Talk to an Angeleno for more than about five minutes and the chances are you'll be discussing traffic. Much like the weather to Brits or iPhones to anyone who owns an iPhone, traffic is a
tedious consuming obsession to the denizens of Southern California. "The freeway was pretty clear this morning," they'll say. "I got to the store in less than six hours."
Perhaps it was the traffic. Perhaps it was the weather. Perhaps it was a new app for sale. Whatever it was, the day two field of the North America poker tour was damn keen to get the hell out of the Bicycle Casino this afternoon. We went from a starting field of 314 to 81 in seven levels. That included a bubble period that lasted a total of one hand, the elimination of an overnight chip leader in about two hours, and the purging of many of the game's shining lights.
First up, the raw facts. Jimmie Guinther is the chip leader and Carter King was the bubble boy. The former of those breezed steadily upward almost unnoticed, before appearing on the radar with close to 900,000 chips right at the end. As for that bubble, well, Carter is no Los Angeles King: he skated out with a missed flush draw before tournament officials could even begin hand-for-hand play.
King's vanquisher, Micah Raskin, is another of the major stacks going into day three. And Travis Pearson, who won the biggest pot of the day to eliminate Kevin Eyster, is also right near the top.
By our reckoning, this little handful lead the charge as day two closes:
Jimmie Guinther - 894,000
Travis Pearson - 835,000
Anh Van Nguyen, Team PokerStars Pro - 614,000
Bryn Kenney - 586,000
Tom Middleton - 519,000
Micah Raskin - 515,500
Tom Lee - 509,000
Team PokerStars Pro lost Daniel Negreanu, Joe Cada, Chris Moneymaker, Chad Brown, Greg DeBora and Andre Akkari before the bubble burst today. We also lost Marcello del Grosso just the other side of the cash line. (Del Grosso took $7,500 for 104th place.)
That left it down to the aforementioned Van Nguyen (614,000), Jason Mercier (158,000) and Team Online's George Lind III (407,000) to carry the red spade into day three, when we will edge closer to the biggest money. Also still in the hunt are a clutch of notables, including the NAPT Venetian champion Tom Marchese (54,000) and the popular Phil Laak (377,000). Congratulations too to Aaron and Derek Lerner who are the first twins to cash at the same NAPT event.
The chase for Guinther, Pearson et al will become even more frenetic tomorrow, so join us for blow-by-blow action back here. In the meantime, here's what you missed today:
All photography © Joe Giron/Joe Giron Photography