Naoya Kiraha On Target for WSOP Event #34 Victory

Naoya KirahaJapanese player Naoya Kiraha is in a great position to take down the $5,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha Six-Handed event #34 at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

The Tokyo pro bagged up with 1,548,000 chips at the end of Day 2 in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to hold a huge lead over second placed Tommy Le (965,000), of California, while Belgian star Davidi Kitai is an even more distant third on 789,000 from the 11 players who will start today.

Ten levels were played out on Day 2, with runaway chip leader Kiraha enjoying a fantastic day when busting numerous players with massive hands that held or draws that were completed. Incredibly, when just two-dozen players remained, Kihara –with about 25% of the chips – held more than most will take into today’s six-handed final table.

2011 Runner-Up Hans Winzeler Back For More

Interestingly, last year’s runner-up, Hans Winzeler, will also return today to battle it out for the $512,029 top prize. The Miami player – who lost out to Jason Mercier last summer in this same event to collect $383,075 – will be aiming to go one better by improving on his fourth place start.

Day 2 started with 72 players – just 30 short of the money – of the original 419-entry field remaining, with Vegas-based Erick Lindgren the unfortunate bubble boy when losing a hand to Connecticut’s Daniel Hindin. Other big-name pros also failed to cash on Day 2, including JC Tran, Antony Lellouche, Bruno Fitoussi, Fabrice Soulier and Mike Sexton.

However, other well-known players did make the money but will be disappointed not have made the final day of the event. The list includes the likes of David Benyamine (14th for $20,579), Adam Junglen (20th for $16,463), Tom Marchese (23rd for $16,463), Dan Shak (26th for $13,509), Shaun Deeb (27th for $13,509), Dermot Blain (28th for $13,509), Adam Kornuth (31st for $11,481), Sam Chartier (32nd for $11,481), Padraig Parkinson (35th for $11,481), Brock Parker (36th for $11,481), Aubin Cazals (38th for $9,748) and Toan Trinh (42nd for $9,748).

Jason Mercier Fails To Defend Title

Today will see four players eliminated before being redrawn to make up a single table. Then, when one more player is eliminated, we will have our six-handed final table.

Day 1 saw 347 players hit the rail – all short of cashing – with the exits including Ben Lamb, 2011 champ Mercier, John Racener, Vanessa Selbst, Jonathan Duhamel, Phil Galfond, Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Andy Frankenberger, Christian Harder, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Sam Stein, Phil Ivey, Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, Stephen Chidwick, William Reynolds, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero, Roberto Romanello, Dan Smith, Alexander Venovski, Galen Hall, Jeff Lisandro, Alessio Isaia, Shawn Buchanan, Gabriel Nassif, Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, Will ‘The Thrill’ Failla, John Kabbaj, Erik Cajelais and Leif Force.

WSOP 2012 Event #34 Final 11

1. Naoya Kiraha (Japan) – 1,548,000

2. Tommy Le (USA) – 965,000

3. Davidi Kitai (Belgium) – 789,000

4. Hans Winzeler (USA) – 613,000

5. Chris DeMaci (USA) – 515,000

6. Jason DeWitt (USA) – 485,000

7. Dimitar Danchev (Bulgaria) – 469,000

8. Scott Bohlman (USA) – 397,000

9. Daniel Hindin (USA) – 211,000

10. Kevin MacPhee (USA) – 174,000

11. Joseph Cheong (USA) – 125,000