NAPT Venetian: Day 2, levels 9 and 10 (600-1,200-100)


3:03pm: Break it up
The second break of the day is upon us, and players are stretching their legs and recounting hands to anyone who will listen. When their 15 minutes are over, they will enter the third level of the day.

2:58pm: Moving on
As the field thins, another section of the tournament area begins to close, meaning that many of the players who were in ideal positions for fans to see and hear are now moving inward. For most players, it means fewer people looking over their shoulders, but for those like Daniel Negreanu who sometimes enjoy the audience, it's a change. At least for Negreanu's table, it means that the players at his table are now listening to his stories and poker thoughts.

Other players are moving as well, which makes for some interesting table match-ups. Some of the new designs include Men Nguyen at Josh Arieh's table, Negreanu at Danny Wong's table, and an interesting one that contains Paul Wasicka, Paul Magriel, and Burt Boutin.

Some players simply moved on with their days after being eliminated, like Amanda Baker and Nick Binger.

2:54pm: Cada canned
The 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event champion can't win them all, as was evidenced by Joe Cada's elimination from the NAPT Venetian. We walked up just as the board showed 7-10-J and Cada pushed the rest of his short stack all-in. His opponent called with pocket kings, which had a definite advantage over the A-J of Cada. His top pair couldn't improve to anything else as the dealer brought 5-4 for the rest of the community cards.

Joe Cada is officially out of today's event.

NAPT Venetian S1_5KMainEvent_Day2_JoeGiron_IJ75989.jpgJoe Cada

2:51pm: Mercier moves on
A player in early position raised to 3,100, and Martins Adeniya called from the cutoff. Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier then pushed all in from the big blind for his last 40,000 or so. The original raiser thought for a while, then let it go, but Adeniya made the call.

Mercier A♥K♣
Adeniya J♥J♦

The board went 5♣6♠7♠8♦2♥, and as we near the end of Level 10, Mercier hit the rail.

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2:36pm: Numbers to crunch on
The board is showing 348 players remain out of our starting field of 872, although we're probably down from that as the number hasn't moved for a while. The top 128 finishers cash -- seems doubtful we'll be getting there until tomorrow.

2:29pm: Chatty Daniel
Mr. Negreanu fluctuates between being quiet and absorbed by the music in his headphones, to being chatty and intimidating at the tables. For the first few hours of Day 2, it's been the latter.

We approached as he was playing a very aggressive hand. With 3♥ 2♣ K♠ 4♦ 5♣ on the board, he led out with a sizable bet as he had been doing all along, and his opponent became clearly frustrated. He ultimately folded with only a short stack left behind. Negreanu proceeded to laugh it up with the player to his right about the possibility that he was indeed bluffing on that hand.

Negreanu's table is on the rail, and the poker fans are lining up along the ropes to catch a glimpse of him or hear some of his table talk. He hasn't disappointed thus far, as the jokes and random conversations keep coming.

2:24pm: Turner for the worse
A blind-vs.-blind battle had built a pot of about 10,000 when the turn card made the board read 6♣Q♦A♥2♠. The SB checked, Jon "PearlJammer" Turner bet 6,500, and his opponent called. The river brought the 7♠ and another check from the player in the small blind. Turner carved out 17,500 -- about a third of his remaining stack -- and after some hemming and hawing the SB made the call.

"You beat a pair?" asked Turner somewhat sheepishly. His opponent showed A♠4♥ for top pair, and Turner nodded that the hand was good enough. Turner is down to about 30,000.

2:22pm: Collins' hot seat
Something seemed very familiar bout chip-leader Phil Collins. He had changed clothes, his chip stack had grown, and we're pretty sure he shaved. But something was very much the same. After reviewing several photos from yesterday, we've have determined that Collins is sitting in the exact same seat in which he finished Day 1. That's after a random draw of the 477 players who made it to Day 2.


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Phil Collins, Against All Odds

2:09pm: Deuces do it for Williams
No less than seven players limped to see a flop of 2♦3♠J♠, including a short-stacked Raymond Williams in the hijack seat. A player in middle position led for 3,800, got one caller, then Williams pushed all in for 9,700 total. Then the player on the button came over the top for 16,600, forcing the others to fold.

