NAPT Mohegan Sun: A tale of two Aarons
If you made a spreadsheet of the NAPT Mohegan Sun players going to Day 3 and sorted it by first name, you would find two Aarons. Sort the page by chip count and look at the top two spots. Guess what? Yep. Both Aarons.
If you're not familiar with the name Aaron Overton as its applies to the poker world, you can be forgiven. To date, that name has been associated with just two cashes in major tournaments, the biggest of which was a $20,000 139th place cash in this year's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The man from Philadelphia, a dark horse at the outset of the NAPT's Season 2 event at the Mohegan Sun, is working to make you remember his name.
As the lights go down on Day 2, Overton sits atop the leaderboard with 598,700 in chips, well enough to get him to the money on Day 3. He has a 200,000 chip lead on his nearest challenger Aaron Mermelstein (382,500), a man who has been trying to get to a wedding in Mexico and can't seem to lose his chips.
When play began Sunday afternoon, 230 people had a chance at the Season 2 title. As the bags make their way toward their overnight home in lockdown, fewer than 80 players have a reason to come back here tomorrow. In a field as tough as this one has been, you're bound to recognize many of the names.
A year ago tomorrow, Vanessa Selbst and Mike Beasley fought heads-up for the first NAPT Mohegan Sun title. Selbst snagged it and carved her own path to the stables of Team PokerStars Pro. Today, Selbst again firmed up her reputation as one of the most unpredictable players in poker.
In one of the last hands of the night, she five-bet shoved an average stack into the middle with 8♦4♦. She ran right into aces and crushed them after making a straight on the river. "I haven't done that to somebody in a long time," she said. "I do stupid (stuff) sometimes." So, tonight there remains the chance Selbst and Beasley could repeat their performance from Season 1. Selbst enters Day 3 with 339,200. Beasley is right where he was last year at this point with a near average stack.
It's just been one month since Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin won The Big Event at The Bicycle Casino. Today he rode his trademark Ramdin Roller Coaster to its highest peak. He will return on Monday with 296,100, good for one of the top spots on the leaderboard. He and fellow Team PokerStars Pro Greg DeBora (164,400), and Team Online's Andrew Brokos (127,200) are all set to return for tomorrow's fight for one of the 56 spots in the money.
We've posted some selected chip counts over on our NAPT Mohegan Sun chip counts page. At some point in the very near future, we expect the full overnight chip counts. You'll find them in the same place.
Selbst will be the only Vanessa sitting down on Day 3. After finishing in tenth last year, Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso stormed through the first day and half of this year's main event, only to end up finishing out of the money, a victim of Day 2's finishing chip leader, Overton. She joined PokerStars flag-bearers Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada, Jason Mercier, PatPezzin, and George Lind III on the rail.
If you'd like to see the nitty and gritty of Day 2, click on any of the links below.
If that's not enough to keep you busy, check in with the superlative reporting from EPT Berlin. The wrap was so good, they wrote it twice.
NAPT Mohegan Sun play will resume Monday at noon ET when the remaining players return to fight for the final 24 seats. Join us then for live coverage and all the Aarons you can handle.
All photography from Mohegan Sun is ©Joe Giron/www.joegironphotography.com.