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WPT -- L.A. Poker Classic Day 2

Antonio Esfandiari Leads the Pack


Antonio EsfandiariDay 2 of the L.A. Poker Classic is officially in the books. Play continued at its original rapid pace, and among the total of 412 players who survived the first day, only about 170 of them remained by the end of level 11. Only 63 players will get paid, so two-thirds of the room will leave disappointed as the field nears the money.

The day's action was dominated by huge pots, despite the very small blinds and antes. Antonio Esfandiari jumped out to an early lead and held it throughout the day. He was the first player to cross the 300,000-in-chips mark and then later the 400,000 mark. He ended the day on top of the field with 405,000.

WPT final tablist Kofi Farkye has finally turned 21 and has had no problem adapting to poker here in the states. Farkye owned his various tables from the very start and quickly built up a stack that rivaled Esfandiari across the room. Farkye picked up a big pot when he eliminated Phil Hellmuth. Hellmuth got it all in with top pair, top kicker, but Farkye's gutshot-straight draw and flush draw hit on the river, giving him the pot and sending last year's final-tablist to the rail.

Kofi FarkyeFarkye wasn't done there and picked up the biggest pot of the tournament just minutes before the day concluded. On a flop of K 10 6, Kevin Saul bet about 35,000, and Kofi Farkye raised to 80,000. Saul then moved all in for 164,000, and Farkye instantly called with K J. Saul could only show 8 5, and didn't catch up when the turn and river came 4 and K. Saul was eliminated, and Farkye picked up a pot worth more than 350,000. He ended the day in second place on the leader board with 391,000.

Notables Mike Sowers, KJ Nam, Bertrand Grospellier, Haralabos Voulgaris, Jeff Garza, Zach Hyman, Greg Mueller, and last  year's winner, Phil Ivey, round out the top 10.

Here are the top chip counts heading into day 3:

  1. Antonio Esfandiari -- 405,000
  2. Kofi Farkye -- 391,000
  3. Mike Sowers -- 338,000
  4. KJ Nam -- 209,000
  5. Bertrand Grospellier -- 190,000