WSOPC Harrah’s Tunica Day 2: Jewell Eyes Final Table for Second Straight Year

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Day 2 of the World Series of Poker Circuit Harrah’s Tunica Main Event closed after 13 hours of action on Sunday. The day began with 330 players still in contention. When play concluded, 16 remained. Dan Blakeman stands atop the leaderboard with 1,589,000 going into Day 3, but he is followed closely by Houston White (1,548,000) and Steve McCluskey (1,520,000). Other notables still in the field include Kurt Jewell (1,197,000), Jacob Bazeley (991,000) and Doug “Rico” Carli (178,000). Jewell took eighth place in this same event last year.

Play began with a bittersweet moment when Tournament Director Bill Bruce presented Jimmy and Teresa Sommerfeld with matching bracelets for all their years of service with the World Series of Poker. Jimmy founded Poker Tournament Consultants and has been connected to the WSOP Circuit for years. The Sommerfelds were given a standing ovation from the crowded room in appreciation for their dedication to the game.

It turned out to be a day of attrition after the cards were dealt as Sam Barnhart, John Evans, Aaron Massey, Abraham Araya, Kyle Cartwright, David Clark, La Sengphet, John Dolan, Roland Israel, Matthew Chang, “Captain” Tom Franklin, Ron Rose, Chris Bigler and Russell Ivy all hit the rail during Day 2.

The money bubble burst in quick fashion shortly after the field returned from dinner. Seventy-seven players went to dinner. After they returned, it took just 20 minutes to get down to 74, with the money bubble looming at 72. Surprisingly, two players busted within moments of each other, meaning there was no round-for-round play, and Kenneth Putnam became bubble boy.

When the day began, all eyes were on Dantonio Brown, who returned with 277,000 chips — twice that of his next closest competitor. However, Brown’s stack slowly withered as he played fast and loose. He finished in 36th place when his {A-Clubs} {4-Spades} ran into Chad Bradbury’s {A-Diamonds} {K-Hearts}.

During the late stages of play, Jewell appeared to be the man to beat. The former WSOP-C ring winner was steamrolling his table and notching up knockouts with every orbit. He built his stack to 1.8 million, but was dealt a big blow by Blakeman near the end of the day. Jewell bet into Blakeman holding big slick on a queen-high board and Blakeman shoved holding {A-Hearts} {Q-Clubs}. That hand gave Blakeman the momentum to end the day as the overall chip leader.

Meanwhile, Barnhart, who had a tremendous 2011, couldn’t repeat last year’s success with a win here in Tunica, though he did put in an impressive 49th-place finish. If you recall, Barnhart parlayed last year’s win in Tunica into a seat in the National Championship, which he also won for $300,000, and then went on to finish 17th in the WSOP Main Event to bring his winnings in a six-month period to over $800,000.

Day 3 of the WSOPC Harrah’s Tunica Main Event will kick off at 1200 CST (1800 GMT) on Monday, so be sure to follow all the action live on PokerNews.com!

Top Ten Chip Counts

Place Player Chip Count
1 Dan Blakeman 1,589,000
2 Houston White 1,548,000
3 Steve McClusky 1,520,000
4 Ray Weaver 1,243,000
5 Kurt Jewell 1,197,000
6 Dustin Gardner 998,000
7 Jacob Bazeley 991,000
8 John Cecil 862,000
9 Chris Thompson 801,000
10 Michael Cooper 475,000

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