The penultimate level of the night would mark the swan song for such poker luminaries as Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Freddy Deeb, Hoyt Corkins and John Duthie, but it would also mark the beginning of Robert Mizrachi's rise to power. The unfortunately-nicknamed "Bro Grinder" seemed to avoid any drama for most of the day, but despite his lack of theatrics the Man with the Inadequate Nickname managed to build his stack to $573,200 by the end of the proceedings.
Mizrachi wasn't the only player chipping up near the end of Day 2, as Bryan Devonshire managed the difficult task of building big chips at a table that included the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Isabelle Mercier, Jared Hamby and Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond.
Devo built his stack up over the $400,000 mark midway through the day's final level when he made a sick call at the expense of Galfond, who read correctly that Devonshire had missed his flush draw and made a stab at a $200,000 pot with ten-high. Devo made the call with second pair and just like that, was gravy, finishing the day second in chips with a tasty $393,400.
New PokerListings contest: give this man a decent nickname!
It would not be quite so sweet a finish for Antonio Esfandiari, the face of the WPT's poker-made millionaire and a man who has ironically had more success on the European Poker Tour than the WPT since assuming that mantle. The Magician fell midway through Level 10 after his jacks failed to improve against an opponent's pocket kings, heading to the rail with his rival's mocking catcall - "There some kind of bounty on your head or what?" - ringing in his ears.
By the end of the day's fifth level under 200 players remained in the hunt for that $3.4 million first prize and all of them could finally be crammed into the Fontana Room for the day's dying minutes. Mizrachi and Devonshire lead a field that still includes many of the game's very best, including Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Erik Seidel and Carlos Mortensen, among many, many others.
Action will resume at noon Pacific and continue for another five levels on Tuesday, and with the money at 100 places there's an outside chance we'll get there. Bubble or no bubble, PokerListings.com will be on scene and on point, chewing up hands and spitting out live updates like a voracious (if a tad nauseous) Pwnasaurus hell-bent on providing the most comprehensive WPT coverage imaginable. You're gonna want to be here.
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