WPT: Hayden Fortini Grabs Late Lead, 36 Left in Lucky Hearts Poker Open

Ben Tarzia (left) eliminated Raj Vohra (right), the chipleader after Day 1, and after spending time in the lead himself Tarzia will start Day 3 in fifth place. (Photo c/o World Poker Tour)

It took well over 13 hours to do it, but the 2013 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open finally reached its milestone of 36 players and brought Day 2 to an end shortly before 2 am ET Monday. More than 100 unfortunate casualties fell by the wayside over that time, leaving the remaining players in the money and looking forward to a pivotal Day 3.

Several players exchanged the lead throughout the day, but the final hand of a nearly two-hour bubble period brought Hayden Fortini to the top of the chip counts with 946,000 and sent 2012 PCA Champion John Dibella out empty-handed. He’s followed by Tony Ruberto (835,000), Even Teitelbaum (814,500) and Ben Tarzia (780,000), who each spent significant time at or near the top of the counts throughout Day 2. Matt Giannetti and Joe Serock each ended the day in the top ten chip counts as they look to add to past successes on the WPT.

Matt Salsberg is one of the shorter stacks remaining, but the 2012 WPT Paris champion looks to make his second consecutive WPT final table after finishing sixth at the Borgata Winter Poker Open. He’s one of three remaining champions in the field, along with Ruberto and Giannetti. Justin Zaki, Darryll Fish and Mike Beasley are still in the mix as well, with Marsha Wolak and Lily Kiletto standing strong as the two remaining women in the field.

It was a long and ugly path from 143 down to 36 on Day 2, with Dwyte Pilgrim, Dan O’Brien, Jonathan Little, Kathy Liebert, Jonathan Roy, Amanda Musumeci, Andy Seth, Allen Kessler, Ravi Raghavan, Tommy Vedes and Victor Ramdin representing just a small fraction of the group who walked away empty-handed Sunday.

Play will resume at 1 pm ET Monday and they’ll play down from 36 to the final table of six by the time it’s all said and done. It could be another long day, with just five players holding less than ten big blinds and an average stack of over 60 big blinds. Here are the top ten chip counts going into Day 3 of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open.

  1. Hayden Fortini – 946,000
  2. Tony Ruberto – 835,000
  3. Evan Teitelbaum – 814,500
  4. Chris Bolek – 783,000
  5. Ben Tarzia – 780,000
  6. Elan Branas – 729,500
  7. Mark Darner – 581,500
  8. Matt Giannetti – 496,500
  9. Joe Serock – 456,500
  10. Evlys Gutierrez – 451,000
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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