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$50,000 Championship HORSE Day Two

The End of Day Two Saw 52 Players Remaining

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Day Two of the $50,000 world championship H.O.R.S.E. event concentrated the stellar field even more. After losing only 21 from the starting field of 148 yesterday, day two brought the field down from 127 to 52 for the restart tomorrow.

During the course of the day two play, several truly amazing tables briefly came together before breaking up in the fast-paced event. Midday saw a table with Eli Elezra, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Chad Brown, Cyndy Violette, Chip Reese, and Carlos Mortensen. At the very end of the evening with all 15 levels for today complete, table No. 1 saw a lineup of Phil Hellmuth, Scotty Nguyen, John Hennigan, Huck Seed, Phil Ivey, Eli Elezra, Justin Bonomo, and Matt Hawrilenko. The talk of everyone at the rail was how tough each table was and it seemed with every broken table the others just got tougher.

Perhaps the only list more impressive than the survivors was the bustout role. Gone today were Doyle Brunson, Gavin Smith, Phil Laak, Ted Forrest, Bill Edler, Chris Ferguson, Mike Sexton, Howard Lederer, TJ Cloutier, and Robert Williamson III.

Elezra began day two with the chip lead of $561,000; he pushed that to over $650,000 in the late afternoon, only to come back to ground by day's end. During one period, Elezra tormented the short stacks at his table by playing an entire hold'em round blind. He would raise blind preflop, three-betting it on several occasions. Then look away from the flop and bet blind again.

Several surviving players made truly amazing late-day stands. Cyndy Violette was down under $10,000 twice just after the dinner break but she survives to play on day three with $60,000. Erick Lindgren was on life support as the last level of the night began, but he declared, "I'm a razz machine!" and proceeded to double up three times in the final round. Lindgren begins day three almost where he began day one, with $99,000.

With 52 players remaining, six players have over half a million chips: John Hanson ($650,000), Eli Elezra ($568,000), Toto Leonidas ($560,000), Allen Cunningham ($526,000), Kenny Tran ($510,000), and Justin Bonomo ($506,000). Bonomo went on tilt at the end of level 12 when he made miracle quads on the river only to discover that his already made boat was the worst hand in a huge three way pot. Bonomo took a walk after that hand to have a couple of drinks to settle down. "I could be the only person on the planet who goes on tilt after winning a pot," he said.

There was a table redraw at the end of the evening. We know that ESPN will be putting one table on its TV set and another on the secondary side table with hand-held cameras tomorrow. The other five tables will be seated nearby. They are going to have a tough time picking a table for big television coverage. We got only a brief glimpse of the reseating draw, but none of the "TV Talkers" (Hellmuth, Negreanu, Matusow, Scotty Nguyen, etc.) was seated at the same table.

Day three of this five day world championship H.O.R.S.E. event kicks off at 2 p.m. Tuesday.