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Hellmuth Sunk By Spider Bite at WPT Malta
Just 30 players remain at WPT Malta and leading the way is Italian Cecilia Pescaglini, who went on the heater of a lifetime today to build a runaway lead.
With only one cash on her live poker resume, not much is known about Pescagllini as far as her tournament skills go.
But that one cash is in fact a win for €36,000 in a €300 No-Limit Hold’em tournament in Italy last summer, so she's clearly capable of closing a tournament out.
Regardless of her past experience, the field is very much aware of her now as she lead wire-to-wire on Day 2 and knocked out five players on her way to a massive stack of 976,000 chips.
With more than a 2-1 chip advantage, things look good for Pescaglini to make a big cash, but stacked behind her are a number of experienced pros looking to earn their own spot at the final table of six.
Leading the chase is German Marvin Rettenmaier, who sits closest in chips with 415k. Close behind him is 2011 WSOP November Niner Matt Giannetti with 370k.
Also still in contention are always dangerous pros Simon Trumper (367k), Tony G. (183k) and newly arrived Malta transplants Isaac Haxton (221k) and Justin Bonomo (157k).
Hellmuth Gone But Not Forgotten
Phil Hellmuth, however, won’t be joining them.
Hellmuth had one of the weirder days on recent record as it included a spider bite, an ear infection, a doctor's visit at the table and a four-barrel bluff called down by fourth pair.
Things started out on the best foot possible with Hellmuth doubling up to 70k on his very first first hand at the table with aces over jacks.
He built his stack up to over 175k by Level 13 but by Level 14 he was gone, losing two quick pots in a row - first to Salvatore Blanco on the big bluff (Hellmuth had Q5, Blanco 9-7 on A-7-3-8-K) and the second right after.
Somewhere in between all that, Hellmuth got loaded up on drugs, as per his tweets:
“Really, a Doctor?!? Just had a Doctor come to table for spider bite AND ear infection! Swam 10 mins, but my immune system was weak from bite” followed by
“Doctor gave me "Ciprofloxacin" 2-a-day + "Locorten-Vioform" ear drops; and told me, "You will not be able to concentrate + U will be weak!"
Despite the bustout, Hellmuth did say he'd be back to do commentary for the live streaming of the final table on Saturday.
Also busting out today were Day 1b chip leader Tommy Vedes, German Tobias Renkenmaier, recent Malta transplant Steve O’Dwyer, PKR pro Sofia Lovgren and Claire Renaut.
Players return for Day 3 tomorrow at 2:30 CET at the Casino de Portomaso in Malta and will play right through the money bubble at 27 players down to the six-person final table.
Winner takes €181,000 plus a WPT Bellagio seat. Runner-up earns €116,700.
Check the live updates here.