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Photo Recap: Day 2 of WPT Festa al Lago
Level 11: 1,000-2,000, 300 ante
By BJ Nemeth
When Day 1 came to an end Friday night, the field size for WPT Festa al Lago was 294 players. But when registration finally closed at the start of Level 9 (about 5:30 pm), the field had grown to 335 players -- 41 players began their tournament on Day 2.
There is some debate over whether it's an advantage or a disadvantage to starting so late. Some say it's an advantage to begin when half the field has already been eliminated, while others say the best time to pick up chips and build a big stack is on Day 1.
With 99 players left, here's a look at the top 10 players who were able to build big stacks:
1. Matt Affleck - 585,300 (292 bb)
2. Annette Obrestad - 536,800 (268 bb)
3. Owen Crowe - 360,000 (180 bb)
4. Trevor Pope - 286,700 (143 bb)
5. Michael Benvenuti - 284,500 (142 bb)
6. John Monnette - 271,400 (135 bb)
7. Jeff Madsen - 269,200 (134 bb)
8. Men Nguyen - 263,500 (131 bb)
9. Andreas Hoivold - 254,200 (127 bb)
10. Vladimir Shchemelev - 244,000 (122 bb)
It probably isn't a coincidence that nine out of ten of those players started on Day 1. The highest chip stack belonging to a Day 2 starter is Vladimir Shchemelev in 10th place.
With 99 players remaining and the top 50 finishing in the money, we expect to burst the money bubble tomorrow (Sunday). Here's a look at the prizepool for this $10,000 buy-in event:
And now, a photographic look back at Day 2 of the WPT Festa al Lago at Bellagio:
It took a day and a half to fill the field, but when registration finally closed around 5:30 pm on Saturday, there were 335 entrants -- with roughly half of them already eliminated.
Vanessa Rousso was one of the late Day 2 arrivals, though she showed up a little more than a level earlier than the deadline. Rousso was one of many notable Day 2 starters that didn't survive the day, a list that also includes Phil Ivey (here and gone in just a handful of hands). The fastest exit belongs to Howard Lederer, who signed up at the last possible moment, but sent this message out on twitter a few minutes later about a hand vs. Erik Seidel:
@HowardHLederer: "Wow. I lasted exactly one hand at the Bellagio WPT. Got in against Erik, flush draw v flush draw. On problem, he had the A."
Chris Ferguson showed up at the last possible moment, registering during the break and posing for pictures with fans before taking his seat at the start of Level 9. His starting stack of 40,000 in chips was worth 33 big blinds at that point. Unfortunately, Ferguson's late-arrival strategy didn't work out, and he was eliminated.
While other players were showing up late with short stacks, Annette Obrestad was busy building a huge lead over the field. Mark Newhouse was also among the chipleaders at that point, though it didn't seem that way since his stack is dwarfed by Annette's.
Last-minute starter Andy Bloch (right) watches Day 1 starter Daniel Negreanu play a hand late on Day 2. Negreanu didn't have a great day, but he did survive with 62,100 (31 bb). Bloch survived longer than most Day 2 starters, but was eliminated just a few minutes before play ended around 8:45 pm.
Annette Obrestad was alone at the top of the leaderboard until Matt Affleck came storming up to catch her near the 400,000-chip mark. As the two battled late in the day for the chip lead, well ahead of the rest of the field, they also had a side bet going -- on Day 1, they decided to put $500 on a last-longer prop bet. This is a bet that could potentially have to wait until the final table to be settled up.
Vladimir Shchemelev (right) had the best day among the Day 2 starters, finishing 10th in the chip counts with 244,000 (122 bb). Shchemelev, a Russian banker, was unknown to most of the poker world before he stormed this year's WSOP, reaching multiple final tables.
Annette Obrestad's boyfriend Scott Montgomery checks on her progress near the end of Day 2. Montgomery already has a WPT final table under his belt, finishing fifth at the WPT LA Poker Classic in 2008. While Annette finished near the chip lead, she still has a lot of work ahead of her to match that achievement -- this final table is still several days away. (The televised WPT final table will begin at 4:00 pm PT on Wednesday.)
When play ended and the chip stacks were finally counted down, the chip lead belonged to Matt Affleck with 585,300 (292 bb). Annette Obrestad finished second with 536,800 (268 bb), and nobody else had more than 360,000 (180 bb). Here, Vanessa Selbst chats with Matt Affleck after finishing the day at the same table. Selbst finished in good shape with 203,500 (101 bb), which is more than enough for her to make a deep run.
David Williams finished Day 1 with less than 10,000 in chips, but still felt confident as he started Day 2. The confidence paid off, as Williams survived with 78,300 (39 bb) heading into Day 3. At the end of play, David Williams sat down for a long interview with WPT Anchor Kimberly Lansing. Here, Williams is bemoaning the fact that Kimberly no longer awards a year's supply of almonds to the Player of the Day -- a prize that Williams has been hoping to win since Kimberly first awarded them back in Season VI.
Day 3 begins tomorrow (Sunday) at 12:00 noon PT, when the 99 survivors will fight to reach the money. Return to WorldPokerTour.com for continuing live coverage, including hand updates, frequent chip counts, and video interviews with Kimberly Lansing.
08:00 AM, 10/17/10