The second day of the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $25K High Roller provided numerous subplots to help fill out the tournament’s narrative. But the main plot, and, well, the story’s “hero” (so far), remained the same as it was last night, with Nick Petrangelo once again grabbing the headline as the overnight chip leader among the nine remaining players.
Petrangelo had led the 77 players lasting to the end of Day 1, and so began today’s play on top. But let’s get into some of those side stories before circling back to him.
After the last of the late entrants (and re-entrants) had joined the proceedings at today’s start — and before they busted — there were just over half of the 159 total entrants left to battle for part of the $3,975,000 prize pool and $905,670 awaiting the winner.
Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier also returned to a big stack today, and soon found himself the last of the former $25K High Roller champions from PCAs past still in the field.
Alas like fellow Team Pros Jake Cody, Liv Boeree, and Andre Akkari, ElkY would find himself on the rail as well just a couple of spots shy from the cash.
Getting even closer to the final 23 and the money but coming up short was Igor Kurganov, for whom Friday the 13th proved an unlucky day. He had ace-king against Byron Kaverman’s ace-jack at the finish, but the latter made a flush to end Kurganov’s run.
It wasn’t all unlucky for Kurganov, as he got a hug from short-stacked Mustapha Kanit before departing.
From there a few themes began to emerge.
Kaverman, the Collector
Byron Kaverman had a leading stack before and after dinner, then won a big pot while knocking out Sergi Reixach in 19th, pushing to the the top of the leaderboard as the tournament shrunk to two tables.
A little while later he was busting Salman Behbehani in 14th, and suddenly he was up near 2 million with only Petrangelo within shouting distance and everyone else with a third of that or less. Kaverman stayed near the top for much of the night before Petrangelo overtook him once more, and Kaverman ended the night with a top three stack.
The Chidwick Chip Trick
When they were on the stone bubble and heading to dinner, Stephen Chidwick was 24th of 24 in chips. Coming back he remained short, but as others fell he maintained the little he had left. Consistently at the bottom of the counts, Chidwick persisted, ultimately ending the night bagging along with the rest of the final nine.
Go, Go Greenwoods
Luc and Sam Greenwood, the poker-playing brothers from Canada, were both part of this field, and remained so into the money, frequently sitting at the same table. Both enjoyed big double-ups with 12 players left, but in the final hand of the night Luc knocked out Sam in 10th — and Sergio Aido as well in 11th — to be the only Greenwood moving on to Saturday.
Negreanu pushes through
Meanwhile the lone Team PokerStars Pro making it to the final day was Daniel Negreanu who’ll be returning to a below average stack. Negreanu began the day in a bad way, having received the sad news he’d lost a longtime friend in his pet chihuahua Mushu. But he worked through that and a challenging day of poker to remain in the hunt for the High Roller hardware.
In the end it was Petrangelo, though, for the second night running being the one to bag the most, outlasting even Michael Rocco who thanks to a big late night double-up with quads came closest to challenge him.
Here’s how the nine remaining players’ counts look heading into tomorrow’s final day:
Play resumes at 12 noon on Saturday. Come back then and we’ll find out together whether Petrangelo can go wire-to-wire and star in the beginning, middle, and end of the PokerStars Championship $25K High Roller story.
For live updates from the $25K High Roller, visit PokerNews.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.