NAPT Los Angeles: DeMaci leads Mercier after day of madness at the Bike
If ever a single hand can set a tone for an entire day of poker, we saw it here on day four of NAPT Los Angeles - and then watched in disbelief as the startling early promise was realized. The hand in question came within the first orbit of the day, and resulted in Micah Raskin, second in chips overnight, busting to Chris DeMaci, the only player with more. It was a huge bluff, a huge call and a huge, huge hand.
Straight away it was clear that these players were here to gamble, to get their chips in and play some massive pots. With such a pattern established so early, it was no surprise that we set our final table at barely 5pm. Eleven players had flown out the door in less than four hours. The chase for $725,000 had never seemed so carefree.
The hand between Raskin and DeMaci--pocket sixes slammed into a turned full house--gave DeMaci more than six million chips and a lead that he would not surrender at any point during the day.
He returns tomorrow, when we re-locate to the Crystal Casino, as the final table chip leader, with 6,283,000 - but he will be looking over his shoulder at some frightening foes.
Chief among them is the Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier, who is never off his game, but still seems capable of raising it when it matters most. Mercier was characteristically forthright and aggressive, and won the flips when he had to. He'll now go in search of an NAPT Main Event title to add to his Bounty Shootout success, his WSOP bracelet, his EPT championship and his WCOOP bling. There's no stopping him.
Also making his debut on the final table of a major tournament is Mercier's Team PokerStars Pro colleague Anh Van Nguyen. This has been a good month for Canadian PokerStars players, and hot on the heels of Jonathan Duhamel's World Series success, Nguyen aims to keep the Maple Leaf (and the PokerStars patch) on top of the poker pile.
Nguyen survived possible elimination when he rivered a three-outer, and then built his stack up to a more comfortable 1,058,000 to bring to the final table.
The full line up is as follows, and represents an intense and frenetic day at the Bicycle Casino.
1) Jake Toole -- 1,975,000
2) Joe Tehan -- 1,907,000
3) Mike Binger -- 1,670,000
4) Van Nguyen -- 1,058,000
5) Jason Mercier -- 3,800,000
6) Al Grimes -- 982,000 (Button)
7) Ray Henson -- 3,268,000 (Small blind)
8) Christopher DeMaci -- 6,283,000 (Big blind)
Don't forget, you can look at what they're playing for on the payouts page, where you'll also see the details of who busted in what order today.
You'll notice a few familiar names on there: Team Online's George Lind III fell in 12th, Matt Affleck busted in 13th. All the details of everything that happened today are available in our blow-by-blow coverage. (It was so quick, we only needed one post.)
In the meantime, that's all from the Main Event for today. The final table begins at 2pm tomorrow. Goodnight all.
Main Event photography (c) Steve Beyer