HAXTON FINISHES SECOND

Isaac Haxton finished second only to Vitaly Lunkin in 2009. Haxton, who bypassed a computer science degree at Brown University to pursue poker, made his presence known to the world at the 2007 World Poker Tour PokerStars.com Caribbean Adventure where he finished second to Ryan Daut for $861,789. He then found success online before finishing second to Vitaly Lunkin in Event #2 of the 2009 40th Annual World Series of Poker, the $40,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $1.168 million. While a prestigious title has eluded Haxton twice, he is largely regarded as one of the best young guns in the game.

In other exciting SuperStar Showdown news, Pokerstars has announced that any player, with the proper bankroll, can challenge Isildur1 to a match simply by sending an email to showdown@pokerstars.com; however, only serious applicants will receive a response. More realistically, most players will be interested in facing off against the Swede in a special 1/10th-sized version of the SuperStar Showdown open to all PokerStars players, with qualifiers running now. At the very least, you can watch the Haxton vs. Isildur1 match this Sunday, December 19, at 6 p.m. EST, which is sure to be quite the treat.

LUNKIN FAILS TO SURVIVES

Vitaly Lunkin was among the few players to not go through to the next round in the WSOPE event#2. Amongst the 49 players still remaining in the PLO Event #2 were likes of Barry Greenstein, Roberto Romanello, Vitaly Lunkin, Hoyt Corkins and many more known names. However, none of them managed to secure their seats for Day 3.

LUNKIN DOMINATES

Vitaly Lunkin dominated on Day1A after holding off some tough competition at WSOP. Day 1A brought out over 1,000 entrants, and many have already fallen prey to the top contenders of the tournament. Dwyen Ringbauer is currently leading the chips, with 191,125 to his name.

The contenders list was fairly full, with some notable names seasoning the battlefield. Michael Mizrachi held second place, with 142,650 chips. Barry Shulman managed to break the 100,000 mark, and he ended up with 113,000 going to the end of the day. Chris Moneymaker, 2003 Main Event Champ, took home six figures worth of chips as well, with 107,425 to his name. Vitaly Lunkin has also proved a dominant force, and he holds 82,000 chips. David Sklansky is one of the most influential minds in poker, and he is clinging to life with 26,000 chips.

LUNKIN UNIQUE IN TOP 20 LIST

In the top 20 list of the WSOP money leaders from 2004-2009, Vitaly Lunkin stands alone as the only person to make it into the standings without a main-event final table result to his name. The two-time bracelet winner is there thanks in large part to his incredible 2009 WSOP.

Lunkin won the commemorative $40,000 no-limit hold’em event for nearly $1.9 million, finished runner-up for the $10,000 PLO title for $419,832, and came in fourth place in the $50,000 Players Championship for $368,813 in 2009. Add all that, along with an additional $628,417 he received for winning a $1,500 bracelet in 2008, and you’ve got an astonishing tournament poker résumé.