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Day Two Daze at the Mirage Poker Showdown

Field Whittled Down to 40, Big Names make it Through

No man's land, too far to turn back but still an incredible journey to go. Like an ancient desert caravan, the players in the Mirage Poker Showdown $10,000 no-limit hold'em championship event have come too far to quit, but the top prize of $1,066,295 is still a distant oasis. The remaining field of 144 players faced off today at the Mirage in an attempt to survive the day and make a push at the treasure stashed in the final 27 spots.

It was a war of attrition early, with professionals Barry Greenstein, Gavin Smith, Erik Seidel, Nenad Medic, and Kenna James busting in the early levels. Things didn't get any easier for the big names still remaining, and their problems came to a head at table 37. Table 37 had at least five name pros hacking it out throughout the day. It began with Phil Ivey, Michael Binger, Nam Le, Juan Carlos Alvarado, Steve Sung, and Alex Prendes seated together. Later in the day Amnon Filippi and John D'Agostino were both added. Sung and Ivey battled throughout the day and were especially aggressive preflop. In one hand Sung raised to $4,200 from late position and Ivey reraised to $15,000 on the button. Sung re-popped Ivey to $35,000, and Ivey finally folded after deliberation. Sung kept the pressure on the next hand opening for $4,200. Ivey reraised from late position to $15,000 and again Sung pushed back. He moved all in and Ivey returned to the tank. He finally mucked again, but it was clear that Sung had no fear. Ivey eventually had the last laugh, though. Sung was busted in level nine while Ivey and most of table 37 pros advanced to day three.

Table 37 wasn't the only table that saw big names make significant moves. Success seems to be contagious for deep finishers in the Mirage Poker Showdown's preliminary events. Jared "TheWacoKidd" Hamby, Darrell "Gigabet" Dicken, Eric Froehlich, and David Pham all had top finishes in preliminary events and they are still alive in the field of 40. Hamby briefly took the chip lead with the blinds at $1,000-$2,000. He saw a raise of $6,500 and reraised to $15,000. His opponent called and the flop came 1065. The caller open-pushed for $90,000 and Hamby immediately called with KK, crushing the opposing JJ. The turn and river bricked for his opponent, and that bumped Hamby to over $330,000. He ran into some tough luck later, encountering a nut straight while holding the second-best hand and finished the day with $104,200.

Dicken had a much smoother run, and finished the day as the chip leader with $501,900. He parlayed some day one luck against Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi into a monster stack. He officially took a commanding chip lead on this hand: Dicken called $6,000 from middle position after an early position raise. The flop came KJ7, his opponent bet $10,000, and he quickly called. The turn was the 10 and his opponent bet $10,000. Dicken raised to $20,000 and his opponent moved in for $100,000 more. Dicken called and instantly tabled AQ, while his opponent showed AK. That put Dicken into the chip lead, which he has yet to relinquish.

Yesterday (Sunday) was also an amazing day for two players who entered the day on short stacks. Jonathan Little, who has been on a tear the last month (including a third-place finish in the preliminary heads-up event) started the day with just $4,800. He was able to build his wounded stack back to an astonishing $225,400 by the end of play. Jon Friedberg followed in the same suit. He entered the day with a stack of $39,550, and could not crack $50,000 for most of the day. He put on a short-stack clinic, and after what he called "400 or 500 all-ins," he was able to grow his stack to $245,600, good for sixth place on the leader board. He and the other 39 remaining players will return Monday to stake their claim as the champion of the Mirage Poker Showdown.

Play picks up Monday at noon, and the field will be narrowed down to 27 players. Stay tuned to for all your live updates, photos, videos, and chip counts.