WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open down to 34 players

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 13, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

After two full days of action the World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open stop in Hollywood, Florida has just 34 players remaining in the hunt for the title, and the $268k first-place prize-money (as well as the $25k seat in the Season X WPT Championship at the Bellagio).

Heading into Day 2 the chip-leader was Matt Juttelstad who was eliminated on Day 1a, decided to re-enter on Day 1b, and finished as the chip-leader –a pretty good decision to re-enter! Juttlestad continued to roll on Day 2, and by the time the 112 players that began the day were whittled down to 34 he was once again the chip-leader.

However, Juttlestad and the other remaining players haven’t even hit the money in the tournament yet. With only 27 players making the money, there will be seven players who start Day 3 on Monday who will go home empty-handed.

In addition to Juttlestad there are still quite a few big names still alive in the tournament, including former PCA Champion Harrison Gimbel (who has been able to play in tournaments in Florida thanks to the state’s gambling age of 18, but I’m almost positive Gimbel is now 21), Noah Schwartz (who is scheduled to appear for Jury Duty on Day 3; absolute bad-beat), Jonathan Little (who has already won three tournaments in 2012), as well as the short-stacked Daryl Fish, Christian Harder, and Fred Goldberg.

Gimbel, a Florida native, won the 2010 PCA Championship and $2.2 million in the process, has gone on to collect over $500k more in tournament winnings, despite not being old enough to play outside of Florida and the Bahamas! Considered one of the best young players in the game, another major victory (giving him the WPT and EPT legs of the Triple Crown) would be the perfect setup for his inaugural WSOP this year.

Little, who has been participating in mainly second-tier tournaments in 2012 (avoiding most of the major stops like the PCA and the Aussie Millions) is seeking his third WPT title, which would put him in a very exclusive club alongside Carlos Mortensen and Gus Hansen.

Another story to keep an eye on is Gigi Gagne, who could become the first female WPT Champion if she continues to exhibit the type of skills she has put on display over the first two days of the tournament. Gagne is currently sitting in 2nd place on the leader-board, slightly behind Juttlestad, with 725k in chips.

Here is a look at the Top 10 chip counts heading into Day 3 of the tournament:

1. Matt Juttelstad – 805,000

2. Gigi Gagne – 725,000

3. Uri Kadosh – 685,000

4. Angelo Miele – 570,000

5. Harrison Gimbel – 456,00

6. Raj Vohra – 447,500

7. Omar Sider – 434,500

8. Sharon Levin – 421,000

9. Roger Goindoo – 412,000

10. Keith Ferrera – 321,000

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