last week, creating a prize pool of $1.345m. First place and $300k went to Eric Place while local boy and November Niner Matt Jarvis could only manage 27th place
Finally, a followup on the story we brought you in August of Samuel McMaster Jr., the convicted felon who was ordered to pay $7,500/month restitution to victims of a securities fraud he’d swindled out of $444k. In court, McMaster claimed to be something of a poker pro, and with securities fraud no longer a viable career path, poker appeared to be the only serious income-generating option available. For that reason, Judge Ross Sanchez agreed to allow McMaster the chance to travel beyond New Mexico’s borders in search of big poker pots. But there was a catch – if McMaster failed to make two payments in the six months following his sentencing, he’d be sent to jail for up to 12 years.
Flash forward a few months, and Judge Sanchez summoned McMaster for a progress report, only to learn that the alleged poker pro had only won $1,461 since August. Seems fraud is something McMaster finds difficult to give up. When next we see him, he’ll likely be trying to pull a Tom Sawyer on his fellow inmates, but instead of tricking them into whitewashing a fence for him, he’ll be trying to convince them how much fun it is being gang-raped nightly by a host of sweaty Aryan Nation skinheads, and how they should try it sometime. Like tonight. You know, instead of him having to endure it. Again. Yeah, good luck with that.