World Series of Poker National Championship Day 2: Parker, Ausmus, Tehan at Final Table

Brock Parker

The Southern Comfort 100 Proof World Series of Poker National Championship final table was set on Thursday at Harrah’s New Orleans, and leading the eight-handed official final table is two-time WSOP bracelet winner Brock Parker. Parker bagged 825,000, and the only other players to bag more than 700,000 chips were fellow bracelet winner Max Steinberg (738,000) and 2012 Octo-Niner Jeremy Ausmus (799,000).

Final Table Seating Assignments

1Joe Tehan117,000
2Max Steinberg738,000
3Tim Bowman118,000
4Jonathan Hilton588,000
5Nicolas Vaca-Rondon233,000
6Brock Parker825,000
7Jeremy Ausmus799,000
8Robert Panitch338,000

Of the 126 entrants, 62 players returned for Day 2, joined by two-time WSOP bracelet winner and late registrant Jason Mercier. Unfortunately for Mercier, he was cut short of the money, but not before he booked a profitable last longer bet with Jason Koon. Koon ran into Austin Buchanan’s aces on the first hand of the day, and was eliminated shortly thereafter.

Despite being the last to register, Mercier also outlasted his friends Brent Hanks and Kyle Julius. Hanks lost a series of hands leaving him short-stacked, leading him to jam out of the small blind with nine-five off suit. Joe Tehan looked him up with pocket sevens and held. Julius lost a massive pot against Blake Barousse, where both players turned a flush. Unfortunately for Julius, Barousse held the nuts, and the Chicagoan was sent packing.

Joining those on the rail before the money bubble were Dominik Nitsche, Mark Bonsack, Wade Woelfel, Alex Bylicki, Joe Kuether, Jeff Gross, and start-of-day chip leader Valentin Vornicu.

Vornicu, the Harrah’s Rincon Casino Champion, five-bet all in for 145,000, and Tim Bowman, winner of the Harrah’s Cherokee Main Event, re-shoved. The rest of the table folded, and Vornicu rolled over two red jacks only to see Bowman’s black aces. The aces held, and Vornicu was eliminated.

The bubble burst shortly thereafter when Steve Hesse five-bet shoved with two jacks. Parker, who was the four-bettor, was pot committed, and called with king-queen. He flopped a pair of queens and held when the turn and river both produced bricks.

The first players to exit in the money were Sam Panzica, Andrew Robinson, Jim Willerson, and Jarod Ludemann.

Willerson was eliminated in a wild hand in which Hilton opened for a raise, Willerson three-bet shoved, and Steinberg put in a cold four-bet. Hilton five-bet shoved, Steinberg quickly called, and all three hands were tabled.

Hitlon: {a-Spades}{a-Clubs}
Steinberg: {k-Spades}{k-Clubs}
Willerson: {4-Spades}{4-Hearts}

Hilton held as the board came {5-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{j-Clubs}{8-Spades}{3-Hearts}, eliminating Willerson. Hilton shot up to 680,000 chips, and ended up bagging 588,000. Despite the blow, Steinberg finished on 676,000 as previously mentioned.

The next three players to go were Ashly Butler, Rex Clinkscales, and Pavlin Karakikov.

Karakikov was in great shape to double up with two kings against Steinberg’s ace-ten, but Steinberg made Broadway on the turn. Karakikov needed the board to pair or a fourth diamond to complete the board, but the river was a meaningless black three, and the final nine players combined to make an unofficial final table.

On the final hand of the night, Austin Apicella was eliminated in ninth place, bubbling the ESPN televised final table. After losing a small pot to Ausmus, he then three-bet shoved over an open from the Octo-Niner. Ausmus called with two jacks, which dominated Apicella’s king-jack. Apicella received no help from the five community cards and was left collecting his $30,785 payday from the payout window.

The final eight players will return on Friday at 2 p.m. to fight for the top prize of $355,599 and the first 2013 WSOP gold bracelet to be awarded on American soil. Be sure to check back to for all of your up-to-the-minute updates straight from the tournament floor.

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