After enjoying a day off, the survivors of a record-setting day 1C field at the 2017 World Series of Poker main event returned to the Rio in Las Vegas on Wednesday. After five, two-hour levels, the 3,300 remaining players were whittled down, leaving just 2,572 remaining when the fields combine for day 3 on Thursday.
Leading the way will be London-based Artan Dedusha, who ran away from the field on day 2C to bag up 680,000 in chips. He is one of three players from Great Britain in the top five. Lawrence Bayley sits in second with 618,000 and Richard Gryko is in fourth with 564,800.
But perhaps the most feared player left in the tournament is Ryan Hughes, who is enjoying a monster summer with five top-10 cashes and 15 overall. Hughes, who has two bracelets in seven card stud eight-or-better from 2007 and 2008, is currently in fourth place in the WSOP Player of the Year race and looking to leap over Chris Ferguson (3rd), John Racener (2nd) and John Monnette (1st).
Both Ferguson and Racener have been eliminated from the main event, but Monnette is still in the hunt, bagging up 70,300 going into day 3. Other WSOP POY contenders with a shot include Alex Foxen (8th) who has 120,700, James Obst (9th) with 175,200, and Bryce Yockey (10th) with 122,600.
Husband and wife team Jason Mercier and Natasha Barbour Mercier both managed to advance to day 3, however it is seven-months pregnant Natasha (476,800), not five-time bracelet winner Jason (101,800) who is in the top 20.
Other notables sporting big stacks to start day 3 include Nick Petrangelo (480,300), Grayson Ramage (471,000), Jared Hamby (455,600), Joe Serock (423,000), Eric Blair (421,100), Andy Hwang (413,000), Thomas Muehloecker (410,000), Steven van Zadelhoff (408,300), Dan Colpoys (404,000), Jared Jaffee (399,500), Matthias De Meulder (48th) and Justin Liberto (50th).
Past main event champions moving on include Carlos Mortensen, Joseph Cada, Scotty Nguyen and Johnny Chan. Unfortunately, a number of past champions also hit the rail during play, including Joe McKeehen, Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess and the aforementioned Ferguson. Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, J.C. Tran, Bertrand Grospellier, Maria Ho and Gus Hansen were also felted.
All three starting fields will combine for the first time on Thursday at 11 a.m. to make up the day 3 field.
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.