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Internet Poker Stars Rule $1,500 No-Limit Hold'

2006 WSOP $5K Stud and $2.5K Pot LImit Hold'em Break Into the Money


$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Day 2 of 3) - Field Narrowed to Final Table

The Amazon Room at the Rio Hotel and Casino was once again alive with the sounds of poker. Three events narrowed their fields today as players tested their poker chops in an attempt to burst some money bubbles or lock a final table seat and improve their chances of snagging some WSOP jewelry. The $5,000 seven-card stud and the $2,500 pot-limit hold'em events kicked off today and the $1,500 no-limit event's second day started up.

The $1,500 no-limit event started at 2 p.m. PDT, as the remaining 121 players took their seats and kept their eyes on the final table that awaited them the following day, should they make it that far. Players had already hacked through a field of 2,126 to make it to this point, and were well into the money. Now it was time to dig in their heels for the long road ahead to the event's final day.

Some notable pros who failed to advance past day two included Joe Tehan, John Phan, David Sklansky, Perry Friedman, and Hoyt Corkins.

One interesting thing about the event's field of players is how many prominent Internet players had made it to the second day. Well-known players like Carl "colson10" Olson and Bryan "bmicon" Micon had respectable showings (finishing 80th for $5,804 and 111th for $2,902 respectively). Micon is the proprietor of a popular online poker forum site,

Two Internet poker pros also made the final table. Jordan "iMsoLucky0" Morgan entered the final table in sixth, with $307,000. Chris "MarvinGarden" Birchby will also sit at the final table with $497,000, to put him in third. Sarin Ashwin is the big stack going into tomorrow's final table, sitting with $591,000 in chips. Billy Duarte Jr. just made the cut and will sit in ninth place with $96,000. The final table will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. PDT.

$5,000 Seven Card Stud (Day 1 of 2) - Bubble Burst

The seven-card stud event began at noon PDT today, with 183 players entering the fray. The expensive buy-in for the event garnered a respectable first place prize of $256,620 for the players to seek.

Despite the money on the line, players still managed to have fun. A large pot began to develop between Tom McCormick and another player. McCormick's board read Jspade 10club 2heart 8heart and his opponent's read Kspade7heart4spade8diamond. After each round of betting, McCormick's opponent said, "I have a pair of kings. If you can't beat a pair of kings, get out of the hand." Finally McCormick responded, "You don't have kings; quit lying to me." His opponent then flipped over one of his hole cards, among them a king, and said, "I told you." McCormick gruffly replied, "I know." The pair of kings was good enough to take down the pot.

Some notables eliminated during the day's play included Eli Elezra, Artie Cobb, Jennifer Harman, and Todd Brunson. However, Cyndy Violette is still alive with the chip lead at $157,000. Her next-closest opponent has $115,500. "Miami" John Cernuto, David Singer, and Sean Sheikhan are also still in the running for the WSOP bracelet in the event.

With only 16 places paying, the bubble burst just before 3 a.m. PDT. Play continued for another half hour before the tournament ended for the day with 15 players left. The event will resume tomorrow at 4 p.m. PDT.

$2,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em (Day 1 of 2) - Players Make the Money

Players took their seats at 2 p.m. PDT for the pot-limit hold'em event. They filled 562 seats as the day kicked off and were each taking aim at the $374,849 first-place prize and a certain piece of jewelry.

Like the stud players before them, the pot-limit players were also prone to have a little fun. Gavin Smith and Phil Gordon were trying to arrange a heads-up karaoke match between the two of them. This dream matchup would be judged by Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and T.J. Cloutier. Smith said his song of choice would be "She Bangs" while Gordon said either "New York, New York" or "Luck Be a Lady" would be his song of choice.

Some poker pros who didn't make the cut through the day included David Plastik, Greg Raymer, Phil Gordon, Barry Shulman, and Evelyn Ng. Some notables still in the running for day two include Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem, Matt Matros, and Alex Jacob. Jacob enters day two as the chip leader, with $111,700. His next-closest rival, John Gale, also a pro, sits close behind with $100,500.

The event had 54 paying places, and that magic number was reached at around 1:15 a.m. PDT. Players kept chugging away for the next hour until the end of the level and 40 players remained at the end of the night, all in the money. The event will resume tomorrow at 3 p.m. PDT.

Stay tuned to for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and for a new episode of "The Circuit" radio show.

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