2013 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Day 2: Fortini Takes Lead, Puts Everyone in the Money

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It’s been a quick tournament at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event in Hollywood, Florida, as the field of 369 players was narrowed to 143 after one day and then further whittled to just 36 after Day 2. Coincidentally, 36 was the cutoff for the money, so everyone returning for play on Monday has turned their $3,500 buy-in into at least $7,795. Leading the charge to the final table is Hayden Fortini, who has put a 100,000 chip cushion between himself and his closest opponent.

Fortini, who hails from Florida, has a number of live tournament cashes since 2009, but nothing that would have really put him on the poker map. He has seven total cashes at the World Series of Poker, all but one coming in events with a $2,500 or lower buy-in. That one exception was the 2011 $10,000 Main Event, where he placed 331st for $35,492. The biggest cashes of Fortini’s career were actually his first two, both at the 2009 Battles at the Beach in Pompano Beach, Florida. He won two $900 buy-in tournaments in that series, winning a total of $109,044.

The chip leader acquired a sizable chunk of his stack of 946,000 chips late during Level 12 in what was, to that point, the largest pot of the day. The flop came down 8-5-4 and Ray Qartomy bet 11,000 chips. Fortini raised it up to 25,000, Qartomy re-raised to 50,000, and Fortini called. When the Ace on the turn was dealt, Qartomy moved all-in for his last 100,000. Fortini made a relatively easy call with pocket 4’s, giving him a flopped set, while Qartomy showed pocket Tens. The river was of no help to Qartomy and he was eliminated. Fortini saw his stack increase to 368,000.

Fortini also eliminated the bubble boy, to the great relief of the 35 other players. Bubble play had being going on for two hours. John DiBella went all-in for 47,000 chips with the board showing K♠-9-7-5♠ and Fortini called. DiBella was in great shape, holding 6♠-8♦ for a turned straight, while DiBella had 8♠-9♠ and was looking for a flush or a straight. The flush is what he got, as the 2♠ landed on the river, knocking out DiBella in 37th place and ending Day 2 with everyone else in the money.

Day 3 of the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event will begin at 1:00pm ET. The field will be narrowed to the six final table participants at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino before play wraps up for the night.

2013 World Poker Tour Lucky Hearts Poker Open Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1.    Hayden Fortini – 946,000
2.    Tony Ruberto – 835,000
3.    Evan Teitelbaum – 814,500
4.    Chris Bolek – 783,000
5.    Ben Tarzia – 780,000
6.    Elan Branas – 729,500
7.    Mark Darner – 581,500
8.    Matt Giannetti – 496,500
9.    Joe Serock – 456,500
10.    Evlys Gutierrez – 451,000

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