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NAPT Mohegan Sun: Day 2, levels 9-10 updates (600-1,200-100)

napt-thumb.jpg2:56pm: Level ends
The players are now on a 15-minute break. We'll be closing out this post and moving on to a new one. Join us there. --BW

2:50pm: Mercier (inexplicably) loses
I was in the middle of watching a hand with Vanessa Selbst when one of the floor guys (thanks again, Peter) pulled me over to Jason Mercier's table where the Man Who Wins Everything was all in with A♠K♣ against Russell Crane's A♥Q♣. Destiny had other things in mind for Mercier. The Q♦ came on the flop, Mercier didn't catch up, and the Man Who Wins Everything lost. --BW

2:34pm: Ron Eaton hooks 'em
Ron Eaton opened for 2,500 from the cutoff, the button shoved with a short stack and Ben Bianco re-shoved behind him, having both Eaton and the button covered. Mistakenly believing the action was complete, the button turned over 9♥9♠ even though Eaton had yet to act. His decision somewhat easier now, Eaton made the call with J♥J♦. Bianco revealed A♠K♥.

The board ran out 7♣6♣3♠8♦6♠, Eaton's jacks holding to triple his stack to more than 120,000. The button was eliminated and Bianco was left with only a few big blinds. He was eliminated a short time later.

"If you'd seen my hand too, would you have called?" Bianco asked.

"Yeah, probably" replied Eaton as he stacked up the pot. --KB

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An exuberant Ron Eaton triples up

2.30pm: Overton overall
Aaron Overton is sitting to the right of George Lind III. But that hasn't exactly seemed to check his progress today, as Overton has now amassed something like 260,000 chips, which is very close - if not the overall - chip lead.

One table along, Alex Wice is also going exceptionally well. Wice is a force on all continents and this year has final tables to his name on the EPT and at the PCA. At Mohegan Sun this afternoon, Wice is now up to about 195,000, and has Eric Froehlich, Erica Schoenberg, Pat Pezzin and Matt Mattros for tablemates. -- HS

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Aaron Overton

2.10pm: Cada kissed
Joe Cada has busted NAPT Mohegan Sun - at least that seems to be the most likely explanation why the 2009 World Series champion was last seen loitering around the last three tables of the ladies event.


Joe Cada

That didn't seem to be entirely Cada's choice. He had been called over there by one of the competitors in order to get a hug and a picture. But that set off a domino effect of cooing ladies, all wanting the same thing.

Cada duly obliged with a big grin until the ladies had had their fun. He then headed out the door rubbing away the lipstick from that procession of pecks on the cheek. -- HS

2:04pm: Swingy Selbst
Vanessa Selbst reports she's down to 110,000. Via Twitter she tells us she is..."Turning pairs into bluffs on the river and running into hands that I was ahead of on the turn," --BW


Vanessa Selbst

1.55pm: Grimes ground down
Al Grimes showed us all in Los Angeles last year how far you can ride a short stack if you play it right. He clung on and clung on during the final table in Compton to take $250,000 for third place.

Grimes isn't going to repeat that score, however. Greg Ostrander has seen to that. On a flop of 8♥T♥7♠, Grimes got his last 8,000 or so in the middle and was called by Ostrander. Grimes had A♣T♣, but Ostrander had 7♦8♦.

There were big whoops from the table on the A♥ turn. But it wasn't done. The river was 7♣ and Ostrander went back into the lead. Grimes headed home. --HS

1:50pm: "Little Man" can't get away
With a substantial pot already built from a preflop raising war, Jeff Papola and Mike Sica went heads-up to a K♠Q♣5♥ flop. Papola led for 16,000, Sica raised to 50,000 and Papola three-bet shoved for 72,000 total. Sica made the call, turning over A-K, but was far behind Papola's top two pair with K♦Q♦. The turn and river fell the 2♥ and the 4♠, no help to Sica, and he shipped all but 20,000 of his stack over to Papola, who is now sitting on about 175,000. --KB

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Jeff Papola

1:33pm: Back to your seats
The players are headed back to their seats for Level 10. --BW


1.20pm: Gibbons takes some from Mermelstein
The embarrassment of riches on table 17 - as described at embarrassing length by brevity's Brad Willis at 12.43pm below - means that those players will be sharing some big pots among themselves this afternoon. Joseph Gibbons, already chipped up himself, just took Aaron Mermelstein for a good few thousand more during this intriguing hand.

