2012 WPT Malta Main Event Day 2: Jackson Genovesi Remains on Top

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Even though there were already two calendar days of play in the 2012 World Poker Tour (WPT) Malta Main Event, Day 2, like all Day 2’s after dual starting flights, felt like a fresh start to a new tournament. It is like Days 1A and 1B were “play-in” days that were required to get into the “real” tournament on Day 2, when the survivors from Sunday and Monday combined into a single field. That single field has shrunk in a hurry, going from 104 at the start of Tuesday to just 27 by the end of it. And in a scenario you don’t see all that often in major tourneys, the chip leader going into the day, Jackson Genovesi, was the chip leader coming out.

Genovesi tops a trio of players who will enter Wednesday’s Day 3 well ahead of the peloton. Genovesi himself has a substantial lead with 760,500 chips, more than 200,000 ahead of Yorane Kerignard, who has 522,000. In third is Francesco Favia, holding 429,500 chips. After them, two players sit just under 300,000, with the rest in the low 200,000’s and below. Because of the top-heavy chip distribution, the average chip stack is 281,666, above which are just those top three players.

The odd chip spread is par for the course for the small WPT event held at the Casino at Portomaso. The chip leaders going into Day 2 were heavily weighted towards those who played in Day 1A. Eight of the top ten were from the first starting flight. Those eight all had over 90,000 chips (four had over 100,000), whereas only Genovesi and Giovanni Rizzo had more than 90,000 coming out of Day 1B. Rizzo was eliminated on Tuesday.

One of the biggest moments for Jackson Genovesi came shortly before the end of the night when he and 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel tangled pre-flop. Raise, raise, raise, raise, raise and Duhamel was all-in with pocket Tens. Genovesi did him one better with pocket Jacks and Duhamel was gone. At that point, Genovesi’s stack swelled to 670,000, enlarging the chip lead he already held.

Because of the diminutive size of the tournament, there were not many “name” players in the field at the start of Tuesday’s action. A few who started the day with chips but ended with none were Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Selbst, recent back-to-back WPT champ Marvin Rettenmaier, Erik Cajelais, Arnaud Mattern, Jason Mercier, and the aforementioned Jonathan Duhamel.

The only name remaining that casual fans would likely recognize is the boisterous Tony G.

Though the field is down to just three tables worth of players, the money bubble still has not burst. The first payout will occur at 21st place, so those trying to just make the money can’t relax quite yet. The survivors are battling it out in Day 3 as this is being written, come back tomorrow to see who is in the driver’s seat as the final table nears.

2012 World Poker Tour Malta Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Jackson Genovesi – 760,500
2.    Yorane Kerignard – 522,000
3.    Francesco Favia – 429,500
4.    Ilan Boujenah – 297,500
5.    Eros Nastasi – 297,000
6.    Sampo Ryynanen – 231,000
7.    Maurizio Arca – 225,000
8.    Enver Abduraimov – 206,000
9.    Jonathan Roy – 202,000
10.    Alessio Isaia – 201,000

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