A full day of poker has come to an end on Day 2 of Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em with just 26 players moving on to the penultimate day of play. The final three tables were reached in the last few hands of the night and a full redraw was done as players bagged their chips.
While there were plenty of movers and shakers throughout the day, one thing remained constant on the leaderboard and that was the stack of Baitai Li. After bagging the Day 1 chip lead, Li bagged the Day 2 lead as well with a stack of 1,686,000 in search of his first World Series of Poker hardware.
Things got off to a bit of a rough start for Li when he doubled up Ryan Olisar in the opening levels. Li flopped a set of queens but Olisar turned a straight and all of the chips got in the middle on the river. Olisar took over the chip lead for a short time but it didn't take long for Li to rise to the top again. At one point in the day, Li had his tablemates baffled by how many pots he was winning. "He wins with the nuts and he wins when he's bluffing," one player said.
It seems fitting that Olisar also bagged one of the top stacks of the day. Olisar finished the day with 1,396,000, good enough for third on the leaderboard. Olisar brought an end to Bryan Piccioli's tournament in the last few hands of the night when Piccioli three-bet shoved ace-ten into Olisar's pocket aces. The other player with a stack in the seven-figure mark is Michael Finstein who bagged up 1,411,000 chips.
A few more notables to make it through to Day 3 include Ari Engel (815,000), Barny Boatman (722,000), David "Bakes" Baker (688,000), Kenny Hallaert (526,000), and Kristen Bicknell (385,000). When they return to the felt, each of them will be guaranteed to walk away with $12,244 while the winner will walk away with $427,399.
When the action kicked off at 1 p.m. local time, there were 201 players that returned to the felt. With only 150 players reaching the money, it wouldn't take long to get down to the money bubble. In the first hand on the bubble, Imari Love three-bet all in with pocket kings and was called by Carlos Padila's ace-queen. An ace on the river would send Love to the rail and the remaining players were all guaranteed at least $3,746.
From there, the short stacks were quick to bust and the field was narrowed down in a hurry. Some of the big names to fall early included Michael Soyza, Marvin Rettenmaier, Michael Addamo, Tony Dunst, Thomas Boivin, and Alex Lynskey. By the time the dinner break came around, only 53 players still remained.
A lot of people had their eyes on 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson who built up a healthy stack to start the day. Unfortunately for him, his tournament came to an end in 38th place. Jacobson shoved his 10 big blind stack with king-queen but was called by the pocket tens of Gal Yifrach. Jacobson couldn't find any help on the board and was sent to the payout desk.
As the tournament was winding down on Day 2, it was a sweat to see if there would be a final three-table redraw. As the tournament clock hit 10 minutes remaining, Piccioli was eliminated in 28th place. There were four more hands played at each table and Josip Simunic found himself heading to the payout desk as well. That left just 26 players to return for Day 3 tomorrow.
The action will resume at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Amazon gold section with the blinds at 8,000/16,000 and a 16,000 big blind ante. The levels will continue to be 60 minutes in length with a 15-minute break after every two levels. The schedule indicates that play will stop when the final six players are reached, but that could still be up for discussion based on the pace of play.
Follow along with the PokerNews live reporting team to see who will reach the final table and have a shot at a WSOP gold bracelet.