Triton Million - A Helping Hand for Charity, the richest poker tournament in history, saw another day filled with action, suspense, and tense battles as the returning 36 players were whittled down to the final eight - all who still have a shot at the astounding £19,000,000 first-place prize.
India's Vivek Rajkumar had a day to remember for a long time after he ran up a stack worth 18,000,000 for a clear lead at the top.
Rajkumar will not only be representing himself but will also be flying the flag for Rick Salomon, the man who invited him to play this prestigious event.
"I'm a little bit tired, but obviously, I'm excited!" said Rajkumar speaking after the play concluded. "It's a pretty cool feeling, but I mean everyone else just has to play their stacks you know."
"It's a unique feeling getting deep in a tournament with this high of stakes, I love it!" he added.
As the level of play intensified, Rajkumar admitted he didn't have a specific Day 2 strategy but felt he adapted well to the changing circumstances.
England's all-time money list leader Stephen Chidwick sits behind Rajkumar in the counts after the Brit bagged up 9,790,000. Chidwick was the sole professional representative on his Day 2 starting table and was able to claim chips from his recreational counterparts from the start.
Canada's Timothy Adams (5,735,000) and America's Bryn Kenney (5,540,000) are no strangers to playing the highest tournament stakes, and once again find themselves making a final table appearance, albeit with much more on the line this time around.
The event had the room for a surprise name to make a deep run with the added invitational event format, and it would seem it could be Alfred DeCarolis (5,455,000). The American businessman only has one live tournament cash to his name, after a third-place finish in the 2014 WSOP $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em event for $290,622, but is well in contention.
China's Aaron Zang (5,060,000) and the American duo of Dan Smith (2,350,000) and Bill Perkins (2,000,000) complete the stellar line-up.
Final Table Seat Draw
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|2||Bryn Kenney||United States||5,540,000||46|
|3||Alfred DeCarolis||United States||5,455,000||45|
|6||Bill Perkins||United States||2,000,000||17|
|7||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||9,790,000||82|
|8||Dan Smith||United States||2,350,000||20|
|Position||Prize (GBP)||Prize (USD)|
Day 2 Action
The opening two levels of the day saw ten hopefuls hit the rail, five professionals and five recreational.
partypoker pros Timofey Kuznetsov and Jason Koon as well as Andrew Robl, Matthias Eibinger, and Martin Kabrhel were joined at the rail by Sosia Jiang, Orpen Kisacikoglu, Stanley Choi, Ivan Leow and Rob Yong.
partypoker partner Yong exited at the hands of Chidwick minutes before the first break. Yong got the rest of his twenty big blind stack into the middle on an ace-eight-five flop, holding ace-deuce for top pair, only to see Chidwick reveal a set of eights. The deuce on the turn gave Yong brief hope of survival, but those dreams were ended after the river card changed nothing.
Tan Xuan, and Rui Cao exited before a brutal set-over-set situation saw the in-form Danny Tang lose his tournament life in a massive 6,000,000 chip pot against Zang.
Triton regular Sam Greenwood saw his ace-king fail to hold against ace-jack, before Qiang Wang, Yu Liang, Tony G, Cary Katz and Mikita Badziakouski also departed.
All-time money list leader Justin Bonomo was playing for the opportunity to increase his lead but ultimately saw his momentum fall. The American's final hand saw pocket eights lose a race against ace-queen after all the chips went in preflop.
The action heated up for the final 16 with the pressure of the looming money bubble increasing. Hing Yang Chow, Ferdinand Putra, and Nick Petrangelo exited, with Petrangelo seeing his chip stack moving across to the ever-building Rajkumar. Petrangelo held pocket jacks on an eight-deuce-deuce flop, but the American was unable to hold when all the money went into the middle, and Rajkumar improved to the nut flush on the turn.
The European contingent decreased further when Germany's Christoph Vogelsang exited before a hand occurred that would pave the way for the money bubble to burst.
Igor Kurganov, holding pocket tens, and Bill Perkins, with the superior pocket jacks, got it all in preflop, with Kurganov holding the slight chip advantage. Perkins hit a set on the turn to increase his lead, and Kurganov was left with just two big blinds. The Russian found himself all in from the big blind minutes later, and his seven-four was unable to improve against pocket sixes.
Kurganov was the unfortunate bubble boy and faced the slow walk from the feature stage, knowing the remaining eleven were all guaranteed a prize of at least £1,100,000.
With the pressure lowered somewhat and the action resumed, three quick-fire eliminations occurred to bring a hasty end to the proceedings.
Winfred Yu (11th-£1,100,000) put his last six big blind into the middle with ace-three and got the call from big blind Rajkumar holding queen-deuce. The board fell king-nine-five-queen-nine, and unfortunately for Yu, Rajkumar's catch on the turn was enough to secure the pot, and consign Yu's name to the payouts list.
Chin Wei Lim (10th-£1,100,000) then saw his run come to an end at the hands of Bryn Kenney after a classic flip. Lim held pocket fives and was up against ace-king. Kenney received the perfect flop after the cards fell queen-jack-ten for the nuts, and Lim was unable to find a miracle comeback.
With nine players remaining, and the play all set to finish for the day, one more hand was still in progress on the other table and ultimately made for a dramatic ending.
Wai Leong Chan (9th-£1,200,000) moved all in with ace-deuce and saw Timothy Adams wake up with ace-nine. The cards ran out ten-five-four-six-jack which signaled the end for Chan and meant just eight players would return to battle on the final table at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, August 3.
Join us back here at PokerNews for all the continued action from London, as the biggest prize in poker is awarded!