With the end of the final three hands, our surviving players will come back on Thursday for Day 3 of the Main Event - the first day where all remaining players will be playing at the same time. The current chip leader will be Aleksandr Mozhnyakov who is just shy of breaking the half million mark, sitting as he is with 478,600. The Russian sits ahead of Tuan Vo (434,500), former WPT winner Guillaume Darcourt (410,500), Stephane Albertini (400,100), Massimiliano Martinez (355,000) and Mike Sowers (347,700) in the counts.
We started today with 2,031 players separated into both the Amazon and Pavilion rooms, the latter out of commission about halfway through the fourth level of the day though it remained packed until the very last table was broken. The reason? A certain Phil Hellmuth resided there, short-stacked, partially because he was unable to get anything going, but also because he had not even realised he was playing today. The story going was that Mike Matusow had sent security to break into his room to get him to actually turn up. By this time his stack had been blinded down from the 11,800 he started with to below 7,000, but Hellmuth went into super grind mode and managed to turn it around by the end of the day, recovering to finish with 64,900.
Elsewhere, PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu entertained the crowd on the feature table, finishing the day with 114,100. There was also a lot of attention on the secondary feature table where Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce was hoping to make it through the day but much to the chagrin of the crowd, he was eliminated late on in the day when he ran deuces into jacks while short-stacked. However, there still remains a number of celebrities who have a chance of making it into Day 4 and a WSOP, they include: Ex-NFL player Eric Stocz (110,400) and actors Jason Alexander (167,000) and Brad Garrett (56,000).
Tomorrow, the 2,490 players of Day 2b (the combined survivors from 1b & 1d) will play five levels from 12pm tomorrow. After this, Wednesday is a scheduled day off as everyone gets a break before Thursday sees the combining of fields for the first time during the Main Event. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be following all the action tomorrow and every single day remaining for this, the climax of the 2011 WSOP!
We've reached that special ten-minute mark in Day 2a, and the clock has been paused. Steve Frezer is quite adept at pulling low cards from the deck, and the that was drawn means we'll play that many more tables before bagging and tagging the survivors' chips for a two-night soak.
"I'm probably going to go into my third day in a row with my starting stack..." said a wry Jason Mercier. However, he mentioned a silver lining of a friend who started on day four with only 30,000 and ended up making the top 40.
The action folded around to the player on the button who moved his last 17,600 into the middle before Phil Hellmuth snap-called from the big blind. The all-in player showed , but found himself trailing Hellmuth's .
Both players made two pair after the dealer spread the board of , but Hellmuth had the player outkicked, thus the button was kicked out of the Main Event. There's no doubt that he is fighting back hard and it's paying off - the 11-time WSOP bracelet is now up to 55,000!
David Diaz was heads up with an opponent to see a flop of . The other player bet his remaining 15,000 chips and Diaz made the call showing . His opponent immediately flinched at the bad news and showed his . The turn and river blanked with the and as Diaz chipped up to 225,000.