|Russ "Dutch" Boyd||349,000|
It was just about twelve hours ago when 108 players meandered into the Orange section of the Amazon Room to take their seats for Day 2 of Event #23, the $2,500 Limit Hold'em extravaganza. After ten levels of bet, two bets, three bets, we've made it down to our final twelve, and it's time to close up shop for the morning.
A whole wagon load of notables were wheeled out of here in the early going today. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier was one of the first to stroll back out the door, and it wasn't long before the likes of Joe Sebok, Mike "GoLeafsGoEh" Leah, Erik Cajelais, Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, J.C. Tran, and Vitaly Lunkin followed him off to the Bad Beat Bar.
The money bubble came and went without so much as a whimper, and we went straight from 34 players on into the payouts for the final thirty-two. Just limping into the cash list were Martin Kabrhel, Justin Bonomo, Phil Gordon, Shawn Buchanan, Michael Binger, and Rafe Furst.
That still leaves us with a few familiar faces at night's end. JJ Liu has been up near the top of the counts for about two days, and she finished up in good standing with 182,000. Dutch Boyd has been up and down a bit, but he had himself a fine second half of Day 2 to close with 348,000 in his chip bag. Al "Sugar Bear" Barbieri has been waiting for his spots for two days now, and he finally picked up some chips as the night wore on. He finished with 415,000, and that's good enough to set the pace heading into tomorrow's final day.
We'll be back at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow for the play down to the bracelet. Sometime during the late night or early morning hours, one of these twelve players will be hoisting a shiny gold bracelet. We'll see you then!
The Tournament Director has just announced that this is definitely the final level of play for the evening.
Currently there is 20 minutes left on the clock and we still have twelve players.
Brian Meinders opened to 12,000 from early position and was called in three spots to see a flop fall.
The action was checked to Meinders who fired out a bet of 6,000 only to have Christopher Vitch bump it to 12,000 then Albert Minnullin three-bet to 18,000. Meinders called as the opponent caught in the middle passed to see the land on the turn.
It was checked round to see the land on the river and Vitch fire out a bet of 12,000 with only Minnullin making the call.
Vitch tabled his to take in the pot and climb to 400,000 as Minnullin mucked and slipped to 200,000 in chips.
Since most of you reading along at home are avid PokerNews followers, you will now understand that we are at that crucial point in the tournament where we are just one table off the final table.
Not only are we talking pay jumps, but also the acknowledgement of reaching one of poker's milestones - reaching a World Series of Poker Final Table!
Understandably the remaining twelve players have tightened up as they wait for those premium hands to make a move with and pick up some much needed chips as they jostle for a spot on that prestigious Event #23 Final Table.
We have just witnessed a very unusual hand here in Event #23.
With some heavy action preflop we saw a flop fall and a bet of 6,000 follow from Anh Le before Jeff Norman two-bet to 12,000.
Le put in the third bet and Norman made the call before the landed on the turn. Norman checked, Le fired out 12,000 only to have Norman check-raise to 24,000 leaving himself just 3,000 behind.
Le made the call as Norman threw in his last 3,000 before the dealer could turn over the on the river. After some deliberation, Le folded her hand to slip to 290,000 as Norman virtually doubled through to 120,000 in chips.
Dutch Boyd raised first in from the small blind, and Christopher Vitch reraised from the big. Boyd called, and he check-called bets on the flop and turn of a board. Both players check-checked the river.
Vitch showed up for top pair, and it was good enough to win him the pot. Boyd mucked, slipping to 202,000 and pushing Vitch up to 350,000.