A mammoth 4-level Day 2B at the World Series of Poker Main Event came to an end just before 11pm Vegas time Wednesday with more than half of the original 2,924 entrants eliminated in eight scorching hours of intense poker.
Day 2B represents the last of the heats, combining the survivors of Day 1C and 1D. When Day 3 starts on Friday July 10th, it will see the survivors of Day 2A and Day 2B merged for the first time into one highly competitive field at the Rio in Las Vegas as the quest for the $8 million+ first prize in this $10,000 buy-in event continues.
Among the many big names still in the hunt when Day 2B commenced were Dennis Phillips, Phil Ivey, Jean-Robert Bellande, Vanessa Rousso, Jesper Hougaard, Wille Wahlgren, Robert Williamson III, John Juanda, James Akenhead, Rob Hollink, Kathy Liebert, Tom Dwan, Ylon Schwartz, Jennifer Harman, Marco Traniello, David Benyamine, Howard Lederer, Scotty Nguyen, Erick Lindgren, Shannon Shor, Victor Ramdin, Eric Froehlich, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Phil Hellmuth, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, J.C. Tran, actor Marlon Wayans, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, Lee Watkinson and Alexander Kostritsyn.
Troy Weber started the day holding the chip count at 353,000, comfortably ahead of his nearest rival, Tyson Marks on 196,500.
By the time the event ended at 10.24 pm the field had been reduced by over 50%, with some very recognisable names among those that had seen their dreams for a 2009 Main Event win or even a final table dashed.
Some idea of the player quality in the field can be gained by looking at the eliminations, which included: Erick Lindgren, Shannon Shorr, Eric Froehlich, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Victor Ramdin, Isabelle Mercier, Vanessa Rousso, Scotty Nguyen, Howard Lederer, Lauren Kling, Bill Chen, Jonathan Little, Gavin Griffin, Maya Geller, Cyndy Violette, Ylon Schwartz, Tom Dwan, Nenad Medic and Vivek Rajkumar.
Two celebs acquitted themselves well. Actor Marlon Wayans was bundled out only an hour before the close, having survived and at times prospered throughout the day, showing himself to be a very competent as well as entertaining player. But perhaps more remarkable was Los Angeles Lakers basketball pro Jordan Farmar, who has never played online and has only just started playing poker - he goes through to Day 3 along with the likes of Phil Ivey, ElkY Grospellier, David Benyamine, Justin Bonomo and Dan Harrington.
Typically good-natured and modest, Farmar commented "I'm just lucky - they just invited me here for a good time!"
Troy Weber appeared to have maintained his chip lead at the close of Day 2B.
WSOP official numbers have confirmed that the Day 2A leaderboard was headed by Eric Cloutier on a stack of 383,500, and that Andy Black, Mike Sexton, Jimmy Fricke, Thor Hansen, Tom Schneider, Kara Scott, Erik Seidel, actor Jason Alexander, Vitaly Lunkin, Roland de Wolfe and Greg Raymer are among those going forward to Day 3 from Day 2A.
The controversy over the hundreds of late registrants denied access to the oversubscribed Day 1D continues to generate plenty of column inches in the media, with WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack adamant that there was nothing that Harrah's could do to bring the disappointed hundreds into the competition when they had left registration so late. He pointed out that there were ample seats available through the weekend heats, which had not been taken up.
Apparently at least two top international players, TJ Cloutier and Patrik Antonius were among those excluded on Day 1D, and were therefore unable to compete in the Main Event this year.
The 6,494 players who have made it into the Main Evenet this year have generated a prize pool of $61,043,600, ensuring million dollar plus payouts to every player who makes the final table - but that's still some way off.
Source: InfoPowa News