EPT9 Monaco: Johnny Lodden thinks chip lead at close of Day 2

The second day of play in a main event is always about crossing the gap between the safe pastures of the start of day one, to that tricky time on Day 3 when the money comes into view. Today would only ever be about eliminations. Nobody can win on a day like today they can only lose. So the field got to work reducing itself.

So followed six levels that looked a lot like those of yesterday, the only difference being that the 30 tables in use at the start became 13 by the close, all moving towards the far end of the tournament room.

From all of them top spot rested with Johnny Lodden, chip leader tonight with a stack of 605,200 chips.

johnny_lodden_mon9_d2w_2.jpg
Johnny Lodden

Lodden pushed past the 500,000 mark late in the day, albeit in a hand that caused no small amount of controversy between him and chip leader at the start of play Victor Sbrissa.

Lodden's lead is sizable but, as always at this stage, it's a nominal one. The quality of opposition make it such, the lead chase pack made up of the likes of Calvin Andersen (472,400), Oleksii Kovalchuk (414,700), Noah Schwartz (453,400), Steve O'Dwyer (389,200) and Daniel Negreanu (340,100). All are within reach of Lodden and all capable of the appropriate dramatics tomorrow that turns the main event in their favour.

daniel_negreanu_mon9_d2w.jpg
Hungry for chips: Daniel Negreanu

calvin_andersen_mon9_d2w.jpg
Just hungry: Calvin Anderson

But to count on them would be to bet against the field, some 110-strong at the close that includes the likes of the following, who reached their positions after a volatile day in the Salle des Etoiles, which you can read about on our live coverage page.

Alec Torelli - 270,100
Paul Volpe - 256,500
Andrew Lichetenberger - 239,300
Jake Cody - 223,300
Victor Ramdin - 202,900
John Juanda - 181,300
Ville Wahlbeck - 148,200
Marcin Horecki - 137,800
David Vamplew - 116,500
Chad Brown - 115,900
Mickey Petersen - 96,600
Toni Judet - 91,100
Chris De Meulder - 89,200
Tatiana Barausova - 48,800
Alex Kravchenko - 41,800

Along the way we lost the bulk of the field to the whims of the side events. They included Artem Litvinov, Mathew Frankland, Isaac Haxton, Craig McCorkell, Benny Spindler, Felipe Ramos, Barry Greenstein, Humberto Brenes, Vicky Coren, Justin Bonomo, (breathe), Aaron Gustavson, Salvatore Bonavena, Max Silver, Bryn Kenney, Nicholas Chouity, Marcel Luske, Martin Finger, Fatima Moreira de Melo and Michael Tureniec.

Actually we lost even more, all of whom can be found on the live coverage page, along with existing counts of those remaining. It's there that you'll also find details of the pay-outs that will kick in when the bubble bursts tomorrow when there are 80 players left.

As far as the day's action is concerned you can catch up at any of the links below.

It was a make or break day in Monaco for most of the field, which was introduced by Sarah Grant and Rick Dacey at the start of play before Lee Jones revealed PokerStars's upcoming 100 billionth hand celebration.

We met one of the early chip leaders today Arlo Dotson and got our first glimpse of the money at stake this week.

One of those departing today was birthday boy Humberto Brenes, while in a few words Randy Lew made it clear that he's a better player than you.

humberto_brenes_mon9_d2w.jpg
Humberto Brenes

Away from the tables there was panic among the poker community facing a humungous corkage bill.

That's all for today. Join us for Day 3 on Thursday. Until then goodnight from Monaco.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.

Click through to live coverage of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action.