Antonio Esfandiari is in a great position to challenge for his second World Series of Poker gold bracelet after making the final table of event #36 in Las Vegas.
In what was a rather short Day 2 of the $3,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Shootout event #36, Vegas-based Esfandiari bagged up with 538,000 chips to sit just 1,000 behind joint leaders Jeremiah Fitzpatrick, of North Carolina, and Englishman Craig Mccorkell.
Just 60 players made it through Day 1 from on initial field of 587, but 33-year-old Esfandiari will most certainly be eyeing up the $368,593 first prize when action resumes in the Amazon Room of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino today.
Favourite Facing Fellow Champion
Esfandiari picked his only WSOP bracelet in 2004 when pocketing $184,860 for taking down the $2,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold’em event #21, so he will feel that eights years without a success is more than long enough. He’ll just have to outlast nine opponents to add that second bracelet to his collection.
Known as ‘The Magician’, Esfandiari is, however, not the sole bracelet winner to start today’s final table as New York State’s Athanasios Polychronopoulos won $650,223 for taking down the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event #48 last year after besting a 2,713-player line-up.
Certainly, Esfandiari will be aware of Polychronopolous’ triumph and will also realise that he is a serious contender for the title when they sit down at the ESPN Main Stage in the Rio’s Amazon Room.
Max Silver First to Hit the Rail
Fifty players had to hit the rail for the minimum cash of $9,086 on Day 2, with London’s Max Silver (60th) the first to exit early on. However, over the next few hours, 49 more players picked up that sum of money as the six-handed tables were played out.
Canada-based Russian Dmitry Vitkind exited in 57th, while he was soon joined at the rail by the likes of Jean-Robert Bellande (53rd), Steve Billirakis (51st), Melanie Weisner (52nd), Huy Nguyen (45th), Kyle Julius (41st), Christian Harder (34th), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (31st), Jarred Solomon (32nd), Matt Jarvis (28th), Chance Kornuth (22nd), Ryan D’Angelo (21st), Jason Koon (19th), Justin Bonomo (18th), James Akenhead (14th), Nicolas Levi (13th) and Mickey Petersen (11th) – all for $9,086.
Stack Sizes Explained
Many people have found the stack size differences rather unusual, but there are a few simple reasons for this discrepancy at what is a shootout event. Some players sat down at nine-handed tables on Day 1 while others played 10-handed tables, therefore creating a difference.
Additionally, some competitors failed to take their seats on the opening day, with their unattended stacks blinded away. This, of course, resulted in some table winners gathering larger chip stacks that were carried forward into Day 2 and today’s final day.
WSOP 2012 Event #36 Final table
- Jeremiah Fitzpatrick (USA) – 539,000 (seat 3)
- Craig Mccorkell (UK) – 539,000 (seat 8)
- Antonio Esfandiari (Iran) – 538,000 (seat 1)
- Roberto Romanello (UK) – 530,000 (seat 9)
- Athanasios Polychronopoulos (USA) – 529,000 (seat 4)
- Joe Tehan (USA) – 529,000 (seat 2)
- Sardor Gaziev (USA) – 527,000 (seat 7)
- Alessandro Longobardi (Italy) – 512,000 (seat 5)
- Jonathan Lane (USA) – 511,000 (seat 6)
- Thiago Nishijima (Brazil) – 510,000 (seat 10)