After a series of lower buy-in preliminary events that begin in February and spanned to mid-March, drawing such poker luminaries as Michael Binger, Allan Sass, Jean-Robert Bellande, Mike Sexton, Michael Mizrachi, Alex Jacob, Tim West, Isabelle Mercier and Chau Giang (whew).
All of these professionals and the amateurs who rounded out the field are competing for a prize pool of $1,920,600, with 18 of their kind making a profit from their participation. The minimum any of the top 18 will take home is $24,008, while first place will get to cash a check worth $749,033. (Hint: don't take the NETeller option, right Isaac?)
With so many professionals in attendance, plenty of strange bedfellows were bound to emerge, including those at the new all-time Table of Doom that featured at one time David Williams, Josephy, Goehring, Greenstein, Vahedi, West, Shannon Shorr and two very unhappy unknown players. Other interesting table match-ups included the two Dicken brothers sharing the same patch of felt, and two Shipitholla Ballas, Little and Sass, playing side by side for a few levels before their table was broken.
Action-wise, the day belonged to Chau Giang, who carved a swath through his table by making quads twice within about 10 hands. The first instance saw Giang more than double through his opponent when Player 1 put him all-in on a flop of J-J-x, with Giang more than happy to call while holding pocket jacks.
The second instance saw Giang and his opponent get all of the money in on a board of A-K-Q, with Giang holding pocket queens but falling way behind his opponent's pocket aces. The turn was the case queen, however, and Giang's quads sent Player 2 to the rail with a quickness. The diminutive cash-game specialist finished the day with $80,625 to his name.
Other heroes of the chip leaderboard include David Williams, who leads all entrants with a tidy $161,000, followed by Darrell Dicken with $133,325, and Robert Cheung with $125,875. Notables near the top of the leaderboard include John Racener, Burt Boutin, and Johnny Chan.
All told, 81 players survived to see Day 2 of this event, with Erica Schoenberg, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Gavin Smith, Huck Seed, Erik Seidel, Carlos Mortensen and Mike Sexton among those falling by the wayside. The plan is to play another six levels on Friday, replete with 10 minute level breaks and an hour for dinner, with Saturday seeing the field narrowed to a final nine.
As usual, PokerListings.com will be on site to assist with your tournament reporting needs. Don't bother looking for reports on any of our competitors' sites as they just aren't there - not that you'd need to look any further than our thrilling updates and scintillating photography for the straight goods anyway. Action resumes at noon Pacific Time and will continue throughout the day, so tune in tomorrow or wish you had.