There was a good pile in the middle and three players - Mermelstein in the small blind, Gibbons mid-position and James Frangoulidis on the button - looking at a flop of K♣3♥K♥.

Mermelstein checked, Gibbons bet 6,000 and Frangoulidis folded. Mermelstein called. The turn came Q♥ and Mermelstein check-called Gibbons' 10,000 bet. That brought the A♠ river. Mermelstein checked again, and Gibbons announced that he was all in, for a stack of something like 80,000.

Mermelstein seemed to ponder for a bit, but then folded, saying: "I didn't like that river." Whether or not that was true is open for anyone's interpretation, but it's fair to say that Gibbons probably did. He flipped A♥A♣ for the rivered boat, almost certainly hoping someone else could have had a flush or at least a king. -- HS

1:14pm: Busquet boosted
All the money went in on the turn, the board reading K♠8♣6♥7♣. Olivier Busquet turned up 8♠8♥ for a set while Michael Farris was praying for a four, a nine, or a club with A♣5♣. The river, however did not comply, falling the 2♦ to eliminate Farris and give Busquet a rather substantial chip infusion; he's up to 146,000. --KB


Olivier Busquet

1:00pm: Team Pro update
Here's a quick rundown on how the the PokerStars flag-bearers are doing at this hour.--BW

Victor Ramdin: 131,000
Vanessa Rousso: 150,000
George Lind III: 36,500
Jason Mercier: 37,000
Vanessa Selbst: 135,000
Joe Cada: 40,000
Jonathan Duhamel: Out
Greg De Bora: 44,300
Pat Pezzin: 37,000
Andrew Brokos: 59,600

12:43pm: The Ballad of Table 17
Nobody at Table 17 knows Aaron Mermelstein has to be at a wedding in Mexico. None of the other eight players there know he's been playing fast and loose for the past few levels because he really didn't intend to be here today. The Day 2 players weren't standing with us last night as Mermelstein said, "I've just been messing around. I need to leave for Mexico tomorrow (Sunday)."

What Mermelstein hasn't said to anyone at Table 17 is that he's playing like a man with nothing to lose. If the story he's telling is true, Mermelstein's only intention for today is to finish with the chip lead or no chips at all.

"The final table is on my boy's wedding day," he said.

The people who once sat at Table 25 know all of this. They saw Mermelstein play with abandon for the first half an hour today. Those players--including Season 1 NAPT LA champ Joe Tehan--sat waiting for a hand to pick off Mermelstein's silliness. It never happened. Tehan shook his head when the table broke. Short-stacked Michael Dolle seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Meanwhile, Mermelstein wandered off with his rack of chips. He was in search of Table 17.

Mermelstein finished Day 1 just two spots off the lead. With 147,000 in his stack, there wasn't much doubt he was going to have to either miss his flight or start losing chips. Now, he was sitting down at Table 17 to a chorus of, "No! Not another one!"

Table 17's random draw made it the table to watch even before Mermelstein arrived. Seat 9, David Weisberger, thought he had a great stack until he saw the rest of the table.

"This table had five of the top 20," Weisberger said as Mermelstein sat down. "Now it's six."

That table includes Victor Ramdin who eyed Mermelstein warily. "Are you sure you have the right table?" Ramdin asked.

Greg Dyer simply shook his head. "Lotta chips on this table," he said.

"That's a good thing," Mermelstein said. "Somebody is going to walk away with a lot of chips."

Here's the rub. Although Mermelstein had previously been really chatty about the Mexican wedding, he didn't mention it once he reached Table 17. Instead, he just started playing like he had been at Table 25. A slick check-raise on Lee Markholt added another 12,000 to the kid's stack.

I don't know if there is a Mexican wedding. I don't know if Mermelstein is running some fifth level angle on the room. I only know that his table is the one to watch right now. --BW


Aaron Mermelstein

12:46pm: The rich get richer
Although overnight chip leader Chris Tryba lost a bit of his stack in the early going, Jerry Wong, the man closest behind him at the end of Day 1, just crossed the 200k mark. On a flop of 5♥4♥2♠, Jason Deutsch got the rest of his stack in with Q♥J♥ for two overs and a flush draw and Wong looked him up with pocket tens. Deutsch missed his 15 outs, the turn and river falling the 4♠ and the 9♣.

"What do you have now, a million?" quipped Bryan Paris as Wong stacked up the pot.

