At 5 p.m. on Saturday, PokerListings.com's battle-hardened team of tournament reporters hit the pre-poker cocktail party, determined to schmooze with celebs while steadfastly avoiding any offers of premium liquor from the generous man at the open bar. Unfortunately, our schmoozing skills are about as polished as our self-control, but after our third double-Grey-Goose-and- orange-juice, we managed to finagle our way into actually being ignored by Vince Vaughn. Which promptly became the highlight of our lives.
Anyways, star-struck and semi-lucid, we joined a parade of recalcitrant celebrities headed for the felt under the sheep-dog guidance of the Nick Schulman joined Ng, Rousso, and Phan as the biggest pros still in the hunt.
Schulman, at least, had seen enough. The Takeover spent the entire night partying with Chantel McNulty and PokerListings.com reporter-at-large Matthew Showell, and decided to forego making an appearance on Day 2 until about eight in the evening, well after his once-substantial stack had been blinded off.
For the rest of the field, Day 2 was as wild as the first day, albeit without the open bar or amazing chocolate cupcakes. Ron Livingston joined a procession of pros and celebs alike heading to the rail, but the "Office Space" vet at least showed a little knowledge of poker history, pushing all-in pre-flop with T♠ 2♣ but failing to channel the spirit of Texas Dolly against Brian Haveson's pocket nines.
The day flew by, with John Phan, Allen Kessler, Steve-Paul Ambrose, Willie Garson, and even Vanessa Rousso hitting the bricks. Remaining behind was a final table of 10 players that included pros like "Miami" John Cernuto and Paul Darden, and featuring celebrities (we use the term loosely) like Khary Payton, Nick Cassavetes, and Glenn Morshower.
Darden and Payton would bow out before the day had concluded, but their compatriots remained, joined by David Mosikian, Adam Weinraub, and Tim West, who we must assume are either extras on CSI or co-owners of the Los Angeles Clippers. Either way, they have all made the final table and will compete tomorrow for a first prize of $100,000. Second prize takes $50,000, third $25,000, and so on, and so on.
Action begins at the final table at 5 p.m., and PokerListings.com will be on the scene from start to finish with scintillating photography and the best live updates in the business. Tune in early and keep checking back, because if the first two days are any indication, this final table could be over before you knows it.