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Ivey

Hellmuth

Matusow

Greenstein

Mortensen

Seidel

Just a few of the more than 200 players that survived Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Los Angeles Poker Classic Main Event.  The list of players from the “Old Guard” that are still remaining in the field is impressive to say the least.   And when I wandered the tables for five levels, I couldn’t help but bump into the biggest names in the game (and who says that poker isn’t a skill game?).  Phil Ivey (@philivey), Phil Hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth), Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow), Barry Greenstein (@barrygreenstein), Carlos Mortensen, and Erik Seidel (@erik_seidel) were the headliners that survived day 2 and will return for action on day 3, looking to add to their impressive historical resumes.

It was a long five levels of play on day two as registration closed just before the start of play on the day, and around 30 or so players bought in to see their first action of the day.  One of them was Russian Full Tilt Pro Nikolay Evdakov who has had a remarkable year at the LAPC, with wins in both the $1,065 Pot Limit Omaha – Six Handed event and the $2,100 No Limit Hold’em – Iron Man Event.  He didn’t waste any time getting out of the gates, chipping up early and then bagging up 213,000 chips at the end of play, good for a top 10 chip stack. Evdakov is attempting to add a third LAPC Title to his mantle, and the Remington Trophy would be the best one of the group.

Evdakov isn’t the only player that runs well in Los Angeles, as 2005 LAPC Main Event Champion Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi (@thegrinder44) had a remarkable run of cards to finish with 227,600.  As I walked around to his table, Grinder tossed over two Aces to win another pot, and the guy on his left asked the dealer for a seat change.  Grinder says to me “Get this, first I flop the nuts, then I get Kings, then I flop a set, and I get paid each time.”  “Is this your first time running good?” I ask.  Laughs abound at the table as the Grinder just added more chips to his stack.

Mizrachi wasn’t the only 2010 WSOP Main Event November Niner to accumulate a large stack as Jason Senti (@pbjaxx) finished the day with 258,200 chips.  In a late pot, he held pocket 8’s vs. Kh-Jh on a Js-8h-5h flop.  The money got all in and the set held vaulting Senti towards the top of the chip counts on the day.  I stopped by his table several times, and his stack was up and down like a yo-yo, but he always seemed to rebound whenever he lost a big pot.  “I’m just running good.  That’s all I do,” Senti said to me at one point.  Also still alive from the 2010 November Nine is Soi Nguyen (@soinguyen) has 98,600 and runner up John Racener (@racener) finished with 30,900, as they both eye getting to the money today.

Everyone however will be chasing the chip leader Joe DeNiro, who as near as I can tell, isn’t related to Robert.  Joe finished the day with 366,700 chips, which is more than 100k than 2nd place James Carroll who finished with 264,800.  Joe is looking to go wire-to-wire with the chip lead and if he continues to play the way that he did on the first two days, it will be hard to catch him.

Counting chips for some of the best players for me resulted in me finding out just how much I need to work on that skill.  As I was leaning in and counting the stack of Daniel Negreanu (@realkidpoker), he asks “How much do you think I have?”  I said “I’m not sure about the quarters (T-25 chips), but I think it’s about 20k?”  Daniel replies “Wow, you’re WAY off.  Look, here’s 20k right here…it’s 24,500.”  I laughed it off as I sent the tweet, but Phil Ivey (@philivey) did the exact same thing to me late in the day.  When he asked me how much as he saw me counting, I guessed “About a 100k.”  Ivey responds with “Wow, you’re really bad at this.” As he counts out his stack it was at 86,000.  To be fair, he didn’t exactly have great stacking….but when I’m off by 10 big blinds…I guess that is a lot.  I enjoyed watching Ivey throughout the course of his day as he navigated a tough table with David Oppenheim two seats to his right, and multi-phone action as he was consistently on one of 4 different cell phones throughout the day.

The field is still full of plenty of younger and accomplished players looking at becoming a WPT Champion, and laying claim to the more than $1.6 million first place prize.  Players like Vivek Rajkumar, Bryn Kenney,  David “Bakes” Baker (@dmbakes), Tom Marchese, Amit Makhija (@amak316), Chad Batista (@lilholdem), and David “DocSands” Sands (@doc_sands) are all still in the running, along with about 200 hopefuls.  Play will resume today at Noon at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, and we’ll either play 5 levels or until we hit the money which is with 63 players remaining.  The overall thought is that we’ll likely be playing more than 5 levels, because its unlikely that we’ll felt 140 players in just 5 levels….but anything is possible.

Feel free to follow me on twitter (@coolwhipflea) for all the updates live from the floor, and feel free to message me if you’re looking for something specific.  I’m happy to as much information as I can.