That's it Ladies and Gentlemen, Day 2 of Event #26: $3,000, Pot-Limit Omaha, is in the books and 18 players have found that magical combination of skill and fortune to make it through to the final day. Our chip leader is Vadzim Kursevich and he has bagged and tagged 741,000 chips. Let’s guide you through to the story of the day so you can see for yourself how Kursevich rose to prominence.
Once upon a time (well ten levels ago) there were 138 poker players all desperate to have a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet draped on their wrist. The chip leader was Joseph Ressler but the lead at the top was a tight one. Our first superstar to leave the tournament was Phil Ivey…well Phil Ivey's stack! Ivey had registered for this event but had made the final table of Event 24: $5,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8-or-Better. Unlike the virtual felt, multi-tabling live events is a little challenging - even for Phil Ivey – and he was blinded away to zero early in the first level. But what does Ivey care? As we type he is one of three players still vying for that piece of gold and we wish him all the best (unlike his friends and foes alike who have bracelet bets with him).
Two talented females were next to depart. Former World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event champion Annette Obrestad and recent European Poker Tour Grand Final runner-up Lucille Cailly both departing as early as the first level. At the same time the ladies were leaving Robert Williamson III was growing stacks like Mark Zuckerberg grows money. The WSOP bracelet holder and Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) wizard started well and played great all day. Williamson finishing with 378,000 chips.
Our defending champion Sam Stein was a Day 1 surviver and he doubled, early, through Max Kruse to give him some chips to play with, and play with them he did. Stein had an amazing day but eventually left us in 35th place after being eliminated by the dangerous Vadzim Kursevich. Hats off to you Mr. Stein.
Then the trio of Igin Viacheslav, Chino Rheem and Raul Paez started to create a gap between them and the rest of the group. All three players getting heavily involved in the action and the chips were attracted to them like iron filings to a magnet. Nam Le, Kevin Saul and Jerome Bradpiece each falling to the terrifying trio.
We approached the money bubble fast and it was breached in super-quick time. The poor soul who came so close to earning a min-cash was Chance Kornuth. Kornuth eliminated by the impressive Galen Kester to earn the unfortunate mantle of Bubble Boy.
As usual, as soon as Kornuth was eliminated the dam broke and players left the field in droves, including WSOP bracelet winner Tex Barch, high stakes everything player Isaac Haxton and the talented Shawn Buchanan. At the other end of the table Robert Williamson III and Scott Stanko joined the terrifying trio at the top of the table.
After the belly filling break it was Chino Rheem who was the first player in the trio to make some headway. He eliminated Chris Roth to take the chip lead over the 400,000 mark and was followed closely behind by Vadzim Kursevich. At the other end of the charts we lost two WSOP champions. Matt Perrins and Ted Lawson falling to the swords of Mike Gorodinsky and Scott Stanko respectively.
Then Thomas Pettersson took advantage of the gamble that makes Chino Rheem so exciting. On a flop of Scott Eskanazi bet pot, Pettersson moved all-in and Rheem called to create a 460k pot. Pettersson had top set and Rheem was baying for a club that didn't leave the deck. Pettersson was our new chip leader and Rheem was scythed in half.
Rheem then hit disaster after disaster before amazingly being eliminated. He was all-in versus Brett Richey and then Oleksii Kovalchuk and each time Rheem held the upper hand with hands versus the of his opponents. Both times they out-flopped him and Rheem was discarded to the Day 2 has-been list.
With Chino Rheem out of the equation the chip lead was passed around like a game of pass the parcel. Eventually when the music stopped the parcel was in the hands of Vadzim Kursevich and when unwrapped it contained 741,000 chips.
So 18 hopefuls will be returning at 14:00 PM to finish the business and we will be there with them, make sure you are too!