Council Bluffs, IA--Michael Martin, 23, a student turned pro from Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, will hold a big lead with 214,500 chips going into the final day of the WSOP Circuit championship event at Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Martin accumulated many of his chips by knocking out three of the last nine players tonight. He is a graduate of Penn State, and his biggest poker cash was $700,000 for finishing second in the Amsterdam Masters Classic of Poker.

Here is the final-table chip count:

Seat 1.  Ron Koenemann 43,000    Omaha, NE
Seat 2.  Ben Hock    122,000   Brookfield, WI
Seat 3.  Nicholas Manganaro   75,000    Omaha, NE
Seat 4.  Michael Martin   214,500  Washington Crossing, PA
Seat 5.  Keith Murrell    116,500   Kansas City, MO
Seat 6.  Samuel Shamburg   117,000   Lincoln, NE
Seat 7.  Howard Wolper   63,000   Atlantic City, NJ
Seat 8.  Dan Jensen    83,500    Omaha, NE
Seat 9.  Bernard Lee    155,500   Wayland, MA

   Day 2 got underway with Howard Wolper as chip leader. Described as "colorful" in yesterday's report, he asked if that was another word for "obnoxious." An aspiring poet, Wolper said (threatened?) he might read some verses he's working on if he makes the final table. 
   Less than five minutes after action started, Omaha high-low bracelet winner Bob Slezak went out. Moving in with pocket 9s after the flop brought all small cards, he lost to Mark Eddleman's pocket 10s. Action continued fast. When Greg Monaldi, holding pocket jacks, busted out against Robert Wisiak's queens, he was the fourth player to depart in 20 minutes. Within another half hour we were down to 20 after David Kerrigan's A-Q lost to pocket deuces, and 19 by the time the 75-minute round ended.
   It then took close to an hour before Blake Cahail, who finished third in an earlier $1,500 no-limit event here, went out in 19th place, and the remaining players re-drew for seats.
   Alan Wiles was left short-chipped after his A-Q lost to pocket 8s. He then moved in for 8,500 on the button with 10c-9c and busted out when he couldn't catch Martin's pocket 5s.
   Retired real estate developer Nick Bickey, winner of the $1,000 no-limit event, was next out, in 17th place, when he moved in for his last 14,000 holding K-Q and was called by Bernard Lee with As-Qs. It was a tremendous flop for Lee: A-5-4 and two spades, and when no miracle cards saved him, Bickey was out in 17th place. Lee writes a weekly poker column for the Boston Herald and hosts a weekly poker radio show from Boston. He jotted down the action because he meticulously records every hand he plays in a tournament.
   The round ended with Eddleman the chip leader with a bit over 100,000. Blinds were now 1,000-2,000 with 300 antes. At this point, the players at one of the tables were relocated to the feature table for a Webcast live test.
   At this table, Lee claimed another victim, knocking out Tony Merksick, who finished third in the H.O.R.S.E. event. Lee had pocket 8s, Merksick A-Q. Merksick flopped an ace, but Lee made a straight when the board came A-J-7-10-9. Soon after, Jesse Bowman went out in 15th place.
   Players returned from break to play with 1,500-3000 blinds. On the first hand, we got closer to the final table when Tom Farnsworth finished 14th. He had pocket treys and lost when Josh Harshbarger flopped a jack to his A-J. About 45 minutes into this level, Robert Wisiak tried an all-in move from the button with his last 14,000 holding just 6-5. He was called by Martin, holding Kh-6h in the big blind, and the king-high was enough when the board came J-7-3-10-2.
   Meanwhile, back at the feature table, Lee took down a very big pot. He raised 5,000 pre-flop and Harshbarger called from the big blind. On a flop of 10-9-2, Lee bet 9,000, Harshbarger check-raised to about 25,000, then folded when Lee moved in.
   Players returned from dinner break to blinds of 2,000-4,000. The blinds were starting to get high relative to the number of chips in play, so the shorter stacks don't have much play.
   Eddleman finished 12th. After trying a bluff raise with 7-2, he faced a re-raise by Martin, and decided to risk his last few chips. Martin had pocket queens, and Eddleman didn't come close to catching up.
   The tournament got down to 10 after Harsbarger moved in for 43,000 from the big blind holdng A-Q. Ben Hock called with A-K, and big slick held up. The remaining players gathered at one table to play down to 9. Lee, who gotten low but then picked up a lot of chips before the tables broke by coming over the top a lot, was now in second place. 
   We got to the final table after John Kincaid pushed in his last 19,000 with Ac-5s. Nicholas Manganaro called from the small blind with Ad-Qc. Kincaid couldn't help, and all players were in the money. Final table play will get underway at 2 p.m.


For more information, please contact: 
Max Shapiro -- WSOP Media Director at (323) 356-3303
Or visit our official website:  www.worldseriesofpoker.com

World Series of Poker Commissioner – Jeffrey Pollack
Director of Poker Operations for Harrah’s Entertainment – Jack Effel
Horseshoe Council Bluffs Poker Room Manager – Gary Margetson
Tournament Director -- Janis Sexton