2013 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Day Two: Peter Neff Out in Front

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The 2013 World Poker Tour (WPT) L.A. Poker Classic got going this weekend in bittersweet fashion. While it is always a good time, the opening of the Main Event had a somber tone, as players remembered former Los Angeles Lakers owner and avid poker player, Jerry Buss, who passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. The tournament’s host venue, Commerce Casino, was Buss’s home card room, a place where many regular players and staff got to know the man over the years. That he was not there cast a bit of a shadow over the festivities.

Before the cards were dealt on Day 1, WPT commentator Mike Sexton spoke to the room about Mr. Buss, after which there was a moment of silence for the great friend of the game. Frank Mariani, Buss’s long-time business partner, was in attendance, playing in the tournament to honor his friend.

As for this weekend’s poker action, a total of 517 players paid the $10,000 to play, creating a prize pool of $4,963,200. The top 63 finishers will make the money with the winner cashing for $1,004,090. Most of the players who make the money – 54 – will at least double their buy-in, while the final eight will all cash in the six-figures.

At the end of Sunday’s Day 2, it was Peter Neff who held the chip lead with 284,700 chips. He will be stationed on the third seat at table 38 to begin Day 3, immediately to the left of 2012 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event fifth-place finisher Jeremy Ausmus, who poses a threat with a nice stack of 223,600 chips. The two of them have a significant chip advantage over the rest of the table, as just two other players have over 100,000.

The most competitive table looks like it will be table 34 as it features Justin Young with the tournaments sixth-largest chip stack (234,600), Trevor Pope with the tenth-largest (225,000), and 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia (208,900). Also at the table are Jason Wheeler, who is not far behind those first three with 182,400 chips and Jennifer Tilly with 136,600. For good measure, the short stack with just 30,900 chips is Dwyte Pilgrim.

Day 3 action will pick up at noon Pacific time Monday. The plan is to play five more 90-minute levels, but the night will be extended if need be to make sure the money bubble pops before the day’s survivors head off to bed. 162 players currently remain in the tournament field.

World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic – End of Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Peter Neff – 284,700
2.    Ryan Eriquezzo – 265,000
3.    Naoya Kihara – 260,400
4.    Evan McNiff – 248,500
5.    Scott Seiver – 244,100
6.    Justin Young – 234,600
7.    Sam Stein – 233,400
8.    Randy Ohel – 230,800
9.    Arthur Morris – 228,500
10.    Trevor Pope – 225,000

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