A total of 2,219 players returned to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino for day 2AB of the 2017World Series of Poker main event. After playing five two-hour levels there are now only 1,023 players remaining to battle it out for the bracelet, the title of world champion and the $8,150,000 first-place prize.
Lawrence Bayley is the outright chip leader from the day 2AB, which saw the survivors of day 1A and day 1B play concurrently, although the two fields were still separate. Bayley, who bagged 618,000, is from the United Kingdom and has six-figures in prior tournament earnings. His largest career score was for $47,120 when he finished fourth in the 2015 UKIPT London main event. The only other player to exceed the 600,000 mark was American Mickey Craft, who ended the night with 608,100.
Grayson Ramage was one of the largest stacks in the room at the end of the night with 471,000. Ramage has had deep runs in the WSOP main event before, finishing 35th in 2009 and 80th in 2013. This summer he has accumulated three cashes at the series, including a seventh-place showing in the $10,000 six-max no-limit hold’em championship.
Other notables to survive to day 3 with big stacks included Jared Hamby (455,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (359,100), Charlie Carrel (343,000), two-time bracelet winner Mike Gorodinsky (340,000), 2016 WSOP main event sixth-place finisher Kenny Hallaert (331,800), Cherish Andrews (330,700), Melanie Weisner (319,400), two-time World Poker Tour main event winner Jonathan Little (297,300), three-time bracelet winner Doug Polk (287,500), four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow (228,200), Ryan D’Angelo (265,700) and two-time bracelet winner Barry Shulman (108,400). 2009 WSOP main event fifth-place finisher Jeff Shulman ended the day with 92,200.
Four prior winners of the WSOP main event also made it through to day 3, including Joe Hachem (134,700), Greg Raymer (106,400), and Tom McEvoy (29,600).
Of course, not everyone could survive the day. More than a thousand players were eliminated from the event today, including none other than defending champion Qui Nguyen. The 2016 WSOP main event champ topped a field of 6,737 players last year, but he was not able to use his aggressive approach to the same effect this time around.
Nguyen got involved in a big pot early on in the day, clashing with 2009 WSOP main event ninth-place finisher James Akenhead. Nguyen got all-in on the turn holding the KClub SuitQHeart Suit on a KSpade Suit10Spade Suit7Club Suit8Club Suit.
Akenhead had a pair and a flush draw with the QSpade Suit7Spade Suit. The river completed Akenhead’s flush with the JSpade Suit, securing him the six-figure pot and sending the Nguyen to the rail.
Nguyen was far from the only notable player to be eliminated on day 2AB. Other big names to bust include six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack, Christian Harder, Shannon Shorr, Jon Turner, Ronnie Bardah and Gaelle Baumann, who won a sick hand against Vanessa Selbst on day 1b with quads.
Three prior champions of this event also fell today: 2014 WSOP main event winner Martin Jacobson, 2010 champion Jonathan Duhamel and 2002 WSOPmain event winner Robert Varkonyi.
Those players that did make it through the day will return for day 3 on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. local time.
For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2017 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.