The button showed J♥[10d] for top pair, but Williams was glad he was allowed to see that flop cheaply with his 2♠2♣. His set held up through the 9♦ turn and [10c] river, and Williams has a little bit of breathing room with a new stack of more than 30,000.

2:01pm: I can feel it, comin' in the air...
We now have a relationship with Phil Collins such that we feel comfortable referring to him behind his back as "Sussudio." We also have established the relationship that allows him to convey to us across a crowded room that he now has 330,000 in chips. That's good for the chip lead by a pretty large margin.

1:49pm: Go Go Gobboboy
Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke had a good Day 1, and has continued to build his stack during the first part of Day 2, pressuring his table with regularity. Just recently came a short sequence of hands in which Fricke claimed a few more chips. That stretch culminated with a hand in which Fricke saw a flop from late position against a preflop raiser. The flop came [10h]2♦6♦, and the EP player led for 5,000. Fricke reraised to 15,500, and his opponent got out of the way.

Fricke is now up over 190,000.

1:42pm: Level 10... Go!
We're taking things to a whole 'nother level here. Blinds now 600-1,200 with a 100 ante.

1:24pm: Break time
We've come to the end of the first 75-minute level of the day. Players are taking a 15-minute break to think about how their days have begun.

1:15pm: Greenstein gone
Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein found himself down to just over one big blind after an unfortunate hand in which he flopped a set but an opponent successfully drew to an inside straight. He soon pushed all in and was up against three callers, including both blinds.

The flop came 5♣3♥K♣, and the small blind instantly pushed all in for about 23,000, sending the big blind deep into the tank. Finally he pushed all in as well, forcing out the remaining player. The SB showed 3♦5♠ for two pair, the BB 4♣3♣ for bottom pair and a flush draw, and Greenstein [10h][10d].

The turn was the 9♠, changing nothing, but the river brought the [10c], giving Greenstein a set but completing the BB's flush, earning him the pot, two eliminations, and a signed copy of Ace on the River.

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Greenstein signs his book

1:06pm: Kid Poker not kidding
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu limped from early position, and it folded to the button who raised. The blinds got out, and Negreanu gathered the chips to repop it to 10,000 more. The button thought a moment, then called.

The flop came 6♠5♠8♥, and Negreanu led with a bet of 18,000, enough to get a fold from his opponent. Negreanu is up around 100,000 at the moment.

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Does he look serious to you?

1:03pm: How he makes money
Kent Goulding came in for a raise to 3,000 and Chris Moneymaker called from the hijack position. On a flop of A♣Q♥6♥, Goulding led for 5,200. Here's where things got interesting. Moneymaker put out what was essentially a min-raise. Goulding only had to call 6,000 more. Instead, Goulding pulled the same move and put in what was essentially a min-raisee of his own. Now, Moneymaker just called. When the turn showed the 9♦, Goulding led for 15,000. It left him between 30,000 and 40,000 behind. Moneymaker called again. The 3♠ on the river should've changed nothing, but this time, Goulding checked. That opened the door for Moneymaker to annouce, "I'm all-in." Goulding was tortured. He thought for several minutes before folding. Moneymaker's tear continues.

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Moneymaker, money maker

12:59pm: Table tango
With the field thinned a bit on Day 2 and so many pros at the tables, it's no surprise that interesting table draws are catching our eyes. Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier is seated two to the left of today's initial chip leader, Andy Seth. And Greenstein and Cada are at the same table, which is incidentally drawing quite a few railbirds near Noodle Asia.

12:53pm: Wasicka triples
Paul Wasicka came in with little more than 20K chips today but quickly found himself with only a few chips in front of him. By the time we caught up to him, he was looking at a flop of 5♣ 9♦ T♣ when he pushed his last 3,400 all-in, and he found two callers. The two checked down the 7♠ turn and T♦ river, at which point Wasicka flipped over his Q♥ T♣, and his trips were good against the A-Q and A-8 of his opponents. And there was his triple-up to get back on track.

