2010 PCA: Bansi blows through day two field to lead money charge

PCA-2010-thumbnail.jpgDay two began with a man named Bentley in the lead and a garage load of car puns in reporters' notebooks. We would need them. Today the pace at the PCA picked up to a remarkable clip. The leisurely strolls of Paradise Island went quickly out of fashion as we eased up to Grand Prix tempo.

There were 884 players on the starting grid, but only approximately 275 saw the chequered flag six laps levels later, having navigated a safe course through the wreckage of a demolition derby. As we all draw into the pits tonight, these six quality engines are purring more proudly than all the rest.

Praz Bansi: 960,800
Marc-Etienne McLaughlin: 702,100
Wayne Bentley: 602,450
Nasr El Nasr: 528,300
Daniel Ades: 501,400
Eric Froelich: 467,500

They are the closest at the moment to a first prize announced today as $2,200,000. The full payout structure is on the prizewinner's page, which reveals the way in which 224 players will share the $14,831,300 total pool. We're almost certain to burst the bubble early tomorrow, and then everyone will be bathed in champagne.

But that's tomorrow. First let's look back at today.

Bansi in particular has had an extraordinary time of it. He started on the relatively benign table 92, but was soon thrown into the frying pan when he moved alongside Dario Minieri, Justin Bonomo, Jonathan Aguiar and Glen Chorney on one of the toughest tables assembled here this week.

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Praz Bansi

From there, it was a visit to the fire, when he ended up with Phil Ivey, Nicolas Levi and Ivan Demidov as neighbours. He ended Jose Severino's day, when he flopped a flush against a set of nines. And after he was moved another couple of times, he took all that run-good with him: he sent J.C. Alvarado to the rail with another flush to beat Alvarado's flopped set of queens. That's chip-leader material, folks. Lovely British chip leader style.

Bansi's demolition job diverted some of the attention away from Bentley, but that didn't seem to do his countryman any harm. Bentley too was pulled this way and that by the vagaries of the table breaking order, but after a slow start he too got into the chip-hoovering groove, and kept us occupied emailing his biggest fan, Lindsey, back in Manchester and cheering through cyberspace.

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Wayne Bentley

It was another great day for your man, Lindsey. We'll watch again tomorrow.

McLaughlin might have been one of yesterday's massive stacks - we asked him his name for the first time in the closing stages of day 1b. But whereas the final level pegged him back last night, it was late in the day today that he went on his charge, also well supported from the rail.

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Marc-Etienne McLaughlin

El Nasr also left it late to begin his surge forward. He's got some form in these major tournaments has El Nasr.

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Nasr El Nasr

Froelich had Daniel Negreanu for company for long periods at the start of play, but the two-time WSOP bracelet winner (Froelich) had the better of the four-time winner (Negreanu). Both made it through the day, but Froelich will be by far the more content.

Negreanu has 47,800, though, and is made of stern stuff, and he remains in a clutch of Team PokerStars Pros still very, very well placed to emulate their team-mate ElkY's achievement of two years ago.

Demidov went on a massive tear on the late stages, closing on 259,300. John Duthie also trod water until he suddenly surged up to a spectacular 252,900.

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Ivan Demidov

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John Duthie

Florian Langmann (136,300) sat next to Johnny Lodden this evening, and they shared anecdotes and some hefty stacks. Lodden was down to only 12,600 overnight, went up to about 250,000 and finished with 139,400. Some textbook Lodden swinging there.

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Johnny Lodden

Vicky Coren's fears that her friend, fellow Brit and team-mate Duthie would eliminate her proved unfounded. She finished with 81,700. Hats off too to Matthias De Meulder (171,900), Dennis Phillips (140,200), Minieri (389,200) and Victor Ramdin (110,000). The baseball great, and Friend of PokerStars, Orel Hershiser still hasn't given away his souvenir ball either. He bagged 99,000.

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Orel Hershiser

There's also only one former PCA champion still in the mix. After Poorya Nazari and ElkY both bust today, Steve Paul-Ambrose is the only player in with a chance of knocking back a double. The 2006 champ has 49,300 overnight.

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Steve Paul-Ambrose

The latest approximate counts are on the chip count page. They'll be made official by the tournament staff and then the chip count fairies in the small hours. We'll be back at noon tomorrow for that race through the bubble and probably down to a field of fewer than 100.

Take a look back at today with any of the following links:

Beginning of the winning
Level 9
Level 10
Level 11
Level 12
Level 13
Level 14

And the various foreign cousins of PokerStars blog have been in action today too:

There's the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, chisel-featured, sauna-dwelling, suicide-prone, hurdy-gurdy of Sweden, or the punctual, penalty-taking, umlaut-strewn German. It's all flicking long hair and needless gesticulation with our Italian friends, or pick the sand from between your beach-obsessed, nut-cracking, coffee-swilling Brazilian toes. Ole! Ole! Ole! It's Spanish.

Thanks to Joe Giron and Neil Stoddart for all the pictures. They're better than MS Paint aren't they.

Goodnight.