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WSOP 2014: Al Decaloris Leads Final 16 in the $25K Mixed-Max Event

Event #2 of WSOP 2014 is now down to 16 players. It is a $25,000 buy-in mixed-max event, which means that players start by playing 9-handed tables on Day 1 and finish up playing heads-up. After 131 total players paid the buy-in and more than half the field was eliminated the day before yesterday, 60 survivors came back yesterday to play down to 16 players on 6-handed tables.

It was a truly star-studded field, as one would expect from a WSOP tournament with this big of a buy-in and this type of structure. Although many big names fell during Day 1, there were plenty of survivors still in contention led by start-of-the-day chip leader Vanesa Selbst with Brian Rast in a close second.

Daniel Negreanu was among the early eliminations, as he came back with a rather short stack and was looking to find a double up. He got his chips in the middle flipping with pocket Jacks against Song’s Ace-King, but Song hit an Ace on the flop to send KidPoker to the rail.

Eliminations kept piling on as they always do in tournaments, slowly shrinking the number of players. Jason Mercier fell along the way, as his pocket Queens could not hold against Sam Trickett’s pocket Fives. Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates followed along shortly, as he got entangled in a big hand against Selbst. Vanesa put him on a decision for his entire stack on the river and after much deliberation, Cates made the call only to be shown a turned top pair. He made his way to the rail, but not before loudly announcing his frustration.

The same fate was soon bestowed upon Michael ‘The Grinder’ Mizrachi, who handed the last of his chips to Barry Hutter. Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Trickett and Rast all followed Mizrachi and eventually it was bubble time with seventeen players remaining. After some back and forth, John Juanda was that unlucky player who walked away with a bitter taste in his mouth, although it probably isn’t that hard for someone who’s been around as long as he has.

With Juanda’s elimination, the field was down to sixteen and it meant not only that the remaining players were in the money, but also that play would stop for the day. After chip counts were in, it was Al Decarolis sitting on top of the leaderboard with 1.26 million in chips. Decarolis is certainly what you could term an unlikely chip leader in this type of event, as he is a restaurant owner and an amateur player with no live tournament cashes on his resume. That is, however, the appeal of the series, as anything can happen and often, it does.

In a very close second spot is JC Tran with 1,251,000, followed by Selbst,  who apparently put her chip lead stack at the start of the day to good use as she will be starting today with 1,224,000. Other notables still in the field include Calvin Anderson, Aaron Jones, Nick Schulman and Noah Schwartz. The remaining sixteen players will start today on four 4-handed tables and play down to four players, after which play will stop for the day.

In other news, Event #3, $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha, started yesterday, and it certainly did not fail the expectations of organizers as 1,128 players registered to play. It was a fast-paced tournament, as the field is already down to 106 players. Leading the way is Loren Klein with 133,900, a full 45,000 more than second place John O’Shea. Other notable names still in play include Phil Laak, Ashton Griffin, Maria Ho and Jason Somerville. With a prize pool in excess of $1 million, the winner of this event will get to take home $205,000 and change.

As for Event #1, the winner will be determined tomorrow (or late tonight), as play has been stopped for the day with two players remaining. The two battling for the first WSOP bracelet this summer are Roland Repajero and Corey Emery, with Repajero in the lead with about 1.8 million to Emery’s 735,000. 

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Ivan Potocki

Ivan is an aspiring journalist writer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a degree in English Literature and a fiery work ethic, Ivan adds a dynamic and flexible element to the PokerUpdate writing staff.