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Pescatori plunders WSOP Stud Championship
Max Pescatori isn't known for his seven-card stud prowess.
All are guaranteed at least $29,152 for their time, with the winner of the tournament taking home $373,744.
For Pescatori, one man is the clear favorite.
"Jeffrey [Lisandro] is one of my favorite players," he said. "He's also Italian and Australian. I think he's my favorite of the people still in it to win the tournament."
Lisandro has a bracelet in stud, winning the $2,000 event at the 2007 WSOP. To win another, he'll have to rebuild his 330,000 stack into something more workable at the final table on Thursday.
Pescatori briefly held the chip lead on Wednesday, sending Chris Amaral and Chad Brown to the rail as the bubble approached.
But a disastrous redraw soon brought him back to earth.
"Unfortunately, I lost my rush when my table broke," he said. "I knew everyone at my new table and didn't know anyone at the other one."
Pescatori's new table featured Habib, Mueller, Lisandro, Negreanu, Matt Glantz and Mel Judah, none of whom was particularly happy with the draw.
"Wow bad table draw," Negreanu tweeted. "My table is tough other soft."
Glantz and Judah would quickly succumb, as would defending runner-up Fu Wong and defending champ Eric Brooks on the "soft" table.
Fan favorite Freddie Ellis would take advantage of the table draw, surging to 720,000 and the chip lead as the night wore on.
The New York native has $14,000 in prior tournament earnings (a sixth-place finish in the $4,000 seven-card stud championship at the 2003 USPC) but is in great shape to add exponentially to that total tomorrow.
Given the challenging field, Pescatori was candid when asked what he would need to do to earn the bracelet.
"You need luck of course," he said, though an eavesdropping Greg Mueller didn't think that would be a problem.
"Max gets lucky in stud," he said.
So far, the luck is holding for the Italian Pirate. He'll need plenty more of it to defeat the monster field at tomorrow's final table.
The field will return tomorrow at 1 p.m. to play down to a champion.
Check out the PokerListings.com 2009 WSOP section for full coverage of the Stud World Championship.