When Day 2 of the World Poker Tour Barcelona came to a close Anaras Alekberovas was out in front with 540,000. The Lithuanian poker player will lead a field of 42 players when cards get in the air on Day 3 and the next leg of the race to the championship continues. Tahiri Hassini trailed the chipleader in second with 440,000 followed by Antonio Alfaia with 340,000 and Alvaro Ballesteros with 290,000. Benjamin Pollak, Lukas Berglund, Pedro Galan, Henri Benoni, Atanas Gueorguiev and Yigit Aktugla rounded out the top ten.
Matt Salsberg, Davidi Kitai and Marcin Wyndrowski will not become repeat champions as they all hit the rail before the chips were bagged, making Berglund the lone player left in the field who could become a two-time WPT champion.
Alekberovas shot to the top spot just before play ended for the night when he five-bet shoved with pocket threes in a pot that had already grown to about 400,000. Aktugla called with pocket Aces and the two players tabled their hands with Aktugla out ahead. But a three on the flop and a three on the river gave the chips to Alekberovas and boosted him to the lead. Aktugla was able to recover and finished the night with 210,000.
Pollack finished the day with 290,000 and had looked poised to be the Day 2 chipleader when he took the lead during Level 12 in a hand Pollack and Morten Mortensen could both only describe simply as “sick.”
Ognjen Sekularac raised to 1,800 from the cutoff and Pollak called from the small blind. From the big blind Mortensen did the same and the three saw a flop of 644. Pollak bet 4,100 and Mortensen called but Sekularac raised it up to 15,000. Pollak snap called and Mortensen responded by making it 33,000 to go. After taking stock of Mortensen’s chip stack, Sekularac folded and action rested on Pollak. He called to see the 3 open on the turn and made a small bet of 14,500. Mortensen called and the two saw the 5 on the river. Pollak checked, Mortensen announced he was all-in and Pollak did not hesitate to call. Mortensen showed pocket sixes for a flopped full-house but Pollak had him beat with pocket fours for flopped quads. Mortensen was eliminated and Pollak climbed to 320,000 and the chip lead.
After Pollak’s rise to the top, Hassini overtook the chip lead when he opened from early position with [8c6s]. Andreas Berggren three-bet to 11,000 with A9 and Hassani called. Berggren was down to his last 200,000 and the flop was fanned [Td9h7d]. The turn was the 9 and Hassini over-bet shoved. Bergen called but the 6 on the river was no good for him and his chips went to Hassini. Hassini then held the chiplead until just before play wrapped up and Alekberovas took over.
Bryn Kenney, Steve O’Dwyer and Kevin Vandermissen will all be back for Day 3. Leo Margets, Gaelle Baumann, Kevin MacPhee, Toby Lewis, Daniel Cates, Paul Berende and Adam Levy were among the many to hit the rail on Day 2.
WPT Barcelona Day 2 Top Ten Chip Counts:
- Anaras Alekberovas – 540,000
- Tahiri Hassini – 440,000
- Antonio Alfaia – 340,000
- Alvaro Ballesteros – 290,000
- Benjamin Pollak – 290,000
- Lukas Berglund – 280,000
- Pedro Galan – 240,000
- Henri Benoni – 240,000
- Atanas Gueorguiev – 230,000
- Yigit Aktugla – 210,000
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