Schneider survived the day with only $42,500, putting him well below the average stack of $160,000. Still, it's the fifth final table he's made it to in 2007 including three WSOP events (two of which he won) and one WPT event (where he placed fourth).
The 2007 WSOP Player of the Year survived the day along with a number of lesser-known contenders like Terry Ogle, Carlos Uz and Chris Moore.
It took only five hours to go from 27 players to the final nine and here's a look at what went down on this incredibly fast day of poker from the riverboat casino at Caesars Indiana.
Players must have had somewhere to go because even the fear of busting before the money didn't stop massive bust-outs early on. It was literally a parade to the exit for the first few hours and it barely let up. Mark "Pegasus" Smith, Robert Starkey and Jim Bugg were just a few of the early casualties. Also joining those players on the rail was former University of Louisville basketball coach and local celebrity Denny Crum. Crum was a good sport, however, and stuck around most of the day on the rail to see how the rest of the players fared.
Tom Schneider was one of the chip leaders early on and showed strong reading skills when a player in front of him went all-in for $30,000 after Schneider bet $4,000. Schneider thought something was amiss and laid down his A-10. He was on to something because his opponent showed pocket cowboys.
Chris Moore got more value from his pocket kings when Michael Dolan got all-in with 5♦ 5♠ and Moore made the easy call. The board went 7♥ 4♥ 2♦ 6♣ 6♦ and the kings held. Dolan was eliminated without getting a taste of the money.
One player who obviously had his eyes on the money was Kou Vang, one of yesterday's chip leaders. Vang amassed a large stack yesterday and just when it looked like he might take control of the entire tournament he started to leak chips like a tire with a sword-puncture-sized hole leaks air.
At one point Vang was so nervous about an all-in call that he had to ask the dealer to confirm that all the other players had folded. When the dealer nodded Vang said, "My heart was pounding there!"
After just a couple hours of play the money bubble was looming. You might have thought that play would slow down around the bubble but you'd be wrong.
Steve Miller of Bedford, Ind. was the unfortunate player to be eliminated just before the money. Miller shook his head, left the poker room and it was back to business.
The elimination train went full speed ahead after the bubble burst and Kevin "stamdogg" Stammen was the first player to leave. Stammen got all-in with A-9 versus Carlos Uz and his A-J. A-J triumphed and Stammen had to settle for 18th place, good for $8,260.
Russel James and Antonio Spanspera were quick to join Stammen on the rail and finished 17th and 16th respectively. They won the same cash prize as the stamdogg.
Jim Karambinis was right behind those players when he got eliminated 15th. Karambinis was happy to make it to the next level of payouts ($9,637), especially considering he entered the day with only $13,100.
Terry Quinn - not to be confused with John Locke on Lost - saw his chances of a WSOPC ring vanish when he went all-in on a board of 5♣ 3♥ 2♣ with A♥ 10♣. Matt Sterling made the call with 9♣ 9♥ and the board finished K♦ J♠. At least Quinn now has enough money to go to a desert island if he wants to.
It was around this time that Vito Casullo started making a very good case for being the chip leader. Casullo held over $300,000 at one point and looked primed to smash his way into the final table. Alas, it was not to last and he finished the day with a below-average $137,500.
Although Vang did a great job of staying alive during Day 2 his time finally came when he pushed all-in with 5♦ 5♣ from the big blind. His opponent, Chris Viox, called with Q♣ J♥ and managed to hit a jack on the flop which led to victory for Viox. Vang went away with 13th place and $9,637.
In one pivotal hand of the day Uz pushed all-in for $30,000 on a board of A♠ 9♥ 4♥ 7♣ 9♠ and Schneider called. Uz showed pocket queens and Schneider said it was good before mucking his hand. It was the beginning of an incredible run for Uz and, conversely, a downward spiral for the Donkey Bomber.
Action finally began to slow near this time and it took an entire level before Matt Sterling was eliminated 12th for $11,014.
Apparently Uz decided the slow game wasn't to his taste and that he would help end the day in two consecutive hands. In the first one Wilbur Futhey got all-in with ace-rag and Uz called with K-Q. A king hit on the flop and that was the end for poor Futhey who finished 11th.
On the very next hand Bryan Sapp got all-in with A-7 versus Uz' Q-10. There was a 10 on the flop and Uz took the pot down. It was an incredible finale to the day that saw Uz move from being an average stack to a force with $329,000 heading into the final table.
The only player who finished with more chips was Terry Ogle, of Gatlinburg, TN, who had $339,000 at the end of the day. Chris Moore of Chicago, Ill. also had a good day and finished with $293,000.
It's anybody's game tomorrow as the majority of the chip stacks are fairly equal except for Schneider who is very low. Then again he is the Donkey Bomber and stranger things have happened.
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