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2014 WSOP Day 43: Tim Stansifer Tops Main Event Day 2a/b; Esfandiari, Moneymaker Thrive

It was a “two-fer Tuesday” in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event yesterday as two different Day 1 flights separately continued their tournaments. A total of 1,933 players returned — the 505 survivors from Day 1a, and the 1,428 from Day 1b — and after another day of play just 817 players remained from both groups led by Tim Stansifer of Rockledge, Florida who ended the night with a big stack of 481,500.

Those 817 have now earned seats for Thursday’s Day 3 and will be joined by those making it through today’s Day 2c — the last Day 2 flight — when at last the entire Main Event field will be combined. A total of 2,571 players will be starting Day 2c today.

The 505 players who played Day 2a were seated in the Amazon room on Tuesday where they remained all day, while the 1,428 players of Day 2b played out the day in the Brasilia and Pavilion rooms. From the Day 2a group 215 survived, while 603 made it through to the end of Day 2b.

Others ending play on Tuesday near the top of the Day 2a/b leaderboard included Tom Cannuli (407,800), Tony Ruberto (402,700), and Joe Kuether (402,700). Kuether was leading near evening’s end, having pushed up over the 400,000-chip mark before anyone else after making a flush to crack an opponent’s pocket kings. But it would be Stansifer enjoying a late-night rush to grab the top spot among the Tuesday players.

Kyle Keranen would also move up to claim a spot high in the counts after ending the night with 358,000. Keranen had a deep run in the Main Event two years when he finished 38th for a $191,646 cash, and was in fact the chip leader with 97 players left to end Day 5.

Here’s a look at the top stacks to end Day 2a/b:

2014 Main Event End of Day 2a/b Top 10 Chip Counts

PositionPlayerChips
1Tim Stansifer481,500
2Thomas Cannuli407,800
3Tony Ruberto402,700
4Joe Kuether401,200
5Cai Zhen367,900
6John Sacha364,400
7Munir Shahin361,900
8Kyle Keranen358,000
9Timothy Reilly354,500
10Thomas Roupe349,600

Martin Jacobson of Sweden began Day 2a/b with the most chips of any of those returning yesterday, and he continued to thrive to end play with 342,700, putting him just outside the end-of-day top 10.

Other players positioning themselves well to enter Day 3 included Paul Tedeschi (336,600), Grayson Ramage (285,100), and Antonio Esfandiari (277,800) who managed to build his stack while still taking time to visit with PokerNews and the Global Poker Index for a Live Google Hangout yesterday.

Abe Mosseri (260,500), Mikiyo Aoki (260,000), David Paredes (258,000), Tom Middleton (252,400), and Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em winner Jonathan Dimmig (248,200) likewise did a lot of chip-collecting on Tuesday.

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2003 Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker entered the last level of the night with just 62,000, but a successful finish helped him end with 220,000 and a healthy stack. Among others advancing were Jeff Madsen (217,000), Angel Guillen (193,100), Layne Flack (186,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (173,200), Phil Galfond (165,900), Ryan Julius (144,100), Mark Radoja (134,000), Erik Seidel (130,600), 1996 Main Event champ Huck Seed (96,500), last year’s Main Event champ Ryan Riess (84,900), two-time WSOP Main Event champ Johnny Chan (46,600), last year’s runner-up Jay Farber (37,600), start-of-Day-2b leader Trey Luxemburger (34,000), Jim McManus (25,200), and Taylor Paur (24,500).

Meanwhile many notables saw their 2014 Main Event runs come to an early end on Tuesday. 2012 Main Event champion Greg Merson began the day on a feature table where he was seated with Moneymaker, but Merson would hit the rail early after running his {A-Spades}{9-Spades} into Justin Scott’s {A-}{Q-} and failing to improve.

Joining Merson on the Day 2a/b rail would be Matt Affleck, Josh Arieh, Mike Sexton, Dan Harrington, Dennis Phillips, Michiel Brummelhuis, Mike Matusow, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Amanda Musumeci, Vanessa Selbst, Tom McEvoy, Annette Obrestad, Kristy Arnett, and Igor Kurganov.

The two current leaders in the 2014 WSOP Player of the Year race also saw their Main Events conclude on Tuesday, as both front-runner Brandon Shack-Harris and his nearest current challenger George Danzer were eliminated.

On Tap

As mentioned, today the 2,571 who survived Monday’s Day 1c will be coming back to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino to play out Day 2c, with five 120-minute levels scheduled.

Eric Tracy returns to the chip lead among that group after having bagged the most chips of anyone on Day 1 with 206,175, while Phil Ivey begins Day 2c with the next-biggest stack of 187,025.

Video of the Day

There has been a lot of talk of late concerning the promotion of poker and particularly the role of players in that regard, especially those who are successful in poker’s most prominent events. Sarah Grant caught up with Chris Moneymaker during a break yesterday, and among the topics they discussed was one with which he’s quite familiar — the idea of being an “ambassador” for poker. Take a look at what he had to say:

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