Jack Binion WSOP Circuit Main Event - Day 2
2006, Jason Kirk  

After a long first day of poker at the main event of the Jack Binion WSOP Circuit at Grand Casino, 77 players remained in the field. The 164 players who were knocked out on the first day earned exactly as much as the 50 players who were due to be eliminated - namely, a free walk back to their hotel rooms. The chip leader at the beginning of the day was Josh Prager, a Full Tilt Poker qualifier from California whose only career cash was 96th in the 2005 WSOP Main Event. He brought $89,825 in chips into play as the day began. Close on his heels were Bryant King, Don Mullis, Hertzel Zalewski, and Brian Lamkin, as well as familiar professional players Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, and Layne Flack. The starting field on Day One might have been smaller than usual, but the competition was certainly fierce.

The first hour saw the departure of a number of accomplished players. Dutch Boyd, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, David "The Dragon" Pham, Chris Bell, Frank Kassela, Bob Stupak, and 2005 WSOP Main Event final tablist Andy Black were all eliminated in that time. Before the first break, 22 players had been knocked out of the field. That left only 28 more players to be eliminated when the second level of the day began, which appeared to be a sign that things would move along quickly on Day Two.

The second level saw the departure of more familiar faces. Probably the most recognizable player to take his leave was Mike "The Mouth" Matusow, who was taken out by fellow Full Tilt pro Erik Seidel. Matusow called a fairly large preflop raise from Seidel with J-T and managed to catch top pair on the flop. Seidel was first to act and bet enough to put Matusow all-in, leaving the Mouth to make a particularly tough decision. Eventually he made a great call - Seidel held A-K - but Seidel spiked a king on the river to send Matusow packing. On the very next hand, Gavin Smith got all-in with A-Q but was eliminated when Jeff Siebert called with 6-6 and his pair held up. The last departure of the level was Matusow's fellow WSOP final tablist Tex Barch, who got in with the best hand but found himself outdrawn on the final card. In all, 11 players left the field on the second level of the day.

The day's third level saw the elimination of probably the best story in the entire field. Jessica Brown, who had never played in a live tournament before, was taken out in the upper 30s when she made a desperation move with Q-9 and ran into A-K. Her road to the main event was the kind of story everyone dreams of - she played a $65 satellite and won, played another $65 satellite and won, and then took her winnings to a $1,000 satellite and won that as well. Her departure left a field consisting entirely of men, as Kathy Liebert had been eliminated long before Brown. Joining Brown on the rail by the end of the third level were Chau Giang and Jean-Robert Bellande. Several more accomplished players were knocked out in the next level as well, including Padraig Parkinson, John Juanda, and Karlo Lopez. One of the final players to be taken out was the man who came into the day as the chip leader - Josh Prager found himself sent to the rail at the hands of Chad Brown.

At the end of the day, the picture of who might make the final table was beginning to form. Daniel Negreanu and Bryant King continued to run well, consolidating their chip positions. Brian Lamkin of Austin, TX, and Don Barton of Pahrump, NV, built powerful stacks and found themselves at the top of the leaderboard, while Daniel Alaei of Santa Fe Springs, CA, and Lee Markholt of Eatonville, WA, were lurking close behind. Also in the running were professional Bill Edler, WSOP Circuit regular Don Mullis, respected pro (and Super System 2 contributor) Mark Gregorich, 2005 Tournament of Champions final tablist Brandon Adams, and high-stakes player Todd Brunson. Only 9 of the remaining players would finish outside the money on Day Three, leaving room for plenty more drama when play resumed on Thursday.

Don Barton $244,200
Brian Lamkin $218,900
Lee Markholt $169,600
Daniel Alaei $140,900
Daniel Negreanu $140,200
Ernest Shepherd $132,500
Khosrow Naraghian $116,500
Brandon Adams $111,400
Bryant King $110,300
Bill Edler $106,100
George Bronstein $98,200
Hertzel Zalewski $95,100
Chad Brown $86,100
Phil Galfond $79,400
Kia Mohajeri $77,600
Wendell Barnes $67,900
Willis Fillers $54,000
Robert Schulz $49,000
Mark Gregorich $45,300
Michael Tait $40,400
Roland Israelashvili $40,000
Galen Kester $39,800
Todd Brunson $36,900
Larry Satterwhite $34,600
Miguel Mateo $31,800
Don Mullis $18,300
Bruce Sturgeon $13,600

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