The Poker Masters $100,000 Main Event has reached the money and two clear-cut favorites have distanced themselves from the other two competitors in the race for $1,150,000.
Start-of-day chip leader David Peters went just about wire-to-wire and maintained his position at the top, but fellow American Dan Smith put together an incredible late charge, increasing his stack roughly ten-fold over the course of the final 11 hands of the night. Peters finished with 2,203,000, while Smith wound up with 2,030,000.
They'll be joined on the final day of the event by Koray Aldemir (541,000) and Bryn Kenney (227,000). Amazingly, Kenney's stack barely represents an increase over the 200,000 starting stack he was given when he registered at the beginning of the day.
|Seat||Player||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
Ten entries at the start of the day — the tournament wrapped early on Thursday and forced a restructuring into a freezeout with registration closing as Day 2 began — pushed the total to 25 for a $2.5 million prize pool.
Kenney was joined by fellow new entries like Aldemir and Stephen Chidwick as well as players who busted on Day 1 like Smith, Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton and Brandon Adams. The latter two represented the only challengers to Ali Imsirovic, who bagged Day 1, in the race for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket, given to the player who racked up the most points over the course of the seven-event series.
Haxton would fall early and Imsirovic busted in 13th to clear the way for Adams if he could find a top-three finish.
Peters built a huge chip lead during the final two tables and toted an overwhelming 2.2 million into the final table of seven when nobody else had even 800,000. Adams snuck in as the shortest stack but soon busted when he ripped in ace-jack over an open and ran into Smith's ace-queen.
"I really wanted that purple jacket," said Adams, who made it a point to don purple for much of the week. "There seemed to be a slight window for me to sort of creep in.
"But, I never really ticked above 350,000. Never really got it going. I finished in seventh place but I was actually pretty far from getting third."
Instead Imsirovic was crowned player of the series thanks to back-to-back wins in Event #5: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em and Event #6: $50,000 No-Limit Hold'em.
Adams' elimination left two players to go before the night would end and the bubble burst. Six-handed play would last over an hour, and Smith spent much of that time with the shortest stack. His amazing 11-hand heater started with pure luck as he won with ace-queen against Aldemir's kings all in preflop, running a four-card flush even with Aldemir holding a blocker.
Then, Chidwick tried running a massive bluff as he check-raised with a gutshot in a three-handed pot in which both Smith and Aldemir flopped top-top. Chidwick's cold three-bet chased away Aldemir but Smith stuck around and called off his stack against turn and river barrels to double and leave Chidwick on crumbs.
After Chidwick was finished off, Smith suddenly had about 1.4 million at 5,000/10,000/10,000 and was in second place.
Smith then picked up aces blind versus blind against Christoph Vogelsang and decimated his stack three-barreling for value when the German was unlucky to turn top pair after floating the flop. Smith took the rest of Vogelsang's chips by bluffing Peters in a dry side-pot and winning with king-high after both called Vogelsang's jam of 12 big blinds.
That elimination signaled the end of Day 2 and everyone left is guaranteed $250,000. The final four players return at noon on Saturday to determine the champion, with blinds nearly set to head to 6,000/12,000/12,000. While the winner of the purple jacket has been determined, there's still over $1 million in first-place prize money on the line, so come back to PokerNews — and tune in to the stream on PokerGO — to see who will claim that windfall.