Such was the enormity of Anson Tsang's chip lead late on Day 2 of Event #45: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, that wagers and prop bets were being made on him not to make the final table with over 40 players still left.
Tsang held an eighth of the chips in play after eliminating Dominykas Karmazinas two off the money and held on through the bubble to secure the chip lead heading into Day 3, bagging up 4,775,000.
Closely behind Tsang is James Chen who managed to hold onto Tsang's coattails as he rocketed up the leaderboard. Just 39 players remain from the 278 that entered the tournament - a record for this event - and each is guaranteed $37,635 after the money bubble burst on Day 2.
Behind them there is a big gap to 2019 bracelet-winner Alex Epstein (2,450,000), who took down the inaugural $10,000 Short Deck event, Firas Sadou (2,430,000) and Robert Mizrachi (2,245,000). These are the only players above 2,000,000 in chips.
Former bracelet winners Erik Seidel (1,535,000), Paul Volpe (905,000), Justin Bonomo (815,000), Matthew Schreiber (700,000), Ryan Laplante (485,000), Ryan Tosoc (365,000), Michael Drummond (185,000) and former Main Event champion Joe Hachem (215,000) are also through to Day 3.
Tsang Eyes Bracelet Number Two
Tsang won his first WSOP bracelet last year in the Czech Republic, winning Event #7: €2,200 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed in Rozvadov for €91,730. That was his largest WSOP cash since finishing 10th in the $10,000 PLO-8 Championship last summer, but he has since surpassed it with a third-place finish in the inaugural $10,000 Short Deck Championship where he cashed for $130,482.
Now holding the chip lead and with a taste for deep runs in a variety of WSOP events, Tsang is looking for bracelet number two in the most prestigious Pot-limit Omaha tournament in the world.
Day 2 Recap
Registration was still open for two more levels at the start of Day 2, with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Craig Varnell, Cary Katz, Norbert Szecsi, Bryn Kenney, Kahle Burns, Brian Rast, Stephen Chidwick and Daniel Alaei jumping into the field bringing the tournament to a total of 278 entries.
Start-of-day chip leader Keith Lehr had a tough time of it, eventually eliminated by Chidwick midway through the day. By this point, as is the way with the 'great game' of Pot-Limit Omaha, the chip leader was jumping around from player to player and was yet to settle in one particular spot.
However, Micah Smith, Wasim Korkis and Sam Snead were among a select few to breach the one million chip mark, as Tony G, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Hastings, Ben Lamb, and Bryce Yockey were eliminated.
By dinner just 73 players remained and 42 places would be paid. A min-cash would be worth $37,635 with both the winner and runner-up earning seven-figure pay days.
Ludovic Geilich took over the chip lead, but handed over chips to James Chen in a number of spots as the two battled back and forth. However, after Chen sent both Julien Martini and The Nguyen to the rail in a single hand, he moved into a commanding chip lead.
As the pace of eliminations slowed, players implored the floor to start hand-for-hand two off the money and he did so. However, that didn't stop the elimination of Dominykas Karmazinas at the hands of Tsang. Both players had turned the nut straight, but Tsang improved his additional two pair to a full house to eliminate Karmazinas and take over the chip lead.
Tsang didn't rest on his laurels, he pushed ahead prior to the bubble bursting. And although Chen would burst the bubble, sending Zachary Hyman to the rail, the Hong Kong player held on to secure the overall chip lead.
There was still time for a handful of eliminations before players bagged for the evening, with Toby Lewis (42nd), Sebastian Bastian (41st) and Dario Sammartino (40th) all eliminated taking home a min-cash worth $37,635.
For the remaining 39 players, they will return at 2 p.m. local time on 21st June to play down to a final table of six. Stay tuned to PokerNews for all the action as we bring you more live WSOP action.