While the turnout of 74 players is the smallest in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship history, the record-low attendance has been well compensated by the appearance of two iconic players: Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.
After a tumultuous day at the felt, Ivey managed to catapult himself into pole position late in the day, leading the last 38 players at the end of Day 2.
With 1,254,000 in his bag and 10 bracelets under his belt, Ivey is a hot candidate to earn his fourth PPC cash. This year's champion will take home $1,099,311 but it's still early to discuss the top prizes.
Only 12 players will walk away with a profit and it's likely that Day 3 will bring the tournament close to the bubble but not into the money.
Having spent more time playing poker in Asia than on American soil in the last few years, Ivey and Dwan have been welcome attractions to the PPC field. While Ivey had already made his return to WSOP last year, Dwan hasn't cashed here for eight years.
Dwan showed up right at the late registration buzzer but, unfortunately for him, his appearance was short-lived as he fell in tonight's final level.
Two former Chip Reese Memorial Trophy winners remain in contention with John "World" Hennigan right on Ivey's heels. 2014 champion Hennigan, who won his sixth WSOP bracelet earlier this summer, was among the top stacks through the better part of the day and he finished with 1,209,000.
The other former PPC winner who has made it through the first two days is 2013 champ Matthew Ashton, who sits in seventh place with 911,000.
On the other hand, three-time winner and defending champion Michael Mizrachi won't add his fourth win this year. Mizrachi fell to Prahlad Friedman in a hand of pot-limit omaha, leaving his brother Robert the lone representative of the well-decorated family (Robert Mizrachi bagged 417,000).
The remaining field boasts, unsurprisingly, a ton of stellar players with Chris Vitch (1,103,000), David Oppenheim (1,062,000), and Josh Arieh (939,000) rounding out the top five.
Day 3 of what is often dubbed the toughest poker tournament on the planet kicks off on Wednesday, June 26, at 2 p.m. local time, with action resuming with 12,000/24,000 limits. PokerNews will be on the ground to provide live updates throughout the Poker Players Championship and the 50th annual World Series of Poker.