WPT: Jeff Gross Leads Stacked Final 45 After Day 2 in Montreal

Jeff Gross (center) takes a big chiplead into Day 3 of WPT Montreal. (Photo c/o World Poker Tour)

It was a long and eventful Day 2 at WPT Montreal, and by the time chips were bagged up in the early AM hours Monday just 45 players remained. A field of 1,173 players would generally lead to just a few notables with five tables left, but that’s far from the case in this tournament.

Jeff Gross will be taking a sizable lead into Day 3, with more than an average stack separating him from Mike McDonald in second place. Gross’ biggest claims to fame to this point include a second place finish in a WSOP even in 2011 and being Michael Phelps’ close friend and roommate, but he has a nice head start towards the first major victory of his career, though there’s still a lot of poker to be played.

McDonald is hoping to keep the title in his home country, adding it to the EPT title already on his resume. He’ll have his work cut out for him, though, with pros Jason Koon and Christian Harder right behind him in third and fourth, respectively. Day 1 chipleader Patrick Lelievre is still near the top in sixth place, while Gavin Smith looks to capture his second WPT title as he’ll start Day 3 in ninth. The list of notable contenders stretches even further and includes Timothy Adams, Amanda Musumeci, Pascal LeFrancois, Bruce Buffer and Ashton Griffin. Then there’s Dan Smith. The current BLUFF Player of the Year leader is near the bottom of the counts, but he’s once again made an impressive run in a massive field with a chance to make an already astounding year even more ridiculous.

The Day 2 began at noon Sunday, 362 players were still in contention for the title. They had to lose more than two-thirds of the field before they even made the money, and a lot of players fell by the wayside during that time. Peter Jetten, David Williams, Dominik Nitsche, Mohsin Charania, John Racener, Joseph Cheong, Antonio Esfandiari and Will Failla were just a few of the players who left Montreal empty-handed.

Mark Radoja (111th), Ken Aldridge (99th), Xuan Liu (86th), Joe Kuether (72nd) and Marc-Andre Ladouceur (53rd) each got a small return on their investments, but fell short of any kind of significant payday. Each of the 45 remaining players, however, have guaranteed themselves at least $12,535, even if they go out first on Day 3. Each has their sights set on the big prize though, with the $754,210 looming large for all those still in contention.

Play will resume at noon local time and they’ll play until the final table of six is set. Here are the top ten chip counts heading into Day 3.

  1. Jeff Gross – 2,422,000
  2. Mike McDonald – 1,598,000
  3. Jason Koon – 1,546,000
  4. Christian Harder – 1,472,000
  5. Jonathan Roy – 1,431,000
  6. Patrick Lelievre – 1,401,000
  7. Peter Kaemmerlen – 1,333,000
  8. Sylvain Siebert – 1,325,000
  9. Gavin Smith – 1,247,000
  10. Amichai Barer – 1,235,000
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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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