Level 9: 800-1,600, 200 ante
By BJ Nemeth
There was a partial solar eclipse visible in Las Vegas on Sunday, and the peak of it coincided with the last level of Day 2 of the WPT World Championship. People in Northern Nevada were able to see an annular solar eclipse, in which the moon is in front of the sun, but smaller, so there is a ring of sunlight visible around it.
Steve O'Dwyer was the chipleader at the start of Day 2 with 231,750 in chips. O'Dwyer held strong and finished the day seventh in chips with 301,900.
In an unusual hand, Daniel Buzgon (left) faced off against Vanessa Rousso (right) over a board of Q109A10. Rousso check-raised the turn, and then bet out on the river enough to put Buzgon all in. Buzgon tanked for about five minutes before calling with A10 -- a full house, tens full of aces.
Rousso was stunned, and mucked her cards as another player said it was the longest tank he had ever seen with such a strong hand. Buzgon apologized to the table, and said, "It's either a slowroll, or I'm out."
Twenty Season X WPT winners earned entry into this event along with their titles, and 18 of them entered on Day 1. The two holdouts were Matthew Waxman (pictured) and Dave Shallow, who both joined the field early on Day 2.
Seated next to Tyler Smith (right), Noah Schwartz was sporting a new look -- he wasn't wearing his signature glasses. He had them on Day 1, but had laser eye surgery before Day 2 began. Get used to the new look of Noah Schwartz.
Scott Seiver (standing) and David Williams (seated) were the last two players to win the WPT World Championship, with Seiver taking the title last season, and Williams winning it back in Season VIII. The two other former WPT World Champions in the field are David Chiu (season VI) and Martin de Knijff (Season II).
Vanessa Selbst had a great run at the last WPT event here at Bellagio, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Selbst finished third in that event to win $338,351. Unfortunately, that will be the highlight of Selbst's season on the WPT, as she was eliminated here on Day 2.
David "Bakes" Baker (center) moves all in over a river bet against reigning WPT World Champion Scott Seiver (left) on a board of K10549. Seiver tanked for about two minutes before forfeiting the pot to Baker.
Poker reporter Tim Fiorvanti watches the partial solar eclipse from the Bellagio, as the sun slowly sets behind the Palms and Rio casinos over Red Rock Canyon. The eclipse wasn't visible with the naked eye, so Fiorvanti is wearing special glasses designed for observing the sun.
Daniel Negreanu (standing) four-bet all in preflop with AK against Lance Steinberg (seated, center) and Guillaume Darcourt (not pictured). The flop came QJ2, and Steinberg and Darcourt quickly got it all in. Before they showed their cards, Negreanu said, "Both of these guys got sets, but I'm still alive!"
Sure enough, Darcourt had JJ for middle set, and Steinberg turned over QQ for top set. Negreanu's A-K flopped a gutshot straight draw, and he needed a ten to stay alive.
The ten never came, and Steinberg won the pot to double up thru Darcourt and eliminate Negreanu from the tournament.
Rinat Bogdanov earned his entry into the WPT World Championship by winning the WPT Venice Grand Prix back in February. Bogdanov had an excellent Day 2, finishing second in chips with 381,000. Bogdanov will attempt to become the first player in seven years to win a WPT World Championship after winning a WPT title earlier that season -- Tuan Le did it back in Season III.
Allen Kessler (left) looks on as Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (right) takes the chip lead late in the day. Mizrachi, who already has two WPT titles to his credit, finished at the top of the leaderboard with 428,200.
The field size has grown to 135 players, and there are 95 still in action. Registration remains open until the middle of Day 3, but here are the current chipleaders:
1. Michael Mizrachi - 428,200
2. Rinat Bogdanov - 381,000
3. Guillaume Darcourt - 356,600
4. David Steicke - 345,500
5. Isaac Haxton - 313,500
6. Tony Ruberto - 309,100
7. Steve O'Dwyer - 301,900
8. Ubaid Habib - 288,100
9. John Esposito - 284,200
10. Matt Juttelstad - 274,000
Day 3 begins at 12:00 noon PT, and registration remains open until the beginning of Level 12 -- about 5:00 pm PT. The field will revert to a more standard schedule of five 90-minute levels, and you can continue to get live coverage right here at WPT.com
Level 7: 500-1,000, 100 ante
With the final board showing K10549 on the river and a little more than 35,000 in the pot, reigning WPT World Champion Scott Seiver bets 29,300 from the cutoff, and David "Bakes" Baker moves all in from the button for about 130,000.
Seiver tanks for about two minutes, with another 160,000 or so behind. Seiver eventually folds, and Baker takes the pot.
David "Bakes" Baker - 205,000
Scott Seiver - 160,000
Level 6: 400-800, 100 ante
Reigning WPT World Champion Scott Seiver (background, left) loans his phone to Season VIII WPT World Champion David Williams (center) and recent chipleader Steve O'Dwyer (right) to check out a video between hands.
Vanessa Selbst finished third in the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic here at Bellagio in December. Selbst has had a roller-coaster day in terms of her chip stack, but she's still battling.
Season VI WPT Player of the Year Jonathan Little (left) and reigning WPT World Champion Scott Seiver sit side-by-side, across from the most recent WPT winner, Shawn Cunix (foreground left) and Vanessa Selbst (foreground, right).
Level 6: 400-800, 100 ante
Former WPT World Champions David Williams (Season VIII) and Martin de Knijff (Season II) have recently joined the field. Along with David Chiu (Season VI) and Scott Seiver (Season IX), that makes four former WPT World Champions in the field.
David Chiu (Season VI) - 200,000
Martin de Knijff (Season II) - 100,000
David Williams (Season VIII) - 100,000
Scott Seiver (Season IX) - 95,000
The former WPT World Champions who are not in the field are:
Alan Goehring - Season I
Tuan Le - Season III
Joe Bartholdi - Season IV
Carlos Mortensen - Season V
Yevgeniy Timoshenko - Season VII
Level 5: 300-600, 75 ante
The table featuring Daniel Negreanu, Justin Young, Josh Arieh, Steve O'Dwyer and others is one of the more talkative ones in the room. As the hands play out, the topics include everything from the $5,000 Arieh recently spent on Mega Millions lottery tickets to Young's beard.
Apropos of nothing, Arieh asks Young, "Hey Justin, what's the most you've ever been offered to shave your beard?"
Young pauses for a moment, that chuckles. "You know, believe it or not that isn't something I've been offered very often before." The table laughs, then Arieh explains himself.
"I've just never seen you without a beard, that I figured there was some reason that you keep it."
Young tells him that his wife really likes the beard and that is part of the reason he keeps it. Scott Seiver, who is seated one table over, has a different theory.
"It's actually part of his face, Josh," Seiver calls out. "It can't go away."
The conversation lulls for a moment, but then Young has a question for Arieh.
"How much were you going to offer?"
The table again laughs and Arieh explains that he wasn't trying to make a bet, he just igured there was some reason he's never seen Young without a beard.
Again, Seiver has to interject.
"Justin, you're supposed to say, 'There is nothing on Earth that would get me to shave this beard....but I'll listen to your offer."