The Casino at the Empire welcomed back 195 Main Event runners to Day 2 of the WSOPE Main Event; in the lead were Irish Open champion James Mitchell and November Nine member John Dolan. By the end of six levels, the number on the board had fallen to 66, with young Swedish sensation Viktor Blom in the lead on 443,000, just pipping Bojan Gledovic's 442,300. Also in the top ten heading into Day 3 among this extraordinarily high-quality field are Andrew Pantling (344,000), Phil Ivey (289,300) and Arnaud Mattern (280,900). A little further down the counts but still in the running are Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Huck Seed, Roland de Wolfe, and Daniel Negreanu, the latter hoping to make his third consecutive WSOPE Main Event final table, and improve on last year's second place.
Phil Ivey took an early chip lead courtesy of Day 1a chip leader Nicolas Levi when Ivey's made the nut flush on a board. Then an hour or two later, Ivey knocked out former 2007 Main Event finalist and fellow big stack James Keys to put him head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Ivey couldn't quite hang on to the lead towards the end of the day, but maintained a big stack to the end of play goes into Day 3 sixth in chips.
If the early part of the day was dominated by Ivey, the latter part belonged to Viktor Blom. The emo-haired Swede, who it has long been speculated is the man behind the "Isildur1" avatar, spent most of the day seated at what quickly became dubbed the Table of Death - Jon Aguiar noted that 11 players laid down their tournament lives at that table in the first three and a half levels, and that most of their chips eventually ended up in Blom's stack. The elimination of Charles "Mr. Macau" Chua - Blom's sevens flopped a set to crack Chua's aces - was the hand that propelled Blom from a mere big stack into a big chip leader, and he stayed at the top of the counts for the rest of the day.
Three current November Niners - John Racener, Filippo Candio and John Dolan - made Day 2, and by a curious twist of fate, Candio and Dolan were seated at the same table. Dolan has three times as many chips as Candio going into the November Nine, and likewise Dolan fared rather better than Candio today. Candio was crippled in doubling up Tyler Bonkowski and exited shortly after. Dolan meanwhile goes through to Day 3, albeit with a below-average stack.
The sea of bustees by the end of the day included former WSOPE Main Event champions John Juanda (2008) and Barry Shulman (2009); Carlos Mortensen, Praz Bansi, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Kathy Liebert, and Antonio Esfandiari also left this Main Event with nothing. £10,000 High Roller Heads Up finalist Jim "Mr_BigQueso" Collopy also busted, and with his fellow finalist Gus Hansen having busted on Day 1b, the deciding match of the final has now been rescheduled for 6:00 p.m. tomorrow.
Play resumes at noon when the plan is to let the field whittle itself down to 27 players - and we've still got the bubble to go at 36 players. Join us back at PokerNews, and we'll bring you all the news from Ivey, Negreanu, Blom et al, direct to your computer.
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