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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP Journal

WSOP Event #2 - Day 2

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Brandon Cantu and Lee Padilla shared the chip lead at the end of Day 2 of the World Series of Poker Event #2 - $1.5k - NLHE. Nine players will play Thursday for the coveted WSOP bracelet, with Day 2 chip leader and 2001 Main Event Champion, Juan Carlos Mortensen ready to make a push for his third WSOP bracelet.

The day began in a corner of the massive room, visible to only the aggressive and tall railbirds. Every player could see where they wanted to be sitting to begin Thursday’s match - the ESPN television table. Crew members were tweaking the set through the day and the clatter added a syncopated beat to the steady strum of chips.

Players started in the context of their chip stacks, the composition of their table, and their position in relation to the big stacks; 122 players were cut in half in the first four hours. Short stacks headed out the door quickly in the first hour. Tuan Le was quickly hacked down when his pocket nines doubled through pocket jacks. His aggression never waned, but he exited when his pocket sixes were chased down by A-2 when an ace hit the flop.

Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Paul Darden, and Bill Gazes all made moves in the first half of the day with average starting chips, steadily increasing their stacks. Some of them even played the same hands with different paths to the same outcome. Harman doubled up when her Ah-3h stayed ahead of Kh-Qh and ace high took the pot. Gordon doubled up the hard way with his Ah-3h up against Ad-Qh. All the chips were in pre-flop, and Gordon caught his trey on the turn. Greg Raymer was above average starting the day and held steady until his correct decision, in the right position, turned sour for him. Raymer was in the big blind and Brandon Cantu raised from middle position. The flop came 6d-4d-4c, and Raymer pushed his $13.9k into the $20k pot. The raiser called and turned over Kd-3h, way behind Raymer’s A-5o. Two more diamonds four-flushed Raymer to the rail. He was disappointed, but his World Series started with a great result.

Most of the day belonged to the Day 1 chip leader, Juan Carlos Mortensen. Mortensen was a constant force, continuing to build his Spanish tower of chips while steadily knocking out those unlucky enough to sit next to him. Great players made solid runs but were gone before five hours of play. Phil Gordon, Paul Darden, and Erik Seidel ‘busted’ before the last three tables. David “Devilfish” Ulliott started in the top five in chips and stayed strong throughout the day, and his Ah-Kd dominated Tom Nguyen’s Ad-Jd, only until the jack hit the flop and sent Devilfish to pick up a check, out in 24th.

Marco Traniello brought a snack from Starbucks to Harman, his wife, keeping her metabolism just so. Down to two tables, she sat in the 5s of Table 119, her back to Table 120 where Mortensen was in the 10s. While Harman was picking her spots to stay alive, Mortensen went through a devastating hour of cards, spewing chips as the hands progressed. His chip count, once up to $720k, took a dive when he doubled up Mark Ly, coming over the top of Ly’s bet at a Kh-Kc-9s flop to put Ly all-in, brought an ‘insta-call’ from Ly who was holding Ah-Ks to Mortensen’s 9h-8h. Mortensen still had a nice chip lead after losing $200k to Ly. Ten minutes later, it happened again, this time $150k headed to Brent Roberts. On a flop of 7s-6h-4c, Roberts moved all-in, and Mortensen called reluctantly. He sensed weakness from Roberts, but unfortunately it was the wrong scent of weakness as Roberts’ 9s-6s dominated his 3s-6h. Harman moved to Table 120 but didn’t turn the tide for Mortensen. Ron Stanley cut further into Mortensen’s stack a few hands later. While Table 119 was relaxed and chatty, Table 120 was a mound of tension. Harman put Stanley to the test, moving all-in after his raise. He deliberated for five minutes, and then mucked his hand.

Ali Eslami and Jack Rosenfeldt went out in 13th and 12th respectively, Eslami running into aces when he pushed with 9d-8d and Rosenfeldt getting a nightmare of a hand, his queens clocked by kings.

Still short handed, Harman had waited for a hand to double through, as she was focused on the top prize, not just moving up in payout. With blinds at $6k/12k with a $2k ante, Drew Rubin raised to $40k from the cutoff, and Harman moved in after deliberating her normal amount. She knows what it sounds like to have an all-in called by aces, she’s heard it so many times that it’s almost a unique dialect. And her Ah-Ks was indeed dominated by Ad-As, but the cards kept everyone staring at the board. The Kd-9h-8c gave her hope, the 10h didn’t help, then paint flashed on the river until everyone knew that the Qd sent Harman home in 11th place.

Everyone moved to Table 119, a final 10 to get to nine. And the dominant player of the day, Carlos Mortensen, was the short stack. With a full table, he needed some cards to fall for himself and someone else, specifically cards that would trap or wound someone else. Five minutes in, he moved his remaining $120k into the pot. Drew Rubin called with queens, and Mortensen’s aces held up. The short stacks finally ended the day, Ron Stanley’s Ah-Jc vs. Tom Nguyen’s red nines. Stanley flopped trip aces to win the race. Thursday, will find nine players, 10 yards away from the door - at the ESPN Final Table - each after the $750k prize and the coveted bracelet.

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