Brazilian Gustavo Lopez ended Day 2 with the chip lead after 1,416 players scraped through the day. 2,176 players will begin Day 3, and Valentin Vornicu will be the overall chip leader after his superb Day 2A/B showing.
You realise it’s a marathon when you have played over 20-hours of poker, and there are still 2,176 players between you and $8m. It’s the tournament the pros will tell you is the easiest, and also the hardest. It’s a competition where you need your annual supply of luck hand delivered over a 10-day period. It’s the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.
Yesterday, I recapped Valentin Vornicu’s impressive performance where he emerged as the chip leader of Day 2A/B. Today, we will cover the main talking points of Day 2C.
3,252 players survived from the 4,240 that created a WSOP Main Event single day attendance record a few days ago. The plan was the same as Day 2A/B, and that was to play five and a half levels, or 11-hours of poker.
Several big names stepped out of the arena in Level 6.
Steven Uccio eliminated Felipe Ramos. The chips went into the middle on [8c] [6d] [2h]; Ramos had pocket kings, and Uccio had [Ts] [9c] for the gutshot, and he made his straight when the seven landed on the river.
Allen Cunningham made the final table of this event in 2006 finishing fourth. Today, he has five gold bracelets. But he is not going to add a 2016 title to that impressive list after Shahab Tavafrashti sent him to the rail. Cunningham pinning his hopes, and his last 6k, on [Ad] [4d], only to come up against the brick wall of [Ah] [Ks].
And although his brother Michael was having a lot of fun at the top end of the chip counts, younger brother Donny Mizrachi wasn’t. Jason Les picking up a full house on the turn at the same time Mizrachi moved all-in on a semi-bluff. It was back to music and magic for DJ Mizrachi Jr.
Mizrachi wasn’t the only DJ to be left feeling like he had just listened to 8-hours of Enya. Vanessa Rousso got all of her chips in good against the wonderfully named John Dollinger only to see her pocket tens cracked by pocket nines.
Marvin Rettenmaier, Max Steinberg, Jason Mo, Andre Akkari, and Kathy Liebert all left before getting to invested in the outcome.
Adam Krach, a man with a career-high cash of $3,903, and only two cashes in his life, both this year, was the man leading everyone as the players joined the lines at the toilets.
Level 7 saw the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year, George Danzer, exit the competition. Joseph Cheong told his Twitter followers that he had seen his aces cracked three times, but still had a beating heart. Ted Forrest got lucky in a hand that saw the Global Poker League (GPL) star, Anatoly Filatov, hit the exit door.
The pair got it in on [Qx] [8x] [7x] with the Russian ahead with bottom two pairs. Forrest was holding [Ax] [Qx] for top pair and a third queen fell on the river. Also out were Barry Greenstein, Cate Hall, Jason Koon, John Dolan, and the former Global Poker Index (GPI) World Number One Byron Kaverman.
2015 Little One For One Drop winner, Paul Hoefer, was the man leading at the end of the level. He managed to top a field of 4,555 entrants to win that title, and that experience will prove invaluable. Shaun Deeb also had a superb level as did Daniel Steinberg, Ben Vinson, Albert Daher, and Andrew Chen.
Dennis Phillips captured the hearts of the American public finishing third in 2008. We will miss him. Jamey Kramer took him out AK>TT. Confidence is important in these events, and few people are riding as high as Ryan Laplante lately. His 11 cashes at the series is a new summer record. He won’t be extending it to 12 in the Main Event after running kings into aces.
Two PokerStars pros also left the tournament at this juncture. The most famous Main Event winner of them all, Chris Moneymaker, ran KJ into AK, and GPL Hong Kong Stars Team Manager, Celina Lin, ran AK into Simone Gatto’s AA.
Former Main Event Champ Joe Hachem also lost his seat, as did the Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe, bracelet winner Kyle Julius, and former WSOP Player of the Year, Jeff Madsen.
Hoefer maintained his lead at the top; Krach was second, and the Brazilian Gustavo Lopez started to make a serious surge to the summit.
We lost the 2014 WSOP Main Event champ in Level 9. Martin Jacobson moved all-in on the river on [9x] [8x] [7x] [6c] [6h] in a hand against Lopez. The Swede showed [9x] [8x] for two pairs, but Lopez was holding pocket sevens for the boat.
Jacobson wasn’t the only former champion to leave in Level 9. 2009 champ, Joe Cada, also left; as did the highly talented Mike Leah. Lopez replaced Hoefer at the top of the chip counts; Krach was still there, and Daniel Steinberg, Tony Dunst, Steve O’Dwer and Kristen Bicknell joined them.
The 10th Level was where some of the biggest names in poker stepped aside. Jamshid Lotfi ended Phil Ivey’s brief affair with the 2016 WSOP when he called a shove on [8h] [3c] [2c] holding ace-high. Ivey held [5c] [4c] searching for flush, straight, and pair outs. None of them arrived. Ace high held. The 10-time WSOP bracelet winner was gone.
And Ivey was followed out of the world’s largest poker room by Daniel Negreanu. Kid Poker moved his stack into the middle holding pocket nines but lost the subsequent flip to Ryan Leng’s AQ. The hottest star in poker, Fedor Holz, was also eliminated at that level.
Raffaele Castro was the new chip leader. Killian Kramer, Dan Heimiller, and Rafael Moraes had significant levels, and Michael Mizrachi won the family last longer bet after his older brother Robert bit the dust.
The final level of the day saw Nacho Barbero bluffing his stack off unsuccessfully against Torrey Korsog. And Liv Boeree declared her intention to run deep after eliminating Rex Clinkscales.
Here are the Top 5 chip counts of Day 2C, and the Top 10 for the start of Day 3. Former Main Event Champs remaining in the field are Phil Hellmuth (82,300), Ryan Reiss (349,000), and Joe McKeehen (183,900).
Top Five Chip Counts (End of Day 2C)
1. Gustavo Lopes – 630,700
2. Raffaele Castro – 587,000
3. Rafael Moraes – 571,900
4. Albert Daher – 570,200
5. Michael Mizrachi – 549,400
Top 10 Chip Counts (Start of Day 3)
1. Valentin Vornicu – 838,600
2. Gustavo Lopes – 630,700
3. Raffaele Castro – 587,000
4. Jamie Shaevel – 586,000
5. Alvaro Lopez – 573,200
6. Rafael Moraes – 571,900
7. Albert Daher – 570,200
8. Ramin Hajiyev – 558,400
9. Michael Mizrachi – 549,900
10. Chad Power – 546,800