World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Day 2: Ali Eslami Leads With 84 Remaining

Ali Eslami

Day 2 of the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Legends of Poker Main Event is in the books. The day began with 303 players, and after six levels of play only 84 advanced to Day 3. The remaining players will play through the money bubble on Monday, with the top 63 players earning a minimum payday of $7,500.

Ali Eslami was the leader when players bagged their chips Sunday evening. Eslami will take 618,500 chips into Day 3 and is eyeing his first cash on the WPT since making the final table of the Hollywood Poker Open in 2011. Other big stacks going into Day 3 are Joseph Cheong (574,000), Jason Koon (567,000), Antonios Roungeris (551,000), and David Miscikowski (550,500).

Cheong got a nice boost midway through the day when he hit a two-outer to eliminate a player. According to the WPT Live Updates team, Cheong held {J-Spades}{J-Diamonds} against his opponent's {A-Spades}{A-Clubs} after all the chips went in preflop, but the {J-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} board gave Cheong a winning set of jacks. He had a little more than 160,000 after that hand and managed to more than triple that number by the end of the day.

Joseph Cheongafter a up and down day, ended day 2 with 574k which is good for 2nd in chips! #WPTLegends

Other notables advancing to Day 3 were Greg Mueller (431,000), Todd Terry (425,000), Elio Fox (267,000), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (266,000), Jeff Madsen (250,000), Isaac Baron (225,000), Erick Lindgren (121,500), and Dwyte Pilgrim (118,000).

Owais Ahmed nearly survived the day but he was one of the last eliminations after running into the red-hot Cheong. Ahmed had flopped a set of aces but his monster hand was run down by Cheong's {8-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} when the river gave Cheong a flush.

Raymond Davis also made a late exit after running pocket kings into Jared Hamby's pocket aces. The cooler hand gave Hamby 262,000 chips and left Davis crippled with one big blind. He was knocked out of the tournament a few hands later.

Joining Ahmed and Davis on the rail on Day 2 were Matt Marafioti, Jonathan Little, Joe Serock, Kathy Liebert, Tuan Le, Tony Dunst, Vanessa Rousso, Shawn Buchanan, Carlos Mortensen, Andy Frankenberger, Gavin Griffin, Hoyt Corkins, David Sands, David Chiu and defending champ Will Failla.

Failla's elimination came after a three-way preflop confrontation against Brian Hastings and another player. After Hastings min-raised to 3,200 from middle position, Failla moved all in for 17,200 from the button. The big blind then called all in, and Hastings felt he was getting the right price to call.

Failla: {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}
Big Blind: {Q-Clubs}{Q-Spades}
Hastings: {8-Clubs}{8-Spades}

Failla needed help to stay alive, but the {6-Hearts}{5-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{6-Clubs} board left him empty-handed. With his elimination, there will be a new champion at the WPT Legends of Poker in Season XI.

Here's a look at the top stacks heading into Day 3:

2012 WPT Legends of Poker Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Ali Eslami618,500
2Joseph Cheong574,000
3Jason Koon567,000
4Antonios Roungeris551,000
5David Miscikowski550,500
6Max Steinberg511,500
7Daniel Strelitz463,500
8Lee Markholt449,500
9Stephen Graner433,500
10Jim Willerson431,500

Day 3 begins Monday at 12:00 PST (20:00 BST). We'll have a recap of the action at the end of the day, so be sure to keep it locked in to PokerNews.com.

Data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.

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