2012 WSOP, Day 45: Days 2A & 2B Take Center Stage; Mark Demirdjian, Nghi Van Tran In Contention

Mark Demirdjian

The 2012 World Series of Poker Championship Event continued its grind on Tuesday with the resumption of activities for the Day 1A and 1B survivors (2044 players in total), although it was a resumption that was a bit strange for those involved.

Instead of combining the two fields together for action, the WSOP schedule required that the two Day Ones be separated from each other despite their difference in sizes (Day 1A had 657 players, Day 1B 1387). Thus, the Day 1A field stepped up to battle it out in the Amazon Room at the Rio, while the Day 1B contestants were placed in the Brasilia and Pavilion Rooms.

At the start of the day the overall chip leader was William John, the Day 1A leader who was sitting on a nice stack of 266,700. He couldn’t seem to hold onto those chips, however, as his stack slowly slipped down through the proceedings. He wouldn’t make it out of the day – in fact, he barely made it past dinner – before taking his leave from the Amazon Room when his A-K fell to the flopped set of tens for Canada’s Mark Demirdjian, who would use those chips quite well.

Nghi Van Tran

Demirdjian would bedevil John for much of the day before eliminating him to push his way to the top of the overall lead between the two Day One fields. Although Demirdjian has not officially earned a worldwide tournament cash (according to the Hendon Mob database), it seemed he was catching great hands throughout the night. He wasn’t the only Canadian player mounting a charge up the leaderboard, however.

After suffering an early setback that put his stack just over 100K in chips, Daniel Negreanu stormed up the leaderboard as the day’s action played out. Late in the evening, Negreanu made an early position raise only to see three of his tablemates make the call (guess they didn’t believe him!). After a 4-10-10 flop, the blinds checked to Negreanu, who came up with a second bullet. Only one of his opponents would make the call to see a Queen show up on the turn. Negreanu mustered together a 8600 bet and was once again called. After an Ace hit the river, “Kid Poker” put out a 10,200 chip bet, which was enough to finally get his opponent to drop his hand and put Negreanu at 345K in chips.

Nghi Van Tran also was an active Canadian throughout his Day Two play. By the end of the day’s action, Tran had built an impressive stacking of chips while remaining under the radar of many in the room. For someone who has put together almost $1.5 million in tournament earnings (including a fourth place finish in a $1000 NLHE event at this year’s WSOP for a $158,512 score), such an achievement of staying out of the spotlight by Tran will have to be watched as he heads to Day Three with 345,200 in chips, good for thirteenth place.

Although Tran isn’t able to crack into the Top Ten for the combined Days 2A and 2B, Demirdjian was able to break into that rarefied air:

1. Gaelle Baumann, 505,800

2. Mark Demirdjian, 499,900

3. Shaun Deeb, 460,900

4. Kevin Davis, 394,800

5. Jan Kasten, 391,800

6. Taylor Paur, 391,600

7. Matthew Woodward, 381,000

8. Jacob Schindler, 371,600

9. Julio De La Rosa, 350,700

10. Vanessa Selbst, 350,400

Along with Tran, Negreanu is in the Top 100 (277,200, 39th place) along with Gavin Smith (279,100, 37th), Mike “Timex” McDonald (225,000, 75th) and Marc Karam (210,500, 89th). According to official WSOP reports, there are 842 players who will move on from the Day 2A and 2B action to Day Three play on Thursday.

The massive Day 1C field will pick up their action again today, although there has been a change atop the leaderboard. Originally reported to have the Day 1C lead by many outlets, Jason Laso posted on the PocketFives message boards that he actually had added a “2” to the front of his chip count so his mother would get to see his name. In actuality, Laso only had roughly 40K in chips, denying Randy Haddox the initial honor of having the Day 1C lead through his chicanery. When the 2300 player field descends on the Rio this afternoon, here’s how the ACTUAL leaderboard will look:

1. Randy Haddox, 188,275

2. Erik Hellman, 175,950

3. Marco Bognanni, 169,600

4. Daniel Morgan, 160,025

5. Mathias Maasberg, 159,150

6. Anthony Guetti, 158,775

7. Joon Hee Yea, 157,175

8. Max Ovesyevitz, 156,300

9. Dag Martin Mikkelsen, 155,900

10. Paul McTaggart, 155,475

Another mystery seems to have deepened as “The Unknown Canadian” that was previously reported in the Top 15 from Day 1C has disappeared from WSOP reports. Regardless, Brad Booth (146,025, 15th place), Roger Lamia (145K, 16th), Phillip MacDonald (116,825, 48th) and Sorel Mizzi (110,975, 71st) will have the eyes of Canadian poker fans on them as they drive towards Day Three.

While the fight for Day 2C will take place this afternoon, there is another tournament that will crown a champion today. The WSOP National Championship will be determined and, although there aren’t any Canadian players in contention, the final table will feature 2012 bracelet winner David “ODB” Baker, Sam Stein, Matt Keikoan and Amanda Musumeci battling it out for the title. Yung Hwang will lead the way with his 1.224 million in chips, with Keikoan his closest competitor with 957K.

The eventual WSOP National Champion will take down a WSOP bracelet and a $416,051 payday.



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