It's been a high-speed two rounds of heads-up hold'em in the Empire, and from 103 hopefuls we are down to just 32.
Some lucky folks arrived to discover that their scheduled opponent was the elusive "BYE" - among those who progressed straight to Round 2 were Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and John Juanda - of those three, though, only Lederer progressed to Day 2.
Tom "durrrr" Dwan, Michael Mizrachi and Phil Hellmuth were among the other big names who won't be seeing their £10,000 again. Among the famous faces who did get through their one or two matches and will be looking to turn their £10,000 into £288,409, though, are Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Neil Channing.
Only 16 places pay out, meaning that half the remaining field will have to return tomorrow only to leave with nothing. The stacks are going to be bigger, and the blind levels longer, at 30 minutes. Tomorrow we'll also be playing three rounds instead of the two we played today, meaning that we're in for a late one - but it's shaping up to be a very interesting tournament so far.
Join us back here from 3pm local time when we'll be playing down to a semi-final.
After yet again fighting through the longest match of the session, Mike Matusow finally succumbed to the top pair of Ilari Sahamies to bring our second day of heads-up action to a close. Sahamies bet 6,300 on the flop, called by Matusow. On the turn Matusow immediately tipped his remaining stack over the line. It was called quickly, and Sahamies now having gained a very slight chip lead now found his on the brink of winning him the match.
"Pair and a flush draw," said Matusow, and that's what he showed: . "Diamond or a seven..."
But the river was the and after a quick countdown Matusow drifted towards one group of friends on the rail while Sahamies drifted towards another, to return tomorrow.
Sahamies had actually evened the stacks when he check-called 2,400 from Mike Matusow on the flop. He checked the turn as well and this time Matusow bet 4,100. Sahamies finally folded, and the chip lead (slight though it was) returned to Matusow.
Ilari Sahamies was just saved on the river when his out-kicked was a whisker away from sending him to the rail courtesy of Mike Matusow's . On the turn there was some out-of-seat expectancy: ... and the river was the . Only a brief flicker of frustration for Matusow who just doubled him to 46,000 and carried on.
Meanwhile Ziigmund continues to have what looks like a forehead-only massage which seems pretty robust - his face and scalp resemblings at times a sphinx cat.
With the demise of Will Failla to Yevgeniy Timoshenko, we are down to just one table upstairs - and just like in Round 1, it's Mike Matusow who's holding up proceedings, as it were. He's done a fone job of whittling down Ilari Sahamies' stack, but they're still going, Matusow holding around 95,000 to Sahamies' 25,000. With the chips thus distributed, there's going to have a showdown soon - although one double up for Sahamies and we could be here all night.