Less than half of the starting field made it to Day 2 of the PokerStars.net European Poker Tour Vienna — 278 of the 587 original runners returned to the Kursalon today with British online legend Laurence "rivermanl" Houghton in pole position. By the end of the day 80 players remained, all in the money, and Team PokerStars Pro and all-around legend Daniel Negreanu was in the lead on a commanding 893,000.
Start-of-day chip leader Houghton's Day 2 run was nothing short of dreadful. Within the first couple of hands, he'd smacked pocket tens into Nima Ahary's pocket aces, and later in the day ran pocket jacks into aces to boot. He could not recover, and crashed out well outside of the money.
It looked initially as though it might be a good day for Tom Dwan, but it was not to be. After arriving six levels late for the tournament on Day 1b, Dwan made it through the day and started Day 2 on around 60,000. He boosted his stack to 160,000 at one point but lost two big coinflips in quick succession. Both times, his opponent made a set, and he eventually met his end with outkicked by Stavros Kalfas' on an ace-high flop. The one and only time that Dwan cashed in an EPT was way back in 2005 at EPT London, and he's going to have to wait a while longer for a second cash.
Other folks who joined Dwan among the ranks of the busted as the day progressed were Jake Cody, Ruben Visser, Boris Becker, Darus Suharto, Tobias Reinkemeier, Michael Keiner, Fatima de Melo and Barny Boatman. The day ended when Gianni Giaroni ran his into popular Dutch online qualifier Riekus Wijermars' on the bubble, meaning that while the youthful Wijermars scores his first ever live cash, Giaroni goes home to Italy with nothing.
The best day of all, though, was had by Daniel Negreanu. The Team PokerStars Pro started the day a little below average but propelled himself to big stack status when he found pocket aces against Szymon Pieszczoch's pocket kings. Not long after, Negreanu won a massive three-way preflop showdown with pocket tens against Adam Jerney's pocket kings and Jürgen Wenigwieser's pocket fours when a third ten dropped on the river. Jerney and Wenigwieser were eliminated, and Negreanu lurched into the chip lead. He stayed there for the rest of the evening and heads into Day 3 with 893,000, heads and shoulders above the rest of the field.
All 80 players are now guaranteed €8,000, which is nothing to sniff at, but it's the €700,000 first prize that's going to have everyone drooling. Play resumes tomorrow at noon local time when they'll be playing down to 24 players.
The PokerNews team will be on the floor right from the words shuffle-up-and-deal, so join us back here from then to find out whether Negreanu et al can make it to Day 4.