2021 WSOP Main Event: $62M prize pool; Moneymaker, Hellmuth, Hachem survive Day 2; Abhinav Iyer, Pete Chen, SJ Kim, Norbert Koh, Phachara Wongwichit among 71 Asians left

Photo Credit – WSOP

For the past week, all the action at the 52nd World Series of Poker was focused on the highly anticipated $10,000 Main Event NL Hold’em World Championship. Now that the rush has calmed, the official player count was 6,650 which was incredibly impressive given the vaccination mandate and challenges faced by many international travelers. This created a prize pool of US$ 62,011,250 of which 1,000 players would eventually benefit. At the completion of the two Day 2 heats, 2,362 remained with eight Main Event champions, 71 Asian players, and a long list of highly decorated pros from all over the world. Here is an overview of the Day 2 results and event tally.

Main Event prize pool and payouts

Buy in: US$ 10,000
Players: 6,650
Prize pool: US$ 62,011,250
ITM: 1,000 places

Although the final table is still five days away, each of the finalists will walk away with seven figures while on the opposite end, min-cash is US$ 15,000.

Final table payouts

1st US$ 8,000,000
2nd US$ 4,300,000
3rd US$ 3,000,000
4th US$ 2,300,000
5th US$ 1,800,000
6th US$ 1,400,000
7th US$ 1,225,000
8th US$ 1,100,000
9th US$ 1,000,000

Main Event champions and stack size

Chris Moneymaker, Photo Credit – WSOP

Chris Moneymaker – USA – 531,600 – 221 BB
Qui Nguyen – USA – 479,100 – 199 BB
Martin Jacobson – Sweden – 288,100 – 120 BB
Jerry Yang – USA – 57,500 – 24 BB
Scott Blumstein – USA – 50,800 – 21 BB
Joe Hachem – Australia – 50,800 – 21 BB
Phil Hellmuth – USA – 25,400 – 10 BB

2003 Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker, famous worldwide for turning his US$ 39 online satellite ticket to a US$ 2.5 Million golden victory, hasn’t produced significant series results since that win, however that may all change as he enters Day 3 carrying the biggest stack among fellow Main Event champions. He ended Day 2 ranked 30th overall. Also backed by a mountain of chips are 2016 champion Qui Nguyen and 2014 champion Martin Jacobson. 2005 Main Event champion Joe Hachem nurtured a big stack for most of Day 2 until his pocket tens ran into pocket kings. From there, his stack continued to drop to close with 21 BB. As for two time Main Event champion Phil Hellmuth, it will be a hard grind if he aims to rein in another title. Hellmuth will return with a stack of just 10 BB.

Notable Asians and stack size

Pete Chen, Photo Credit – WSOP

Bracelet winners remaining
Abhinav Iyer – India – 410,900 – 171 BB
Sejin Park – Korea – 345,700 – 144 BB
Yueqi Zhu – China – 292,800 – 122 BB
Pete Chen – Taiwan – 206,500 – 86 BB
Kazuki Ikeuchi – Japan – 105,800 – 44 BB
Nipun Java – India – 50,100 – 21 BB

Asia has yet to see one of their own capture the most treasured championship title. Coming Day 3, that hope lies on the 71 remaining players. Among them are six bracelet winners headed by India’s Abhinav Iyer with a substantial 171 BB stack. Also bringing in intimidating big stacks are Korea’s Sejin Park and China’s Yueqi Zhu. For Taiwan’s Pete Chen, he had a swinging Day 2 that saw his stack drop to 20 BB before recovering to close with 86 BB.

In addition to the bracelet holders, other Asian contenders include Korean pros Steve Yea, Hwany Lee, Daewoong Song, Seungmook Jung, Jeonggyu Cho, Soo Jo Kim who delivered a double knockout midway through Day 2, and Jaeyoung Choi who carries in the largest stack of 204 BB among all the Asian qualifiers.

Also in are Las Vegas residents/ Taiwanese pros Kitty Kuo and Joanne “JJ” Liu, the lone Singaporean Norbert Koh, Thailand players Phachara Wongwichit and Punnat Punsri, a handful of Indian players that include Aditya Agarwal and Vidur Sethi. Japan continues to bring in the most players with Tamon Nakamura one of the remaining contenders. For the Philippines, all the pros departed in Day 2 however all was not lost with Jerwin Pasco advancing with a healthy 118 BB stack. James Mendoza also powered through with a big stack of 165 BB, however he flies under the American flag. Two players from Hong Kong also survived, Chi Sing “Steven” Au and Hyung Sun Jung.

Decorated players into Day 3

Among the mass of sluggers returning for Day 3, it won’t be a surprise to see bracelet winners and well-known pros at every table. Some of the returnees are Barry Greenstein, Billy Baxter, Michael Mizrachi, Eli Elezra, Mike Matusow, Mustapha Kanit, Jason Koon, Chris Moorman, Yuri Dzivielevski, Ben Yu, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Liv Boeree, Niklas Astedt, and two time series winners Josh Arieh, Anthony Zinno, and Kevin Gerhart. Arieh currently leads the WSOP Player of the Year race, Zinno is ranked third, and Gerhart is ranked fifth.

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you updates and recaps of the ongoing series.

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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