Mike "The Mouth" Matusow stole the show on Day 2 of the Tournament of Champions, building a stack high enough to rival the volume of his chatter. He finished in the lead with 85,500, followed by Huck Seed and Johnny Chan. Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier will return with the most work to do, as he's down to 21,400. Antoinio Esfandiari is also in critical condition.
After an hour, the 22 players who returned for Day 2 of the Tournament of Champions had whittled themselves down to 18. But they only got rid of one more player in the next three levels. Doyle Brunson was the first to make his exit, followed soon after by reigning Main Event Champion Joe Cada, Internet qualifier Andrew Barton, and "poker's greatest ambassador" Mike Sexton. Once they redrew to the two ESPN feature stages, action slowed down...waaaay down. Dan Harrington was the only unlucky soul to find himself down and out without a chance at the freeroll cash.
Since 17 players survived Day 2, tournament staff had to do some quick rescheduling. They were supposed to return on July 4th already down to nine players, but with 17 left, they decided to resume on Saturday, July 3rd at 7 p.m. to play to a final table. However, if one of the remaining players is still alive in the $25k Six Max event or in Ante Up for Africa, they'll scrap that plan and return at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Join us Saturday night right here at PokerNews for Day 3 coverage of the Tournament of Champions!
With almost two full tables of players remaining and only one more day of play scheduled, the powers that be at the WSOP are hastily putting together an alternate plan for playing down to a winner. Bringing the players back on Friday, July 2 at Noon was discussed, but that option was quickly scuttled as it not only conflicts with the $25,000 6-max event but also Howard Lederer's annual "World Series of BBQ" fundraiser at the Golden Nugget.
The latest we've heard (and this is of course unconfirmed), is that everyone will have to return at 10 a.m. on July 4th to play this tournament out. Not sure how well such an early start will go over with this crowd, who isn't used to getting up before Noon.
Allen Cunningham raised to 2,500, and Johnny Chan called. Jen Harman joined from the big blind to see the flop. Harman checked, and Cunningham c-bet 4,000. Chan believed him and folded, but Harman check-raised all in for her last 19,200. Cunningham had no interest in calling all of that, and he capitulated quickly. She took the pot, moving back to 31,000. Cunningham fell a bit to 53,000.
Joe Hachem raised to 2,700 under the gun, and both Jen Harman and Annie Duke made the call. The flop came out , and Duke checked from the big blind. Hachem bet 2,900, and Harman slowly called. Duke, on the other hand, check-raised to 11,000. That was enough to scare Joe away. Harman thought about it for several minutes, and eventually she decided it was enough to get rid of her as well, sending the pot in Duke's direction. Annie is up to 47,000, while Harman has slid back to 22,000 since her double up soon after arriving at this table.
Antonio Esfandiari is still alive in Day 2 of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. He started the day with average stack but has been blinding away for a little over an hour. They're approaching the money bubble now, so he's been running back and forth between the TOC stage and his seat at a table directly across the aisle.
Earlier, Esfandiari asked the TD whether or not a player can move all in and leave the table without killing his hand. Apparently, a player's hand is only dead if they step away from the table with action remaining. So he just ran over to his table, moved all in, and ran back without staying to see if he'd been called. After he folded his hand here, he dashed back to see that he had been called, but Antonio didn't stay to find out the other player's hand. Someone just called out, "You doubled up!" so it looks like his strategy is working so far.