On Tuesday, the 1,880 players remaining from the first two Day 1 flights of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event returned to the Rio to play two separate but simultaneous Day 2s. At the end of the day, 800 players remained, all of whom will return for Day 3 when the three flights combine on Thursday.
Leading the way after Day 2a/b was Nick Schwarmann, who led the Day 2b field when the chips were bagged and tagged. Also among the leaders were Aage Ravn, Sergio Castelluccio, Rupert Elder and bracelet winner Jason DeWitt, who finished atop the Day 2a counts.
END-OF-DAY 2A/B COUNTS
Schwarmann emerged late in the day as one of the leaders and surpassed DeWitt at the top of the counts in the final level. The poker player from Orlando, Fla. has more than $400,000 in career live tournament earnings, including $ $191,434 for a runner-up finish in Event #38: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em (Four Handed) at this year's WSOP.
The big story of the day was the success of former Main Event champions Doyle Brunson and Greg Merson. Brunson, a two-time winner of this prestigious tournament, began Day 2 with 81,025 in chips and gradually climbed to finish the day with 224,000. In his biggest pot of the day, Brunson called a preflop raise in the cutoff, and two other players took a flop of . The big blind checked, the original better threw out a continuation bet of 6,600, and only Brunson called. The fell on the turn and this time the action was checked to Brunson, who bet out 16,000. His opponent called, and the completed the board. Brunson bet out 45,000 and his opponent quickly called, but found out the bad news when Brunson showed the for the nut straight.
Merson started with 81,650, and finished with 275,600 after a very successful day at the tables. He used some luck to get there, and it came against a familiar face. Last year, Merson eliminated Wilfried Harig in 15th place in the Main Event when his cracked Harig's after all the chips went in preflop. On Tueday, they went to battle again, only this time Merson dealt an even nastier beat to the German.
The hand began with a middle position raise to 1,800 followed by a call from Olivier Busquet playing from one seat over. Harig called as well from the hijack, then Merson reraised to 7,100 from the cutoff seat and it folded all of the way back around to Harig who called. The flop came and and Harig checked. Merson tossed out a bet of 10,700, then after a half-minute Harig check-raised to 25,000. Merson didn't waste too much time before putting out chips and declaring an all-in shove, and Harig nearly beat him into the pot.
Merson had flopped top two pair, but Harig had a set of eights and a big advantage with two cards to come. Once again, though, fate was kind to Merson as the hit the river, giving the champ a higher full house. The on the river sealed the deal, sending Harig to the rail and increasing Merson's stack to 222,000.
While some world champs thrived, other faltered. Joe Cada and Chris Moneymaker both failed to survive the day. Moneymaker was eliminated during the first level at the hands of Ivan Mamuzic. On the 10th anniversary of his Main Event win in 2003, Moneymaker was all in with against Mamuzic's . Moneymaker couldn't find a miracle, and his run was over.
Other notables playing on Day 2a/b were Gaelle Baumann, Johnny Lodden, Eugene Katchalov, Marc-Andre Ladouceur, Jonathan Karamalikis, Matt Salsberg, Jason Lester, Josh Brikis, Lee Markholt and Joe Tehan. Unfortunately for those players, the 2013 World Series of Poker is now over as they didn't make it through the day.
Plenty of others ended the day with healthy stacks, including Ravi Raghavan, Brandon Meyers, Ludovic Lacay, Annette Obrestad, Ronnie Bardah and Cliff Josephy. The Day 2a/b survivors will have a day off to rest, and Day 2c will kick off Wednesday at 12 p.m. PokerNews will have you covered all day long, so be sure to return right back here to these pages for another day from the WSOP Main Event tournament floor.