Jeff "Mr. Rain" Banghart started day two of the WSOP Circuit championship event at Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs as the chip leader, and relentlessly built his lead from there. But on the last hand of the day, Sam Van Duhn, a 35-year-old pro from Chicago, knocked out the 10th player to set the final table for tomorrow and take the lead with 444,500 chips. The winner of the final event will receive $219,576, a seat in the WSOP $10,000 event later this year, and a gold trophy ring.
Day two started with the 42 survivors from the day before returning at noon, hoping to make the final table. Level eight got underway with blinds of 600-1,200 and 200 antes. Banghart, with 86,800 chips, had the lead.
Nine players were eliminated in the round, with Banghart increasing his lead. Blinds were now 800-1,600 with 200 antes.
Only one woman, Deb Blair, a call center manager from Tucson, Arizona, made a final table in the preceding seven events, finishing eighth in the $1,500 no-limit contest. She went out in this round with three tables left when her pocket aces ran into a set of 8s. Soon after, the other remaining lady, Krista Gifford, was beaten by pocket aces to make this an all-male party.
After the level ended, blinds went to 1,000-2,000 with 300 antes. Banghart had increased his lead with more than 200,000 chips. We got down to the final 18 players who made the money when two others went broke at separate tables and tied for 19th place.
First player to cash out, in 18th place, was Matt Infranca, who went out near the end of level 10. He and the next two players out would collect $8,132. Blinds were now 1,500-3,000 with 400 antes. On a tear, Banghart had now upped his lead to about 300,000.
Level 11 saw four more players knocked out, and the remaining 12 returned from dinner playing with 2,000-4,000 blinds and 500 antes. Banghart was even farther in the lead now with close to 400,000 chips, nearly twice as many as anyone else.
Things slowed down considerably at this level, with only one more player eliminated. There were about seven more all-ins, but players escaped each of those times.
Now the blinds were 3,000-6,000, with 500 antes. Several players were short stacked, and for once, Banghart had not increased his lead, dropping down slightly.
It took only four minutes at the new level to lose player number 11 when Ray Flavin, all in with a paired jack, succumbed to a set of 8s on the river.
The 10 finalists now regrouped at one table, ready to lose a final player. Ten minutes later the deed was done. Von Duhn let out a piercing scream when, holding A-K, he turned an ace to beat pocket kings held by Jeff Bryan.
The final nine will return at 2 p.m. to battle it out for the championship.
Seats and chip counts:
||Sam Von Duhn
||Doug "Rico" Carli
For more information, please contact:
Max Shapiro -- WSOP Media Director at (323) 356-3303
Or visit our official website: http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com
World Series of Poker Commissioner - Jeffrey Pollack
Director of Poker Operations for Harrah's Entertainment - Jack Effel
World Series of Poker Circuit Tournament Director - Janis Sexton
Horseshoe Casino Council Bluffs Poker Room Manager - Gary Margetson