WSOP Main Event: 2,600 players qualified to Day 3, Asian hopes prosper

After the third largest field in WSOP Main Event history descended on the Rio to stake their claim to the $8,150,000 1st prize and the crown of poker world champion, 5,519 survivors from the 7,221 entrants returned for day 2 to continue their challenge.

Here is our recap of the action from day 2ab and 2c as it unfolded.

Day 2ab sees Lawrence Bayley and Mickey Craft rise to the top

The survivors from day 1a and day 1b formed the day 2ab field, which did not combine the players from the first two starting flights, but had them playing simultaneously. 2,219 began the day, with 1,023 emerging with their dreams still intact. Of those players, Mickey Craft and Lawrence Bayley will be the happiest with their days work. Craft leads the day 1a side of the room with 608,100, while Bayley leads the day 1b group with 618,000.

Marvin Rettenmeier will be bringing a strong chip stack of 359,100 through to the third day, good for 35th place on the day 2ab leader board. Further down the standings we have UK pro Charlie Carrel with 343,000, former November Niners Antoine Saout (341,400) and Ben Lamb (327,800), along with Connor Drinan, who has 315,000. Randy Lew and Jonathan Little have near identical stacks with just over 297,000, and Doug Polk made some big moves during the course of the day to finish on 287,500.

Doug Polk - Photo WSOP
Doug Polk – Photo WSOP

Two-time bracelet winner Mike Gorodinsky is also among the big stacks with 278,800, as is Mike Matusow (228,200) and bracelet winner Andy Frankenberger, who has 210,000. Billy Baxter, Greg Raymer, Scott Seiver and Josh Areh are still alive with a little above 100,000 and Christoph Vogelsang, Matthew Ashton, Tony Gregg, Liv Boeree and Yevgeniy Timoshenko all survived the day too.

Defending champion Qui Nguyen was one of the fallers during day 2ab, and was joined on the rail by other notables such as 2010 winner Jonathan Duhamel, Gaelle Baumann, 2002 champion Robert Varkonyi and Ole Schemion. The survivors from this field will go on to join the survivors from day 2C to form the field on day 3.

Artan Dedusha tops day 2c and entire field with 680,000

Day 2c saw 3,300 players take their seats, with 1,577 surviving the day. Artan Dedusha managed to find some fantastic momentum to fire his away to the top of the chip counts for the entire tournament, bagging up 680,000 chips. He was joined by other names with strong stacks such as Mustapha Kanit (260,800), Andre Akkari (228,500), Brian Rast (212,700), Chino Rheem (205,000), Davidi Kitai (201,500) and former 3rd place finisher Joseph Cheong with (180,300). Isaac Haxton and Scotty Nguyen are hovering near the 150,000 mark, with Allen Cunningham, Matt Affleck, Rep Porter and Jason Mercier also still going strong further down the order.

Notable Asian stacks from the day 2 fields.

Asian players have continued to shine through the second day, with numerous players, some notable and some lesser known, climbing the leader board.

Japan: Naoya Kihara still in contention

Naoya Kihara’s hopes remain in good shape, as he holds 205,100 at the end of the second day, but he is no longer the biggest Japanese stack in the field, having been overtaken by Koji Kinugasa (208,800), Jun Obara (281,900) and Kazuma Tanaka (353,400).

India: Aditya Agarwal and Nikita Luther make it to day 3

India every has reason to feel excited about their prospects, with Rahul Byrraju bagging the 21st biggest stack in the tournament with 467,900. He is followed further down the list by Rohan Dhawan (229,500), Akshit Madan (185,500), Nikita Luther (150,500) and Aditya Agarwal with 129,000.

Australia: James Obst strong again!

Australia’s hops also remain strong, with former champion Joe Hachem still in the mix with 134,700. He is currently out-chipped by James Obst (175,200) but is ahead of other Australian notables such as Matthew Wakeman (96,700), Jackie Glazer (84,000), Jonathan Karamalikis (50,000) and Alex Lynskey (43,300). Martin Kozlov and Jeff Lisandro are also still alive, but very short.

James Obst - Photo
James Obst – Photo

Chinese players climbing the leaderboard

Meanwhile, Chinese players are climbing the leaderboard and leaving their mark on this event. Yaxi Zhu leads the Chinese contingent with 323,800 and is closely followed by Jingwei Zhang who has 315,000. Further down is Yiming Li (296,330), Zheng Shen (265,200), Yueqi Zhu (153,500), Quan Zhou (125,000) and Jian Chen with 89,700.

Other notable Asian stacks

Other notable Asian stacks still in the hunt include Yo-Seb Rhee (321,000), Marc Rivera (316,300), Huidong Gu (125,900), Hon Cheong Lee (89,600), James Chen (59,000), Kitty Kuo (50,300) and Park Yu Cheung (32,600).

2,600 players will return tomorrow to contest the WSOP Main Event of 2017.

Article by Craig Bradshaw