David Diaz Has Sizable Lead Over Field of 25 at bestbet Open

David Diaz carries a commanding chip lead to Day 3 (photo c/o WPT)

David Diaz carries a commanding chip lead to Day 3 (photo c/o WPT)

Day 2 of the World Poker Tour bestbet Open in Jacksonville, Florida saw 129 survivors from two starting flights take to the felt all eyeing the march to the money bubble set at 36 players. After nine levels of play David Diaz leads the field of 25 after bagging up 1,705,000.

Coming up behind Diaz are Ben Zamani (725,000) and David “Doc” Sands (692,000). John Dollinger (537,000), Matt Salsberg (405,000), Raj Vohra (501,000), Daniel Buzgon (235,000), Matt Giannetti 9275,000) and Tony Cousineau (201,000) are serious contenders for a final table run.

The money bubble burst in the last level of the day when Talesh Patel was eliminated by Time Reily. A severely short stacked Patel open-shoved with Q J. Four players flatted but Reily made a straight to win the hand and trim the field to four tables. Those players eliminated but still walked away with a trip to the payout desk included Austin Buchanan (32nd), Ebony Kenney (29th) and David Tuthill (28th).

After the bubble burst nine players were eliminated inside of thirty minutes. Kenney was eliminated when she shoved with A K and David Bell found a pair of tens with K T when the board ran J 7 4 T 4.

Diaz hit a rush of hands and took over the chip lead during the final hour of play. He began by winning a huge pot off of John Dollinger. With a board of 5 5 2 8 2 Diaz made a large river raise, Dollinger called and Diaz tabled A 2 for a full house. Then after a “misclick” mistake by Dollinger, Diaz took advantage by putting in a 100,000 chip raise.

Dollinger took another hit to his stack when Corey Zarnoch opened to 17,000 and Dollinger called. The flop came A 8 8, Zarnoch was all in and Dollinger called with T 9. Zarnoch paired his ace and watched the turn and river run his way when it fell 6 4.

Many notables were eliminated without a cash, including: Noah Schwartz, Matt Glantz, Matt Waxman, Tommy Vedes, Will Failla, Shannon Shorr, Christian Harder, Aaron Massey, Brian Hawkins and Allen Kessler.

Shorr was eliminated when Diaz opened to 12,000, Matt O’Donnell raised to 27,000 and Shorr made it 45,000 from the small blind. Not to be outplayed, Diaz put in a five-bet raise to 90,000, O’Donnell got out of the way and Shorr moved all in for almost 250,000. Diaz called, tabled pocket aces and was ahead of Shorr’s pocket jacks. The board ran dry and Shorr’s jacks never improved while Diaz gathered steam.

Waxman played his last hand when Vedes opened from under the gun, Rodney Rodriguez called and Waxman shoved. Barry Hutter moved in over the top, Vedes and Rodriguez folded, Waxman tabled A K and Hutter revealed pocker jacks. The board ran 7 3 2 J 8 and Waxman was out.


WPT bestbet Open Top Ten Chip Counts

  1.  David Diaz – 1,705,000
  2. Michael Linster – 816,000
  3. Benjamin Zamani – 735,000
  4. David “Doc” Sands – 692,000
  5. Tim Reilly – 591,000
  6. John Dollinger – 537,000
  7. David Bell – 524,000
  8. Raj Vohra – 501,000
  9. Chad Deberry – 491,000
  10. Aaron Lucas – 477,000
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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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