Day 2 of the Season XVI WPT Legends of Poker Main Event came to a close Monday night at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino. Oddie Dardon (pictured above) bagged the chip lead with 775,000 in chips, and just 90 players remain from the booming starting field of 763 entries.
The 763 entries in the Season XVI WPT Legends of Poker Main Event made for the second-largest field size in WPT Legends of Poker Main Event history, and the prize pool generated was more than $2.738 million. The top 81 places will reach the money, and the winner is set to receive $653,692, a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Steel watch.
Dardon entered the day with a stack of 160,000 after a successful starting day, and he rocketed up the leaderboard on Day 2 to build an impressive lead. One of the big hands that helped vault Dardon up the charts came when he busted Mel Wiener, who began the day second in chips.
With the blinds at 1,500-3,000 with a 500 ante, Dardon and Wiener got all the money in on the flop. Wiener flopped a straight with the , but Dardon had the better straight with the . Dardon’s hand held, and Wiener was sent packing.
Dardon’s lead was more than 200,000 ahead of his closest competitor, two-time WPT champion JC Tran, who finished on 565,000 in chips. Other WPT Champions Club members remaining were Tuan Le, Sam Panzica, Scotty Nguyen, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Pat Lyons, who just so happens to be the reigning champion of this very event. Lyons will be looking to become the first player in WPT history to win the same event in back-to-back seasons.
Hovhannes Khachatryan (530,000), DJ Alexander (517,500), and David Baker (479,000) round out the top five chip stacks.
Phil Hellmuth (pictured above) also advanced to Day 3 and will be looking to claim his first-ever World Poker Tour title on the heels of recently being announced as the new WPT Raw Deal analyst. Hellmuth bagged a chip stack of 352,000.
With 90 players left and the field one table off the money, Tuesday’s Day 3 will be a very big and important day, both in this tournament and in the WPT history books.
First, the Action Clock will be in play. Players will have a 30-second clock for each action, and players will receive four time-extension chips worth 30 seconds each. Upon reaching the final three tables of the tournament, each remaining player will reset to a maximum of six time-extension chips. At the official WPT final table, players will reset their bank of time-extension chips to eight each.
Second, the money will be reached with 81 players left. Making it to the top 81 will earn players at least $7,135.
Third, and most notable of all, with the money will come the awarding of the WPT’s one-billionth prize dollar. Over the course of 16 seasons going all the way back to the tour’s inception in 2002, the World Poker Tour has awarded just shy of $1 billion in total prize money. In the money on Tuesday, one play will cash and win the WPT’s one-billionth prize dollar, which will be with a seat into the Season XVII WPT Legends of Poker Main Event, plus accommodation at The Bicycle Hotel & Casino.
The cards are scheduled to be back in the air at 12 p.m. PT on Tuesday, so be sure to return right here to WPT.com for continued coverage all the way to the Season XVI WPT Legends of Poker is crowned.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
Looking to win your way to a World Poker Tour event for your shot at becoming a WPT champion? Play for your chance on ClubWPT.com, where eligible VIP Members can play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes each month, including seats to WPT events, no purchase necessary.