Anonymous poker hasn’t become much of a “thing” yet in the world of online poker, but it’s at least a gimmick that’s currently out there. That gimmick was all I could think about as Victor Shuchleib moved almost a million and a half chips off the feature table to one of the outer tables just before the end of the day.
Here was a man with a million and a half chips with fewer than 40 players remaining and nobody – and I do mean nobody – had any idea who he was. I had seen Shuchleib sporting a surprising stack of around 800,000 at the feature table, but before I could tap him on his shoulder and ask for his nombre and apellido a big pot at an outer table drew me away. The mystery man with the 800,000 was forgotten until he turned into the Mystery Man with the 1.5 million. Then everyone wanted to make his acquaintance.
Shuchleib’s been kicking around the tournament circuit for a few years, it seems, but it doesn’t look like he’s ever been in the position that he’s in today. After bagging 1,486,000 a few moments ago, he’s the Day 2 overnight chip leader of the 2013 PokerStars.net Latin American Poker Tour Chile National Poker Championship.
Trailing Shuchleib in 2nd and 3rd places are Ariel Celestino (1,113,000) and Sergio Braga (1,005,000). Both men made the final table of an $1100 Brazilian Series of Poker event three days ago. They’ll be joined tomorrow by an assortment of 31 players total that includes veteran Luis Jaikel (912,000), Day 1b chip leader Norson Saho (484,000) and Team PokerStars Pro Jose “Nacho” Barbero (407,000).
Twelve hours ago, we were waiting — waiting for the good and the bad, the standard and the brutal. Things started off less than standard for three big stacks who found themselves side by side as play began.
The peculiarities didn’t stop there. In Level 13, the pace of eliminations actually sped up as the tournament approached the money bubble, creating some confusion as to exactly who squeaked into the money and who didn’t. Several familiar faces were still in contention at that point to move on to Day 3.
By about halfway through the day, it was clear that the task of winnowing 247 down to 24 wasn’t quite as daunting as first believed. Plenty of people were taking plenty of beats and cracking up about them.
With an hour to go, we felt confident that either Celestino or Braga, both of whom cashed big in Iguaçu on Tuesday, would be the chip leader. Obviously we hadn’t counted on Shuchleib.
Tomorrow the plan is to start with 31 players and stop when only 8 are left. Things kick off at noon local time. Until then you can find us at the bar.
Dave Behr is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.
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