12:51pm: Ramdin run down
Down to about 15,000, Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin opened with a raise to 2,200 from early position and got one caller. The flop came jack-high, Ramdin got the rest of his chips in the middle, and his opponent called. Ramdin was in good shape with pocket kings versus his opponent's pocket sevens, but a seven rudely landed on the turn. No king came on the river to save Ramdin, and he hit the rail.

12:47pm: The state of play
We've just been informed of today's schedule. Players will play four full levels (75 minutes each), then take an hour-long dinner break. When they return from what will surely be a tasty repast, they will play two more levels before breaking for the night.

12:40pm: Vanessa vanquishes Isaac
With the board showing 3♣5♥Q♣A♦ and about 35,000 already in the middle, Vanessa Rousso bet 16,000 from early position, leaving Isaac Haxton -- with about 30,000 left in front of him -- with a decision. He rubbed his chin, then finally stacked his chips into a single column and set them in front of him. "Call," said Rousso instantly, turning over A♣5♣ for two pair. Haxton tabled 6♠6♥. "I don't have many outs," he conceded.

The river 7♠ wasn't one, and Haxton wished the table good luck before departing. Rousso chips up some more and is now nearing the chip leaders with 185,000.

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12:40pm: Greenstein doubles
Barry Greenstein may have found the run-good he lost toward the end of Day 1. He just got it all in on a Q-J-6 flop with pocket jacks versus ace-queen. His set held and he doubled to 80,000.

12:38pm: Mizzi moving
It's a lesson in "just because they lead into a flop, doesn't mean they don't have a set." Adam Richardson just check-called three consecutive bets from Mizzi (the last being an all-in) on a 8♣5♦2♦A♠8♦ board. Mizzi turned over 5♠5♣ to eliminate Richardson and nearly double up.

12:29pm: Orel arguments
Robert Lipkin opened with a raise to 2,200 from UTG, and the table folded around to Orel Hershiser who reraised to 6,600 from the button. The blinds folded, including a short-stacked Victor Ramdin in the, then Lipkin paused to think. Finally he took a 10,000 chip from his stack, reached forward and placed it atop the chips he'd already bet, restacking them quckly, then announced raise.

A bit of an issue here, as Lipkin had put the chip forward just prior to saying raise, so the floor ended up being called and it was decided since the announcement came late his action was a call. "What did you think, Victor?" asked Hershiser. "It was close!" grinned the Team PokerStars Pro.

The flop came 2♠8♥K♥, Lipkin checked, and Hershiser bet 9,000. Lipkin then -- very carefully this time -- announced a reraise, pushing 20,200 forward. Hershiser thought a moment, then let it go.

Hershiser still has about 70,000 sitting in front of that autographed baseball he intends to give to whomever knocks him out. Meanwhile, Lipkin is up to 84,000.

12:17pm: Dennis departed
It only took a few minutes for Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips to find a spot to move his short stack. He came into action today with 16,400, and a few hands after the start of play, he pushed all-in with A♠ J♣, but he found himself up against the PokerStars qualifier to his left, Tyler Hamade, who flipped over A♥ K♣. The dealer couldn't help Phillips as he laid out the board to read 7♥ Q♣ 2♣ 8♦ Q♠.

The good-natured Phillips shook hands, wished everyone luck, and left the tournament area.

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Dennis Phillips

Shortly thereafter, it was reported that fellow PokerStars Pro Steve Paul-Ambrose was eliminated from the same table.

12:06pm: Why he is better than us
You know how we know Andy Seth is better than us at life? He got up early, got in a workout, and had a good breakfast. At least one of us on the blog team slept until 10:30, didn't eat breakfast, and hasn't seen the inside of a gym since November.

That's why Andy Seth is better than us at life.

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Andy Seth

11:58am: Day 2 about to begin
Players are taking their seats. A field of 477 players have returned for Day 2. Keep it here for live blogging all day.

Here's your chip leader, Andy Seth.

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NAPT Venetian reporting comes courtesy of bloggers Martin Harris, Jennifer Newell, Brad Willis and photographer Joe Giron.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in North American Poker Tour