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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2008 | WSOP 2008 Tournaments

$50K HORSE Day 2 – Down to Business

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It was only the second day of a five-day tournament, the only one of its kind at the 2008 World Series of Poker. In fact, the $50,000 buy-in makes it the most unique tournament in the world, which is evidenced by the throngs of reporters and journalists who have come from all over the globe to cover it.

Much of the initial excitement about the $50K HORSE event was over within the first few hours of the event on Day 1, after the introductions were made, the fans got their peeks of their favorite pros, and those big names mingled and got down to business. The light-hearted atmosphere that was so prominent during the lead-up and first round quickly turned to seriousness, which is typical of such an intense event. So intense was it that out of the initial 148 players, only 8 were eliminated in the entirety of the first evening of play.

Day 2 began with those 140 participants who were well aware of the long haul ahead, not to mention the money plunked down to buy in to the event and the fact that only the final 16 players would be paid. Of those who began the second day, James Mackey was on top of the leader board and Chris Bjorin was the extreme short stack.

As the day got underway, Bjorin was in fact eliminated, along with Diego Cordovez and David Levi. Within the next few hours, others to be relegated to the rail included Andy Black, Annie Duke, Loi Tran, Bryan Colin, Ben Lin, Brad Helm, David Woo, Ram Vaswani, David Grey, and Frank Kassela.

Despite the seriousness of the day – the money on the line and the importance of making it to Day 3 – there were some opportunities for jokes and light-hearted behavior. With so many fans on the rail, it was easy for players like Mike Matusow to jump around and engage in some witty banter for the benefit of the onlookers.

The most interesting exchanges took place between Tony G and Ralph Perry, who were seated next to each other on Day 2 by pure coincidence. Famous for their verbal tiff, mostly from the lips of Tony G, at a past Intercontinental Poker Championship , the two were seated together again. While Perry may have been satisfied to let sleeping dogs lie and simply be cordial, Tony pushed the envelope as he has been known to do, and Perry didn’t back down from the conversation. It never became contentious, though, because Tony was one of the shorter stacks in the tournament at that point. He was finally eliminated from the event, however, and Perry was relegated to less interesting and fiery conversation with other members of his table.

As the day wore on, the eliminations came quicker and more big names were out of the $50K event. Some of the players no longer gunning for the prestigious title and the nearly $2 million first prize, in addition to those listed earlier, were: Michael Binger, John Monnette, TJ Cloutier, Ted Forrest, Todd Brunson, Mike Matusow, Tom Schneider, Tom McCormick, Jennifer Harman, Dario Alioto, Dewey Tomko, Joe Cassidy, Kirill Gerasimov, Jan Van Halle, John Juanda, Toto Leonidas, Bill Gazes, Johnny Chan, Patrik Antonius, Robert Mizrachi, Greg Raymer, Tim Phan, Allen Cunningham, David Chiu, Nick Schulman, Hasan Habib, Gus Hansen, John D’Agostino, Mike Sexton, Howard Lederer, Perry Friedman, Eli Elezra, Alex Kravchenko, Bruno Fitoussi, David Benyamine, Hoyt Corkins, John Hennigan, Chris Ferguson, Noah Jefferson, Chau Giang, David Singer, and Ali Eslami. Whew!

There were more…including the 2007 $50K HORSE champion Freddy Deeb. In the end, only 67 remained by the conclusion of Day 2. At the top of the leader board was Lyle Berman, with Patrick Bueno, Barry Greenstein, Minh Ly, and Chris Reslock all in hot pursuit of that position.

While having the most chips at the end of Day 2 is impressive, it is far from securing a spot at the final table. There would be two more days to go before those seats could be determined, and absolutely no one who had chips going into Day 3 was out of contention.

As the tournament wears on, the tension will grow, and the business at hand will become more intense. Stay tuned for more updates as the players fight for this prestigious title, the WSOP bracelet, and the Chip Reese trophy.

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