2005 WSOP Circuit $10,000 Championship at Tunica - Day Two Recap
Aug 23, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

The 69 players who survived the first day of the Main Event here at Grand Casino Tunica resumed play at noon today. Captain Tom Franklin held the chip lead with $85,850 at the start of the day. The field had been emptied of many of the recognizable names that began the tournament, but there were still several familiar professionals in the hunt as the day began. One of those professionals, the deadly John Juanda, started Day Two in 2nd chip position with $85,425. Chip Jett also found himself sitting in the top ten with $49,100. Other notable players with $20,000 or more included James Van Alstyne, Senthil Kumar, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Sica, Josh Arieh, Kathy Liebert, Glyn Banks, and Alan Schein.

It didn't take long for players to start moving chips around the table. In under 30 minutes, 5 players had taken the long walk out of the tournament area. Amir Vahedi exited in 64th. Mike Sica called a pre-flop raise with king-queen offsuit, flopped a king and moved all-in, only to run into aces and leave in 63rd. Josh Arieh took a big hit after about an hour and a half at the table, and within minutes he was out in 49th. And Captain Tom Franklin, chip leader after Day One, doubled Bryant King up when he moved all-in on a king-jack-rag board and got called by ace-king. That hand propelled King to the top of the heap, where he would stay for virtually the rest of the day.

Forty-four players remained after the first level of the day had played out, leaving only 17 more players to be eliminated before play would be called off for the day. More than a few of those players would go out or be crippled in hands where they were clear favorites. Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi had his money in with pocket aces, one of which was a heart, and he was called by pocket jacks. His opponent caught a set of jacks on an all-heart flop, and Mizrachi was finished in Tunica for the year when he couldn't catch any of his 11 outs. Freddie Deeb found himself inching down toward a meaningless short stack and moved all-in with ace-jack, and an opponent called him with ace-five. A five spiked on the river to send Deeb back home. Alan Schein turned a flush against Gregg Merkow's set of eights, making him a 7-to-2 favorite, but the river paired the board and gave Merkow a full house. Schein never fully recovered from that blow and busted out just before the end of the day. Then, as if Captain Tom Franklin's move with ace-jack earlier hadn't given him a bad enough result, he moved in on a queen-high flop with ace-queen only to be called by Ron Mitchell's queen-ten. A ten spiked on the river and sent the former chip leader home.


Several well-known professionals were still alive at the end of the day. John Juanda ran his table and improved his stack from the previous day, even if he did end the day in a lower chip position. Kathy Liebert stayed around the average stack all day long, only to end up making her move upward at the end of the day. Chip Jett built a big stack throughout the day, took a hit toward the end, and still finished with enough chips to leave him a serious contender. In addition to the known pros, several amateur and semi-professional players found themselves in the hunt at the end of the day. Mike Borovetz, who took 2nd place in Event #8, lost several races throughout the day but survived with enough of a stack to give himself a chance. "Biloxi" Brad Daigle had a roller-coaster day, moving as high as $72,000 and as low as $25,000 before finishing the day $37,000. Gregg Merkow, who is playing in only his second main event tournament, made the most of his earlier river card and finished the day with $117,800.

The third day of the Main Event will begin tomorrow at noon and play down to the final table of 9 players. John Juanda, Kathy Liebert, and Chip Jett are all still in contention and have to be considered serious threats to win the whole thing. Here are the complete chip counts and seating assignments for the start of Day Three.

# of Players Names Location Chip Count Seating Assignment
1 Johnny Clements Panama City Beach, FL 209,800 68-6
2 Bryant King Spokane, WA 180,300 61-2
3 Ron Mitchell N/A 131,100 67-5
4 John Juanda Marina Del Rey, CA 119,000 61-8
5 Gregg Merkow Plano, TX 117,900 61-1
6 Jeff Wood Knoxville, TN 104,300 68-8
7 Ed Corrado Naples, FL 78,500 68-7
8 Kathy Liebert Las Vegas, NV 76,400 67-1
9 Bobby Law Chetek, WI 73,300 67-6
10 Chip Jett Las Vegas,NV 69,600 68-5
11 Sonny Perry Nashville, TN 67,200 61-3
12 Brian Ahern Beach Park, IL 60,400 67-9
13 Steve Rassi N/A 60,000 68-1
14 Matt Smith Tallahassee, FL 58,000 67-7
15 James Van Alstyne Las Vegas, NV 56,600 61-7
16 Darrell Struck Dallas, TX 54,100 67-8
17 Scott Levy Frisco, TX 44,200 68-3
18 Brad Daigle Plaquemine, LA 37,000 61-4
19 Glyn Banks Smithville, TN 33,100 68-4
20 Mark Rose Edna, TX 31,300 61-9
21 Jim Bugg Paducah, KY 30,600 67-3
22 Jason Tate Brentwood, TN 29,800 67-4
23 Michael Borovetz Pittsburgh, PA 22,600 68-9
24 Senthil Kumar Los Gatos, CA 17,600 67-2
25 Wayne Burgess Wake Forest, NC 11,100 68-2
26 Cliff Pappas N/A 9,100 61-5
27 Woody Van Stratum Cookeville, TN 7,400 61-6

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