We didn't quite make it to the final table today in the Casino Employees Event, but we did trim the starting field from 722 down to 53. Needless to say, there are more than a few elated casino employees looking forward to taking home a big bonus tomorrow.
Jack McClelland, Tournament Director for the Bellagio, had an up and down day. At times he was close to the chip lead, while other times he was down to just over ten big blinds. He managed to weather the storm and is currently working with about 15,000 in chips.
One of the day's dominant players, Cary Lucier, failed to make the money despite an at-times, commanding chip lead.
The night's chip leader seems to be Kent Washington, who had a commanding presence through much of the day. Right now he's sitting with about 150,000. Jonathan Kotula isn't too far behind. He flirted with the lead throughout the day and is currently well ahead of the pack with about 110,000 chips.
Samuel Sperrazza is just short of the century mark with 95,000 chips, and is currently occupying the third place on the leader board. Meanwhile, AJ Vea's 86,000 chips are keeping him in the top five along with Vinnie Vandall, who has 75,000 and entered the leaders' group not too long before the bubble.
53 players will return tomorrow to battle it out for the first bracelet of the 2010 World Series of Poker.
Day 2 resumes tomorrow at 2:30 PM.
The very last hand of the night took place on Table 3 where John McAvoy open shoved from early position.
McAvoy either wanted to double up or bust because of his short stack, but unfortunately for him neither occured. Zhen Cai was the last to act in the big blind and folded his hand, sending the blinds and antes to McAvoy.
He laughed tabling and will have to return tomorrow for Day 2 still short with just around 15,000.
Tournament officials have just announced that players in the Casino Employees Event will go through seven more hands before calling it a night.
Christopher Perez and Kevin Brantner butted heads recently at Table 4.
Perez opened to 3,500 from early position and action folded to Brantner on the button who re-raised to 10,000. Perez called and the flop fell .
Both players checked and then Perez insta shoved after the was dealt on the turn.
“Frickin’ frick,” Brantner muttered. “I hate this table.”
Brantner eventually folded face up and Perez showed him for a turned set of tens.
“Running good there ‘Michigan’,” a player jarred.
Perez has picked up the nickname ‘Michigan’ because of his Michigan Wolverines hat and he’s also picked up a nice stack of 50,000 chips. Brantner on the other hand slipped below 20,000 chips.
Laurie Strantz, one of the few remaining women in the field, is sitting at Table 4. Strantz got her entry into today’s tournament as a birthday gift from her family; as a matter of fact, she is celebrating her 50th birthday today. Looks like that is one birthday gift that is paying dividends.
Vinnie Vandal bet 10,000 on a flop. A player in early position moved all in for 11,000 and Dave Fisher called behind. Vandal called the extra 1,000 as the came on the turn.
Vandal pushed his remaining stack in the middle, which caused Fisher to fold. The early position player turned over the but was behind Vandal’s .
The hit the river and Vandal took a huge pot worth 45,000, bringing his stack up to 70,000. Interestingly, part of his stack is comprised of new orange chips, worth 5,000 apiece.
With the board reading , John Armstrong pushed all in for 6,300. Jonathan Kotula reluctantly made the call.
“Good call,” Armstrong said, “I told you I didn’t want to come back for Day 2.” Armstrong turned over the and was behind Kotula’s . The on the river ensured Armstrong won’t be back tomorrow.
Patrick Silvey raised from middle position to 3,500. Two seats down, Frank Nguyen responded by going all in for 3,900 more. Action folded back around to Silvey who didn't take much time to call.
Silvey turned over and was in a race against Nguyen's .
The flop didn't give any help to Silvey, as it came . however, the turn was and the river was , giving Silvey a pair of jacks and Nguyen a ticket to the cashier's cage.
After the bubble burst, Nick Holewinski was so excited about making the money that he went over to his girlfriend, Elissa Reuter, who just so happens to be at the same table, and gave her a celebratory kiss on the cheek.
Reuter was clearly happy to have made the money, especially since she had folded pocket queens to avoid becoming the bubble girl.