Chip leader coming into the third day of play was Clint Baskin, whose $200,100 was good for over $10,000 on runner-up David Williams. Also lurking in the top 10 were pros Paul McCaffrey, Jeff Madsen, Ted Forrest, Peter Feldman, and Nenad Medic, while remaining bounties numbered 14, including Erik Seidel, J.C. Tran, Scotty Nguyen and Allen Cunningham.
Kenna James was the first of the bounties to lose the shirt off his back, with Barry Greenstein quick to follow. Mr. Marsha Waggoner got his funds into the middle with eights against an opponent's ace-jack and saw an ace hit the flop to put a dent in his day, while the Robin Hood of Poker met his Sheriff of Nottingham in the form of a player who called his all-in with top pair against Greenstein's bottom two pair. The turn gave the Sheriff a better two pair, and just like that, Sebok's dad was dunzo.
Moving on, in a situation eerily similar to the Jennifer Tilly/ Phil Laak mutual eliminations yesterday, BFFs J.C. Tran and Nam Le hit the bricks within a few minutes of each other, Tran at the hands of Baskin and his ace-high, and Le in a group effort with the coup de grace delivered by Jeff Madsen.
The bustification continued with a quickness, with Scotty Nguyen, Allen Cunningham, and Mark Newhouse all leaving within a few rounds of each other.
One item of note: PokerListings.com predicted Mark Newhouse would probably be the only pro to wear the "Shooting Star" t-shirts given out to the bounty killers, and on Day 2 Newhizzle proved why this site is the best in the business, rocking the "Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi" commemorative edition before busting with A-Q against pocket kings.
Shortly after Newhouse hit the bricks, the Isabelle Mercier rollercoaster finally reached its logical end. The French-Canadian pro had made pushing all-in an art, doubling up repeatedly before getting her money in against David "Boba Fett" Ong with aces against ace-king. Ong, who had already eliminated two pros to rake $10,000 in cash and two in-tournament t-shirts, added to his collection at "No Mercy's" expense, flopping a queen, turning a ten, and rivering a jack to make Broadway and send Isabelle packing.
Mercier's departure marked the end of the elimination free-for-all, and the beginning of the slow grind to the money bubble. With about 55 players remaining, pros and amateurs alike looked up and realized they were only 10 spots from a $15,000 payday, and thus began folding and folding and folding some more.
Eventually, we hit the bubble, and hand-for-hand play amongst the final six tables commenced. Still the action dragged on, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Ed Pelligrini. Pelligrini redefined the term "tight player" during hand-for-hand play, despite getting hit by the deck in a fashion most players would kill for - the man was dealt pocket aces thrice within about 10 minutes, and managed to fold them twice pre-flop!
The third time, Pelligrini bet out and, as word of his story had spread throughout the tournament area, could not get any action. He mucked more aces face-up and collected the blinds and antes while his stack hovered around average.
A few hands later, David Daneshgar burst the bubble when he called a third raise from Clint Baskin with pocket queens. Baskin had kings, and the board could not reverse the advantage, sending Daneshgar home with naught but the memory of the field's applause to take with him as a souvenir.
The bursting of the bubble meant the eliminations once again came fast and furious, with Joe Sebok going above and beyond to do his part. Sebok was helped by a head-scratching call by Sean McCabe, who himself called Alvin Zeideneld's all-in with pocket jacks and then put himself all-in by calling Sebok's cowboy-driven re-raise. The board could help neither McCabe nor Zeideneld (who had A-3o), and both headed to the cashier to collect their fifteen large.
A few minutes later, it was Bill Edler's turn to clean house, ridding his table of both Rich Parker and Bobby Suer in 38th and 37th place to near single-handedly put an end to the day. PokerListings.com note: we've always been Bill Edler fans, and when he introduced himself to us today and shook our hands, why, it was possibly the greatest moment in our lives since meeting the Wicked Chops boys at the LAPC. Stay classy, Bill.
In any case, Day 2 is finito, with Jeff Madsen leading the charge as chip-leader with $706,000. Joe Sebok is second with $603,000, and Kyle Wilson is third with $557,000. Three bounties besides Madsen remain, with J.J. Liu ($431,000), David Williams ($207,500), and Erik Seidel ($80,000) all still waiting to distribute their laundry.
In another fun Shooting Star quirk, the play-down from 36 to six tomorrow will take place six-handed, which should make for an interesting and more action-packed day as players are forced to expand their starting hand criteria to adjust for short-handed play. PokerListings.com will be on-site from noon until the final bell has rung, so keep your browser where it's supposed to be and we'll be sure to keep it live.