The second day of play at the Commerce Casino in depressing City of Commerce, California saw 428 players return to the cavernous confines of the casino ballroom for a grueling 11.5-hour turn at the tables. The players were led by chip leader David Singer, whose $137,400 put him ahead of a leaderboard Top 10 that also included new Max Pescatori, Isabelle Mercier, Kristy Gazes, Erik Cajelais and Jean-Robert Bellande all biting the dust as the afternoon continued.
The latter pro (and Survivor: China eliminatee) took advantage of his newfound free time to challenge WPT video hostess Kimberly Lansing to a heads-up contest in the media center. At times their duel attracted more attention from the assembled press than did the actual poker being played on the tournament floor.
A pair of Bodog pros were the next to hit the trail, as Evelyn Ng busticated after pulling an ill-advised squeeze play on Barry Greenstein and Steve Sung with a measly 7-5 off-suit to back up her claim. With only $5,000 in her hand and the Bear's opening raise for $2,500, Evybabee had very little in the way of fold equity and was toast after Greenstein looked her up with ace-jack.
Justin Bonomo followed shortly after, busted in a three-way all-in that began when Loi Phan shoved his last $12,000 into the middle on a J♠ 3♠ 2♠ flop with 7♠ 6♠ and the Zee Man came over the top for about $21,000 with J♦ T♣. A third player made the call for all but his last $700 with K♠ Q♠ and after the board finished out with running queens had sent both Phan and ZeeJustin packing.
At 6 p.m. the field broke for an hour-long dinner break with 196 players having been eliminated over three levels of play. When the survivors returned the carnage quickly continued, with Phil Laak, Bill Edler, Traniello, Greenstein and Juanda finding themselves eliminated.
Meanwhile, WPT5 Festa al Lago champ Andreas Walnum managed to turn his fortunes in the opposite direction, getting all-in with A♦ J♦ on a K♦ T♦ 2♥ board against Wroblewski's set of tens and turning the Q♦ for the rare royal flush. The victory would prove to be short-lived, however, as Walnum wouldn't survive the day.
"Chainsaw" Allen Kessler, talk-show host Montel Williams, Mike Sexton and Steve Sung would continue the procession to the rail, with the latter busting out when his desperation shove with A♣ 3♣ ran into an opponent with pocket queens and could not conjure a miracle on flop, turn or river.
As their counterparts were succumbing to the no-chips disease, however, players like Esfandiari, Phil Ivey and Haralabos Voulgaris were thriving. Late in the day, Ivey was moved to the aforementioned Table of Boom and quickly made his mark by eliminating Johnny Chan, thus bringing his stack up to $280,000 and giving the Full Tilt pro a credible shot at the chip leader title.
Meanwhile, Voulgaris found his stack lurking at about average before getting an absolute gift from a rather donkalicious opponent who graciously presented the Canadian pro with a stack of a comparable size to his own after staking his tournament life on ace-high with a gut-shot draw on the turn against Voulgaris' set of sevens. The hand would nearly double "Bob" up and bring him over the $200,000 mark, where he'd remain at the end of the night.
When the closing bell finally rang on the day's action, prohibitive chip leader was one Danny Fuhs, whose $397,100 put him more than $100k above second-place Joe Schulman. Ivey found himself fourth and Esfandiari fifth, leading a field of 136 survivors into the third leg of play tomorrow.
Action will resume at 12:30 p.m. (PST) on Monday and will almost undoubtedly see the field play down into the money and beyond. With only 63 players earning paydays for this event the struggle to avoid the old goose egg will be fierce, so tune in to PokerListings.com throughout the day for the most ballingest coverage available from Hollywoodland.
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