The stakes in the second annual World Series of Poker National Championship were so high to the players who made Day 2 of the event, that the tournament ended up having hands-down the longest money bubble of the entire summer. It took three hours of hand-for-hand play before Mitch Schock was eliminated just shy of the money in 19th place.
It is understandable that the bubble took so long—for the majority of the players in the field, making the money represented $22,278 in profit, as 11 of the 18 players who made the money in this event were in the tournament on a total freeroll thanks to their qualifying performances on the WSOP Circuit.
When Day 2 play began on Saturday, there were 37 hopefuls and a more balanced mix of WSOPC qualifiers and WSOP POY-qualfied players who were eligible to buy into the tournament for $10,000. Along the way, the POY qualifiers began to struggle and folks like Chris Moorman, Joseph Cheong, Bertrand Grospellier, and Fabrice Soulier busted shy of the money. Some of the WSOPC qualifiers came up empty-handed too, such as Aaron Massey, Jamie Kerstetter, and Huy Quach.
Once the bubble burst, the action in the tournament picked up the pace as the bustouts of Allen Kessler (18th), Nick Binger (15th), start of day chip leader Brian Rast (14th), and Eugene Katchalov (13th) came at a steady clip. The action reached the final table with the elimination of David Peters in 10th place and, with the elimination of WSOPC qualifier Justin Gardenhire in ninth place, the televised final table was set.
The final eight are comprised of a trio of POY qualified entrants, Sam Stein, David ODB Baker, and Matt Keikoan, two WSOPC Main Event winners in Ryan Eriquezzo (Atlantic City) and Nikolas Stone (St. Louis), and three WSOPC at-large qualifiers including Amanda Musumeci, who is making her second WSOP final table of the summer, and chip leader Yung Hwang, who begins final table play with a commanding 1,224,000.
These eight players will have a couple of days to rest up and prepare their final table game plans, as the last day of play does not get underway until July 11th. For many of the players, tomorrow won’t be an off day to relax though. It will be the day they take their seats in the WSOP Main Event.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments for the WSOP National Championship final table, which is scheduled to get underway at 1pm PT on Wednesday. Updates will be available on WSOP.com:
Seat 1: David ODB Baker – 281,000
Seat 2: Amanda Musumeci – 322,000
Seat 3: Sam Stein – 651,000
Seat 4: Huy Nguyen – 331,000
Seat 5: Yung Hwang – 1,224,000
Seat 6: Nikolas Stone – 471,000
Seat 7: Matt Keikoan – 957,000
Seat 8: Ryan Eriquezzo – 474,000
Photo by Eddie Malluk for PokerNews/WSOP