Aggression was the name of the game as 95 players were eliminated in nine hours of play. Just when you thought the action would slow as the bubble approached, the players powered through, smashing through hand-for-hand in just two hands.
The day began with the early eliminations of PokerStars-sponsored player Celina Lin and New Zealand favorite James Honeybone.
Joe Hachem was the only member of Team PokerStars Pro who made it through to Day 2, and despite a valiant effort, he fell out of contention in the middle stages of the day. Joe perhaps took comfort in the fact that his loudmouth brother Tony outlasted him and made it into the money before finally being ousted.
Tony was the source of one of the biggest suck-outs of the day when he rivered a full house against Dan Sing. Unfortunately for Tony he must have used all his run-good up, because several hands later he was eliminated when his TT couldn't improve against an opponent's AA.
You might recognize the name Dan Sing. Sing hails from New Zealand and in the course of his successful acting career, even starred as the evil Ming T'ien on the popular mid-90s television show Xena: Warrior Princess. Sing had an outstanding day of poker and even busted the start-of-day chip leader, Amant Nauhria, in a gigantic pot several hours into the day.
As the day wore on the eliminations continued to pile up. One of the players who seemed to be benefiting immensely from the numerous bust-outs was Canadian Andrew Pantling, who peaked at over $300,000 chips.
As mentioned, the money bubble proved to be a non-factor, as Alex Bond was quickly eliminated when his A-Q failed him against Q-T. Not a great way to go out on the bubble.
There weren't very many well-known players who made it past the bubble. One such player was Grant Levy, who won the APPT Grand Final in 2007. Although Levy didn't make it far after the bubble burst, he was able to add $3,067 to his already-considerable APPT cashes.
Assadour Assadourian, the father of noted APPT player Eric Assadourian, also made it into the money but was quickly snuffed when he got into a four-way all-in pot that featured a player with AA against three raggedy hands. Surprisingly, the aces actually held up, and that was it for Assadourian.
As the day came to a close it would be Pantling who would be denied the pleasure of seeing the final day of APPT Auckland. It was typical of Day 2, which saw numerous players climb to the chip lead and then bust a few hours later.
The 11 remaining players are not exactly regulars on Poker After Dark. Dan Sing, Edward Holdcroft, Luke Standford, Wang Che Jung and Daniel Craker all hail from New Zealand, while Michael Mariakis and Matthew Konneck reside in (relatively) nearby Australia. The rest are a grab-bag of international citizens. Eric Mutrie comes from Canada, Jani Karke is Finnish, Wai Kwan Yuen resides in the U.K. and Nathanael Seet is native to Singapore.
Kiwi Stanford is the chip leader with $529,000.
Although they aren't the most well-known players in the world, they will likely provide an exciting conclusion to APPT Auckland tomorrow, as everyone has shown the ability to bet fearlessly when needed.
Here's a look at the chip stacks at the end of Day 2:
|1. Luke Stanford||$529,000|
|2. Nathanael Seet||$468,000|
|3. Wang Che Jung||$404,000|
|4. Daniel Craker||$318,000|
|5. Edward Holdcroft||$297,000|
|6. Michael Mariakis||$233,000|
|7. Wai Kwan Yuen||$159,000|
|8. Eric Mutrie||$126,000|
|9. Matthew Konneck||$117,000|
|10. Jani Karke||$70,000|
|11. Dan Sing||$57,000|