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Day 2 - The 2006 Bicycle Casino Legends Of Poker

WPT Action Heats Up as Players Battle for a Shot At $1.5 Million First Place Cash Prize

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The survivors of days 1A and 1B returned to the Bicycle Casino for the official second day of the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker tournament. Players entered action fully aware of the stakes at hand, and the $1,577,170 first-place cash prize, along with a $25,000 seat in the WPT Championship, became the topic of discussion for the remaining field.

With a big payday and entrance into a lucrative tournament up for grabs, the first cards on day two hit the air at 2 p.m. PST with $300-$600 blinds and $75 antes.

Keeping pace with the previous two flights, nearly every table on day two featured at least one high-profile poker pro. Yet, amid the star-studded field, one table in particular drew the attention of the players and the media, table 25. The question, "Did you see the draw at 25," popped up nonstop during early action, and, unlike most buzz topics, the product lived up to the hype. Table 25 provided a murder's row that included James Van Alstyne (seat No. 1), Phil Hellmuth (seat No. 2), Jennifer Tilly (seat No. 3), Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi (seat No. 5), Scotty Nguyen (seat No. 8), and Amnon Filippi (seat No. 9).

While a veritable "Poker All-Star Game" played out at table 25, a scenario not seen on days 1A and 1B occurred throughout the tournament area, namely, the early departure of big-name pros. Former WPT event winner Freddy Deeb busted 10 minutes into play after his Adiamond Kdiamond failed to improve against Phil Laak's pocket queens, and FullTilt representative Roland De Wolfe exited action on a hand that saw his pocket jacks run smack into an opponent's pocket rockets.

Table 25, not to be outdone by the surrounding field, provided arguably the most talked-about elimination of day two's first level.

After limping into the hand, Phil Hellmuth called a $3,000 raise by an opponent in seat No. 4. "The Poker Brat" checked the 9club 9heart 5club flop, and seat No. 4 bet $7,000. Taking his time to count his stack, Hellmuth came back over the top for $14,000 total and then immediately called when seat No. 4 pushed all in.

As Hellmuth flipped over his cards, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, who had a running dialogue with Hellmuth up to this point, called out "fives full." The 5heart 5diamond verified Mizrachi's call, and Hellmuth took a huge lead in the hand after seat No. 4 turned up the 10diamond 10spade. The 10heart turn, however, gave seat No. 4 a superior full house, and Hellmuth, laughing in disbelief, walked out of the tournament area.

Other notables eliminated during early action included Chad Brown, Paul Wasicka, Surinder Sunar, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman, Chip Jett, and "The Grinder."

An hour before the tournament start time, Joe Sebok, as cohost of CardPlayer.com's The Circuit, picked the brain of the show's special guest, Vanessa Rousso. In a funny twist of fate, Sebok and Rousso drew spots at the same table, and soon Rousso became the one probing Sebok for information.

In a heads-up pot, Sebok moved all in on an Aspade Qclub Jspade 9diamond 2diamond board. In for her tournament life if she called, Rousso made a move to muck, but pulled her cards back and verbally recounted the hand bet-by-bet. After a few more minutes of deliberation, Rousso called and Sebok mucked his Q-J when she showed the Adiamond Jclub.

Sebok, left with $30,000 in chips, never fully recovered from the hand. He survived on the short stack for another five hours, but bowed out of tournament play when he moved all in preflop and his Aclub 2club failed to catch up to Yosh Nakano's Adiamond 10club.

With table 25 long broken, the title for "toughest draw" switched to a table that featured Greg "FBT" Mueller, Tim Phan, Haralabos "Bob" Voulgaris, Nam Le, Alfredo "Toto" Leonidas, and defending Legends of Poker champion Alex Kahaner.

While Kahaner's road to repeating took a turn for the more difficult, the LOP chugged along as more and more players dropped out of contention.

By 11:23 p.m., eight tables remained and the tournament field stood at 72 participants.

With the end of day two approaching, a number of pros made late pushes up the leaderboard.

Card Player COO Barry Shulman added to his stack by eliminating Gabe Kaplan after his Aspade 10spade held up against Kaplan's Qdiamond Jdiamond, while Huck Seed and Hoyt Corkins both doubled up during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The chip leader after day 1A, Tuan Le ensured his day three spot by taking several big pots in the final levels. On one hand, Le raised to $9,000 preflop and an opponent reraised $40,000. Le put his opponent all in by firing an additional $28,000 into the pot. Le's 10spade 10heart put him in a huge hole against his opponent's Kclub Kdiamond, but Le dragged the pot after making a full house on the Aspade Aheart 10club 7diamond 3diamond board.

Le followed up the win by taking more than $80,000 from Patrick Poels on a hand that saw Le turn trip sevens to best Poels' A-K.

At 1:49 a.m., and with seven levels of play completed, day two of the Legends of Poker came to an end.

For complete day two chip counts please click the "View All Chip Counts" link on CardPlayer.com's homepage.

Some other notables who failed to survive action included Mel "Silver Fox" Judah, Tobey Maguire, John Phan, Amnon Filippi, Erik Seidel, Barry Greenstein (who gave a signed copy of his book Ace on the River to the player who busted him), Liz Lieu, Toto Leonidas, Bob Voulgaris, Nam Le, Victor Ramdin, Carlos Mortensen, Dan Harrington, Greg Mueller, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, and Patrick Poels.

The 50-plus remaining participants return at 2 p.m. for day three. Action will conclude when the field has played down to the final six players.

Please remember, on Tuesday, August 29, WPT Player of the Year Gavin Smith and the Bicycle Casino will host a charity tournament in memory of Paul Hannum, a WPT cameraman who passed away earlier this month. Proceeds will go to Hannum's fiancée and unborn daughter. For more information please visit http://www.cardplayer.com/poker_news/news_story/1296?class=PokerNews.

Stay tuned to CardPlayer.com for live updates, chip counts, photos, videos, and a new episode of The Circuit.

Also, at 3 p.m. PST, tune in to CardPlayer.com for a special heads-up no-limit hold'em death-match challenge between The Circuit's own Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok and Live at the Bike's Bart Hanson and David Tuchman.

Quote of the Day: "I welcome all of you to laugh at my face when I get knocked out of the tournament." - Haralabos "Bob" Voulgaris backing up his theory that there are much worse things in life than busting out of a poker event.