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2007 L.A. Poker Classic Day Two

J.C. Tran Takes Chip Lead on WPT Event's Second Day; Gavin Smith To Have Joe Sebok's Initials Tattooed on His Rear End

Saturday's 791 player starting field made the L.A. Poker Classic the largest $10,000 buy-in event in WPT history. On Sunday, the 368 remaining participants returned to the Commerce Casino, each with the goal of moving one stage closer to the tournament's $2.4 million first-place cash prize.

Along with the monetary incentive, the surviving field also entered action with the opportunity to become the LAPC's newest champion, a vacancy left open by Alan Goehring's day one elimination.

Following the previous night's 3:30 a.m. end time, play began at 3:30 p.m. PST with $300-$600 blinds and $75 antes.

Joe Sebok tumbled down the leader board in early action, dropping over $100,000 in chips, and attracting the attention of Gavin Smith. Coming into day two with a $172,000 deficit, Smith's chances against Sebok in a last-longer bet (loser's butt gets tattooed with the winner's initials) improved with every hit Sebok suffered.

At the three-hour mark, an appointment at the tattoo parlor became a necessity after Smith moved all in with the A 10, and an opponent's pocket kings held. Sebok, along with building his stack back to $200,000, spent time in post-dinner play break designing Smith's new posterior body art.

Some other pros who busted prior to the 7 p.m. dinner break were Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, Mark Newhouse, Kathy Liebert, Young Phan, Robert Mizrachi, Paul Darden, Tony Ma, Shane "Shaniac" Schleger, Phil Laak, and Chad Brown.

Jeff "Happy" Shulman and Nick "The Takeover" Schulman appeared to be on the verge of early exits as well, but both players battled back from short stacks. Down to less than $8,000 on day one, Shulman eventually crossed $80,000, on a run that was capped by a spade flush besting an opponent's flopped set of aces.

As for "The Takeover," he entered in the top half of the leader board, dropped to below $20,000, then rebuilt his stack en route to advancing to the tournament's third stage ($70,000).

While Shulman and Schulman pulled off rebound acts, Ari "BodogAri" Engel put on a dominant performance for much of play.

On one hand, the 23-year-old internet pro called an all-in bet by Brian Wideman on a J-J-3 flop. When Engel turned over pocket jacks, Wideman mucked his hand, walked away from the table, and the dealer pushed the pot to Engel, skipping the unnecessary act of showing fourth and fifth street.

Fewer than 185 players remained in contention when, at 10:43 p.m., Sebok and J.C. Tran clashed on one of the biggest hands of the day. Heads up, and with over $80,000 in the pot, Sebok bet $50,000 on a K 10 5 3 10 board. After taking a moment, Tran reraised all in, and Sebok stated, "Well, I have to call." Sebok turned over the Q 8 diamond flush, but Tran dragged the pot when he showed the K 10 full house.

The hand cost Sebok his LAPC life, and propelled Tran to the top of the leader board with over $500,000.

The final level of the day brought tough eliminations for two tournament pros. Haralabos Voulgaris busted from the LAPC after Chau Giang's A-K spiked an ace on the river to crack Voulgaris's pocket kings, while Michael Binger's all-in call with pocket aces fell to Jason Strasser's flopped set of queens.

At midnight, and with level 11 play completed, day two of the L.A. Poker Classic came to an end.

The top five chip counts are as follows:

1. J.C Tran - $543,7000
2. Steve Yoon - $319,800
3. Mike Carson - $318,100
4. Ari Engel - $280,100
5. Sean McCabe - $272,600

Other pros moving onto the next stage include Lee Markholt, Joe Tehan, Can Kim Hua, Scott Clements, Jason Strasser, Nam Le, Paul Wasicka, Chris Bell, Bill Edler, Chau Giang, Gene Todd, Kristy Gazes, Isaac Haxton, Jeff Shulman, Prahlad Friedman, Steve Dannenmann, Ted Forrest, Nenad Medic, Greg "FBT" Mueller, Steve Brecher, Joe Awada, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, and Barry Greenstein.

Notables not advancing were Tex Barch, Erick Lindgren, Eric Lynch, Chris McCormack, "Miami" John Cernuto, David Chiu, Todd Brunson, David Levi, David Plastik, Kevin Saul, David Oppenheim, Shannon Shorr, Joe Pelton, Kido Pham, Mark Gregorich, Isabelle Mercier, Patrik Antonius, and Freddy Deeb.

For a complete list of chip counts and eliminations please click here.

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

Quote of the Day: Any line from Joe Bartholdi's karaoke "Fat Girl" love song.