NAPT Venetian: Day 2, levels 13 and 14 (1,500-3,000-300)
9:21pm: Day 2 concludes
The last hands of Day 2 have been dealt, and Andrew Lichtenberger is the one bagging the most chips with 618,000, followed by Day 1 chip leader Andy Seth with 602,600, and Steve Billirakis with 591,200. It appears we're still about 20 eliminations away from the cash bubble bursting (at 128).
8:58pm: Le leaps
With the board showing [10s]K♣4♣K♦, a short-stacked player in early position checked, and Nam Le fired 52,000 into the middle -- a little more than the size of the pot. His opponent tanked for five full minutes, counting and recounting his last 58,500 as he did.
Finally he called, and Le swiftly turned over K♠5♠ for trip kings. His opponent showed A♣Q♣ and had some outs, but the river was the 4♥ and Le had knocked out another.
Le is up around 500,000 now.
8:50pm: Hershiser leaves the mound
Orel Hershiser had been nursing a relatively short stack for much of the evening. When Seat 7 pushed all-in and Seat 8 just called, action moved around to Orel in Seat 1. He asked Seat 8 what he had behind, which was about 120K, and he deliberated for a few minutes. Finally, Orel pushed all of his chips into the center of the table.
Seat 7: 9♦ 9♥
Seat 8: K♥ K♣
Orel Hershiser: A♦ Q♥
Board: 8♣ 9♠ 5♣ 6♦ 6♣
Seat 7 scooped the benefits of the full house, and Hershiser kindly delivered the autographed, enclosed ball to Seat 8.
8:43pm: Negreanu nixed
It was the end of the night and he was ready to make a move. Daniel Negreanu pushed all-in with A♦ Q♥, and his opponent called with A♥ 9♠. The dealer provided a board of J♦ 9♣ K♣ 6♦ 2♣, which gave the player a pair of nines. Negreanu graciously left the tournament area.
8:34pm: How it shapes up
After a couple of days of players sitting at tables situated both in and all around the Poker Room, we're now down to less than 20 tables, all more or less arranged in a large rectangle. Not quite at the point where all of the remaining players -- 172 total -- can see each other yet, but we're getting there.
A reminder -- the top 128 spots pay. We have about a half-hour to go tonight.
8:26pm: And the lucky recipient...
We mentioned the phasing out of the brown 10,000 chips and the phasing in of the beautifully blue 25,000 checks. One of the first people to get a big stack of them is Kyle Zartman, who has benefited from a good couple of levels and is up around 460,000 chips.
8:18pm: Lichtenberger leads
Generally a good spot to find yourself all in with pocket aces versus pocket kings. A little over four out of five times, anyway. Even nicer when it happens not early on Day 1, but late on Day 2.
Such was the case for Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger, who just now had his already big stack all in versus Lars Bonding who had him slightly covered, hoping his A-A would outlast Bonding's K-K. And they did. We have a new chip leader.
He's still stacking them, but it looks as though Lichtenberger is around 700,000 now. Bonding would hit the rail shortly thereafter.
8:15pm: Welcome, blue chips!
The floor staff is currently introducing blue 25K chips into play. (Not via formal "I'm pleased to announce..." introductions, but you get the point.) The difficult-to-count 10K brown chips are being taken out at the same time.
We shall not mourn the loss of the tan chips.
8:09pm: Rousso roars on
As we approached the table, the board showed 9♥ 5♠ 8♦. The player in Seat 1 faced a post-flop raise from the aggressive Vanessa Rousso and agonized over the decision for quite some time. Finally, in utter frustration, he folded kings up and just shook his head...as Rousso raked the chips.
8:04pm: Shak preserves stack
Dan Shak was deep in the tank. The board showed K♦8♣8♥4♣2♥, and Shak was facing calling a river bet from his opponent. Shak clearly wanted to call, but finally found a fold. Good thing, as his opponent showed 8♦8♠.
"Wow," said Shak. He didn't say what he had, but gave everyone a good idea: "Glad a ten didn't come on the river!" Shak expressed further glee at the king having prevented him from betting the flop. He has 185,000 at the moment.
8:01pm: We're back
One more level of pokery fun. Blinds 1,500/3,000 and antes 300 for this one.
