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2015 WSOP Day 43: Champs Fall and Amar Anand Grabs Lead On Day 2ab of the Main Event

Anand Amar
  • 2015 WSOP Main Event Day 2a/b: Just 650 players survive with Silicon Valley's Amar Anand grabbing the chip lead.

  • Plenty of big names fell on Day 2a/b of the 2015 WSOP Main Event including Brian Rast, Phil Galfond & Jason Mercier

The first of two Day 2's in the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event kicked off at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Wednesday. The 470 survivors from Day 1a and 1,154 from Day 1b returned with plans to play five two-hour levels in separate rooms.

Day 1b chip leader Hamid Feiz came in with the lead on 182,675 while 2015 WSOP bracelet winner William Kakon brought 152,325 in chips and the Day 1a lead into play.

Almost 200 players busted before the day's first level was through, including 2003 WSOP Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker. In the meantime, Canadian Charles Sylvestre pushed past the 200,000-chip post and into the lead. Sylvestre held that lead through the next level as another couple hundred players hit the rail, including two more former champs, Johnny Chan and Dan Harrington.

The dinner break came after the day's third level, but not before another Canadian moved to the top of the counts. Joe Lu pushed over the 400,000-chip mark flopping the nut-straight in a massive four-way pot to climb the ladder.

Amar Anand used the post dinner break level to win more than his fair share of flips and become the first player up to half a million in chips. In the meantime, Carlos Mortensen became yet another former Main Event winner to go broke. That left under 800 total players heading into the final level of the night, and by the time all was said and done, approximately 650 remained.

Hollywood came into Day 2 well represented with Academy Award nominees Jennifer Tilly and James Woods in the field, unfortunately both busted before the day was done.

Anand pushed up to 603,500 in chips once five levels were through, winning a ton of pots in the final level without showdown and bagging the chip lead. Originally inspired by Moneymaker's 2003 Main Event win, this is actually the fourth time the 27-year-old University of Michigan computer science and economics grad has played the Main Event. He said last year he busted seven spots off the money.

Born and raised in Shrewbury, Massachusetts, Anand now calls San Fransisco, California home and works in Silicon Valley having been employed by industry leaders Facebook, Twitter and now Airbnb. He said bagging such a big stack takes all the pressure off.

"It's actually less stressful having the chip lead," he told PokerNews. "You can play a little more aggressive without ever having to put all your stack at risk."

Also among the notables that bagged big stacks heading into Day 3 were two time 2015 WSOP bracelet winner Brian Hastings, 2014 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker main event winner Fedor Holtz, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel and 2014 WSOP Player of the Year George Danzer.

The day's 650-odd survivors will return to play Day 3 Friday. In the meantime the 2,747 players who survived Tuesday's Day 1c will resume play at 12 p.m. local time Thursday for Day 1c.

Here's a look at the unofficial top 10 stacks bagged on Day 2ab:

Top 10 Chip Counts

1Amar Anand603,500
2Calvin Lee500,700
3Luther Tran479,700
4Charles Chattha423,600
5Alan Mastic400,000
6Sotirios Koutoupas390,000
7William Molson370,300
8Joe Lu355,000
9Mel Wiener355,000
10Jake Cody341,100

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