Day 2 of WPT Championship Sees Miles Austin Among Final 68

May 5, 2014

Day 2 of the Borgata 2014 Spring World Poker Tour Championship began with 200 players taking to the poker tables in Borgata’s Signature Room. The second day had the same enthusiastic energy with the crowd playing it out through six 90 minute levels. The action that followed through the 90 levels reduced the playing field to 68 players.

Canadian pro Eric Afriat emerged as the chip stack leader on the second day with 1,003,000 chips to his credit. Afriat, fresh from his last week win at the 2014 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown where he raked in over $1,081,184 to claim the title. Afriat’s chip tally was nearly double that of the second place contender Athanasios Polychronopoulos whose stack stood at 592,500. With this massive deficit in the chip tally with his contenders Afriat may be eyeing a back to back WPT title this year.

Eric Afriat put up a spectacular performance early on by playing through one of the toughest fields, eliminating 2010 PCA winner Harrison Gimbel in the process and claiming a huge pot. Afriat went on to maneuver further winnings against pros like Loni Harwood by playing some big pots as he prepared to head into the third day with a massive stack. NFL wide receiver, Miles Autin made it through the second day of the play.

Players at the table

The rapid progression of the game on day 2 saw the original playing field with 328 entries being scaled down to 68. The early stages of the day saw Mukul Pahuja bagging the Season XII World Poker Tour Player of the Year award. Although Pahuja got eliminated early during the day leaving Shaun Suller hopeful as he was still in contention for the award. But Suller’s chances were remote as he would have had to win the Championship in order to beat Pahuja to win the coveted Player of the Year trophy.

Other players who made it to the end of the day as they featured in the top ten list of chip holders were Tony Gregg(567,000), Scott Seiver (539,500), Ryan D’Angelo (519,500), Jason Koon (500,500), Maurice Hawkins (433,500), Glenn Lafaye (423,500), Jonathan Tamayo (411,000) and Hans Winzeler (397,000). Poker Hall of Fame member Phil Helmuth advanced to the next day with a chip tally of 54,000 along with the surprise addition of NFL wide receiver Miles Austin who had a stack of 74,500.

David Daggett is one of the online qualifiers from who survived through the second day with a reasonable stack of 368,500. Jonathan Tamayo from is another online qualifier who found himself a spot in the overnight Top 10 list.

Austin’s NFL career

Miles Austin is the latest addition to the list of celebrity poker players looking to make it big in the professional league of poker players. Orel Hershiser is another well known sports personality to have made it reasonably good in the poker circuit after his retirement from the Major League Baseball.

Austin’s association with National Football League (NFL) goes back to 2006 when he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. His raw potential made him a classic choice for special games where he returned about 29 kickoffs for 753 yards with a recorded 5 tackles to boot. The last game of the season against Seattle Seahawks saw Miles returning 3 kickoffs for 136 yards which included a 93 yard touchdown return. This historical first touchdown return for Dallas Cowboys in 55 post season games made Miles their main kickoff returner.

The 2009 season saw Miles get the first NFL start against the Kansas City Chiefs. He replaced an injured Roy Williams to make a record-breaking 10 catches for 250 yards with 2 touchdowns that included a 60 yard game winner in overtime. He was selected for 2010 Pro Bowl in the same year that saw him finish third overall in NFL rankings.

Miles agreed to sign a six year contract extension which began in 2011 and included a guaranteed salary of $18 million. With a deal worth $3.168 million signed in June,2010, the total value of his contract was calculated at $57 million. His second consecutive Pro Bowl saw him replace an injured DeSean Jackson. The year 2011 was the high-point of Miles’ career as he made a career best 3 touchdowns and 9 catches for 143 yards to win the match against the San Francisco 49ers. The rest of 2011 was marred with hamstring injuries and poor performance as he missed the next six games.

Austin began 2012 quite productively with a key touchdown that caused an upsetting win over the defending Superbowl champions New York Giants. Rest of 2012 was marked with multiple injuries as Miles pulled through with 943 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns and 66 receptions. After a spate of discouraging performances in the year 2013, an injured Miles clocked the least number of receptions as rookie Terrance Williams looked ready to fill in his shoes. An announcement made on March11, 2014 stated June 1 as his date of release which will bring to an end Miles’ short but illustrious career as a Dallas Cowboy.