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Day 2 of the UltimateBet Aruba Poker Classic

Jason 'icufish' Smith Leads With a Monster Stack

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Another day down, another day closer to $1 million. A total of 291 players survived their starting days to get to day 2, and that number would be more than halved by the end of the day.

Tournament Director Matt Savage announced that the players would only be playing five levels so that they could enjoy their evening, but that didn’t stop the sea of short-stacks from getting it all in. In the first level alone, more than 50 players hit the rail, many of them opting to play in a $2,000 no-limit hold’em event that began later that afternoon. By the end of the day, only 100 players remained, just 44 spots away from the money.

Jason GrayAs the day progressed and the field dwindled, two tables stood out from the rest. Table 6 housed an unusual coincidence, as three of last year’s best players, all with deep stacks, descended on the table. Jordan Rich, Jason Gray, and James Mordue all made the final table of the 2007 Aruba Poker Classic (ultimately finishing in sixth, fifth, and second place, respectively) and now were back at it, vying for table-captain status.

Inevitably, the fireworks started as Rich and Gray, best friends away from the table, got involved in a monster pot that left mixed feelings for both of them. Rich raised to 3,500 from the cutoff, and Gray reraised to 8,000 from the small blind. The action folded back around to Rich, who reraised to 23,000. Gray moved all in for a total of 90,600, and Rich went into the tank.

After a few minutes of thought, Rich made the call with Q Q and saw the bad news. Gray held A A, and the board added insult to injury when it ran out A K 8 6 A, giving Gray quad aces and a stack of over 180,000. Rich was left crippled with just 7,800.

Jason SmithThe other table that drew the most attention was table 2, where the chip leader Jason “icufish” Smith and second place leader Cody “thugmoneymkr” Slaubaugh got involved in a pot so large, it left one of them with more than 10 times the average stack. Both Slaubaugh and Smith had been tearing up the field all day long, and they were Nos. 1 and 2 on the leader board when Slaubaugh's final hand came down to give Smith a monster chip lead.

Slaubaugh raised to 2,700 in the cutoff and Smith reraised to 8,500 on the button. Rory "moosedabator" Cox then moved all in for 14,200 in the big blind. Slaubaugh then reraised to 22,000. Smith wasted no time making it 75,000 total. Slaubaugh then reraised to 155,000, leaving himself with only 20,000 or so behind. Smith moved all in, and Slaubaugh called off the rest of his stack. Both Slaubaugh and Cox showed A-K, but Smith held pocket aces. The board offered no help, and Smith took out two opponents while boosting his stack to 460,000, more than 3.5 times the next largest stack in the room.

When the day ended, the players bagged and tagged their chips and called it a night. They will return tomorrow at noon to play another 5 levels.

Click here for chip counts from the big stacks and notables.