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WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event Day 2: Winfred Yu Leads; Negreanu 4th; Ivey Busts

Winfred Yu

The official numbers are in for the AUD$10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific Main Event at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. After registration closed midway through Day 2, 405 entrants had generated a prize pool worth AUD$3,847,500. The top 40 spots will be paid, and the eventual winner will take home AUD$1,038,825 along with the first WSOP Main Event bracelet awarded on Australian soil.

Winfred Yu will enter Day 3 with the best chance of collecting that hardware. Yu, a regular in high-roller events around the Asia-Pacific region, ended Day 2 as the chip leader after bagging 432,700 to close out the day. He’ll be followed by George Tsatsis (365,800), Yasar Guedin (350,300) and Daniel Negreanu (338,100), who had another productive day after ending Day 1 as the overall leader.

Yu, who arrived in Australia just in time to play the Main Event, stormed into the lead shortly before the dinner break on Day 2. In one of his biggest pots of the day, Yu and Stevan Chew were staring at a board of {7-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{9-Hearts}{J-Hearts} when Chew led out for 15,500. Yu responded with a raise big enough to put Chew all-in, and Chew decided to call. Yu tabled the {K-Hearts}{10-Hearts} for a turned flush, and Chew simply tossed his hand into the muck even before the {5-Clubs} came on the river. That pushed Yu across the 200,000-chip barrier, and he continued building throughout the evening.

Negreanu entered Day 2 as the leader but found himself at a tough starting table that included Erik Siedel and Allan Le. Fortunately for Negreanu, that table broke, and he quickly took advantage of his new table that included Aussie pro Jonathan Karamalikis and 2012 Octo-Niner Steve Gee.

According to, Negreanu eclipsed 300,000 in chips on the very first hand at his new table, which happened to be the secondary featured table in the Crown Poker Room. While he was still unracking his chips, Negreanu called a 3,400-chip raise from Gee, and the player in the big blind also called. The flop came {8-Spades}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs}, and the big blind led out for 6,500. After Gee folded, Negreanu raised to 18,500. His opponent called, and the {4-Diamonds} arrived on the turn. The action was checked to Negreanu, who fired a 25,500 bet, which was quickly met with a fold.

Having already made a final table Down Under this week, Negreanu seems to be playing his A-game at the right time and enjoying himself at the same time.

Despite all of his amazing success around the world, including nearly $16.4 million in live tournament earnings, four WSOP gold bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles, Negreanu only has two results on record from Australia — his recent final table earlier this series and a final table at the APPT Sydney Main Event in 2010. In the latter, he finished ninth for AUD$36,415. The way it looks right now, Negreanu is setting himself up nicely to put up his best result in Australia.

Others advancing to Day 3 with healthy stacks will be Seidel, Antonio Esfandiari, Dan Shak, Jonathan Duhamel, Jonathan Karamalikis, Rupert Elder, Benny Spindler, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Russell Thomas and recent WSOP APAC bracelet winner Jim Collopy.

Phil Ivey was one of the stories coming into Day 2 as one of the leaders but was unable to gain any momentum while seated at the feature table. After losing an all-in confrontation against a short stack minutes prior, Ivey got the rest of his chips in preflop with {A-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds} but ran into an opponent's {K-Hearts}{K-Diamonds}. The {J-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}{4-Hearts} board provided no help, meaning Ivey will have to wait until the WSOP in Las Vegas to chase after his 10th bracelet.

Joining Ivey on the rail Friday were Greg Merson, Sam Trickett, Chad Brown, Angel Guillen, Dan Kelly, Joe Hachem, Jackie Glazier, Jeremy Ausmus and Phil Hellmuth, whose tournament ended before the dinner break when he ran {A-Hearts}{K-Spades} into another player's {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}.

After a schedule change announced on Friday, Day 3 will now start at 12 p.m. Saturday rather than 2 p.m., and seven levels will be played instead of the scheduled six. That means we're in for another long day in Melbourne, especially with the $50,000 High Roller also kicking off on Saturday. Stay tuned to for highlights from both events at the conclusion of play.

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