PCA 2013: Ashton Griffin takes overall lead in main event

Ashton Griffin leads tonight after the conclusion of the second day of the main event, the second of two starting flights. Griffin led for much of the day today and bagged up 253,700 at the close. That was good for the combined lead, just short of 5,000 ahead of yesterday's top man Maxim Lobzhanidze.

Chip leader overall Ashton Griffin

With six days of poker left to play Day 1B was a day defined by events more than poker hands. Things like entrances for example.

Olympic gold medallist (18 times) Michael Phelps arrived at the tournament room escorted by Antonio Esfandiari ( "good luck fish nuts" were his parting words of encouragement), and promptly spent the day taking chips from anyone who got in his way, with a security guard never more than a few feet from him.

Michael Phelps

Eight hours later there was another high profile entrance, this one a little more expected. Phil Hellmuth arrived at 8pm, three hours later than the five hours late he'd originally intended, having announced his intentions in a mid-afternoon post ocean dip tweet.

Phil Hellmuth

At least one player was determined to be on time.

Jake Cody, who walked into the tournament room as a Triple Crown winner and left it as a Triple Crown-winning Team PokerStars Pro. He was "patched up" by Daniel Negreanu prior to the start. The look on Cody's face spoke volumes about what it meant to the 24-year-old who was welcomed warmly by Negreanu who then took his seat in front of the TV cameras.

Jake Cody gets his new patches from Daniel Negreanu

Cody and Negreanu are among those bagging up chips tonight, as are Phil Ivey (his table the only one with a rail), Christian de Leon, Christophe de Meulder, Andre Akkari, Victor Ramdin, Nacho Barbero, Scott Seiver, Angel Guillen, David Williams, Ivan Demidov, Liv Boeree, Dario Minieri, Eugene Katchalov, Leo Fernandez, Richard Toth and Alex Kravchenko.

Also heading into Day 2 are Team Online's Tatiana Barausova, George Lind III and Isaac Haxton, also the inimitable Pierre Neuville. Each remains in the chase for a share of the prize pool expected to be worth more than $9 million.

A full list of those remaining will be available on our live coverage page, along with details of today's hand for hand action, when details become available.

Typically a field of 649 reduced to approximately 370 will result in some faces disappearing during nine levels. Among them were Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Selbst, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Jonathan Duhamel, Vanessa Rousso, Jason Mercier, Chris Moneymaker, Humberto Brenes, Jason Alexander and Team Online's Mickey Petersen. Two former champions were also sent to the rail with Harrison Gimbel and John Dibella taking no further part in the main event.

Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier

Those that remain return tomorrow for six levels of 75 minutes. They start again at 12 noon while those looking for consolation elsewhere will find more side events on the board, including a win the button event, 8-handed PLO, another no-limit hold'em turbo and a HORSE event with a $25,000 guarantee.

This being the PCA there was plenty going on beyond the tables of the main event, details of which can be discovered in the links below.

  • Talking mixed games with Barry Greenstein and Vanessa Selbst
  • Read how Peter Jetten won the Open-Face Chinese title
  • "Megapath" or "Getting here on the cheap"
  • WCOOP hero Mike Telker pips Johnny Lodden in the $5k Turbo
  • Watch the Staking and the Poker Economy Q&A
  • Zoom challenge makes its PCA debut
  • @hiatullah becomes first Photo Pimp Off finalist
  • The Player of the Year fight resumes as Rettenmaier and Smith tangle again

    That brings the day to a close as well as our coverage, for about 12 hours or so. Join us when play resumes tomorrow, with a field of around 500, for more of the same.

    Goodnight from Atlantis.

    Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter