WSOP: Vitaly Lunkin Leads $50,000 HORSE, Erik Sagstrom Second

Erik Sagstrom is in contention for his first live title in the $50,000 HORSE event. He trails only Vitaly Lunkin after Day 3 action.
Erik Sagstrom is in contention for his first live title in the $50,000 HORSE event. He trails only Vitaly Lunkin after Day 3 action.

Every year poker prognosticators go to great lengths to handicap the online poker superstars making their inaugural apperance at the World Series of Poker. Long before Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Justin “BoostedJ” Smith or Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo made headlines in the online poker world a Swedish kid was making waves.

Erik “Erik123″ Sagstrom was one of the first of the online poker generation to make the transition to live play. Only he wasn’t quite as succesful as the most recent “internet kids” have been. That is until Sunday afternoon and his performance on Day 2 of the $50,000 HORSE event where he soared to the chip lead early in the first level and stayed there until near the end of the day when he was passed only by Vitaly Lunkin.

Sagstrom bagged up 1,315,000 at the end of the night. With only 19 players remaining the now 26 year old has some competition and most of it comes from his side of the Atlantic. Russia’s Lunkin, who scooped the $40,000 No Limit Hold’em bracelet earlier this month, is in the lead with 1,527,000. Freddy Deeb, who won the event in 2007, sits in third with 1,300,000.

Another player who has had a strong 2009 WSOP, Ville Wahlbeck, wound up with 842,000. Should he go on to cash it will be his sixth of 2009 with five coming in World Championship events.

The day started with 53 players sitting down to play five levels. Gus Hansen, who started the day as the chip leader survived, and finished with 801,000. Some of the players who didn’t survive included Day 1 chip leader Hasan Habib, defending champion Scotty Nguyen, Patrik Antonius, Justin Smith and Doyle Brunson.

Sagstrom became the first player to crack the one million chip mark shortly after the start of Level 13 after he had briefly conceded the chip lead to Hansen. Day 4 action begins at 2 pm PT and Live Updates and Chip Counts will be available throughout the day.

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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