2017 PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event: Igor Yaroshevskyy Continues Domination in Leading Day 2



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After crushing what was the smaller of the Day One fields, Ukrainian poker professional Igor Yaroshevskyy has continued his domination as he holds the Day 2 lead at the PokerStars Championship Panama’s Main Event.

Yaroshevskyy, sitting on top of 219,600 in chips, came into Day 2 with a monstrous lead over the remaining 171 players that remained after 366 players started the event. Second place was a bit of a surprise for many in the form of MMA champion Tito Ortiz, but those who underestimated him on Day 1A fell to his wrath as he amassed 182,000 chips. The Day 1B chip leader, Jiachen Gong, was in fourth place with 154,300 in chips, but he was looking way up at Yaroshevskyy as he strove to catch him.

One of the bits of business that had to be completed at the start of Day 2 in the Solis Hotel, Spa & Casino was setting the official prize pool and payouts for the cast gathered in Panama City. Once late registration closed on the tournament, 366 players had officially come to the party putting up $5,000 each to build a $1,775,100 prize pool. Officials with the Solis and the PokerStars Championship put their heads together and determined that 71 players would get at least a minimum payday of $7720, nearly 20% of the field earning a cash. The big prize for the eventual champion was set at $293,860, a nice chunk of change for traipsing to Central America for a poker tournament.

Yaroshevskyy came out of the gates firing on Day 2, knocking off Vicente Delgado on one of the first hands of the day. After Delgado opened the betting, Yaroshevskyy wasted little time in putting out a three bet. Undaunted, Delgado stepped up and made it four bets (21.2K) to go, at which time Yaroshevskyy seemed to have had enough. He asked how much Delgado had behind him, then five bet the action up to 47.5K. Delgado seemed ready for the fight, moving all in at this point, and Yaroshevskyy immediately made the call.

When the cards came face up, at least one of the hands was legitimate. Yaroshevskyy staked his chip lead on pocket Kings (entirely expected), but the table was simply stunned to see Delgado unveiled his A 2 to fight for his tournament life. A Jack high board rolled out (J-5-10-9-8, for the record) to send Delgado, who had been among the bigger stacks in the room, out of the event and Yaroshevskyy’s chip stack up to a dominating 355,000.

That wasn’t even the biggest knockout for Yaroshevskyy on the day. After a raise from Thomas Altamirano and a call from Rafael Moraes, Yaroshevskyy followed suit. With all those chips in the center, a short-stacked Ambrose Ng in the big blind decided to see who was serious by moving all in (16K). Altamirano, it turned out, wasn’t, but Moraes called the bet. This now sparked Yaroshevskyy’s interest as, after a quick peek at Moraes chip stack, he moved enough chips to put Moraes at risk. Moraes made the call to set up a three-way situation (in order of strength):

Yaroshevskyy – pocket tens
Ng – pocket fours
Moraes – A Q

It was all over but the crying when the flop came 8-10-7 to give Yaroshevskyy a crushing set. An Ace on the turn ended it for both Moraes and Ng and, to make it worse for Moraes, a Queen would come on the river for Queens up. That wasn’t good enough against Yaroshevskyy’s set, however, as both Moraes and Ng walked away while Yaroshevskyy’s stack soared to 450,000.

Lather, rinse, repeat…this is the way the day went for the Ukrainian wrecking ball. Late in the afternoon as the number of survivors slipped under 100, Yaroshevskyy was sitting atop a 710,000-chip stack, vastly outpacing his closest competitors. The final level of the day (play stops early in Panama!) played out with a bit of drama as the field tried to reach the money. That didn’t happen, meaning the remaining 78 players will come back on Friday with the first order of business to pop the money bubble.

1. Igor Yaroshevskyy, 745,500
2. Denis Timofeev, 569,000
3. Caufman Talley, 546,000
4. Tito Ortiz, 270,500
5. Vincent Allevato, 256,500
6. Pablo Gordillo, 254,500
7. Pedro Romanzo Pollino, 244,000
8. Eduards Kudrjavcevs, 237,000
9. Jessica Perez Borrego, 235,500
10. Kenneth Smaron, 234,500

Play will resume at noon on Friday in the Solis, with seven very unhappy people being sent out of the tournament arena with nothing to show for their efforts. PokerStars Live! will have all the action as the next champion is determined for the PokerStars Championships.

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