Veteran poker player Richard Kirsch emerged as the chip leader as the money bubble burst on Day 2 of the record-breaking WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.
New records were set for a World Poker Tour Main Event this weekend, as 1,795 players entered and re-entered the $3,500 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown – creating a prize pool of $5,763,150, which easily smashed the tournaments $5million guarantee.
From the record-breaking entry for a WPT Main Event, 673 players survived the three opening flights and took their seats yesterday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Seminole, Florida, to compete in another ten 60-minute levels of action – during which the money bubble was expected to burst.
One Million Dollars for the Winner – 170 to Get Paid
As play resumed on Day 2 of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the massive prize pool and the distribution of the prizes were announced. 170 players would share in the $5,763,150 prize pool – a min-cash being worth $7,093 – with the six players making it to Wednesday´s final table being assured of $247,954, and the winner collecting a massive $1,081,184 first prize which includes a seat at the WPT World Championship on April 21st.
As play progressed, it became apparent that something special would be needed for somebody to claim the $1million+ first prize. Frank Russo became the early chip leader when making a full house to bust WSOP Main Event Champion Ryan Reiss, but he was soon leap-frogged by Tony March – who bust Mike Sexton´s flopped Full House with Quad Tens.
Siva Ganta Races into Massive Advantage
As the dinner break approached, a rash of well-known names left the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown including Jennifer Tilly, Matt Berkeley, Jason Mercier and WPT Jacksonville winner Jarred Jaffee, who was bust by Lily Kiletto. Kiletto then had the misfortune of running Ace-King into Quads before losing the last of her stack to Ryan Eriquezzo´s rivered straight.
Coming out of the dinner break (Level 17 – blinds 2,500/5,000 – ante 500), just 238 players remained, but the pace of the knockouts remained relentless. Siva Ganta moved into the chip lead when busting Todd Terry A♥ J♣ > 3♥ 3♠, and then looked as if he was going to run away with the tournament after cracking Vinny Pahuja´s Aces with pocket Queens and then eliminating Harrison Gimbel just short of the money Q♣ 10♦ > A♦ K♠ to increase his stack to 1,774,000 chips.
Zinno is the Bubble Boy as Ganta Crashes
The bubble burst just before the end of Level 19 (blinds 4,000/8,000 – ante 1,000) when WPT Borgata winner Anthony Zinno (Q♣ J♣) moved all-in after the flop of J♠ 10♥ 5♣. He was snap-called by Oron Unger (10♦ 10♠) who had made a set of Tens and, with no help from the Turn (6♠) or River (4♣), Anthony Zinno was bust in 171st place – assuring the rest of the players a min-cash of $7,093.
Thereafter the habitual shove-or-fold tactic was adopted by the short-stacked players – a period during which Siva Ganta´s stack was scythed down by players such as Richard Kirsch and Daniel Navarrette, while Matt Stout got himself among the chip leaders after busting out Sean Jazayeri earlier in the day.
Ganta will have to rebuild his stack when play resumes in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown after being reduced to just 435,000 chips, while those who replaced him at the top of the leaderboard include:
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