Not yet, but the 223,000 he's sitting on now is good for the current chip lead. --KB

12:40pm: Paging Tyson Marks!
2010 WCOOP Main Event champion Tyson Marks limped in to Day 2 with only 12,000 in chips, but has yet to take his seat on Table 14. Anyone know his room number and want to give him a call? --KB

12:38pm: Junglen can't bluff Rousso
Adam Junglen led off the action with a raise to 2,400 and Vanessa Rousso made the call from the cutoff. The flop landed a soaking-wet Q♦T♥9♣ and both players checked. The turn brought a blank, the 2♠ and Junglen led out for 3,600. Rousso made the call. The river was the 3♣ and both players checked it down.

"You got it," said Junglen as Rousso turned over A♠9♠ for a winning third pair. --KB

12:35pm: The king is dead, long live the king
Danny Suied, who sported quite the regal crown atop his head yesterday, arrived for Day 2 sans royal headwear and with only 6,300 in chips. He took a stand with A-6 during the first orbit, but unfortunately ran into David Weisberger's pocket tens. Although Suied found a six on the flop, he couldn't improve any further and made an early exit. --KB

12.30pm: Three all in; two World Champs
Joe Cada and Jonathan Duhamel are on the same table today. Or, to be more precise, they were on the same table because Duhamel is now out. Cada, however, has all but tripled up, coming out on top in a three-way all in. Here's how it went:

Cada opened to 2,200 from mid-position and Duhamel, in the hijack, shoved for his last 20,000 or so. Akos Molnar, on the button, also shoved for about 40,000, covering both the World Champs. Cada called and so three hands went on their backs:

Cada: A♦K♠
Molnar: A♥Q♥
And, in a world of hurt, Duhamel: K♦Q♦

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Jonathan Duhamel fears the game is up

The board completely blanked. It came 4♦4♥9♣6♥3♠ and that gave the lot to Cada. Duhamel disappeared. -- HS

12.25pm: Madsen moves up, Gregg clings on
As tends to happen at these times, the short stacks are getting them in the middle and frequently either doubling up or flying out the door. Jeff Madsen just despatched his neighbour, Yakov Hirsch, to get up to about 50,000 - and he also crippled Tony Gregg in the same pot in a three-way all in.

The very next hand, Gregg got his last 7,100 in the middle pre-flop and was called by Omar Taveras. Gregg, best known for his second place at the PCA a few years back, was armed with the mighty J♥2♥ for his pre-meditated shove. Taveras had A♣Q♣.

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Tony Gregg all in at Mohegan Sun

However the board was favourable to Gregg. It came 2♣3♠8♠7♠5♠ and with an ironically clenched fist, Gregg's deuces doubled him up and kept him alive with about 15,000. -- HS

12:16pm: Early double for Dolle
One of Day 1's top players Aaron Mermelstein (who told us last night, he really needs to be getting to a wedding in Mexico soon) came in for a raise to 2,600. Andrew Weisner made the call from the small blind. Michael Dolle had started the day with 17,000. Sitting on the button, he pushed all in for his last 15,100. Mermelstein got out of the way, but Weisner ultimately made the call. The hands:

Dolle: 9♥9♦
Weisner: 7♠7♦

The board ran out Q♣K♦4♠6♠6♥ and Dolle scored the early double. --BW

12.10pm: Rousso continues good form
Vanessa Rousso ended yesterday playing great and hitting cards - and she's started off in the same vein today. She was heads up with Romeo Boogaard and they were already to the turn.

The board read 7♠J♣3♥A♣. Rousso bet 3,000 and Boogaard called. The T♠ rivered and Rousso bet 7,000. Boogaard sighed and called that too.

Rousso showed K♥Q♠ for broadway. Boogaard explained his call by showing A♥T♥ for the rivered two pair. Rousso took an early small pot, and is moving on up once again. -- HS

12.05pm: Go!
They're off. -- HS

Ah, there you are.

It's day two on the North American Poker Tour. For fans of symmetry, it's actually day two of the second event of season two, so that's 2-2-2. Fun. If you go for that kind of thing.

Play is due to get under way at noon and the schedule for the action is six 75-minute levels, with a 15 minute break between each.

Chris Tryba leads the field, from Jerry Wong. The complete chip-count details are available on the chip-count page, and we'll have the seat draw up momentarily too.

Join us for the action imminently.

Reporting team: Kristin Bihr, Howard Swains and Brad Willis. Photography: Joe Giron.

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