7:44pm: Break it down
Players are taking what will be the last 15-minute break of the night. A total of 180 will be returning for Level 14.
7:42pm: Nerves and Nam
Nam Le is an intimidating presence, sitting silently behind his mirrored shades. Even more so with all those chips in front of him. Tends to cause opponents to make mistakes now and then. Not sure if this is an example or not, but we just saw a hand in which three players, including Le on the button, saw a flop come 5♠8♣3♦. It checked to Le who bet 12,000, and the action was on the early position player.
The player was tumbling two 1,000 chips in his hand when one slipped away and landed over the betting line. After the dealer suggested an interpretation of the action that wasn't in accord with the player's intentions, the floor was called and the player was allowed to fold, as did the remaining player in the hand.
"Be careful, okay?" said the floorperson to the fumbling tumbler. Safe to say, Le's opponents were already thinking something along those lines. He sits with over 400,000.
7:40pm: Raymer running hot
After a not-so-warm start to his day, Greg Raymer is picking up some big hands. He now has more than 200,000 after getting kings to hold against tens.
7:26pm: McEvoy to the nines
Team PokerStars Pro Tom McEvoy, looking sharp in his white shirt and hair to match, has been quietly nursing a short stack for most of the day, although just now he found himself in an all-in confrontation with another player in which he had his opponent covered.
McEvoy held 9♠9♣ while his at-risk opponent had K♦Q♦. The community cards came 3♠J♦4♣7♠8♦, and McEvoy now has about 85,000.
7:22pm: Lucky 7...7...7...7
Daniel Negreanu was back down to 22,000 and shoved with pocket sevens. The big blind called with pocket eights. The flop: J♣...7♥...7♣. Negreanu is back up to just short of half-average.
7:16pm: Raymer finally gets called
Greg Raymer spent the day getting blinded down. With around 60,000 left in his stack, he started a little game in which somebody would raise, he would shove, and everybody else would fold. This happened enought times to become expected. And so, just a bit ago, somebody raised, Raymer shoved, and the big blind overshoved. Easy call for Raymer with his queens, and bad luck for the big blind who had jacks. The queens held and Raymer is back to..."where I started the day," Raymer said. "I spent five levels to get right back where I started." Still, that's pretty close to the average stack.
7:06pm: Hoivold feeling kingly
Andreas Hoivold was just all in for his tournament life with K♣K♦ and in the unpleasant situation of facing an opponent who had tabled A♠A♥. The flop came 5♣6♣8♣, which made skies seem less cloudy for the Norwegian. The K♥ on the turn was pure sunshine.
Hoivold dodged a river ace, and is back to 220,000.
7:03pm: Rousso good
Vanessa Rousso was just looking at a dicey situation in which her tourney life appeared potentially on the line. With the board showing 9♣A♣J♦ and the pot about 90,000, she pushed out a bet of 105,000 from the small blind, leaving herself about 60,000 or so behind. The bet was good enough to force a fold, Rousso is now back to roughly a quarter million.
7:00pm: The comings and goings
We're now sitting at 197 players and the chips, they are a moving. Sorel Mizzi is gone. Steve Billirakis is up over 350,000, and our overnight chip leader Andy Seth, as reported below, is the first player to make it above the half-million mark
6:45pm: Climbers climbing
While Men "The Master" Nguyen lost some of his monster stack over the past few hours, he showed that he was serious about getting them back. As we walked by, he was raking the chips of a player who already quickly left the room.
Andy "BKiCe" Seth also just moved his way up the leaderboard when his pocket kings held up to A-K offsuit. He reported via Twitter that he's up to 513K.
6:36pm: Neverwin never wins
Dustin "Neverwin" Woolf got the last of his chips in the pot with pocket sixes, but he ran into the pocket kings of an opponent. The board ran out Q-A-5-3-3, and a disappointed Woolf left the tournament area.
Players are back from break and ready to play the final two levels of the night.
Among your leaders right now: Men Nguyen (420,000), Andy Seth (381,000), and Jon Turner (350,000). Still hanging in there is none other the Mr. Greg Raymer.
NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, Brad Willis and photographer Joe Giron.