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Gulf Coast Poker Championship Day 2

Top Pros Take Bad Beats, but the Old Guard Remains

As almost all the grizzled veterans of major tournaments will tell you, poker is one giant rollercoaster. The ride was in full swing Friday during day two of the Gulf Coast Poker Championship. Notable players that started the day with commanding chip stacks found themselves making frustratingly early exits, while some nursed their short stacks back into contention.

The day was not a good one for a majority of the remaining pros in the field. Jared Hamby, Shannon Shorr, Clonie Gowen, Chris Moneymaker, David Pham, Matt Graham, Allen Kessler, and Dewey Tomko all made early exits from the tournament. J.C. Tran and Mark Seif had amassed large chip stacks but were not able to parlay them into a birth to day three.

Tran had run his stack to over $80,000, but came crashing down in spectacular fashion. On his final hand, he bet $2,200 from the big blind on a 7 6 6 board. Terry Jennings made it $30,000 to go and Tran moved all in. Jennings made the call, and Tran tabled pocket jacks. He was drawing thin when Jennings rolled over the 8 6 for trips. The turn and river cards hit the board 5 3 and Tran was eliminated. Tran is currently involved in one of the more heated chases for the title of Card Player Player of the Year, and is currently in second behind David Pham. Bill Edler (who is currently in sixth in the POY race) could close the gap between himself and the top five if he makes it deep in the money. He ended day two with $238,000 chips.

Shane Schleger and Kathy Liebert tried their best to keep their dwindling short stacks alive, and both seemed to be gaining momentum late in the day. Things were derailed quickly however, when both players ran into massive coolers. On Schleger's elimination hand, he raised to $4,200 from the cutoff and the button made the call. The flop came K 8 7 and Schleger led for $5,400. The button called and the turn brought the 8. Schleger checked and the button fired a $15,000 bet. Schleger calmly counted his chips, then made a raise to $32,500, leaving himself with only $4,400 behind. After a few moments of indecisiveness, his opponent moved all in and Schleger called instantly. Schleger announced he had 8 7 for a full house and his opponent tabled K J, claiming he was drawing dead. As Schleger announces that he still has two outs, the K hits the river, shipping his opponent the pot. A clearly upset Schleger shrugged his shoulders and quickly left the room.

Liebert's defeat was not much easier to swallow. Chad Brown led for $6,000 preflop and Liebert moved all in for $19,200. Seat one reraised to $35,000 and everyone else mucked. Liebert flipped up pocket aces and her opponent showed pocket queens. The board comes Q 2 2 9 K and Liebert was eliminated from tournament, as well. Despite the bad beats, there were plenty of players who plowed though the day.

An older generation of poker players, TJ Cloutier and Tom Franklin, found success in Biloxi. Cloutier had been atop the chip leaders for most of the tournament, but fell off towards he end. He made the money with $144,500 chips. Franklin, a Gulfport resident, doubled though David Pham early in the day when he limped in early position and Pham raised to $5,000 from the button. Franklin made the call and the flop fell K Q 6. Franklin open-shoved his last $6,200 and Pham grudgingly called. Franklin tabled A Q and Pham showed down A 10. The next two cards bricked out and Franklin doubled up to more than $20,000. By the afternoon, he had over 70,000 and he crossed the $100,000 mark later in the evening. He ended the day with $115,000.

Play finally reached the money early Saturday morning; here are some notable chip counts:

Bill Edler - $238,000
Surinder Sunar - $285,000
Vanessa Russo - $213,500
Chad Brown - $181,500
TJ Cloutier - $144,500
Bobby Mahoney - $125,500
Tom Franklin - $115,000
Haralabos Voulgaris - $59,000
Lee Markholt - $55,000

You can see the full chip counts by clicking here. Stay tuned to Cardplayer.comand for all of your exclusive live updates.